Here's a petition that looks interesting... the deadline for signatures is 22 October.http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/please-go/#detail
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Cambridge's Parliamentary Spokesman, Richard Normington, commented on today's Budget: "Labour's run out of ideas almost as fast as it has run out of taxpayers' money. This Budget is more bust and no boom. In addition, Labour's broken a manifesto pledge not to put up income tax and missed the chance to fix the banking supervisory system that helped to get us into this mess. Britain deserves better."The Budget saw David Cameron point out that Labour’s attempts to deal with the recession have failed, and the mortgage support scheme, which was announced five months ago still has not helped a single homeowner. He condemned the Budget as a, “missed opportunity,” and said it should have been used to help Britain move from an economy built on borrowing and debt to one built on savings and investment.
22nd April 2009
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
This, the report concludes, was ‘
‘Singapore's recurrent budget surplus: The role of conservative growth forecasts’
Department of Economics, National University of Singapore, Block AS2, #05-11, 1 Arts Link, Singapore 117570, Singapore
Quango can go
The government is trying to impose a mind-bogglingly large number of homes on Cambridge on top of the excessive number already planned, via its undemocratic regional quangos.
While I am glad that the city Labour leader is questioning the latest figure (News, April 15), wouldn't it be better if he lobbied the government to follow the Conservative pledge to abolish top-down housing targets and put the responsibility back into the hands of accountable local councils?
We should try to kick the Regional Spatial Strategy into the long grass until we can have a change of government.
Monday, April 20, 2009
“This is good news for apprenticeships and those looking for retraining. However, I welcome in particular the plans to help postgraduates," said Cambridge's Conservative Parliamentary Spokesman, Richard Normington as he welcomed the £600 million package of Conservative measures. He added,
- £350 million to provide funding for 25,000 new Masters Degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) at an average of £14,000 each. This would help the many thousands of graduates leaving university who will struggle to find work when they finish their courses this summer. Instead of losing the next generation of scientists and engineers to long term youth unemployment we need to make sure there are funded places for them to continue their studies. The Royal Society says this policy “could potentially transform the landscape for postgraduate scientific research”
- £100 million to fund an extra 50,000 learners aged over 25 in STEM and other subjects. Tens of thousands of low skilled people over 25 without the equivalent of 2 A-levels will lose their jobs over the next year and be unable to find work. This funding will allow them to improve their skills, mainly in Further Education colleges, instead of slipping into long term unemployment.
- £150 million to support the thousands of apprentices that risk losing their training place during a recession. There is clear evidence that thousands of young apprentices are suffering particularly badly during the recession. At the moment that often means they can't complete their apprenticeships and end up with no qualification at all. The TUC have called on the Government to “ensure that any apprentice can complete their training and stay in work”. This new funding would be used to establish a clearing house to transfer apprentices to other employers and to pay for maintenance payments and training places if alternative apprenticeships are unavailable.
Friday, April 17, 2009
This morning there were people at the railway station distributing the programme for Cambridge Wordfest – a literary festival set to take place 23-26 April.There is an excellent line-up of events for all interests, ages and tempers.
As my own way of helping to get the word out, I hope you will visit www.cambridgewordfest.co.uk to see the full works.Richard Normington
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Now is the time to help the environment, the economy and British industry with a green technology recovery programme. Today, the Conservatives are setting out steps that the Government could take in next week's Budget that would enable £30 billion of private sector investment, and lay the foundations for a stable, competitive and low carbon recovery.
This will include £6,500 to improve the energy efficiency of every home in Britain.According to official government figures, British firms have less than a five per cent share of the global market for green goods and services - less than France, Germany, Japan and the United States. Labour's record is all talk, no action.
16th April 2009
Sunday, April 12, 2009
33% of the price of every pint goes in Beer Tax to the Chancellor. Now the Government plans to increase beer tax further.
- Cutting taxes on lower alcohol drinks such as low alcohol beers and raising taxes on problem drinks like high strength ciders; and alcopops in order to use the tax system to target binge drinking whilst ensuring that responsible drinkers and the traditional British pub are not unfairly penalised;
- Enforcing existing laws to deal firmly with irresponsible drinkers & premises;
- Trusting adults to make informed choices, not punish them for the actions of an irresponsible minority; and
- Supporting the British pub as a vital part of local communities.
Saturday, April 4, 2009
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
We face three separate crises.
The second, and focused on the international banking industry, is the consequence of the financial bubble and its effects on the money markets, property values and interest rates. Here there is role for national action and international co-ordination.
The third is global: we have reached the down part of the economic cycle [a cycle Gordon Brown said he had broken… “no more boom and bust”]. The G20 has a key role in getting the global economy going.
Today’s crisis shows that regulation of banking and credit institutions must be strengthened. However, regulatory reforms must be carefully calibrated and it needs to be recognised that regulation alone cannot prevent markets from malfunctioning. People are not machines, and managing of markets and expectations is really an art, not a science. However, getting the baseline right is important. The Summit should strengthen the drive to promote international standards, for example in accounting and financial reporting.
One idea is to frame a system that would make credit more expensive if the tide of cash turns to a torrent. It is usual normal now for Central Banks to have an inflation target, with the means to manage it. The same could be done for credit. It could be that a rise in credit to a set level would bring on an interest rate rise by the bank or the imposition of higher capital requirements on the banks at fault (Northern Rock…).
International trade is a major contributor to global economic growth. Falling levels of trade coupled with protectionist tendencies in some countries and the withdrawal of credit for trade finance are acute concerns. The London Summit must agree urgent measures to sustain international trade while continuing to work for the conclusion of the World Trade Organization’s Doha Development Agenda, in order to provide an early global stimulus through trade liberalisation.
The best way to bring prosperity is through trade, jobs and economic growth.