1) Crispin Odey predicts next crash is looming
Falling oil prices, which despite saving households money, he says are a sign of a slowing worldwide economy.
The US and the UK both have had slower growth than expected over recent months.
Mr Odey, founder of Odey Asset Management, said in a letter to investors: “We are in the first stage of this downturn.
“It is too early to see what will happen – a change of this magnitude means the darkness and mist is very great.”
Although, rather cynically, Mr Odey suggested that now was the best time to make money since the 2007 financial crash by betting on falling share prices.
The wealthy Tory donor has made a fortune from betting on falling prices this way.
2) Cameron vows to cut benefit cap to £23k as first election action
David Cameron has vowed his first act should he win the 2015 General Election is to cut the benefit cap to £23k.
This is a deeply cynical promise to create further misery by cutting from welfare as the PM’s shiny first promise. The current benefit cap has already resulted in social cleansing of the capital where rent prices continue to rise (and the government fails to do anything about this). Social cleansing was such a clear result of this cap that Boris Johnson was even forced to publicly acknowledge it, though he has failed to stop it.
But, as Danny Dorling explains in ‘All That Is Solid’ this is not a new Tory tactic by any means:
“The housing benefit cap is not a particularly new scheme when it comes to attempts to move poorer people away from richer areas. A generation ago the Conservative party tried to achieve the same outcome, but more subtly. In 1986 the Conservative controlled Westminster Council decided that the number of council house sales should be accelerated so that ‘a natural and permanent majority could be manufactured in Westminster.’ Some 10,000 council homes were earmarked to be sold privately when the tenants in them either moved on or died. In other words, those tenants were not to be replaced with people from a similar demographic; Westminster was to be gentrified and the political balance shifted by selling homes that were located mainly eight marginal wards. Eventually the policy was found to be illegal, but not until January 1994, long after it had its desired effects.”
And once again the PM has vowed to make cuts to the poorest, and protect through his silence the £85bn of welfare provided to rich corporations.
“Benefits are what we grudgingly hand the poor; the rich are awarded tax breaks. Cut through the euphemisms and the Treasury accounting, however, and you’re left with two forms of welfare. Except that the hundreds given to people sleeping on the street has been deemed unaffordable. Those millions for $150bn Disney, on the other hand, that’s apparently money well spent –whoever coined the phrase “taking the Mickey” must have worked for HM Revenue.”
3) Benefit spending in 2015-6 forecast to be the same as 2010-11
A damning report from the Institute for Fiscal Studies reveals that benefit spending in 2015-6 will be £220bn, the same as in 2010-11.
This demonstrates the lies in the economic plan Cameron purports to have. An ageing population, stagnant and low wages (which pulls many people out of the tax bracket and forces them to need help) and rising rent prices are main contributors to the benefit bill’s growth. It also shows that government has made the situation worse, by not reducing the bill but causing misery and destitution for millions of people. Austerity is a complete falsehood.
4) Thousands in ‘March For Homes’ take to streets
Thousands took part in a Londonwide march to protest against social cleansing, and for affordable homes for all, better tenants rights and better services. The march brought together some of the brilliant grassroots housing actions groups who have made a huge impact in the last year including Focus E15 mothers and New Era Estate who have been helping other groups across London continue their fight against unjust evictions and policy. Around 5000 people attended the march.
Some freeloading scroungers might have cynically used your festive promotional offer with P&O Ferries to go over and stock up on cheap continental booze and fags.
But we know you meant to launch a D-Day-style flotilla of solidarity with Fellow Human Beings who have fled the blood and torture and killing and more blood and bombs.”