This in the Guardian today
Let me dismantle the article point by point
“Europe has become a vital source of funding for our poorest regions and nations. You wouldn’t know it in the current, fevered climate, where evidence, like caution, has been thrown to the wind.”
Paul Hetherington says it, like its a good thing, like somehow people in certain parts of Britain are defective and in someway need help/charity from Europe. An insult to Britain and insult to mankind in general.
“Brexit campaigners, in their crazed world of self-deception, airily dismiss a looming black hole in regional economies caused by EU withdrawal”
Again with the attack on people in poor parts of the country
And more than that, Paul Hetherington is deluded in thinking that the EU helps, and will help the situation. You just have to look at Greece to see the damage of the “surplus recycling” he condones.
“Yet, from Cornwall to north-east England, multi-billion pound support packages for new jobs, and employment and social programmes, have proved a lifeline to areas beset by the collapse of traditional industries.”
So people in Cornwall and North East England are being kept on life support because of traditional industries have collapsed? And the problem is what? That the people there are not capable of creating flourishing industries on their own because why?
Paul Hetherington does not specify a reason…….
And then Paul Hetherington continues along the same line of thinking asking where the money is going to come from if the UK is not in the EU. Again, an insult to people in Cornwall and the North East
I ask again, why does not Paul Hetherington not explain why these areas need charity?
Does he think the people in these areas are some how defective?
What exactly does he think the problem is in these areas?
“The Sheffield researchers calculate that from 2007, Wales has gained almost 37,000 EU-financed jobs; Scotland 44,000 and the north of England 70,000. Their report warns: “If the UK were to leave the EU … evidence suggests that the loss of structural funds would disproportionately affect Wales, Northern Ireland, the south-west and the north-east (with) a significant impact on job creation and business activity.”
Paul Hetherington then continues to boot the boot into Wales, Sheffield, Scotland and Northern Ireland
Again without explaining why he thinks these areas need EU charity
In short the article has been written by someone who has never been bothered to invest some of his time to study basic economics yet someone who thinks they are qualified to make recommendations to others.
Someone with not the faintest idea of what makes an economy grow.
Someone with not the faintest idea of how damaging national tax rates and national employment regulations only serve to make the richest parts of the country richer and the poorest poorer.
And this lack of understanding leads Paul Hetherington to surmise the answer is Europe wide regulations and tax rates.
In short, Paul Hetherington wants to make the problem exponentially worse.
So I have criticised the article enough, let me outline the solutions to the problems Paul Hetherington highlights.
Yes there is a disparity between the wealth in the South East and the rest of the country.
So does it seem logical that the South East has the same minimum wage as the North East?
Does it make sense the burden of VAT is the same in the South East as it is in the rest of the country?
Obviously the answer to both these questions is a resounding no.
It is much easier for a business in the south east to afford the minimum wage than it is a business in the highlands of Scotland.
The answer to the problem is a devolution of tax raising powers to the areas where those taxes are collected.
The answer to the problem is minimum wage levels being set in the areas where people work so they represent the actual cost of living in those areas.
To repeat myself again, to suggest that people outside of the South East need charity (from the EU or central government) is an insult to the people in those areas.
Tax rates, regulations and the minimum wage has to be set on a local level so it is consistent with the cost of living in the same area.
To suggest moving this power even further away from these areas to Brussels and the EU is a recipe for complete economic disaster. The richer areas will get richer, the poorer areas will get poorer.
And don’t get me wrong, I am positive Paul Hetherington has his heart in the right place but his solution will hurt those he is trying to help and help those who he thinks should be helping others.