This is what a political minefield looks like

1 09 2010

Category: Law, Politics

The Equality Act is booby-trap legislation; strapped under the bridges in the closing days of Parliament as Labour retreated from power. I wrote of its awfulness soon after it had passed: bureacratic, high-minded, divisive, wasteful and corrupting

One facet of its awfulness has already been slapped in the face of the coalition government: The recent budget faces judicial review because it may not have adequately considered “what action they can take to reduce socio-economic inequalities“.

It’s surely bad form to quote myself, but here’s what I said about that duty:

How much time will that take? How much diversion from real work will be taking place while everyone at every level in public services performs back-covering exercises over everything.

How long do they have to consider it? How do they ‘consider’ it? Whose socio-economic inequalities? What priority should they have? When should that goal be compromised?

As Fraser Nelson points out in the Spectator there is a right stipulated in the Act  for absolutely anyone to seek judicial review of any of the Government Ministers, departments and key public bodies such as local authorities and NHS bodies listed in the Act.

It is a licence for legal mayhem and a seized-up executive. The scope for opponents of the government, and anyone with an axe to grind, to create governmental chaos, is absolutely, explicitly and legislatively unlimited. Read the rest of this entry »

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How bad a recession? Ask the new millionaires

21 06 2010

Category: Finance, Politics

Business Week has produced a report on the countries with the most households with assets of more than a million dollars.

Comparisons like that are always a bit dubious given it’s a random figure, all the statistics they’re based upon, and global variations, but there are some striking elements relating to how many new millionaire households there are – lots – and how much of the national wealth is held by those households.

Some of the numbers I was most interested in weren’t included in the report (based on figures from Boston Consulting) so I’ve done some digging to provide more comprehensive information… Read the rest of this entry »