Can't help but feel there's something more fundamental wrong here. The problem I see is that a portion of the population is a) working, let's say 1x full time ($30k pa on min wage), b) receiving financial assistance from the state, however insufficient that may be, and c) still functionally poor. Arguing over whether GST is included or not is by the by.
If a person in full time employment is not earning enough to live, never mind contribute to the services that the state provides, then we're all doing something wrong.
What am I missing? It seems like this is not a problem that we fix by changing tax structures.
If you can't beat them, join them.
Or don't. Or disrupt the game. But I agree that complaining about the game doesn't seem to work.
Hah, but Dumfries is still in Scotland... and one could argue that not so much has changed, if one's position were that LD ceased to represent Scotland about 5 years ago when it supported a Conservative government. Nevertheless, Mr Cameron now has a rather vexed Scottish question to address.
'Lazy' I'll give you, because as in NZ, Labour in the UK has some hard thinking to do about the many and varied ways in which it messed up. But I'm unclear how blaming Rupert is 'self-serving'. As well blame the wind for blowing - even if it wasn't the Sun wot won it. 'Self-defeating' might be closer to the mark. And it's not like Labour didn't have plenty of warning that Scotland was going SNP generally - so add 'myopic' to the list.
UKIP is another interesting story. 12% and one MP - are those 12% genuine supporters or are they a protest vote? Would that number have been higher if they weren't worried about splitting the right vote and letting labour in? I need to do some research (but I suspect someone else needs to first).
Your post seems to imply that 'Labour getting Daleked in Scotland' was a last-minute surprise - but that was part of the polling all the way through the last few weeks that drove the aforementioned headlines. Polling that, incidentally, was closing as the day drew near.
There's an article somewhere (sorry, can't source at the moment) that talks about the Conservatives saying that the rise of SNP served to encourage their stay-at-home voters to get out and vote. Ditto Labour (Cheltenham?) saying that the same had turned off wavering Labour supporters. Whether either of these are actually true is anyone's guess.
It's a bit more complicated than 'rabid right-wing press sabotages election for Labour' but it seems to me that the implications of the Scottish referendum have not yet played out.
Keith, under no circumstances should you eat your hat. As you point out, the data clearly show that the youth unemployment rate bounces up and down within a range, but the long term trend for the last 9 quarters (at least) is basically flat.
I don't think it's reasonable for someone to infer from the 2013Q1 figures that youth unemployment has turned the corner and is being significantly reduced, unless they're prepared to simultaneously infer the converse from the 2012Q4 figure. To take either figure on its own would be to commit one of the cardinal sins of the information age - cherry picking.
We don't have a trend until we have a trend, and we don't have a trend with one datum. If subsequent data comes in that shows that the 2013Q1 point was part of a long-term trend, well and good. Then it's a fact. Until then it's an outlier (if that).