YouGov’s weekly poll for the Times has topline figures of CON 43%(+1), LAB 38%(nc), LDEM 9%(+2). Fieldwork was Tuesday to Wednesday and changes are from last week. While the changes themselves are insignificant, margin-of-error stuff, it’s worth noting that this is the fourth YouGov poll in a row with a Conservative lead of 4 or 5 points, so it looks as if, beneath the noise, the Tories may have genuinely opened up a small lead over Labour.

The same movement is apparent in the best Prime Minister rating. Following the general election Jeremy Corbyn had cut Theresa May’s lead on the measure down to single figures, but it has gradually inched back up again, and in the last couple of months Theresa May seems to have had a steady double-digit lead.

Full tabs for the latest figures are here.


558 Responses to “YouGov/Times – CON 43%, LAB 38%, LDEM 9%”

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  1. DAVWEL

    “The stand-off between the Scottish and Tory governments on the return of devolved powers after Brexit seems to me just another wasteful charade by leaders.”

    The devolution proposal put to the Scottish people in a referendum was that any power not specifically assigned to Westminster would be devolved.

    Westminster is free to propose pan UK or joint regulations in devolved areas but it must be by mutual consent via a jewel motion and can’t be imposed.

    What Holyrood wants is that system to continue, powers over devolved areas that currently are carried out on our behalf by Brussels to come to Holyrood and then any UK or Scotland England rules to be agreed rather than decided t Westminster and imposed.

    It’s worked fairly well for 20 years and there is no reason to suggest it can’t keep working.

    By and large Holyrood has no problem with Pan Uk rules if they are in scotlands interests just as we didn’t really have a problem with pan EU ones, which is why Scots voted remain.

    As to reviewing the powers of the Scottish Parliament, I don’t know where you’ve been over the last two decades but a whole range of powers over tax and social security have changed and over time i would expect that to continue although the direction of travel will continue to be mostly one way with Holyrood gaining.

    “But some Scotland powers seem ridiculous, like on teacher certification, and I strongly dislike the arrangements on student grants for university tuition. Rules on transport seems absurd.”

    And then at the end you let yourself down yet again but singling out for for return to westminster areas where Holyrood has done things you don’t like.

    By all means suggest lay out a revised format for what powers should and should not be devolved on the basis of where it makes most sense for people to look at and discuss, but singling out transport for the whole of Scotland to be moved 400 miles South because of your fixation with the Aberdeen bypass is just petty.

    If you want common rules on contractors and westminster proposes them and Holyrood agrees then a Sewel motion can give you that, but then Holyrood might insist that if the contractor loses it’s licence because of an infringement in Scotland it needs to lose it in England too… so the wagons might not run there either.

    Be careful what you wish for it may come true.

    Peter.

  2. I should have pasted from the Aberdeen Evening Express (May 10) about the subcontractor losing his licence to operate vehicles:

    “”Allen Transport Ltd, which is working on the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route (AWPR), is based out of Newmachar.

    The Traffic Commissoner ruled it would lose its HGV operating licence on May 30 and is also disqualified from applying or holding another licence for two years, after the company used vehicles for a contract in Scotland, which were only authorised to operate out of England.””

    I wonder who alerted the TC. Do they enjoy the long-running chaos?

  3. Garj

    It is possible to be a net contributor to society without being a net contributor to the exchequer.

    Should we immediately sack and deport all nurses/teachers etc who earn under 35k because they aren’t “paying their way”?

  4. Equally, it’s possible to be a net contributor to the Exchequer personally, but cost the public loads more in other ways. See Bankers and Crunch for details.

  5. The remarkable story of the UK Labour Market continues in Q1 2018:-

    file:///C:/Users/User/Downloads/UK%20labour%20market%20May%202018.pdf

    A welcome relief from the developing shambles in UK’s Government & Parliaments as they take Brexit to the very limit of time available & credibility itself.

    Of the many systemic faults in the protocols for leaving the EU, a 2 year timetable must be at the top of the list.

  6. @TOH – “I think it is very clear what you think about this country and it’s voters. Shame on you and your like.”

    Really? As I’ve said many times before, you really don’t do detail do you? You haven’t got the faintest idea of how patriotic I feel about my country, nor what I’ve done for it.

    Not to worry – my patriotism extends to supporting the right of those of my countrymen who struggle to grasp the basic of polite discourse to express their views, even when those views are ridiculous.

    Keep it up – your entertainment value increases almost daily.

  7. @Colin – “Of the many systemic faults in the protocols for leaving the EU, a 2 year timetable must be at the top of the list.”

    Disagree entirely. The A50 leaving protocol is functioning precisely as planned. From an EU perspective, it’s brilliantly designed. That Brexiters were unable to understand the implications of this isn’t the fault of the EU treaties.

    The fault here surely l!es with a government of the leaving party still being unable to decide what it wants as a future relationship, 23 months after the referendum and 14 months after triggering A50. Surely this is where the incompetence l!es?

    It wasn’t as if they weren’t warned about triggering A50 before sorting out our own plans. I recall the Brexiters decrying such voices as unpatriotic, saboteurs, enemies of the people, and lacking faith. We were right though – so what does that say about our accusers?

  8. @Colin – just caught up with the employment stats – they do look good.

    Interestingly though, if the various economic indicators we’ve just had are correct, theoretically this means we are seeing productivity slide again, which seems now to be the stock response to downturns.

    With output slowing, and employment rising, there doesn’t seem to be any other explanation. I guess it’s also valid to point ut that employment tends to be a lagging indicator, so whether we get the next few months figures reflecting the sharp slow down and reduced spending will be one to watch.

  9. I think we’ll end up in EFTA as a transition, and never move from there.

    If it’s EFTA or WTO, there is only one choice unless we burn our own house down.

    Immigration control needs to come from more effective regulation of UK employment practices and current access to in work benefits etc. All achievable.

  10. ALAN

    I did write a fairly lengthy post based on the fact that very few immigrants are nurses or teachers, and yet here you are defaulting to nurses and teachers again. Bit of a stuck record. I’m wary as well of nebulous concepts like ‘social’ value though, all too often it can be used as an excuse to keep importing workers from abroad rather than investing in training or salaries in the UK. One answer is that we ought to just pay such key workers a better salary, certainly in high-cost areas like London. As I said in the part of my post addressed to DAVWEL, one of the advantages of a managed immigration strategy is that you can attach whatever requirements and values you like to visas, particularly in professions where the state retains a near-monopoly on provision like healthcare and education. If the NHS needs 5000 nurses from abroad this year, and in certain locations, then you can make the visas available accordingly. If there is a shortage of teachers somewhere then you can adjust the earnings thresholds for that region. The point is that under freedom of movement you have none of that nuance and have to let in anybody who can find work, regardless of whether their presence represents a significant economic contribution.

  11. @ Peter:

    “”By all means suggest lay out a revised format for what powers should and should not be devolved on the basis of where it makes most sense for people to look at and discuss, but singling out transport for the whole of Scotland to be moved 400 miles South because of your fixation with the Aberdeen bypass is just petty.”

    I try to write about events and topics on which I have some knowledge, so I use the handling of the AWPR as an example of how the SNP runs Scotland, not because I wouldn`t be equally grumpy if it were delays in work at Helmsdale or Newton Stewart.

    You seem to think it`s the £100,000 earners around Aberdeen who are the main beneficiaries of the AWPR, so begrudge the spending. Whereas to me it`s the poor folk in Buchan, Peterhead, Fraserburgh, who have suffered long delays in getting south past Aberdeen for cultural, social, sporting activity, who at last can contemplate day-tripping to Edinburgh.

    On roads/transport when vehicles can cross freely the Anglo-Scottish border, I feel it is absurd not to have UK rules, with local allowance for fixing speed limits, etc.

  12. New ICM poll:

    Con – 43%
    Lab – 40%
    LD – 8%
    Green – 3%
    UKIP – 3%

    Also has some questions on Brexit, relating to the customs deal (or lack thereof):

    Leave the CU – 35%
    Customs partnership (or some other compromise) – 26%
    Stay in the CU – 24%

    And on extending the transition:

    Oppose – 43%
    Support – 38%

  13. “EU immigrants make up about 5% of English NHS staff and about 5% of the English population, according to the best available data. Across the UK, EU immigrants make up 10% of registered doctors and 4% of registered nurses. Immigrants from outside the EU make up larger proportions. “

  14. “EU migrants make up a significant proportion of NHS staff – over 10% in the case of doctors – but not as large a proportion as non-EU migrants.

    Secondly, EU migrants are slightly more likely than the population overall to be NHS staff generally. They are disproportionately likely to be doctors – but not to be nurses.

    Lastly, in nursing and midwifery EU immigrants make up a small proportion, but their numbers have been increasing at a historically rapid rate in in recent years as the number of nurses trained in Britain has dropped. Without this, overall nursing numbers would have fallen rather than remaining more or less steady.”

  15. As the English MUD employs about 1.2 million people of whom EU citizens are about 55,000, it is more likely that an EU migrant is employed by the English NHS than a British citizen in England was employed by the same organisation.

    Just as facts were asked earlier.

  16. DAVWEL

    I don’t agree that the differences between the UK and Scottish governments over the Withdrawal Bill are a charade. The Welsh / UK deal raises the possibility of deals being done between executives – reducing accountability and sidelining legislatures.

    http://centreonconstitutionalchange.ac.uk/blog/uk-welsh-agreement-brexit-and-devolved-powers-and-why-it-matters-uk-whole

    As to what is important in Scottish public life there is so much more devolution needed to deal with it. This may explain.

    http://www.healthscotland.scot/media/1053/1-healthinequalitiespolicyreview.pdf

  17. @davwel

    “Like this week a subcontracting firm who brought in wagons from England to try to speed up the delivery of the long-delayed Aberdeen bypass, have lost their licence to operate, for two years, and the wagons sent back to England. Surely if they are safe to drive in England they are suitable for Scotland.”

    Construction and Use regulations for vehicles and health and safety at work are not devolved and neither are driver and operating licensing.

  18. Garj

    I was using teachers and nurses as readily understood jobs which provide social benefits greater than the amount of tax they pay. I’ve worked in a professional job (I don’t want to go into the specifics of the job as the standing advice was that I don’t disclose it) which paid less than this figure, although this was of benefit to society. I could have earned a much higher salary elsewhere but the value I placed on providing this social benefit meant I choose to remain doing the lower paid job.

    When push came to shove I got nothing from the state after suffering a chronic illness, so I certainly don’t feel like I got more out of the system than I paid in. Both the state and I lost out from the years of inactivity which followed (which was zero in, zero out as far as the exchequer was concerned).

    Now, I’m going to chase the money and the path to that lies overseas as the UK simply can’t compete on salaries. If in 10 years time that situation changes, I may come back providing the environment isn’t too hostile.

  19. @garj

    “One answer is that we ought to just pay such key workers a better salary, certainly in high-cost areas like London. As I said in the part of my post addressed to DAVWEL, one of the advantages of a managed immigration strategy is that you can attach whatever requirements and values you like to visas, particularly in professions where the state retains a near-monopoly on provision ”

    Well the UK seems to be at record low levels of unemployment so you need to explain where all these ” Home grown” workers are going to come from.

    Secondly thst is not how the UK operates its non EU visas now – earnings limits precludes recruitment of nurses and other professional staff as do arbitrary caps on numbers woth no regional variation – so why should anyone think thst it will do so in the future?

  20. Alec

    I gave up being polite to some Remainers some time ago, you must be slow if you have only just noticed. I did so because I consider their views both undemocratic and unpatriotic. So don’t worry when I bother to post to you, I will continue in the same vein, so if it amuses you, enjoy! Finally, my views are no more ridiculous than yours, it’s just that we have a fundamentally different view on Brexit.

    Garj

    Many thanks for posting the ICM figures, as a Tory happy with those figures at this time.

  21. @alec

    “It wasn’t as if they weren’t warned about triggering A50 before sorting out our own plans. I recall the Brexiters decrying such voices as unpatriotic, saboteurs, enemies of the people, and lacking faith…”

    And interestingly the official Leave campaign explicitly said there was no rush to trigger A50 and this would only be done after a detailed agreement had been reached with the EU. Another broken promise.

  22. Colin

    Yes another very good set of employment figures.

  23. It looks like another Home Office Minister has been “economical with the actualite ” in Parliament on immigration matters:

    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/may/15/home-office-skilled-migrants-caroline-nokes-immigration

  24. ALEC

    @” From an EU perspective, it’s brilliantly designed.”

    er……….precisely !

    ….I was thinking about the UK perspective though.

    :-)

  25. Sam @ 11.50 am

    I am very grateful for you posting the link on the UK/Wales devolution proposals that have satisfied the Welsh government.

    I think they are broadly on the right lines, and hopefully the Scottish government will accept something similar after a little more adjustment.

    Default return of devolved powers to NI, Scotland and Wales is good, but with the power of Westminster to overrule, and this latter to be examined by the polity governments when the UK proposes overrules.

    I agree there are substantial areas for greater devolution, and Hireton has been providing many examples where the Home Office has been incompetent, wilful-in-imposing-Southern-England outlooks, or simply overrun in trying to handle Scotland.

    But in agriculture and conservation, for example, I don`t think Scotland should operate alone. And I do worry that Northern English needs in farming will not be adequately put in these inter-government discussions, because the UK government will both be being an overall arbiter and representing England – which often means giving the majority Southern-English view on farming needs.

  26. @ NEILJ – “As to alienating Labour voters, 65% voted remain, 35% voted leave. you do not need to be a mathematician to work out which policy is going to upset most people.”

    Did we just adopt a PR system while I wasn’t looking!?!? If you want to see how FPTP works look at SNP MP seats in 2015 GE – or Trump’s popular vote v electoral college vote.

    Sn0wflakes have the higher % but gammons have the more vulnerable/target seats. Half gammon, half sn0wflake ambiguity has run its course. Time for Cobyn to chose! I’ve no idea which way he goes, being a man of principles I expect he goes gammon but from a seats in a snap GE perspective I hope he goes sn0wflake ;)

  27. HIRETON

    “Well the UK seems to be at record low levels of unemployment so you need to explain where all these ” Home grown” workers are going to come from.”

    A huge proportion of UK workers are working part time or for very low wages. About a fifth of jobs pay less than £9 an hour, and similarly about a fifth of working age households are in relative poverty. This is particularly true for certain migrant groups where the median income is well below average. 90% of A10 migrants are paid less than £26000, and half of them less than £17000. This is not a statistic which I think anyone can honestly defend. We should be seeking to increase the average skill level and wage of workers in the UK, not perpetuating an economy based on the continuing importation of hundreds of thousands of low-waged workers every year. If that causes some businesses who rely on that economic model to go to the wall, so be it.

    The failings of the visa system, and the incompetence of the home office, are the product of a situation where the government is under enormous political pressure to reduce net migration (which remains close to its highest level in history), but has no means of controlling half of it. I think that the ‘tens of thousands’ target is arbitrary and wrong, and I don’t have particular faith in this government to improve it, but the ending of low-waged EU migration heralded by Brexit will give future governments the leeway to tailor a migration strategy which is more responsive to the country’s needs.

  28. Once you run out of “home grown” workers one obvious solution is to invest in more productive methods – gains in productivity are the only way to secure sustainable growth in real wages.

    Some tentative signs that is beginning to happen as the investment backlog reaches full and finding workers becomes trickier. So even with the Brexit uncertainty ongoing companies are looking to invest in UK to improve productivity – and we haven’t even left yet ;)

  29. @ GARJ / HIRETON – YouGov conducted quite a detailed immigration poll recently:
    https://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/dqjh8rbx2e/InternalResults_180425_Immigration.pdf

    Some clear differences on the “type” of immigration folks approve/disapprove of:

    “People with low levels of education and skills, looking for low paid work”
    More 5
    Same 26
    Less+none = 57

    Net [More – (Less+none)] = -52 (NB -ve!!)

    “People with high levels of education and skills, looking for high paid jobs”
    More 29
    Same 42
    Less+none = 18

    Net +11

    “People coming to work in the British health service”
    More 38
    Same 38
    Less+none = 13

    Net +25!!

    Of course an independent immigration policy allows that kind of cherry picking of open to more high earners and more with specific ‘social’ needs but less overall.

    Lots more interesting info in that poll, the ‘by country’ breakdown is very interesting.

  30. DAVWEL,

    “You seem to think it`s the £100,000 earners around Aberdeen who are the main beneficiaries of the AWPR, so begrudge the spending.”

    I don’t begrudge a penny of what is being spent on the AWPR, it’s money well spent on a worthwhile, if not vital, project to benefit Scotland’s third city, it’s people and economy and all three for the whole of the North East.

    What is a waste of time is your infatuation with portraying any delays or extra costs on the AWPR as a national disaster or the claim that because one major construction project in your area isn’t going as you’d like, the SNP are useless and devolution should be re written.

    Peter.

  31. TOH

    “I gave up being polite to some Remainers some time ago, you must be slow if you have only just noticed.”

    Try to be just a little honest for a change!

    You have been rude and dismissive of the opinions of anyone you disagreed with since the first day you posts, a habit only slightly less irksome that your syrupy praise for those you agree with.

    Colin,

    “….I was thinking about the UK perspective though.”

    Presumably so was the UK when it agreed to A50 being part of the Lisbon Treaty, or should have been if it was doing it’s job properly!

    Mind you as Blair negotiated it both left and right should be equally happy to blame him!!

    Peter.

  32. TW: gains in productivity are the only way to secure sustainable growth in real wages.

    Some tentative signs that is beginning to happen as the investment backlog reaches full and finding workers becomes trickier. So even with the Brexit uncertainty ongoing companies are looking to invest in UK to improve productivity – and we haven’t even left yet ;)

    I’m afraid my comprehension skills are found wanting here.

    Could you translate “as the investment backlog reaches full,” please? Do you mean that the level of deferred investment because of brexit uncertainty is reaching its maximum, and firms will therefore have to start spending again?

    If that is indeed your meaning, then of course the other possibility is that they will switch from delaying projects to cancelling them.

    Your “tentative signs” of productivity growth also seem more negative than tentative, in light of this morning’s reported 0.5% drop in labour productivity.

    I also find it curious that so many right wing brexiters are so keen on the bureaucratic, centrally planned allocation of labour, rather than leaving it to market forces. Bring back the Ministry of Labour!

  33. Somerjohn,

    “I also find it curious that so many right wing brexiters are so keen on the bureaucratic, centrally planned allocation of labour, rather than leaving it to market forces.”

    True,

    After all if Cameron had dealt with the unhappiness some had with EU migrants being able to claim benefits even if they had been here for less than two years at not being able to treat them differently he could just have changed the law so that nobody could claim benefits unless they had been working for at least two years.

    That would have cut the benefits bill and forced all those school leavers to go out and work for whatever the mark rate was.

    But then it was never really about free markets or productivity; it was about British Jobs for British Workers.

    Peter.

  34. SJ:

    Nicely put.

    TW is one of several here whose eccentric or rushed use of language obscures their good thinking. But it also can cloak their wrong thinking.

  35. SJ

    I’m not so sure investment is going to pick up just because it’s been delayed. If it’s been delayed, it seems that decisions are being made as to whether to put that money into the UK or elsewhere depending on the outcome of Brexit. If they were going to invest regardless there would be no sense in delaying.

    As someone who is in a field which requires significant investment to produce systems which lead to these efficiency gains, I certainly don’t see the future being definitely bright for the UK in terms of investment (and not just the buying up of UK companies). I’d rather help the Germans extend their lead over the UK as that seems a much better bet.

  36. @TW
    Sn0wflakes have the higher % but gammons have the more vulnerable/target seats. Half gammon, half sn0wflake ambiguity has run its course. Time for Cobyn to chose! I’ve no idea which way he goes, being a man of principles I expect he goes gammon but from a seats in a snap GE perspective I hope he goes sn0wflake ;)

    I am struggling to understand what you are saying, can you put it in English

  37. SOMERJOHN

    “I also find it curious that so many right wing brexiters are so keen on the bureaucratic, centrally planned allocation of labour”

    I would like to see a freer market for skilled worker visas, and the polling which TW posted would suggest that the public would as well. Get rid of caps and allow anyone to come here, provided that their employer is willing to pay them enough that they will make a markedly positive contribution to GDP per capita, productivity, and the exchequer (factoring in the cost of additional housing demand that they’ll create). The imbalance in the economy nationwide makes a very good case for those earnings thresholds to be set on a regional level to take account of the differences, but they are likely to be significantly higher than the median income.

    There remains, however, a pretty hefty chunk of the economy which is run by the state (some 41.1% at last count), and it is dominated by centralised bureaucracies which set wages based on arcane and arbitrary pay scales, rather than according to market realities. I would prefer if this were liberalised, with hospitals and schools freed up to offer the salaries they need to in order to attract workers. In such a situation then the public sector ought to be subject to the same visa restrictions as any other employer, but until that comes to pass then allocating a set number of visas or an easing of restrictions for things like the NHS seems a sensible approach.

  38. It’s true that voters think that low-wage immigration should be curbed, but then the ‘people’ – as tested by polling – think that there are far more immigrants in the UK than there really are, and that heath tourism cost the UK around 100 times what it actually costs…

    So it at least possible that people are basing their view on false assumptions about:
    a) how many low-paid immigrants there are, and
    b) what they actually do.

    What no-one seems to be able to answer is, how in god’s name do we staff our care homes or pick our vegetables without someone willing to do it?

    If we pay UK citizens significantly more to do these jobs then that feeds through into the cost of the services provided – UK produced food will cost more and either be replaced by cheaper imports (pushing more farmers out of arable) or involves higher costs for British consumers.
    Neither really matches with the much-vaunted Brexit outcomes of cheaper food and happy British farmers…

    @GARJ talks about business ‘going to the wall’ if they can’t pay higher wages; but care homes (another major immigrant employing sector) are – mostly – funded by the taxpayer, and any increased pay for UK-sourced staff is going to come straight out of our taxes.

    Now I’d – genuinely – be happy to pay more tax to make sure that care services were adequately funded, but I have my doubts that the older, more conservative supporters of Brexit would be willing to put their hand in their own pockets through, e.g., increased IHT and/or NI on pension income as would be required…

  39. BFR

    Can’t we just outsource the care provided in care homes to somewhere where cheap labour is available?

    Gammon exports would go through the roof!

  40. Alan,

    “I’d rather help the Germans extend their lead over the UK as that seems a much better bet.”

    There’s the rub…as an investment decision you are looking for the best possible return with the lowest possible risk.

    So for delayed investment to become real investment in the UK as some think will happen you need to be able to demonstrate just what it is about Brexit that will make the delayed investment more likely to occur..

    I think a lot will be made because where as the returns might not be as high as some would like the costs of the alternative, setting up a fresh elsewhere can be far higher.

    In terms of the UK I think you can make a fair argument that costs are often higher in some EU countries, such as Germany but that is offset in some cases by productivity.

    So as an example I see Germany benefitting more from any investment transfer more than Italy because it is more productive.

    In some respects what disruption to business and costs associated with Brexit will be a factor, particularly is components are sourced across borders or markets are cross border.

    I am sure there will be cases where if the UK is the main market and trade is disrupted some may move business here, but on the main as the EU single market is far bigger than the UK one I suspect moving their will be more likely.

    Equally it could be that post Brexit moving out of the UK to RoW locations with lower costs, higher productivity and larger markets might accelerate.

    I can see more reason for a UK company serving China to produce their than I see a Chinese Company supplying the UK and EU to move production here.

    Again I think it is up to the Brexit side to make the case but all too often you get the likes of TOH accusing those who ask for evidence of having a lack of faith in Britain if not treason.

    The other assertion we often get is that, It will happen because it must.

    The short sharp shock argument, that if we can’t compete we will suffer so we will compete rather than suffer, as oppose to investment just going elsewhere.

    Again that’s often supported or followed with the Dunkirk Spirit;

    ” Britain’s at it’s best when we are the underdog with our backs to the wall!”

    This ignores or forgets that if you look back across the centuries almost all Countries and Peoples in times of adversity have found resolve, dug deep and showed the same tenacity.

    Perhaps more importantly, but again, ignored by Brexiteers, quite literally half of them lost.

    Peter.

  41. Alan

    “Can’t we just outsource the care provided in care homes to somewhere where cheap labour is available?”

    Well, this was official argument for “relocating” poor British children to the former colonies until the 1960s – they cost to much here. In Australia the cost was only a third.

  42. @TOH – “I gave up being polite to some Remainers some time ago, you must be slow if you have only just noticed. I did so because I consider their views both undemocratic and unpatriotic.”

    You are a bit of a numpty at times. Quite how holding a point of view can ever be undemocratic is beyond any logical explanation – it’s the central point of democracy!

  43. Oh, someone thinks that decentralised wage bargaining is the road to higher wages. Great – so why haven’t US real wages increased for a mere 40 years while productivity skyrocketed to the degree that in US manufacturing value added less depreciation produced is now shared between the workers and employers 1:13?

    Ideological inclinations do wonders to arguments.

  44. GARJ: “Get rid of caps and allow anyone to come here, provided that their employer is willing to pay them enough that they will make a markedly positive contribution to GDP per capita, productivity, and the exchequer (factoring in the cost of additional housing demand that they’ll create).”

    I fear that would amount to a policy of welcoming foreigners to cream off many of the best jobs, while leaving the Brits to do the drudgery no longer performed by lower-skilled overseas-sourced labour.

    I also think there’s a danger in seeing this mainly in financial terms. The social benefits of having people to do the jobs Brits don’t want to do, whether that’s in care homes, strawberry fields or meat-packing plants, are considerable. Whole areas of business and services that would otherwise disappear are made sustainable. And there are other, less tangible benefits like creating a diaspora of returnees who not only take back skills and capital acquired in the UK, but also, hopefully, contacts, friendships and a familiarity with Britain and the Brits that will oil the wheels of future trade and relationships.

  45. Peter Cairns

    I certainly see Germany as the lower risk option, I pretty much know what that will involve, yes there is the “cost” of refreshing (ok, more like relearning) my German but I’ll treat that as a marketable skill and if it leads to opportunities for higher wages in the future, then it will be as valuable a skill as the others sitting in my toolbox.

    On the other side of the coin, I have no idea if the UK will be in an environment of “Sorry, we’re not doing that stuff right now as we’re too busy reorganising after Brexit” which would be a pretty bad situation for me looking to restart a new career.

    I do find TOH’s definition of treason hilarious, for him someone awarded the VC but who happened to be a Remainer would be guilty of being unpatriotic, a view shared with very few people I would presume. I discount anything his has to say about patriotism.

    As for the Dunkerque spirit:

    1. I hate all war analogies as they are inappropriate and only serve the purpose of romanticising Brexit for those who hark back to days before their time.

    2. There is a bridge which is really easy (almost “free” even) to walk across. Instead, sitting on the beach and waiting (or cheering) for the bridge to be demolished in the the hope it’ll all work out isn’t exactly the same situation facing the British Expeditionary Force.

    Noone involved in the mess that is Brexit could be considered a hero, even if somehow the UK does manage to extricate itself from the mess it’s engineered of its own accord. I doubt they will be making films about Brexit 80 years from now (unless it goes REALLY bad)

  46. GARJ: “Get rid of caps and allow anyone to come here, provided that their employer is willing to pay them enough that they will make a markedly positive contribution to GDP per capita, productivity, and the exchequer (factoring in the cost of additional housing demand that they’ll create).”

    I fear that would amount to a policy of welcoming foreigners to cream off many of the best jobs, while leaving the Brits to do the drudgery no longer performed by lower-skilled overseas-sourced labour.

  47. Britain elects

    CON: 39% (-)
    LAB: 39% (+1)
    LDEM: 10% (-1)
    UKIP: 4% (+1)
    GRN: 3% (-1)

    via @BMGResearch, 01 – 04 May

  48. BFR

    I’d be happy for taxes to rise in order to provide better pay to care home workers. The pay and conditions in the sector are abominable. I equally think that some goods and services in the UK should be more expensive in order to pay the workers in those sectors properly, and that potentially includes food. The way I see it is that high levels of low-waged immigration represent a redistributive measure from the younger working population to the consuming, shareholding, and property owning older middle classes. An impact of reducing it will be to correct that power imbalance. One of the ironies of Brexit is that the youth overwhelmingly voted for the option which would drive down their wages and drive up their housing costs, while the elderly voted for the one which would increase their care costs and harm their investments.

    LASZLO

    It would help if you made it clear who you’re directing your comments at, but I’ll assume that one was for me. I’m not in favour of smashing the unions, just of reducing the level of centralisation of a lot of public services. If anything it would increase their bargaining power, as hospitals and schools would have to compete to attract workers and it would be easier for staff to take their labour elsewhere. Do you really think that junior doctors were better served by having their pay and working conditions determined by Jeremy Hunt than they would have been if they were negotiating with individual hospital trusts instead?

  49. New thread

  50. BFR,

    “heath tourism”

    Coming over here stealing our heather!!!!!

    Peter.

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