Opinion: Kwarteng’s change of heart…

What I am looking at is the growth plan and delivering what is a radical plan to drive growth in this country, to reduce taxes, to put more money that people earn in their pockets” (…) “No, we talked together, I said this is what I was minded to do and we decided together, we were in agreement that we wouldn’t proceed with the abolition of the rate” (…) “We can always have a debate about when we could’ve made the decision, but the important thing is we’ve made the decision and we can now move forward with making the push for the growth plan” – Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng on BBC Breakfast (03.10.2022).

The Biscotti Mini-Budget launch of tax-cuts for the wealthy and the richest of the Kingdom has backfired. This has been seen with how it has destroyed the confidence in the Pound Stirling and the trouble it caused on the gilt market or in the mortgages market.

It doesn’t help that after the effect it, the Chancellor says: “We get it”. Well, the self-destruction and the losses are already been seen over the last few days. The Bank of England had to come in and salvage the gilt market. Because, the Chancellor and Prime Minister Liz Truss clearly didn’t get what they were doing.

The BDO United Kingdom analyst even wrote this about the Chancellor: “Kwasi Kwarteng is a strong ally of Truss’, and is broadly aligned with her stated economic policies, including on windfall taxes, raising income tax thresholds and reductions in Capital Gains Tax. As Chancellor, Kwasi Kwarteng will be taking on a Treasury under immense pressure, with Truss’ proposed sweeping tax cuts leaving large holes in the public finances. Historically he has been a proponent of low taxation and free markets, but when confronted with the growing calls for direct government intervention to support businesses and households through the current energy crisis, these leanings will be put to the test” (John Hickman – ‘What to expect from the new Prime Minister – Liz Truss’ 01.10.2022).

These words are the most true as they can be today. The Chancellor and Prime Minister did test the market, but that already has a huge cost. The implications of holding on and trying to give tax-cuts to the riches. Could either end up in a quick rebellion in the Tories party itself. The Tories MP could easily have sent enough letters to the 1922 Committee and end Truss reign quickly. That’s why they are backtracking now…

The policies are what these two actually believe in. Truss and Kwarteng did really think it was legit and was reasonable to do all of it. That’s why they held on and pushed the “growth plan” which was a short-trip to recession and a faster downturn. There are already ramifications for several of home-owners and companies holding on to the pensions. This will linger on and will not be settled by the change today.

The Tories are really at a cross-roads, because they will push for austerity, but also more perks for the wealthy. While the Tories will take away benefits and ensure less deficit in the budgets ahead. The Tories can act like this was one off, but we know it easily could come more like this.

Kwarteng and Truss has just showed what they are willing to do and risk. They risked the financial market, the mortgage industry and people’s pensions, just so the wealthy could get more in their pockets.

No one can trust these two, neither have confidence in their decisions or choices. Because, they just trying to cover the richest people and give them leeway, while the poor have to struggle even more. Peace.

Opinion: Truss and Kwarteng’s self-inflicted crisis…

Government policy has nothing to do with common sense” – Sir Humphrey Appleby (Yes, Minister).

I wrote earlier in the year that Truss could be the albatross, which the Collins Dictionary describes like this: “If you describe something or someone as an albatross around your neck, you mean that they cause you great problems from which you cannot escape, or they prevent you from doing what you want to do” (Collins Dictionary – ‘Albatross’). In the months time I wouldn’t consider to be proven right, but especially not in this way.

Liz Truss and her appointed Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng has just within a weeks time announcing their biscotti mini-budget been able to destroy the value of the Pound Stirling, making mortgages expensive, getting the Bank of England to save pensions and gilts. The whole financial market turned into distress and uncertainty, which haven’t been at these levels in forever. Not even the COVID-19 Pandemic or the downturn of Brexit was as dire. Not like the United Kingdom or City of London was running smooth now. However, the latest moves of the Tories and the tax-cuts are hurting the economy. In such a manner, that the Prime Minister and Chancellor are doing this to themselves.

These two could do better, but they are pursuing it. They seemed not very concerned with the fall of value of the Pound Stirling, neither the actions of the Bank of England. The distress and uncertainties creating are being put on the consumer and the citizens. Their mortgages and pensions are in jeopardy. The rising payments in addition to the more cost of living, rising inflation and now destruction of the financial market is a horrific cocktail created by the Tories. It is all culminating because of the biscotti mini-budget.

That’s why this little treat is self-destructive. The Tories and the ones in-charge is clearly not caring or acting in accordances to the harm they are creating. They are the albatross and they don’t mind being so. Truss and Kwarteng is doing it, but willing playing along. Thinking this will boil over and it will make sense in November. However, the public will pay the price on the mortgages and the Bank of England is bailing out the government.

Truss and Kwarteng can gamble everything on the biscotti. They are willing to go on the limb and die on the hill of the rich. These two are willing to risk the financial markets so the rich gets more wealthy. Those two are now willing to risk the companies carrying the pensions, creating a possible housing crisis and that in addition to the inflation or affects created by the Brexit itself. There is already a downturn with austerity for 12 years, but not forgetting the financial market reaction to the Brexit too. Therefore, these two knew things wasn’t perfect or running smoothly. Even knowing that… they still are pushing tax-cuts for the rich and cutting benefits for the poor. They are doing the opposite of Robin Hood and hopes for glory. It is just disgusting… and should be called out for.

London is falling, the City is falling and no one is in-charge is ensuring a safe landing. It is really disgraceful the attitude and the acts of the Prime Minister and Chancellor. They are just showing arrogance and ignorance of the plights of the people. When they are ensuring more wealth for the wealthy and planning to cut more for the poorest. That is just how despicable these leaders are. While the prices are souring, inflation is growing and the pound is losing value making all imports more expensive.

Truss and Kwarteng are two albatrosses now. They are a problem and they are allowing themselves to be it too. That’s the role they are playing and they are not letting go. Peace.

Opinion: What will OVP Duterte use the confidential funds on?

At Senate hearing on the Office of the Vice President’s 2023 budget, Senate President Migz Zubiri appeals to colleagues to extend “courtesy” to the OVP and keep proceedings short. Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel Jr. says they would like to respectfully ask questions. Pimentel asks about the P500 million confidential funds requested by the OVP under Vice President Sara Duterte: P500 million in one year. So may we know how are we also to answer the questions asked to us? How to justify this item in the OVP’s budget? Duterte does not answer the question and instead repeats Sen. Sonny Angara’s manifestation that OVP received intel and confidential funds from 2003 to 2012. She leaves amounts and propriety of confidential funds they are asking for 2023 up to Senate’s discretion. After around 40 minutes, Senate panel ends deliberations on the OVP’s proposed 2023 budget” (Philstar.com, 29.09.2022).

This isn’t good news from Manilla. The usage of confidential funds usually are used to keep secret budget posts and things of nature with national security or the intelligence community. In such a manner, that the army or the intelligence agencies can keep things under wraps, which to most of us make sense. Since we are not supposed to know all the inner works or the means of keeping the nation safe.

However, the Office of the Vice President and Minister of Education, Sara Duterte need for it is more questionable. Especially, when she cannot answer and only uses arguments for why it happened in the past. That’s just disgraceful for a government official and someone who is accountable to the citizens. It is just acting like it’s beneath her to be accountable and transparent.

Because confidential budgets or budget posts are no oversight over. Neither will there be reporting or substantial goals to be achieved. The OVP can spend these funds as she deems fit, and no one can question her. Sara Duterte can pay of allies, parties, or campaign debt for that matter. The OVP can buy new houses, cars and whatever she wants really. This is a massive pork barrel and a possible slush-fund.

We have no idea where these monies will go. She can pay out old lovers, side-dishes, and even other questionable characters if she likes. I can just speculate because what is the reason to have it confidential? It isn’t like she’s part of the intelligence community or the army. Those places I have mentioned it makes sense, but for her. No. I don’t see it, but that’s just me.

It isn’t a good sign either that’s she’s not willing to respond or give any sort of good reason for why. She is not living in 2003-2012, are she? Because we are currently in 2022 and she got to be accountable for her time. VP Duterte cannot expect people to accept reasoning for previous leaders, especially when she is not forthcoming with arguments or possible expenditure. This is just free money and without any strings attached. That’s why she can use it for whatever and no one can deem it wrong.

If she orders rice, tanduay or anything else. We just cannot know. The OVP has a funds and cash supplies that can be spent wherever she wants. It can fund her dad’s retirement. Pay off allies in Davao, keep the Duterte dynasty alive or just old debts in general.

I am just asking questions because there was no real answer. It is just public funds used without any sort of checks-or-balances. Meaning the OVP can spend it, and no one has anything to say about it. That’s the pure meaning of free money. Peace.

Opinion: A biscotti is causing a lot damage

small, hard Italian biscuits containing almonds (= a type of nut)” (Cambridge Dictionary – ‘Biscotti’).

Just mere days in the stint of Prime Minister Liz Truss. Her appointed Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng has proposed a “mini-budget” or a biscotti of sorts. That little treat for the 1% and the big-business is hurting the trust in the system. The manner of which the new cabinet and the newly appointed cabinet secretaries are revealing new financial policies are hurting it.

Truss and Kwarteng was supposed to bring confidence back. They was supposed to be there and steady the ship. Instead they are sinking it and doing it fast. It has possibly ensured a new rising inflation and lack of trust in the financial policies of the state. The Chancellor only needed about three weeks in office to wreck it.

The little treat of tax-cuts to the wealthy and a proposed “growth plan”. Only follows 12 years of austerity and other measures, which haven’t created a better economy. The United Kingdom is already hit hard by the global pandemic and the downturn of the Brexit.

It doesn’t help that the Bank of England is talking of Emergency Measures and acts in defiance of the Chancellor. Those things just shows how dire the financial policies are. Truss appointed Kwarteng and his surely not oozing confidence. There is already letters of “No Confidence” sent to the 1922 Committee. It didn’t take long before the knives was out.

This sort of commentary piece says it all about what they are doing: “The chancellor has put his tax changes at the heart of his plans to boost growth. As previous Institute work has highlighted, the tax system has many flaws which act as a block to growth. Kwarteng promised to deliver ‘tax reforms’ to improve the supply side of the economy, but what he announced so far was disappointing for those hoping he might look to grasp the nettle and tackle longstanding tax problems. His version of tax reform is a series of cuts to headline rates that leave the structure of the system – and therefore any existing flaws – in place. He announced cuts to income tax, national insurance and corporation tax, but apart from small changes to capital allowances there was little that would constitute ‘reform’. The evidence suggests that cuts to headline rates alone are unlikely to drive big increases in growth, especially in the current environment where the Bank of England is raising interest rates, and they will certainly not pay for themselves. Kwarteng would do better by addressing longstanding distortions in the tax system, for example the bias towards self-employment and against employees. Changes like this would not need to cost nearly as much as the tax cuts announced and yet could be more effective at delivering growth” (Thomas Pope – ‘Kwasi Kwarteng’s new era of economic policy is a major gamble’ 23.09.2022, Institute for Government).

The commentary puts the weight where it matters. Tax-cuts takes away revenue for the government. Yes, the ones getting the tax-cuts gets to pay less taxes, but nothing is saying that these funds get used for creating new businesses or develop society. Instead, these funds gets taken out of the budgets and out of public revenue. Meaning the government gets poorer and cannot carry the government expenditure. Especially, when the Chancellor only wants to give tax-cuts, but has no direct plan of finding new revenue, because there is possibly deficit with these sorts of tax-cuts.

This is giving the wealthy and the rich a hand. While the nation is furthering into an energy, financial and rising inflation. The United Kingdom isn’t a prosperous nation at this very moment. Instead, it is a nation hurting of the choices of the Tory government for 12 years.

The era of Liz Truss has just started, an a biscotti is destroying it. The Truss cabinet don’t even get an ease or an easy period. Usually, there would be relief and given time after a disastrous reign under Boris Johnson. They have done within no time to destroy the government bonds and the value of the Pound Sterling. These two didn’t even need a whole month or a year. No, they just needed about three weeks and that’s it.

Now people are not only expecting a recession, but a total implosion. The financial markets most valuable asset is trust. Trust and confidence is always needed… right now the Chancellor and Prime Minister is causing more harm. Apparently, the uncapped bankers’ bonuses wasn’t the silver bullet to change the economy, but instead drain it. The same is with the tax-cuts. All of these is only serving one purpose, enriching the rich and given them a handout. However, it isn’t helping the economy and the Chancellor should know this.

That’s why the Pound Stirling is diving. The cost of living will rise even more. The inflation and the recession is now upon the nation. That’s because of how the Tories has handled it all over the years. Not only the last appointees and under PM Truss. No, this is a long time coming with help of Cameron, May and Johnson too. All of them has given way to this, but only the latest comrades who has crashed it totally.

The Chancellor and Prime Minister should reflect on the biscotti. That little treat can be their downfall. The little biscuit can destroy them and be their grand finale. Just because they dared and did so.

Not the wisest move, but what they did anyway. Peace.

United Kingdom: Ian Blackford MP letter to Prime Minister Liz Truss (24.09.2022)

Somalia: Puntland Government of Somalia – Press Release (23.09.2022)

South Sudan: Ministry of Finance & Planning – Press Statement on the Circulating Rumours on Social Media (22.09.2022)

The Government own 11 trillion shillings to the Bank of Uganda [and out of that 3 trillion shillings in advances from the last financial year!]

The National Resistance Movement (NRM) are ruining the economy. They have a deficit financing that is revealing to deplete all funds and all sources of revenue. That’s why in the Leader of Opposition statement published on the 13th September 2022. The Leader of Opposition Mathias Mpuuga MP in his statement is showing a staggering issue of fiscal nature.

The Government of Uganda (GoU) or the National Resistance Movement (NRM) are now owning 11 trillion shillings. Out of those 11 trillion shillings, there is 3,03 trillion shillings it got in outstanding advances in the Financial Year of 2021/2022. Because of this, the Government of Uganda lacks fiscal funds to repay their own National Bank, the Bank of Uganda. It has taken money from one post to cover other posts, in advance, but it has no plan of returning these advances.

The addition trouble with this is that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has stopped releasing funds or loans to the Government of Uganda until these advances are paid. That is again hurting the funding of the Government and the operational funds of the state. Since the IMF will not cover the deficits or the lack of funds in the GoU. The GoU is running so low that it’s not able to repay their own advances, which it created from the BoU.

This just shows how dire things are… this is only talk of 3,03 trillion shillings. The GoU budgeted itself with a 25,78 trillion shillings in domestic revenue in the budget of FY 2022/23, but we can wonder if the GoU has any of funds to recover or to spend on the advances in question.

If you wonder what mismanagement and how destructive a debt-cycle is… it is becoming very eminent that the NRM and the GoU has stretched it out. They are not able to get or find sources for fresh funds. The state is not able to get enough domestic revenue to even cover the basics. That’s why they are even shortfall on 3 trillion shillings to the Bank of Uganda.

This should be depressing and be worrying, but it is just another day in the Republic. The Value of Money is gone. The money and funds are just missing. Loans for development projects, day-to-day activities are just gone in thin air and they have no plans to repay them. If the NRM and GoU does this to its own Bank. What is it doing to the Multi-National Banks and Monetary Instruments it loans from on the regular?

That should put shiver down your spine. This is a sign of a financial downturn, a sort of financial self-destruction and possibly re-structuring of old debt. Because, the state cannot even carry the advances it took out in FY 2021/22. Peace.

Opinion: Parish Development Model (PDM) won’t eradicate poverty but it will become someone’s heist

The newly minted eradication of poverty model in the Republic. That was launched ahead of the polls in 2021. Now in 2022 it is obvious that scheme is bound to fail. It was inevitable… because none of the previous ones had any change or luck either. They have been doing this since the 1990s and nothing has worked.

So, now that the Republic is using 1 Trillion Shillings on it. You would think they had the magical point and the right tools to make it legit. While that is far from the truth. All the things that has been uttered and stated about is an epic failure. From the onset, there was no true organization, framework or even policies at its disposal. Even when the PDM is using similar means as in the past.

The recent weeks of arrests in Mitooma, Kabale and Kitgum over it only shows how badly it is going. In addition to the news of lacking disbursement in Masindi. This is just very compelling of the problematic approach to government spending or even institutionalize these sorts of government programs. When local government officers and employees are part of the gig and get caught slipping.

Certainly, the PDM was supposed to be another “magical bullet” to solve the issue of poverty. Until proven otherwise… I doubt it and there is no sign of improvement. Especially, considering the reports in combination with the reports that is already out. The statements of the Minister of Finance isn’t making the situation anything better either.

When you are spending like a drunk sailor and telling people to sober up. While inviting the sailor to a pub. You know what will go down and what the sailor will do. The sailor will get drunk and be on his merry way. That’s the same thing here… and it’s so in the open.

This PDM is bound to be a big-man’s heist. As there are no protocols, possible oversight or even systematic approach to safeguard the spending. The open corruption, mismanagement and impunity isn’t helping either.

Surely like in so many other instances there been giveaways, kickbacks and planned efforts to circumvent the rules to gain funds from the state coffers. This is happening as the state claims this is the way out. Nevertheless, it begs the question, why will it work now?

When we are so easily seeing the cracks. Reading the reports and the statements from high ranking officials. Heck, the few assessment reports on the PDM that have been released are grim. It is daunting that this won’t be it. Just another heist of the high and mighty. This won’t solve anything else than empty coffers and excuses for the ones in power. No, this will not help the ones in need or the ones it is intended to help. No, they are pawns for the kings and queens. They are the first to go out and loose anyway. This game is rigged and the PDM is no different.

Not like that is anything new either. “Missing Funds” is a proverb in the republic. The elites and the ones in the inner circle are eating. That is clear and the systems are made for them. This is why this latest scheme will be beholden to them too. They will find ways to disburse and ensure them a hefty pay-off.

So, expect someone to run with the bag and the State House looking idly by, because they have already a deal. This PDM is just the latest one to trick the public that they will initially do something. However, don’t be fooled. They will not do anything sincere, but only find a way of earning profits on the poverty that does exist. That’s been their trick and it continues to be so. Peace.

Opinion: Museveni’s address unravels his inaction

During Amin’s time, this small economy of producing raw materials collapsed. When we came, its only coffee and tobacco that were surviving. We came in to transform the economy from dependency to self-sufficiency” – President Museveni (05.08.2022).

The sheer amount of speeches addresses made by President Yoweri Tibuhurwa Kaguta Museveni is fatiguing. That the old man can speak for hours on end and time-travels as he does it. It seems like one of the few past times he actually appreciate and is maybe the reason why he does it. Because, he doesn’t say much new or compelling for that matter.

The President is just showing that he haven’t built a robust economy. His Excellency haven’t opened up for an industrial revolution. Neither is the Republic ready to go electric. The houses aren’t able to be electrified on a massive scale. So, why should the public go for electric cars, boda-boda’s and whatnot? When there is blackouts, loadshedding and lack of electricity up-country. The Republic aren’t prepared or have the tools to make it sufficient yet. Secondly, who can afford the electric cars and be able to charge them in-and-around Kampala for matter? A very few and they better be have an expensive insurance to make sure they get home. If their “luck” strikes with low battery and a serious blackout.

The same President that speaks of suddenly care for the Railways. A depilated and forgotten industry. A sort of tale not doing anything since the colonialist built it. The shoddy networks and lack of investment in it for years. Makes it less viable for transport of goods and not even an option for commute for people. That’s why the sudden care and will to speak of it seems like an ancient idea coming back to life. However, there aren’t much in the budgets or funding to make an attempt of reviving it.

Some people think politics is just talking and going to weddings and funerals. From the beginning, NRM told you that politics is a matter of life and death. If you handle politics badly, you will end up with bad results” (Museveni, 05.08.2022).

Mzee is really going in circles because he knows by the grapevine that the public are struggling with the inflation. However, his government will not do any or show any concerns about it. The taxes and the rising prices just has to be sustained. That’s why his talking yet again of not eating bread, adding additional rice and saying there are other solutions like cassava. This President don’t intend to do anything. While lecturing people on not buying second hand clothes. When there isn’t an industry of producing clothes that is there to begin with. Those sorts of stories just shows what sort of mess the President is at.

A President that has had over 36 years in office. Seemingly unaware or unbothered with the plights, pains and suffering of the people. That’s because his so shielded from the life of the citizens. This is why his returning on the screens and on the radio. Like an emperor who just have to order people around and give directives on the spot. Certain minister will now scramble and the PR team will now make the best of it. Kiira Motors will be stressed and so will other entities as well. Because, now they are supposed to be on the levels of Ford or Skoda for that matter.

If the old man thinks these sorts of addresses helps him. Well, I hate to say it, but it doesn’t at this point. It only shows how his regime, his legacy and all his work is tarnished. He don’t have the tools to transform or equip the nation to change to electric. Neither has there been policies, investments or at a scale to make it possible. That’s because the army has been the priority and the life-line of his reign. If the army had been the standard of good living and a prosperous nation, than Uganda would be utopia by now. However, that’s not how people live or people earns a living. He might not get that. Because, his addicted to power and only breathes by recognition.

The President in the likes of yesterdays address only undermines himself. Because, the talk of change from petrol to electric. Isn’t done swiftly and neither is there infrastructure to make it happen. That takes time, money and will, which never been there. This is why we know the petrol cars will run supreme and for ages to come. Since this man and his party cannot afford to do otherwise. This party cannot even stop the usage of kavera or polythene bags in the markets. Even if they have abolished and “stopped” the practice several of times.

So, it would be better for Museveni to hang up the mic and be mute for moment. Until, he and his cronies can actually achieve something. This is all posturing and big-talk, “hot-air” and wasted energy. Museveni could have used these hours to grazed his cows instead. That would have at least done the cows a service.

This speech was a waste of time… and we know the drill. His soon returning for yet another edition. Peace.

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