I think almost every day that our rulers can't get any more despicable. Then I pick up the paper.
Hundreds of bail hostels are being opened in residential neighbourhoods without public consultation as part of moves to ease jail overcrowding.
People living next door to properties earmarked for suspected criminals and prisoners released early from jail are only told when the premises are about to take their first inhabitants.
Since the privately run hostels will not have live-in staff, neighbours are given a number to phone in the event of problems, according to a document leaked to The Times. Local councils will only be consulted on the “suitability” of a building to house up to five ex-prisoners and suspects granted bail.
I see. At least you find out about the new traveller camp. (Resistance is useless)
I see the government have officially denied reports that they're printing money. So it is true then. Obviously you can't call it printing money, with its resonances of Weimar and Zimbabwe. "Quantitative easing" is the approved expression. "Easing" is so much gentler a word than "printing".
So those on fixed incomes, already stuffed by low interest rates if they have investments, are simultaneously going to see their pensions eroded by inflation. Look at the BBC's example of Mr Routledge - a 77-year old bloated plutocrat with no less then £15,000 of savings.
Since a heart complaint forced him to take early retirement from his job with BOC, Mr Routledge has received a company pension - now £96 a month - on top of the couple's combined weekly state pensions totalling £150.
They receive housing and council tax benefit but lose out on the full amount because of the very savings they put aside to fund their retirement.
A couple with less than £16,000 in the bank qualify for the benefits and can hold £6,000 in savings without affecting their payments.
But for every £500 they have saved over that amount, the authorities assume they earn £1 per week in "tariff income" and reduce the benefit payments accordingly.
The Routledges' tariff income is calculated at £18 per week, or £936 per year.
But with their interest payments falling well short of covering this, Mr Routledge said it has effectively left them hundreds of pounds a year worse off.
In other words, the Government is assuming (for benefit-slashing purposes) a 10% return on the £9K of their savings over the £6K limit. It's grotesque. They're being punished for their attempts at self-reliance.
Roger Bootle was on the Today programme this morning saying 'nobody is worrying about inflation'. I see a new capitalist myth in embryo here. For the last 20 years all economics correspondents presented rising house prices as indubitably and self-evidently a Good Thing - apparently we talked of nothing else at "our dinner parties". It was only early last year that someone actually organised a poll which reported that no, people didn't see it as a good thing. Not surprising really, given that no one on a low or even average income could afford a house any more. What the myth screened was a slow-motion asset transfer of the housing stock to the wealthy.
Looks like the 'nobody is worrying about inflation' myth will attempt to cover the slow-motion destruction of private pension assets. After all, they've already been destroyed quite successfully at the front-end, the paying in end. Where are the final salary schemes of only eleven years ago ? Now it's time to have a go at the back end, at the people already receiving pensions.
(And is inflation that low ? Energy prices, council tax - the big hits on the fixed-income budget ? I don't think my council tax is likely to decrease - do you ?)
Who profits ? Well, if you have enough money, in such an environment working to preserve it is pretty much a full-time job. Hence my point at the front of this post about being too busy working to make any money. Those with a lot, and the time to shuffle it around, should make hay even in this economic climate. It's Mr Average who'll be stuffed.