HS2 Is it necessary at this time?

  bremner 12:20 21 Aug 2019

The government his two review whether we really need HS2 BBC Article

I cannot support a scheme to get some quicker to Manchester or Birmingham, that is likely to cost in excess of £100B at a time when:

  • The NHS and social care, education, policing, fire services, local government etc etc are massively underfunded.
  • The one train line into Cornwall is regularly out of action due to it passing so close to the sea.
  • Many rural communities have broadband that struggles to reach 4Mb

My list could go on and on.

What do you think?

  oresome 11:28 26 Aug 2019

Interest rates have been at a low since the financial crash in 2008, so it's not expensive for the government to borrow cash and likely to get cheaper still if the BoE governor reduces rates still further after Brexit to mitigate a recession.

Now may be the time to invest in large infrastructure projects.

The people paying the price for low interest rates are savers and those contributing to a pension where rules dictate that the insurance companies must buy Gilts which is basically lending money to the government, so future returns will be low and final pensions will suffer.

  wee eddie 12:19 26 Aug 2019

Following up on oresom's last post.

The Charge for operating my Pension Plan has been close to the interest earned by said Plan. Leading to virtually no increase in its value.

Disappointing.

  john bunyan 13:17 26 Aug 2019

oresome

In 2006 our national debt was at 38% of GDP. Now, at £1.86 trillion it is at 84.6%. The cost of serving that debt is £48 billion or 4% of GDP - twice our defence budget. If a recession, world or local , comes, the interest rates could rise, and also uncertainty over our economy could lower our ability to borrow at low rates.

We have failed to demonstrate our ability to handle large investment- eg Trident, HS2, Crossrail,the NHS computer project and many others. Harsh as it may be , we need to get our debt down first before borrowing more, if needed by a modest increase in tax and NI, as well as increasing productivity. Germany has a National Debt if under 65%, and we should aim at that.

The weak pound, due to Brexit, means inflation due to having to pay more for world commodities priced in foreign currency, such as fuel etc, and we have to pay more in interest on foreign loans. Austerity may be unpopular but Labour and the Tories should eschew promises to outgrow each other’s Magic money trees

  oresome 15:30 26 Aug 2019

Inflation is the friend of the borrower.

Get the full value of the money borrowed today and pay back with something that's not worth as much!

  Forum Editor 17:10 26 Aug 2019

Surely the whole point about having a Union of nations is that we should all be equal citizens of the Union?

Of course there will be national differences, and of course some regions will do better than others when it comes to creating wealth, but that's how it is. We are a mini version of the EU, with different national customs and different natural resources. We should however have learnt how to run the Union without bickering with each other all the time.

Like it or not, the capital city of the UK is London, and the region surrounding it is bound to attract businesses, airports, etc., etc. It happens with capital cities all over the world.

That we quite obviously haven't acquired enough character to operate a Union of three and a half small countries successfully says a lot about human nature. The EU should look at us and be very concerned for its long-term future.

  Quickbeam 20:39 26 Aug 2019

"The EU should look at us and be very concerned for its long-term future."

Yes, they could learn from our mistakes for their long term benefit I'm sure FE...

  oresome 07:57 27 Aug 2019

The fact is people's living standards have been declining for more than 10 years as the financial crash has taken it's toll and it breeds discontent. Both within our own Union and with the European Union.

Had living standards continued to rise I very much doubt the E.U. referendum result would have been what it was.

Rubbing salt into the wound is the fact that many bankers will now be back on big fat bonuses whilst the rest of us continue with the consequences of austere measures needed to dig ourselves out of the hole they created.

  Dunk 10:13 27 Aug 2019

oresome

Agree about the possible reason for the Brexit vote, and we are going to pay ,once again. But nobody can sensibly compare the 'unions' of the EU and UK. One is a union of already independent states (each of who can choose to leave and/or veto decisions at will) the other is (legally) a union of only two kingdoms (Eng & Scot). In the UK union Scot wants to leave but is not allowed to even ask the question, it seems. Why? Let them go if they want, they are costing us English people money, as well. The UK is being allowed to leave the EU, so no comparison.

  john bunyan 11:34 27 Aug 2019

Dunk

In 2016 there was (in the words of the then first minister) a “once in a generation “ vote by Scotland to remain in the United Kingdom, so , in a similar way that Brexiteers are loathe to have a second referendum, it is understandable that a Scottish one so soon is resisted. You can’t keep having such huge constitutional changes treated like a Hokey Koaky dance - in out in out.

  Dunk 13:36 27 Aug 2019

I take your point, john, but Brexit changes everything, for every nation.

I believe that Scotland voted massively to stay in the EU, and they now (quite correctly IMHO) say England is dragging them out against their will. Why? They want to do different to us, why not let them. It will save us cash (and energy) fighting them all the time. I just cannot understand why we insist on keeping them 'prisoner' at our expense.

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