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It pleases HMRC to jest


Via CentreRight: The Revenue’s power grab: what’s yours is mine first. Just as taxpayers finally lose confidence in the ability of the Revenue to calculate PAYE correctly, HMRC offers to take the matter out of our hands and present us with a fait accompli. The power grab implicit in the latest HMRC proposals – currently under consultation – to receive all salaries direct from employers, process all deductions and then hand to us what remains, should worry anyone who values freedom. […]

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Quangos: the more we pay, the less we get – Telegraph


An understandable wave of shock ran through Britain last week when our new Government revealed the explosion in recent years of the pay given to our top public officials, 170 of whom now allegedly earn more than the Prime Minister. But the other side to this grotesque inflation in salaries is that it has been accompanied by a corresponding deterioration in the performance of almost every public body one can think of. via Quangos: the more we pay, the less […]

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Protected: The bureaucratisation of elder care


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There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.

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Ofgem urges a shake-up of the energy market


This post originally appeared at cobdencentre.org. Via FT.com, Ofgem urges a shake-up of the energy market, Sweeping reforms of the UK’s energy market must be brought in urgently to protect energy supplies, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and deliver the £200bn investment needed in the power sector, the energy regulator said on Wednesday. Ofgem said options for reform would include placing more stringent legal obligations on energy suppliers, and “improved market signals”, which could include a higher price on carbon dioxide […]

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Soviet Britain


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Via the Institute for Economic Affairs, we discover the state devouring the economy – ie, the cooperative actions of free people – for over a century: See also The Times Online, ‘Soviet’ Britain swells amid the recession: The state now looms far larger in many parts of Britain than it did in former Soviet satellite states such as Hungary and Slovakia as they emerged from communism in the 1990s, when state spending accounted for about 60% of their economies. And […]

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David Cameron: We can’t go on like this


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Via David Cameron: We can’t go on like this: A decade of big government and blunt, bureaucratic control has undermined responsibility and made our social problems worse, not better. We are determined to forge a new direction. We will use the state to help remake society by encouraging people to take responsibility for themselves and for one another. We will provide new opportunities for community groups, neighbourhood organisations, charities, social enterprises to help rebuild our civil society. We will create […]

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Not rearing pigs


A friend recently sent me this celebrated letter on the absurdity of bureaucracy. If you have not seen it, enjoy: Rt Hon David Miliband MP Secretary of State. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), Nobel House 17 Smith Square London SW1P 3JR 16 July 2009 Dear Secretary of State, My friend, who is in farming at the moment, recently received a cheque for £3,000 from the Rural Payments Agency for not rearing pigs.. I would now like to […]

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Ofwat, Water UK, the Consumer Council for Water and The Managerial Revolution


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In this article, I make the case that we live in a managerial society, one born in the tragedy of the first half of the twentieth century, and that it is this social system which is failing today. I also set out what can be done about it: the future is hopeful. This morning, I watched on the BBC a fascinating series of interviews in connection with this story about water pricing: Average water bills in England and Wales will […]

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bella gerens: That’s right, whip the libertarian


From bella gerens, an excellent explanation and defence of libertarianism: The truth is that advocates of freedom are found all over the political spectrum, but the only true libertarians are the ones who advocate it at all times in all circumstances, from the bedroom to the wallet – who believe that ‘freedom from’ is the only state of being consistent with the dignity and majesty of humankind. ‘Freedom from’ is the most important part of that ideology. Freedom from coercion. […]

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Plans for swingeing hospital cuts as NHS on brink of ‘Armageddon’ – Telegraph


Via Plans for swingeing hospital cuts as NHS on brink of ‘Armageddon’ – Telegraph: Health service managers warned of an “Armageddon scenario” facing NHS finances as they draw up secret plans for swingeing hospital cuts. Senior officials have set “aggressive” targets to reduce the number of patients referred to specialists, or treated in Accident and Emergency departments, while GPs will be asked to cut down on the amount of time spent in consultations. The plans are being issued as senior […]

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