Government incompetence
OK, so I am stating the obvious! I know. Gordon Brown's Government is incompetent in almost everything it does.

The Sub-Prime credit crisis, the loss of personal data, the sleaze, etc., have all been badly managed by the Labour Government. It has been said that Brown's economic successes were the delayed result of the previous Conservative Government policies, and that we are now in the process of reaping Brown's incompetent fiscal management policies of 1997.

It is true that we have never had it so good - many millions of people sitting on huge nest eggs provided by the astronomical inflation in the house prices. The downside, of course, is that their children and grandchildren struggle to get onto the ladder. This is exacerbated by the increase in Buy-to-Let that takes up many of the properties that first-time buyers look to buy. The high divorce rates also take up much of that lower end market, as couples buy two smaller properties when they split.

The first-time buyers don't help themselves though. Many have little to no savings, and many live at home so that they can continue a luxury life instead of joining with friends to buy a property together, and get their feet on the property ladder. The Buy-to-Let market has grown disproportionately because of Brown's taxing of pension schemes - buying a property substitutes the pensions many people feel they have lost.

The greed of the institutions throughout 1990 to 2005 has led to the sub-prime crash. Salespeople in the banks and financial institutions have been pushing credit onto people with little or no security, and little ability to repay. Thankfully we are not at the 15% mortgage rates we saw at the end of the 1980's, were repayments are a struggle in themselves.
The average adult now owes £33,000 through mortgages, credit cards and personal loans compared with £17,000 in 2000, the international accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers claimed in November 2007 in the Daily Telegraph.

The data fiasco overseen by the Government is another disgrace. The loss of 25 million personal records by the Inland Revenue when they created an insecure data disk to send via the public postal system to the Child Support Agency has been blamed on a junior employee at IRCE. OK it can happen, but the pinball that ensued when the blame was being placed was disgraceful. One loss is bad, but a few months later, disks containing 6,000 learner driver details from Northern Ireland were lost at a data management company in the USA - supposedly under the Safe Harbour policy. A month later more Northern Irish names were lost on an MoD laptop.

This is all bad enough - but what do Brown and his cronies do - ignore it all. If they ignore it, they probably think it will all go away. If these were private companies there would be lawsuits, huge fines and prison sentences as deterrents for other companies. The Government, of course, make the rules, and therefore feel that they can break them at will. It is up to the public to demonstrate that this is not acceptable.

If I, or you were to buy the 'lost' data from the Inland Revenue, or DVLA, we would be charged with handling stolen goods, and breaching the Data Protection Act. The IRCE, however, bought data illegally harvested from a private bank in the tax haven of Liechtenstein, with a view to using it to prosecute about 100 UK tax evaders. Another case of double standards and illegal behaviour - after all, two wrongs do not make a right!

Following the lead of the Government, the banks, whose greed has led to the Sub-Prime crash, are now recipients of £50 billion in Government bonds to protect them from bad debts. My business is also at threat from bad debts, and for a lot less than the price of an average house! The bank's greed has been underwritten by a corrupt Government, and those bankers who live a blessed life in financial terms are now increasing their profits by keeping their rates constant despite the decreases in the central Bank of England lending rate. So who pays for their blunder - us of course, again!

If you get one of those credit card offers through the post, or the bank try to flog you additional insurance for a loan or such like, I would advise that you charge the bank for the rejection. Charge them the standard £10 - £25 for writing a letter rejecting their money grabbing attempts, and suggest that they operate ethical businesses so that they do not have to adopt such aggressive sales techniques. You can also cite the Sub-Prime fiasco as something of their own making cause by just these sorts of practices!
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