The Truss ‘Dirty Old Town Zones’ : ‘Investment Zones’ with reduced planning controls and reduced environmental restrictions

Sunday Times

Plans for new low-tax “investment zones” are also ready to turbo-charge growth in areas ripe for redevelopment, putting “rocket boosters” under Rishi Sunak’s plan for freeports, which both Kwarteng and Truss felt was not radical enough.

Areas awarded the new status will benefit from tax reliefs but also a reduction in planning restrictions and environmental regulations to accelerate house building and infrastructure projects.

Which will require primary legislation and a breach of the Brexit withdrawl treaty and Withdrawl Act as it would breach the ‘no derogation’ principle – for example over SEA, EIA, AA – that environmental controls would not get worse but better after Brexit.

Dirty Old Town Zone

Gove’s Environment Act set up the The Office for Environmental Protection (OEP)  to oversee this, they issued their first report last week. As can be seen it was a useless promise, ‘pollute what you like, where yoiu like, when you like’ with Truss’s Victorian ‘Dity Old Town Zones’. Expect the head of the OEP to be sacked and immeadiately replaced by a political appointee, just as Trump did to strang;le the EPA, prior approved from the Competative Enterprise Institute and other dark money oil money funded far right Dumb Tanks with their links to the Tufton Street Mafia that now dominates government.

Of course local authority’s wont bid for or approve these if they cant control design and they destroy their business rates base. So Liz will have to impose them top-down LDDC style. Also of course all of the research showed Enterprise Zones simply led existing businesses to relocate, they were an expensive to the taxpayer means of funding few net new jobs as 80% of jobs in EZs were created from firmins moving in from elsewhere. Which is why the Treasury considers them rightly as poor value for money and refused to sanction massive tax breaks in Freeports see For Truss this doesnt matter, hers is not an evidence based government but an ideologically based one. They will make the world in their image and if it doesnt work they will bleame everyone but themses for their policy decisions which were right be definition and assertion and no logic will ever dissaply.

We see this with the far right in the US keeping campaigning for state level tax cuts, despite the evience in Kansas showing it was a total disaster. Still we have discredited far right economists such as Laffer (and cough cough Minford) keep claiming it must work because of their (objectively discredited and oil billionaire funded – i.e Koch funded and Mercer Funded) theories, all of which hark back to the about to be revealed junking of net zero policy as the billionaire owned Truss ‘Free’ Press are now turning Climate Change (denying) Institute press releases from Net Zero Watch directly into articles – like they used to do for the Taxpayers (Billionaire Taxpayers) aliiance whose climate change denying former head Matthew Sinclair (whose book about this a decade ago ‘Let Them Eat Carbon’ is the least backed up by subsequent events book ever written, reading it now it is ROFL rubbish, – he recommended stopping renewables – now by far the cheapest and most profitable energy source) is now Truss’s Economic Advsior – as the dark money says ‘hey Trussie what do you think were paying for – scrap net zero and the woke climate change agenda now‘.

Indeed the policy seems modelled on the similar one introduced by the uthoitarian big man of Hungary Victor Orban to overide the power and reduce teh income of big citioes which were the main centres of opposition to his regime, and to grab land at blelow market rates and reduce environmental regualtions as demanded by investors who planned dirty industries prohibited in the rest of europe.

Modi in India is even more striking where a similar policy is widely seen as failed as simply giving tax breaks to the firms who pay the biggest brimes to get such zones set up and then displace and impoverise the local workforce.

The influence of these dark figures goes back to the 1970s

Sam Wetherall 20C British History

In June 1978 Geoffrey Howe, the Conservative Party spokesman for the Treasury and Economic Affairs, summoned the members of a right wing think tank to the Waterman’s Arms, a pub in the abandoned ruins of the former London Docks. His speech that evening was called Liberating Free Enterprise: A New Experiment. Caged in the language of what was becoming a well-rehearsed attack on state planning, Howe presented his audience with a stark vision of British inner city decline:

Howe then outlined the details of a solution, something he called the ‘enterprise zone’. Reversing more than a decade of state-led investment in Britain’s declining inner city areas, Howe called for small, discrete urban areas blighted by high rates of poverty and unemployment to be freed from almost all planning regulation, and made exempt from certain taxes

We saw a live experiment in the LDDC and Canary Wharf – it only worked because of state led infrastructure invement after crony planning over lunch and in reality 95% of the invetment in the East of London came after the LDDC was abolished through democratic planning contriol. Far from an example of free enterprise it was a pure example of crony capitalism to boost unearned income of existing landowners. (of assets created from vested (seized by state) land for Crediit Suisse, Bank of Boston and Micheal von Clemme), but the abolision of planning led to a massive oversupply of offices with the City creating new spaces to compete, leading to the 1992 £1.2billion collpse of Olympia and Yorkthe largest property failure in uk history. Now having bought te property at junk prices the new owners have an asset worth around around £4.9 Billion the cost of building either written off or paid by the state. There was no free enterprise, no competition here it was pure state funding of a monopoloy land owner freed from tax, public investment for private gain.

Here we go again Groundhog Day style. Dirty money and crony capitlism repeating again and again the samed bad policies, decade after decade.

Prime Minister Truss meets a billionaire seeking seized land, massive governmen infrastructure investment, tax, planning and environmental breaks for an investment zone project that will go bust and will give vulture capitalists £4 billion pounds of assets in a firesale for assets created by taxpyers money. (Ed: sorry have we got the right pm?)