Europe as An Actor on the Global Stage:

This is in the Top 4 items of the Lisbon Treaty At A Glance document on the Europa Website (link below). Is this what anyone in the UK voted for? Anyway enough with the prelude, what does this really mean for any of us?

It gives the EU itself the power to negotiate, implement trade agreements and treaties with other countries. Many people may have heard about the TTIP (Trans Atlantic Trade & Investment Partnership) well you have no say over this now. As of 1st December 2014 the EU has the legal right under the Lisbon Treaty to negotiate investment & trade on behalf of the EU states without any permissions from any state.

The EU basically becomes a Limited Company & thus has all the rights, obligations, freedom to contract with anyone anywhere because it is a Legal Personality. So they can decide who to contract with, what for, how long & at what cost.

Questions arise from this include;

1) will the EU make contractual arrangements that are in the best interests of the people in the member states?

2) will they always ensure fair trading & allow tenders from around the world for any items/services they wish to procure?

3) how many new employees will the EU need to employ in order to facilitate this single trading arm?

4) will the EU be bound to purchase the best product at the best price?

5) who will monitor the EU procurement to ensure it is getting the best deal for the people of the EU?

This brings about for all intents & purposes EU PLC – it can do anything any other company can do. Some of us may not like what they do, do we have a right to challenge any contract?

Sort of is the answer, if 1million people throughout the EU get together to force a debate on any policy, trade agreement etc then they might get heard!!!

So basically this Treaty has signed away much of our rights to organise any free trade or other trade with any country.

The EU is now the all powerful behemoth which has now taken over our countries. “the EU is therefore able to speak and take action as a single entity”!

We have no way of changing this, we cannot veto anything. Our only choice now is to invoke article 50 and get out.

The EU is not run on the lines of a commercial entity. It hasn’t had its accounts audited & signed off for 19 years. So the EU PLC would have been shut down!

The EU can even take us to war!!!

Take a look for yourself;

http://www.ec.europa.eu/archives/Lisbon_treaty/glance/external_relations/index_en.htm

So folks we are essentially a small part of a company; our shares do not give us enough voting rights, will not allow us to rescind any contract negotiated by the EU, even if it is a bad deal for the UK.

Welcome to the United States of Europe.

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Big Benefits Row

Ok have just tried to watch the #BigBenefitsRow. I know many others on twitter and other social media have done the same.

I make no secret of my physical ill health and disability nor my mental illness. I refuse to hide it because it’s part of me and I believe in honesty.

I am on benefits, no I don’t like it, yes I’d love to be well enough to get back into work. I do apply for jobs still, I do have a lot to offer but being realistic my health issues make it basically impossible for any employer to give me a chance unless I could do it all from home at times to suit me and my illness/medication.

I like many others want to feel useful and not surplus to societies requirements. I am able and do try to help people via e-mail, telephone, at times to suit me. It pays nothing but i do get that glow of satisfaction that I’ve helped make life a little better for another person or family.

Some people can’t do what I can for many reasons, they do feel down, it can lead to a spiral of depression this is one of the mental issues people want to talk about & get help via sorts of talking therapies such Psychotherapy. Alas access to good mental health help varies throughout the country. With help being so sporadic & ranging from great to being put on a waiting list for years! Surely it is better to treat the person via immediately accessible mental health services then they would be able to get well, have the help and return to some work slowly and eventually they would be able to work full time and not be reliant on benefits. All of these approaches must have a caveat, some people with all the help possible are simply not able to cope in the world of work. So this will work for some but not all.

I am all for working if you are able bodied and not suffering from a severe or mental illness. We have read and seen how people in a coma, in severe kidney failure and on dialysis, people who have had strokes, brain tumours etc who are told they are fit for work because they can lift an empty cardboard box, put a pen in their top pocket and hold a 2litre milk carton. This does not take into account the way the illness/disease actually prevents them from being available to work for certain amounts of time etc.

Yes there are some people who do abuse the system, yes there are some who pretend to be single parents when they have their partner live with them. This is because the rules make it financially beneficial to be “a single parent” rather than valuing marriage, cohabitation etc which is really the best for any kids to live in a two parent family.

Some people are told at the Job Centre they will be worse off by £x.xx if they take this or that job. That is wrong and people should be better off in work than on benefits. However, when we take a view of it like “if I take this job I will lose out on time with my child, most money will go on childcare, the cost of travel to work, and with all taken in to account I will be £3 per week worse or better off”

In the above scenario you will get many people who would rather be in work and will take it because being on benefits and not having a routine, a place to be, a reason to get up and get outside can leave a person really isolated. There are more than just money that is gained when a person takes employment. These other really positive aspects aren’t discussed. I humbly suggest they are.

I think people are brassed off with those people, small minority, who have never worked and seem to have a much nicer lifestyle than the person working on minimum wage. It can get vey upsetting and it can be irksome.

However, those people may have “invisible” health conditions that mean they cannot work, again this aspect is overlooked in any discussions.

I had until I got sick, 5 years or so ago, I had always worked and or been in education. I am only just coming to terms with the steep decline of my health and it’s still no fun and I don’t like being in this position. I’d give anything to be able to control my illness (there is no cure) so that I could maybe work part time. I know lots of others I a very similar situation.

There is no easy answer to this but I do feel that putting pensions into the same calculation does give a very warped view of the money spent on benefits. Maybe it would be helpful if the costs were put into their respective headings. It may help.

We have had a really terrible down turn, recession, double dip recession and during that time many thousands of people have lost their jobs, in some areas they have found it almost impossible to find any other job. Lots of people have moved to find work. Many cannot due to children being in eduction at a critical time such as SATS, GCSE’S or at College undertaking education or training.

Anyway remember 99% of people who are out of work, wish they were in work. We have graduates on the checkout at supermarkets, alas this is a state of the employment market BUT I respect everybody who takes a job they are vastly over qualified for because they would rather have some money coming in rather than being on benefits.

Benefits street as a programme focused on such a tiny microcosm that is it impossible to to actually use that as an example of the norm for all those who are out of work and claiming benefits.

Maybe there should be a programme on showing how hard many people try to get a job, any job. Showing the people who send off vast numbers of applications per day yet don’t even get an email/letter/phone call back to acknowledge their application or to say thanks but no thanks.

Most of all you must for the most part think “There but for the grace of god go I” because sadly illness and injury can change your life over night.

Well that’s my 2p’s worth if it’s worth anything at all?

Lies, Liars & the appeasers

This week has seen the culmination of a very long, very lengthy trial costing us the taxpayers in region of £5m pounds!

I am unable to comment on the person who was found guilty on one count & may well possibly face a retrial due to a certain person who should have known better! The concept of subjudicy appears to have escaped pone who should know better but of course the MSM too!

They have hounded, harangued & essentially, I could well be argued, put themselves & a certain person who is at the top of the political monkey puzzle tree; in a position to force a possible retrial or as is very likely to happen a complete vindication on 2 of the 3 charges they were being tried for!

So this £5m show trial has a scapegoat BUT the person found guilty of the first act is likely never to have to face any further criminal proceedings on 2 other very important & serious charges.

So the media have their sacrificial lamb but he won’t be sacrificed in the usual way he is likely to limp around the field with one of those little wheelchair harnesses for his back legs! So no likely he’ll face no prison time due to the actions of a former employer! Hack on Tag – possibly a new column in the Phoenix from the ashes “News Of The World”!

All of this sorry & distasteful costly trial could have been better used to get rid of the Under Occupancy Charge, sanctions on disabled people, big families caught in benefit cap (it shouldn’t have been retrospective as the children already exist & they will be the ones to suffer) and/or any manner of things. It would also have been better remaining, for the most part, in the Budget for Criminal Justice or better known as Legal Aid. So many people now do not qualify & are unrepresented in court! As happened to an octogenarian accused of murder in the past few weeks!

so much for the great work done by Garrow a few centuries ago which instead of assisting the accused to fight their case; it appears now to be sadly returning to the style of justice often portrayed in period dramas.

Sorry about that side step, as you regular readers will no doubt know I am a bit of an Anorak on certain things.

Back to the ex-employee of extremely high standing who could have possibly used his contacts or lists of who is who to seek out information which may or may not have allowed them access to the personal telephone number of others working in the same “Mother of All P_R_I_M_N_T’s” (bit of an easy crossword to break up the monotony of Sudoku – play on again now) whom they could hack then more easily? It’s possible, don’t you think??

Now back to our very prominent person, whom is disliked in all of the EU countries including the UK. Yesterday he knowingly gave an interview about how he had been taken in by this Swiss Tony of Fleet Street, given him a 2nd chance (wasn’t aware he’d been previously been caught, cautioned or indeed prosecuted when asked to do the job he did inside 10 Downing Street). It shows such people & an associated agencies (Not in an outside manner) in their true colours!

However, this interview has basically been given and has thus automatically has scuppered any chance of getting a “fair trial”! Or indeed a retrial! Funny how things pan out when your sibling is the Counsel for one of the accused, one could jump to conclusions of words possibly said over Sunday Lunch but we wouldn’t do such a thing because we mere functionaries and taxpayers wouldn’t dare think such a thing and if we did we know better than to comment.

I shall leave you to the inevitable media scrum or three to make your own views. For this is my mere 2p’s worth and no doubt some will likely reply saying it’s not worth tuppence, I take such “constructive criticism” with the pinch of salt each deserves by the rate of salt collection I dare say will keep my path free of snow for a while in the winter months.

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Twitter Spats

Further to a rather public twitter spat today. I thought for clarity that I should publish the e-mails sent between John Pring of the Disability News Service & myself. I do have an e-mail sent by a senior member of the party also but will not publish that as they haven’t been party to the events of today.

I was asked, as you can see from below, by John Pring to commit to a 10 point disabled persons manifesto to be adopted but UKIP and promoted by the party in the EU. Please note that he states the 10 point plan is one put together from two Disabled Persons Groups from Europe. Not anywhere was I officially told that one or both of the groups are funded by EU money.

I stated and I still do that 3 of the 10 (numbers 7, 9, & 10) items i could on a cursory glance agree with. These where the only 3 of the 10 that could be utilised in the UK without being members of the EU. Obviously as a member of UKIP I am hardly likely to state that I support all 10 it just isn’t feasible in any reality that I would.

Was I set up to fail? Was I set up to reject them all so I could be cast as an unfeeling person who doesn’t want to make life better for the disabled people and their families in the UK.

Well make your own minds up, no doubt the there will be a mix of opinions but that’s ok.

For the record I am not paid, I work 99% of the time from my bed. I always reply to people who come to me via our national website and my personal website. I try to help anyone who asks me and there have been some lovely comments made about me and the help I have given people all over the UK. I use my own resources, my own stamps, everything. I pay for the website from my own meagre funds and ask for nothing from anyone. I do what I do because people need someone to turn to, I won’t change that and people who don’t like me or don’t think I’m acting the way they think I should. My response is at least I am trying when you try to give your time and assistance for free come back and tell me you have done it the way others expect you to, I bet you wont have and I bet you will have your own set of detractors !!!!

Can’t please all of the people all of the time!

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On 11 Apr 2014, at 15:11, “John Pring” wrote:
Hi Star

Hope all is well with you.

I’m putting a news story together for later this month on the disability policies of the main parties, before next month’s European elections. I have a list of 10 policies, which I have selected from the manifestos put out by two of the leading European disabled people’s organisations (see below).

Can you tell me which of them your party agrees with, and which it doesn’t?

My deadline isn’t for a couple of weeks so there’s no rush.

Best wishes,

John

1 To adopt and pass into law a strong European Accessibility Act (proposed EU legislation on the accessibility of goods and services in the EU internal market)
2 To adopt and pass into law the proposed EU directive on the accessibility of public websites (which will make those websites accessible to disabled people)
3 The adoption of the proposed general non-discrimination directive (EU law designed to protect disabled people (and other groups) from discrimination in all areas of life)
4 The ratification by the EU and all member states of the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
5 The introduction of a legal right to live independently
6 The introduction of a dedicated directorate for disability within the European Commission
7 To stop EU funds being invested in segregated institutions for disabled people
8 To ensure inclusive education for all disabled children and young people
9 To provide more funding for local and national organisations led by disabled people
10 To reverse austerity cuts in services and benefits for disabled people

Here are the two original manifestos, if you want to see where these came from:

European Disability Forum:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/47lnldkxbyg7pi2/EDF%20Manifesto%20on%20the%20EU%20elections%202014.doc

European Network on Independent Living:
http://www.enil.eu/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/ENIL-Manifesto.pdf

John Pring
Editor: Disability News Service
Author: Longcare Survivors: The Biography of a Care Scandal
Tel: 020 8446 5900, 07776 206595
Email: john@disabilitynewsservice.com
Website: http://www.disabilitynewsservice.com
Twitter: @johnpringdns

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From: Star Etheridge [mailto:staretheridge08@hotmail.co.uk]
Sent: 11 April 2014 15:55
To: John Pring
Subject: Re: European elections

Dear John

On a cursory glance I think 7, 9 & 10 are ones that I personally agree with.

Many of the others are already available in British Law. As for laws of other countries I cannot confirm the status.

As you know MEP’s do not make the law, they have very little influence on any of the directives/laws that are put through to be voted on.

The Council Of Ministers, we do not vote for them & have very little if any influence on the legislation that is put forward for the MEP’s to vote on.

The laws are usually put through on bloc as a raft of legislation & even if there is one item in the bloc that any MEP agreed with they will have to assent to say 9 others they do not agree with.

I have put the questions to our policy director as this is above my jurisdiction as a Spokesmen.

I would also like there to be a complete repeal of “The Removal Of a The Spare Room Subsidy” legislation but if not a full repeal then at least to have Disabled exempt from housing benefit reduction.

Best wishes

Kindest regards

Mrs Star Etheridge
UKIP Disability Spokesman

http://www.staretheridge.co.uk

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On 25 Apr 2014, at 12:07, “John Pring” wrote:
Hi Star

Just chasing you on responses to the European elections questions (see below). Next week will be ok, but the final deadline is next Friday (2 May).

Hope that is OK and all is well with you.

Best wishes,

John

John Pring
Editor: Disability News Service
Author: Longcare Survivors: The Biography of a Care Scandal
Tel: 020 8446 5900, 07776 206595
Email: john@disabilitynewsservice.com
Website: http://www.disabilitynewsservice.com
Twitter: @johnpringdns

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From: Star Etheridge [mailto:staretheridge08@hotmail.co.uk]
Sent: 28 April 2014 12:56
To: John Pring
Subject: Re: European elections

Hi John

I have not had any communication from our Policy Director. So I can only say that policies 7, 9 & 10 are those which I personally support as UKIP Spokesman but I cannot say that I have the Policy Director nor our NEC’s support.

So I can only say that I personally support 7, 9 and 10 which I think are very good common sense clauses.

Best wishes

Kindest regards

Mrs Star Etheridge
UKIP Disability Spokesman

http://www.staretheridge.co.uk

Please leave any comments at http://www.staretheridge.co.uk/comments-and-guestbook/

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On 28 Apr 2014, at 14:31, “John Pring” wrote:
Hi Star

I’m afraid this will not look very impressive after your interview last year, which pledged a ‘radical change’ on disability. Also, I am not looking for your personal views, but the party’s official lines. I think the policy director’s refusal to reply to your email will suggest to readers that your party does not see disabled people as a priority.

You’ve still got until first thing next Monday to turn this around, though.

Best wishes,

John

John Pring
Editor: Disability News Service
Author: Longcare Survivors: The Biography of a Care Scandal
Tel: 020 8446 5900, 07776 206595
Email: john@disabilitynewsservice.com
Website: http://www.disabilitynewsservice.com
Twitter: @johnpringdns

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Cameron’s Referendum Script

Over the past few weeks I have watched and listened very carefully to the words of David Cameron, Manuel Barrosso and a plethora of Pro EU commentators.

It appears from listening to the real syntax of David Cameron’s statements about the 2017 In/out Referendum Promise is a mere advertising puff (as we say in the legal world). Sadly this is a promise that will ONLY happen IF the following all happen in the next 3 years;

1). IF the Tories win a Majority in 2015
2). IF there can be renegotiation with the EU
3). IF the renegotiation brings about changes to our membership
4). IF the renegotiations bring about Treaty changes
5). IF the renegotiations give more power to the EU

Then and Only then will Cameron and Co give the British People a chance of actually having a say about our country.

This is a conditional promise and he uses his words very carefully, please watch and listen carefully to him and you will see his main prepared sentence is {and I paraphrase} If I am Prime Minister after 2015 then I will set about renegotiating our relationship with the EU, if I am successful in those renegotiations then of course the British People must have a vote on whether they want to stay in or out of the EU based on the renegotiations I achieve.

Now to most people that means he will give a referendum in 2017 but we are in 2014 why is he not starting those talks now? Why is he still saying that no matter the result of the renegotiations that if there is a Referendum he will campaign to stay in! Sorry but that really isn’t the way to start off any renegotiation. Your stance must be we want this, this and this OR we leave. That is the basis is negotiations, you start high and meet at a level whereby you gain a the most for the people or company you represent. It is the old case of bartering, something most British people are not comfortable with.

So he has handed the upper hand to the EU, Barrosso has stated that he wants to see the UK stay in the EU, he has said there may be a small set of policy areas where the UK could possibly be allowed to have a few concessions. He has said many times that there WILL NOT be any treaty renegotiations and the concessions that may be on offer are minor. So that’s it really. The deal has been done by playing on words, just as he and his crew trot out every time about the “cast iron guarantee”. He states that his guarantee in 2009 was only if the Lisbon Treaty had not been signed. The Tories often tell us that there cannot be a referendum in retrospect, what complete rot! The referendum held on June 5th 1975 was in relation the Economic Communities Act AFTER the UK had joined the EEC. We have not had any say whatsoever in the last 39 years regarding the treaties which took us deeper in to a political union creating a type of Federal State. One could describe it is conquest via stealth!

So please remember Cameron is a slippery fish not to dissimilar to Mr Bliar! His words are measured and controlled to always give him the YES BUT CLAUSE so he is able to get out of the pie crust promises, easily made and easily broken.

So if you decide to vote for the Tories based on that so called promise then you are being conned by the Con’s! Please feel free to check out what I have said regarding the Referendum promise, look for the ifs, buts, maybes and other conditions and then make your mind up.

No party is perfect, none have all perfect people in, they are made of human beings and in some parties the way they can entice votes on a promise to deliver something and renege on them is a very well practised art. They learn at the feet of ministers during their move from University to being an intern, then special adviser, then MP.

It is part of the training, which is good in some ways because you do need people of knowledge to be in the Government and Parliament BUT you also need people with real life experience, of business, of work, of all areas of life to be in the House of Commons.

Only with people from a wider pool can we get a parliament that really represents the population and who will speak in plain simple language without putting all the ifs and buts used as conjunctives in order to deceive the people.

So be very careful and listen intently so you can pick out the “conditional” parts of the statements made by Mr Cameron, Mr Clegg and Mr Miliband.

Those of you who have heard, seen and watched Mr Farage and his UKIP People’s Army will note he does not use the covert conditions hidden in his responses to any of the questions he is asked. He will say it as it is, like of or not he doesn’t spend 10 minutes spewing out words that when analysed really mean nothing at all, to much hot air is blown by such MP’s.

So the choice is as ever yours, it is your vote, it is up to you to use it in a way that you think will bring about the best for you and your family. If you refuse to vote then don’t complain about the Government, Council and EU elected people because you didn’t cast a vote. However, for those who do vote then I hope that the outcome is something that will be good for all of us in the UK.

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Tory Mayor likens Rape to a New Housing Development

This week my attention has been drawn to a number of examples where elected #Conservative Cllrs and Mayors have said things that are ridiculous, offensive & obviously haven’t a clue nor a care for the people who elected them;

Case Number 1

http://www.westerndailypress.co.uk/Cheltenham-councillor-apologises-rape-comment/story-20949337-detail/story.htmlhttp://www.westerndailypress.co.uk/Cheltenham-councillor-apologises-rape-comment/story-20949337-detail/story.html

Now how can any housing development be compared to rape? How can it be right for her to say that during a rape that a person should lie back & wait ’til it’s over!

The two are not any thing I can see are related. I would never countenance any person to lie back & wait ’til it’s over if they were (and I would never wish this vile act on any person) raped.

Each rape happens differently but I think the best thing is to think sensible & ensure that if in this diabolical situation would be to attempt to get DNA under your nails, pull hair, save any evidence at all and no matter how violated you feel, however much you want to scrub yourself down with bleach & a scrubbing brush, DON’T!!!!

It’s very difficult & you may feel you wish to pretend it didn’t happen, you may think it was your fault, you may feel ashamed at what has happened to you BUT please please GO STRAIGHT TO THE POLICE Or Rape Crisis Centre.

You will be believed, you will be helped, you will be supported. You may have all the evidence on you at that time which would secure a prosecution.

So I’m confounded how any person could liken a housing development to a rape. Let alone someone who is elected to represent the people and holds a high profile role in the area.

If this had been any elected or candidate of #UKIP then the media would be baying at the Council House Door, at the persons home, checking their life history etc etc

Alas for the people of Cheltenham this will not happen and many possibly will never know about this comment! Quite sad really because the media should treat all parties equally, without bias, without favour but that’s obviously only going to happen in a parallel universe.

Just remember when she is up for re-election & think if you really want someone who advocates that a person lays back and waits ’til it’s over when subjected to the violation of rape.

Is the economy picking up? No the a Deficit is Rising Every more Highly!

Below is an Extract from The Times: it makes very interesting reading. The past few weeks we have been told how the Housing Market is picking up even at first time buyer levels.

The books are starting to balance and the deficit is reducing. The deficit is a humongous debt! To measure it they see what money has come in & compare it to how much they borrow! The national Debt is therefore growing.

All of these things aren’t explained to the people. The Political big wigs use their jargon & quite frankly huge dollops of BS to hoodwink us into thinking times are changing! Funny it happens in the final 7 weeks to an election?

The truth is what the Treasury gets in from our combined taxes is amount A. The amount borrowed every month/quarter is B so if in March the country took more in under A then the need to borrow less B = deficit shrinking!

It’s an odd one I grant you so look it it as this;

A = tax revenue paid in;
B = amount borrowed (Deficit)
C = amount needed to pay Bills
D = the interest added to B
E = the money owed by the country.

We only ever hear about A and B – the deficit but we never hear anything of C, D or E! Why not? they don’t want us to know how big the debt it is .

So every month that passes it really is the case the the money paid out is more than what we take in as tax.

In any Business this would honestly be a mega shambles & the business would go bust. It’s that simple & we are not told the truth in plain, easy language. Instead thy use 500 words that mean beggar all & keep up the pretence!

So remember when they talk about the deficit reducing it isn’t the full story! It may appear smaller than that of the previous months BUT it does not mean the country is actually getting back on its feet!

Below as promised the article from the times. If anyone has any questions please just ask.

Please note the pictures aren’t very exciting but I think you’ll see a huge difference from the previous Chancellors and Mr Osborne’s now. Happy reading 😉⭐️♿️

National current account slides deeper into deficit

Saturday 29th March 2014

Britain’s ability to pay its way in the world has hit an all-time low, raising fresh fears for the economy despite signs that its long-awaited rebalancing towards investment and trade has begun.
The country’s current account slumped to a record deficit at the end of last year as income on British investments overseas crashed. Economists said that the decline could put the pound under pressure and sap growth over the longer term.
The Office for National Statistics revealed that the deficit in the final three months of 2013 was 5.4 per cent of GDP as it revised down its third-quarter estimate to 5.6 per cent, making them the worst two quarters on record.
Analysts blamed decline on the appreciation of sterling and slow growth in economies where the UK is invested, such as the eurozone.
The deterioration was all on the income side of the account as the trade deficit narrowed from 2.5 per cent to 1.4 per cent between the third and fourth quarters. For 2013, the current account deficit was 4.4 per cent, the worst since the peak of the 1989 boom.
To balance the books, Britain has become increasingly reliant on huge financial inflows from overseas, which Samuel Tombs, of Capital Economics, said were fuelling “existing concerns that the UK’s recovery is too dependent on unsustainable sources”.
Foreign purchases
of UK shares, companies and houses in London, as well as other investments last year, offset the £71 billion paid in dividends and profits paid from Britain to overseas.
Rob Wood, an economist at Berenberg Bank, warned that Britain was “storing up big problems for the future” and said that authorities may need to “aim for slower domestic growth in order to erode the imbalances that are building up”.
Simon Wells, UK economist at HSBC, said: “If the income account continues to deteriorate, the UK could find it harder to sustain its persistent trade deficit. Eventually, this could mean that lower sterling and slower growth may be needed.”
Despite mounting longer-term fears about the current account, the immediate economic outlook appeared to improve. The ONS confirmed that the economy had grown by 0.7 per cent in its third estimate of growth for the final three months of last year, but the details showed that trade and investment were the two largest contributors.
Trade added 1 per cent to growth and investment 0.3 per cent, compared with household consumption, which contributed 0.2 per cent. That was offset by a 0.8 per cent decline in inventories.
“It is good news that growth was better balanced in the fourth quarter, with a fall in the trade deficit and an increase in business investment,” David Kern, chief economist at the British Chambers of Commerce, said.
The profitability of companies also improved, rising 5.4 per cent in the quarter and 4.8 per cent compared with last year.
The Chancellor is pinning his hopes for the recovery on businesses finally spending on new facilities, equipment and research to boost the real economy. The ONS revised its estimate of annual business investment in the fourth quarter from 8.5 per cent to 8.7 per cent.
“The detailed data revisions were favourable,” Mr Wood said. “The contribution of inventories was lowered considerably and net trade is now estimated to have bounced back from the disastrous third-quarter performance. Together that suggests less risk to growth through 2014.”

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