Home Politics Amazingly, Sir Ed Davey Manages To Get Something Right

Amazingly, Sir Ed Davey Manages To Get Something Right



The thought that Ed Davey manages to get something right is, of course, shocking. There mere idea that he manages to get his underpants on the right way around each day will mystify some out there. And yet he does in fact manage to get something right here.

The background is that we’ve just had a pandemic. Well, yes, no prizes for recognising that of course. And there had to be, or at least was, something done about it. Lockdown, well, perhaps that was the right thing and perhaps not. But, if the government then tells everyone that they can’t open for business it’s going to look a bit harsh of government then says well, we’d still like you to pay that fixed rate – ie, not linked to profits – tax that we impose.

Seems fair enough really, we’ll not tax you when you can’t trade by our fiat.

Supermarkets are under growing pressure to hand back almost £1.9bn after sparking outrage by rewarding shareholders with hundreds of millions of pounds in payouts at the same time as claiming a huge government discount.

The big four — Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons — and the discounters Aldi and Lidl will collectively save the huge sum due to the Treasury’s 12-month holiday on business rates, according to the advisory firm Altus.

Alleviating the tax burden upon those who were not forced to close does look a little odd it has to be said. As to giving is back no, people play the game within the rules of the game. There are no mulligans here. Government screws up well, government screws up. This is true of when we peeps out here lose – think the 1970s – as it is of when we out here win.

But here Ed Davey is actually correct:

Sir Ed Davey, leader of the Liberal Democrats, said the government made a “huge mistake in the design of the business rates holiday”, adding: “It must have known that sectors without restrictions, such as food retail, would be boosted when others in total lockdown would be hit.

If it wasn’t known then of course it should have been known. But apparently it wasn’t. Which does rather mean that government isn’t a good way of doing things, doesn’t it? If something obvious even to Ed Davey wasn’t grasped by all those clever people in Whitehall – no, not just Ministers but that cream of the crop that makes up the Man in Whitehall – then we’d best not be using Whitehall to determine how the country is run then, eh?

Not that this is something that Ed Davey manages to recognise of course.

Nor would Eddie Lad recognise the next point. That if it was indeed so obvious then he’s able to point us to his warning about it from March, right?



  1. The supermarket sector has done a damn good job. Should they be punished for it? Are the folks who have not done a good job to get away with it? Business as usual then.


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