If you can’t decide who to vote for, ask your candidates where they stand on each of the following: SSFA; TTIP; ISDS; NSIP; and JFDI. Their answers will fall somewhere on a scale between ‘for it’ to ‘against it’, with ‘whassat?’ off to one side (in a special compound reserved for dangerous endangered species such as UKIP). Clear?
Oh, all right. Here are some thumbnails:
SSFA stands for Single Sales Factor Apportionment. It proposes that multinational businesses should be taxed in, and at the rates of, the country where the profit-earning activity is conducted, rather than where the profits are declared.
TTIP, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, is a complex set of protocols being cooked up between the EU and the US to try and level the corporate-state playing field. So far, so innocuous, but an integral part of it is:
ISDS, Investor-State Dispute Settlement. Under this doozy of a proposal (which WILL happen, because the negotiations aren’t subject to any democratic scrutiny, anywhere), corporations will be able to claim compensation from governments for any losses they incur in consequence of their own failure to deliver whatever it was they’d contracted to deliver.
An NSIP, a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project, is any Infrastructure Project deemed to be Nationally Significant, on which, therefore, any amount of money can be spent without the need to demonstrate any tangible benefits. Think HS2, Third Runway, Stonehenge Tunnel. Said deeming is currently done by George Osborne; the name might change, but the outcomes won’t.
And finally, JFDI. This new initiative aims to significantly reduce, if not eliminate, the volume of investigatory activities designed to delay or prevent the implementation of something that’s bleeding obvious.
I may have made one of these up: see if you can guess which? Not that easy, is it?