Bring government to the people

Friday, April 20, 2007

Nurses to strike over pay

The City of London is so invidious! Nurses are unhappy with 2.5% pay rise because average earnings rose by 4%. However it turns out that average earnings EXCLUDING city bonuses rose by 0% - and the nurses are striking because they feel left behind when they aren't actually left behind.
We need to reintroduce the top rate tax band, but this time recognising the real high earners - set it at 70% for earnings over £500,000. Then we need to close loopholes that currently allow very high earners to evade tax, for example by declaring themselves tax exiles. I think in USA if you wish to retain your right to work in USA you have to prove either that you pay ak least as much tax where you live as you would in the states, or pay the extra to USA.
Who's for it?

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Link the airports with rail links - save carbon emissions

How big is UK? Why do we have internal air flights, that seem to spend all their time taking off and landing? It's ridiculous. Even more so, now that you have to arrive at the airport an hour before the flight. Travel time from Newcastle Airport to Heathrow Airport (including early arrival) is 2 hours - and i hate to think how much fuel per passenger, how much carbon dioxide produced?
Build some high speed links between airports. No, not from city to city, from airport to airport. Link the London airports in an outer ring road: run a line up to Leeds-Bradford, on to Newcastle and then Edinburgh and Aberdeen. Suddenly people will be able to fly into Newcastle, take the shuttle (only on the ground) to London, and fly back out in the time it takes to go from one terminal to another in Heathrow,
Surprise surprise, they might just do a bit of business in Newcastle on the way past.
at £12.5million per km (the cost of the line for the French high speed rail links) it would cost around 12.5*500=£6.25bn - that's less than we spent going to Iraq where we weren't even welcome!

£2 billion more spend that could do more good

There are so many people in London that they want to spend £2billion more on expanding the sewerage system - note this in addition to maintenance and normal updates, this is just because of the expansion in the number of people. Oh, and recognising the problem that London has pumped out so much groundwater that ground level is in many places below sea level (hmm where did we see that before - New Orleans???)
Whereas the rest of the country still has capacity.
I can think of a far more sensible solution which would make better use of £2billion