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Our Eoin

Eoin\’s latest gorgeous post

Quite a corker.

Given the monstering he\’s obviously getting from the libel lawyers a little bit of advice.

Instead of accusing people of doing something illegal just insult them. Tell em\’ to fuck off, call them cunts.

For there\’s no law against insulting people so. Not yet at least.

Eoin Clarke really is a lying little tosspot

Here. The cash paid out in NHS negligence claims has risen since the Tories took power. This must be because the Tories are evil bastards gutting the NHS.

The graph above shows the annual grand total in whole pounds of payments by the the NHS in respect to negligence claims made against it. As you can clearly see, they have soared since the Tories came to power. The figures are supplied by the NHS Litigation Authority (fact sheet two from this link). We, the taxpayer, are now paying more than £500,000,000 more in extra payments per year in negligence claims against the NHS than we were when Labour left power. That annual wastage of taxpayers\’ money on extra negligence payouts is the same as an entire bill for EMA for a whole year for every 16-18 year old in the England. By cutting the NHS funding the Tories are increasing the waste of taxpayers\’ money of negligence payouts. A silly waste of taxpayers\’ money.

It is quite clear that funding constraints placed upon the NHS are putting undue pressure on Hospitals and Trusts. This extra pressure to reduce costs undoubtedly leads to corners being cut. We know that the recruitment freeze has led to 29,000 NHS Staff being sacked. We know that nurses are now asked to carry out deep cleans because cleaning staff have been axed. We know that there are 5,000 fewer nurses and that radiologists are being axed. The combined pressure of Tory cuts to NHS funding will cost the NHS upwards of £2billion this parliament alone in extra negligence payouts. We know this because there are now £18.5 billion of outstanding claims against NHS negligence waiting to be settled.

It wasn\’t always like this. There used to be a better way. The Tories and their McKinsey inspired \’efficiency savings\’ are actually costing the taxpayer billions in extra negligence payments.

Anyone with half a brain or even the most basic regard for the truth would have picked up on that £18.5 billion outstanding. If there\’s that much outstanding and only £1.3 billion a year being paid out then obviously it must take a number of years for claims to be settled.

And if we go to factsheet 3, we can see what those numbers are.

What you\’ll actually see is that claims have fallen precipitately since the Tories came to power. The rise in payments is clearing up the mess left by Labour.

Now, if I were a lying little tosspot I\’d claim that what is happening is that the heartless bastard Tories have done two things: one, reduced negligence and thus claims and secondly, coughed up the money righteously owed to those crippled and bereaved by the monocular Scots maniac.

As I\’m not a lying little tosspot (to large to be little) I\’ll simply tell the truth instead. It takes a number of years for people to file negligence claims, takes more years to sort them out, then the lawyers must argue for some time to ensure their cut. So the low number of recent claims is simply because not everyone has got around to it yet and the larger amounts of money being paid out now are as the result of negligence claims filed some years back on negligent actions that happened further back.

All of which rather makes sense. Labour splurged money at the NHS and treatment rates rose substantially (something like 50% rise in number of treatments from memory). And, amazingly, given the involvement of human beings in all of this, the more treatments there are the more fuck ups there will be. Thus more compensation claims. Which is what is now being paid for.

That is, this rise in money being paid out now is a direct result of the expansion of the NHS a decade and more ago.

But then as I say, I\’m not a lying little tosspot making stuff up for political vainglory, am I?

Or as I suspect Clarke actually is, simply too ignorant and too dumb to parse the figures.

So, can Eoin read?


The graph above shows the percentage of Corporation Tax raised as a proportion of GDP by Ken Clarke in 1996-7 & George Osborne in 2012-3.

No laddie.

The figures are here.

You appear to be using corporation tax as a percentage of total tax take, not corporation tax as a percentage of GDP.



More facepalm from Eoin!

The graph above shows the productivity of coal since 1980. It is measured by calculating the output of each worker in thousands of pounds. In the 1980s, it was much more labour intensive than it is today and each worker produced just £10,000 worth of coal a year. But today, especially with modern excavation techniques, the productivity of coal has increased fivefold. The modern miner produces £50,000 worth of coal per year. On the basis of this evidence, the financial viability of re-opening the coal pits has dramatically improved. With 17,000,000,000 tonnes of clean coal under our feet waiting to be dug, there has never been a better time to invest in Clean Coal Technology and Carbon Capture Storage. It\’s time to reopen the pits.

Err, no.

We closed the deep mines because the labour used in them was unproductive. What is left of the UK coal mining industry is (mostly) open cast mining. Which has a much higher productivity of labour. That\’s why the productivity of labour has risen over the decades.

If we decided that now we\’ve got high labour productivity open cast mines therefore we should reopen the low labour productivity deep mines then labour productivity in coal mining would simply fall again, wouldn\’t it?


Eoin and the boundaries of knowledge

Ironically, the UK imports large amounts of fuel as well. The seeming stupidity of exporting large amounts of fuel while at the same time importing it will make little sense to most.

If large numbers of people are doing somthing seemingly stupid it\’s worth evaluating your own prejudices about stupidity.

There is actually a good reason why we both import and export crude oil.

Because crude oil comes in different forms, heavy and light, sweet and sour (to do with sulphur content) and so on. And the stuff that we produce in the UK isn\’t quite right for the mixture of fuels that we actually want from crude oil. The wrong complex mix of bitumen, diesel, heating oil, petrol and avgas.

So, what we do is we export some of our stuff and buy in some of the other stuff which has different characteristics and this then gives us the right mix of products we want from our refineries.

It\’s like complaining that the UK both imports and exports food. Well, yes, we do, we export things like beef which grow well on our pasturelands and we import things like tomatoes which don\’t grow well in our climate.

Oh dear Eoin

The above graph shows the farm-gate price of 1 litre of milk. It is now at an all time high since records began in 1970.


He\’s not adjusted for inflation.

1971 price of milk at farm gate was 4.16p.

Adjust by retail price index and this is now 44p.

Adjust by average earnings and it\’s 75p (2009).

Milk has, depending upon which number you want to use, fallen in real price by somewhere between half and two thirds.

What a shocker!

 We are taught by Cameron to regard small businesses as the engine room of entrepreneurial spirit in the UK. We are led to believe that their inventions, wealth creation and profits lead to employment and growth. But this is the stuff of fantasy. Three quarters of the 4.5million businesses in the UK employ no one.  Their wealth creation serves their own ends. They create no jobs and do nothing to solve youth unemployment. The vast majority of small businessmen are in business for themselves. Evidence of civic virtue or a desire to create jobs is in preciously short supply and thus Cameron was wrong to shrug off record rises in youth unemployment as something that could readily be solved by small business.

Eoin finds out that the UK has 3.3 million self-employed people.

This just in from Eoin

Clearly the state needs to withdraw tax relief from the banking sector. Allowing them to offset the previous years losses, or allowing them to offset income tax payments against corporation tax liabilities means that they already receive relief.

You get to offset income tax payments against corporation tax liabilities?

You do?

Wowee. That\’s a gap to drive a coach and horses through, isn\’t it?

What I think he means is that incomes paid to workers are treated as expenses of the company before the calculation of what profit has been made. Which, since incomes paid to the workers are an expense to be taken into account before calculating profits seems sensible enough. Difficult to think of any other way of calculating profits really……

But while that\’s what I think he means it\’s always difficult to tell with Eoin isn\’t it?

Oh dear Eoin


I have spoken before how oil prices have climbed 400% in the last ten years for UK customers. But I am struck by how little coal prices have increased.

You\’re using the wrong numbers laddie.

We in the UK don\’t in fact use oil to generate electricity. Well, a tiny bit, the very last tippy top of 1% of demand because oil fired stations can be spun up quickly.

But comparing the price of oil derived electricity to anything else is simply silly because we don\’t in fact have much oil derived electricity.

Gas versus coal is interesting, certainly, but then that find in Blackpool is going to rather change those relative prices in the near future……

A question from Eoin that we can answer

This is absolutely friggin bonkers. Why should we pay more than £20bn a year in Housing Benefit payments when you could build more than 150,000 affordable homes for that price.

Because there are 4.9 million people who get housing benefit.

At June 2011:

The total number of people receiving Housing Benefit was 4.90 million

Thus we help 4.9 million people (and their extended families we can assume) with the £20 billion rather than 150,000 people (extended families ditto) with the £20 billion.

Think it through laddie.If we spend the £20 billion on 150,000 affordable houses then there\’s 4.75 million people we\’re not helping with their housing costs in year one. They will presumably be homeless as they cannot afford anywhere to live.

True, in year two this declines to only 4.60 million (that\’s 4,600,000) people dossing rough while 300,000 now live in affordable housing.

Ah, what the heck, let\’s get them all into affordable housing right away!

So all we need is 326.66 times our housing benefit budget of £20 billion to build affordable housing for them all.

£6.5 trillion or so.

Getting on for five years of all output in the UK by everyone everywhere. 5 times GDP.

Hmm, you know, £20 billion a year on housing benefit is starting to look pretty cheap really.


VAT accounts for 35% of the income of those in the bottom fifth of society but it accounts for 15% of the income of those in the top fifth of society.


Eoin, this simply cannot be true.

Imagine that everything, but everything, carried VAT at 20%.

Income of one of those bottom fifth is £100 (it\’s just an example, I\’m not recommending that this be what the poor actually have as their income). They spend all their income on those goods and services which are carrying VAT at 20%.

The maximum they can pay in VAT is £20: 20% of their £100. It just isn\’t possible that they can spend 35% of their £100 on a VAT which is charged at 20%.

You\’re simply asserting here something which is mind-garglingly wrong.

There are a few ways we can get to your figure: we could count consumption taxes on disposable income for example. So we\’ll strip housing costs out (which are non vatable), we\’ll include fags and booze taxes as being consumption taxes (which they are), note that the poor do spend a larger portion of their incomes than the rich on such things and I\’m sure we could credibly claim that consumptions taxes take 35% of the poors\’ disposable incomes while they only take 15% of the richs\’.

But your statement that VAT does is simply flat out wrong.

If I were a lefty

I think I\’d ask Eoin to stop blogging you know. Here\’s the latest.

I have chosen to look at the profit of 8 major UK corporations. In the chart above I focus on HSBC, Vodafone and Barclays. These companies provide safe storage for your money, they loan you credit or in the case of Vodafone they sell you phone and internet access.  Collectively, they made nearly £30bn profit last year but they only paid c.£1.85bn of Corporation Tax.



Double hmm. Looking at the HSBC accounts I can see that the \”tax expense\” is 486 something (page 16), but it looks to me like it\’s 4.8 billion, not the 480 million that Eoin seem to think it is. Or perhaps Eoin is thinking only of the corporation tax which is actually paid to the UK Treasury….a much smaller sum of course  because HSBC is an international company and thus pays tax, as it should, in many different countries. You know, profits made in the US are taxed in the US, not UK?

But do you know why, if I were a lefty, I\’d be begging Eoin to stop blogging?

Look at those two companies at the bottom, Boots and Arcadia.

These are the two companies that UKUncut have been civil disordering about. You know, they\’re the ghastly horrible shits that dodge their due and honourable taxes and thus we should protest about them?

But from Eoin\’s figures they seem to be paying tax at 30%, just as they\’re supposed to.

I really would be having a quiet word with him behind the woodshed you know, I really would, if I were purportedly on the same side as him.


Numpty\’s at it again

Our Eoin:

The graph above shows, in the last ten years, the amount of Corporation Tax paid by the profiteer as a proportion of the amount of tax paid by the worker.  On this occasion I exclude VAT & NICs as both profiteer and worker pay them. Is it right that the worker pays more than three times in income tax the amount that a profiteer pays in corporation tax? For every £1 you pay on income tax, a profiteer will pay 30 pence in profit tax.

Err, yes, this is right and proper actually.

1) Taxation of returns to capital should be lower than taxation of the returns to labour. For there is less deadweight cost associated with the taxation of returns to labour than there is with the returns to capital. No, really, go and look it up.

2) You\’ve measured only Corporation Tax: but these are not the only taxes paid by suppliers of capital, are they? They also pay captial gains tax on any such capital gains and higher and top rate tax payers pay income tax upon their dividends over and above that corporation tax.

3) You\’re comparing total income tax paid with total corporation tax paid. But total income is rather larger than total corporate profit (very much so in fact). So the comparison is fatuous in the first place.

The identification of further errors by our PhD in Irish Feminist History as he paddles on the shores of economics is an exercise left to the reader.