Ritchie wants to privatise Hampstead Heath, Epping Forest and Highgate Wood

Either that or he simply doesn\’t understand what he\’s talking about.

Nick Shaxson has done more digging on the City of London.

They tell him they’ve only got £3 billion of assets.

That’s £3 billion they don’t need to promote banking and £3 billion we need to save libraries, and so much more.

It’s so obvious what needs to be done – and the last thing that this money need do is promote global banking, but that’s what it’s being used for.

It really is time this tax haven within the UK was abolished.

See that? The City\’s got £3 billion of cash so we should abolish it, take the money and spend it on, well, public services like.

Hmm, well, so what is it that Nick Shaxson himself links to then?

What does City Cash pay for?

Parks perhaps?

Today, within the Square Mile there are approximately 200 small parks and gardens, green oases in the middle of the world’s leading international financial and business centre.

The City of London’s green fingers extend far beyond the Square Mile too. It owns and manages some of Londoners’ favourite leisure spots – such as Hampstead Heath, Highgate Wood and Epping Forest.

Further afield, Burnham Beeches and a crescent of commons in the South Croydon and Bromley area all enjoy the same expert care and protection, benefiting humans and wildlife alike.

Ooooh, goodie, yes, let\’s sell these!

Schools mebbe? Yup, City\’s Cash pays for these too.

Damn these capitalist pig dogs, using money from investments to pay for free to the user schooling! Sell them off immediately!

Public services maybe?

This Fund meets the cost of the City of London’s local authority, police authority and port health authority activities. The Fund generates rental and interest income to help finance these activities. In addition, in common with other local authorities, it receives grants from central government, a share of business rates income and the proceeds of the local council tax.

Bastards! Sell them all!

But, umm, hang about, why are they financing these from investment returns? Why aren\’t they just using council tax and business rates like everyone else?

The City of London retains only a small proportion of the business rates collected from its area, in accordance with the national arrangements. The remainder has to be paid over to the national non-domestic rates pool and is redistributed to local authorities throughout the country by central government.

Because of its special circumstances – notably its very low resident population and high daytime population – the City of London is allowed uniquely to set its own business rate. It may set this rate, subject to certain constraints, at a higher or lower level than the National Non-Domestic Rate determined by central government for the rest of the country. The proceeds of the additional rate of 0.4p levied in financial year 2006/07 are used to provide enhanced policing, security and contingency planning for the Square Mile.

Oh, that\’s why: because what they do raise in business rates gets sent off to Burnley instead.

Yes, that\’s right children. The City Cash, investments and a property portfolio built up over the centuries, pays for parks, schools, police and the like. It\’s a pretty close simulacrum of a land value tax actually: the governing authority gets the rent value created by the governing authority to pay for other public services.

And Ritchie, our retired accountant from Wandsworth, wants to take all of this money, in effect, force the privatisation of those currently public assets. Like, you know, Hampstead Heath.

Another way of looking at it would be to insist that The City\’s business rates pay for these public services and we send the City\’s Cash off to Burnley: which rather misses the point that Burnley will then lose the City\’s business rates which it currently gets.

There\’s no end to this man\’s genius is there?

8 thoughts on “Ritchie wants to privatise Hampstead Heath, Epping Forest and Highgate Wood”

  1. “That’s £3 billion they don’t need to promote banking and £3 billion we need ”

    So neediness is to become the basis for law?

    Now where have I read that before . . . ?

  2. @John Fembup: Yes the parallels strike me daily. I have given up listening to the BBC because I keep hearing stuff that comes right out of ‘that’ book………………..

  3. The NHS budget for 2012 will be, if my source is correct, 125.6 billion.

    The one-off robbing of the Square mile for 3 billion would run it for one week, one day, 17 hours and 17 minutes.

    Enough said…

  4. “Either that or he simply doesn’t understand what he’s talking about.”

    Isn’t this essentially the encapsulation of every story about Richard Murphy that’s ever been written?

    Mary McCarthy famously said of Lillian Hellman that “every word [she] writes is a lie, including ‘and’ and ‘the’.” I would say that when it comes to Murphy, very letter he writes is a lie*, right down to the serifs and strokes that comprise his manifold bêtises.

    * or maybe just his preternatural level of Dunning-Kruger making its inevitable appearance. He’s like Rain Man, except instead of being an idiot savant he’s just a regular idiot.

  5. Pingback: The scandalous use of City’s Cash

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