Budget Day Liveblog

21st March, 2012 11:35 am

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14.55: Ken Livingstone has responded to the Budget:

“George Osborne’s Tory budget a bad for London and dream come true for Tory Mayor Boris Johnson. After years of campaigning for a tax cut for the super-rich at the expense of ordinary Londoners Boris Johnson has finally got his way. The winners from today’s budget are the super-rich and their champion Tory Boris Johnson, the losers are the majority of Londoners.”

14.45: Anthony Painter is the second of our Budget responses published this afternoon. He says “The Tories have taken a political risk – but they may be forgiven”. We live in uncertain times…

14.43: Helpfully – Political Scrapbook are keeping track of all of the “Budget Nasties”. That’s a page worth bookmarking this afternoon…

14.41: Today saw one of the (regular) Miliband mix-ups (see 12.11), but David’s backing his brother. He’s just tweeted “Excellent budget response by Ed”.

14.37: How much trouble are the Tories in? We may not have to wait for the IFS response to get a full verdict – #grannytax is already trending on Twitter.

14.30: The first of our budget responses is up from Anna Turley, who asks “What have we learnt from today’s budget?”.

13.49: Miliband’s budget response comes to an end. We’ll have rapid responses from some of the Labour movement’s top writers in the next half an hour.

13.39: Miliband says this is “A millionaire’s budget that squeezes the middle”.

13.37: Miliband attacks Osborne on growth, and says the Tories are “out of touch, same old Tories”.

13.33: Miliband asks what happened to “We’re all in this together”? The Tory benches are very noisy.

13.30: Budget over – bang on an hour. And now it’s time for Ed Miliband’s response.

13.25: Putting that tax cut into context, Ed Miliband’s press team are arguing that “Osborne just gave 14,000 millionaires a tax cut of £42.5k tax cut each year”

13.20: Here we are at the top rate of income tax, cut from 50p to 45p. A tax cut for the top earners. Osborne says that the tax rate raises next to nothing. It raises next to nothing thanks to avoidance and evasion, which he claims he wants to crack down on.

13.14: Osborne says he wants more energy spent on cracking down on tax evasion and avoidance. That will be popular with many Labour supporters. However, it’s slightly undone if he cuts the top rate of tax because he believes that it is a victim of tax avoidance. Mixed signals that’s for sure…

13.07: 150,000 pensioners to be hit by a hidden Budget nasty – freezing allowances is essentially a tax rise.

13.03: Osborne going into great detail about VAT loopholes. Surely it’d be simpler to cut VAT?

13.01: We’ve hit the half hour mark here – and we’ve just had the regional pay bargaining announced. little so far that hasn’t been leaked.

12.58: Michael Heseltine has been given a new job by Osborne. Has he been listening to Chuka Umunna? Still few cheers for “Tarzan” though…

12.51: Osborne says Boris Johnson will be “exploring new river crossings in East London”. Hasn’t he just built one? Oh…

12.46: Osborne mentions Gordon Brown selling gold over a decade ago. He’s playing the old tunes of the Tory right today. Has the leadership contest started here? Incidentally, former Treasury Minister Kitty Ussher notes “Gold rises in value when other things look risky, not due to Chancellor”.

12.44: A further £10bn cut in welfare spending by 2016. Is there anything left to squeeze? Pensions look likely to be hardest hit – they make up a large proportion of “welfare”, but are rarely mentioned.

12.37: Osborne says growth has been revised up slightly for this year (by the OBR) to 0.8% – last year’s Budget predicted 2.5%.

12.35: “The trouble is nobody believes a word you are saying”, says Ed Balls, very audibly. [h/t @lobbydog]

12.32: The budget begins. Osborne confirms “lifting lowest paid out of tax” and that tax for the richest “will increase”. Lets see what the IFS have to say about that.

12.30: PMQs verdict – predictably b-reel stuff from both Cameron and Miliband today, with no-one wanting to use their ammunition before the budget. Fair enough – it’d be a waste to use anything particularly important today. The key moment was when Huw Irranca-Davies asked Cameron how much a London bus fare is. Cameron clearly had no idea, but he responded with a barb about Ken Livingstone’s tax situation. On budget day, that hurt.

12.11: Not a great start today for Ed at PMQs, when he was (again) confused with his brother by the BBC. How many more times are they going to do that?

12.07: PMQs has been completely dominated by Afghanistan so far. Will Ed go on the economy with his second set of questions though?

11.55: Over on the BBC, Lib Dem President has suggested that Lib Dems are unhappy with cutting the 50p tax rate and called this a “compromise budget”. They may struggle to face both ways on this one…

11.40: UK Uncut have organised a “dole queue” outside No.11 for Budget Day – this is how it’s looking:

11.37: It’s worth remembering that a year ago Danny Alexander said those suggesting cutting the top rate of tax were living in “cloud cuckoo land”.

11.35: While we’re waiting for PMQs and the budget to begin, here’s what has been written about the Budget on LabourList so far today:

Mark Ferguson says that Labour needs our messages to improve, or our messengers need to improve.

Jim Murphy says that Defence will be a bigger issue than usual this budget day.

And Unison General Secretary Dave Prentis outlines an alternative Budget.

11.26: Welcome to our Budget Day Liveblog, where we’ll be bringing you reaction from Westminster and across the Labour Party to George Osborne’s heavily trailed budget. We’ll also be covering today’s PMQs here – so this is the place to catch a truncated version of Mark Ferguson’s PMQs verdict.

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  • treborc

    Bloody hell Ed Miliband sounds like a leader, he’s angry, he has raised his voice, he sounds as if he means it.

    Has the Opposition leader  found his voice, found his battle ground.

  • derek

    So there we have it, a government budget for the front bench millionaires who will each benefit £40,000 each. Sleaze! did it ever go away? 

    • treborc

       It was no shock was it, everyone knew it would happen.

      • derek


        • treborc

          And it was no shock what do you want me to do shoot him, the problem is which millionaires do I shoot the ones on the dam Tories side or the ones on the labour side.

          Miliband asked a question of the Tories front bench to nod if you gain out of the tax cut, problem is just as many on his own side will be gaining out of it.

          The rich get richer the poor get stuffed.

          • derek

            Some on the labour benches will benefit but it wasn’t an Ed-Balls initiative? Osborne is saying that 1 million are being taken out of the tax bracket given them an extra £170 a year, while they remove over£4,000 from tax credit for employees on 16 hours a week, fuel duty didn’t change while corporation tax will be reduced to 22pence from April, corporation tax cut will end up in the CEO’s pockets and wont have an impact on employment.And just in case you missed it, Osborne will monitor the retirement age, suggesting that the additional 2 year increase will rise again.

          • Holly

            Erm…What was the rate of tax for high earners right up until Bozo realised he was going to be soundly booted out of power?…Oh yeah 40%.
            40% under Labour = GOOD.
            45% under the Tories = BAD.
            Those at the bottom will appreciate the higher allowances, keeping all or most of their child benefit, while those at the top will either invest back into Britain or buy dearer ‘stuff’.
            Many people did not work over 16 hours because they would LOSE money if they did, so now they can.
            Fuel duty was due to go up later in the year and WILL NOT be raised  until then.
            The pension argument will be short lived because as the Personal Allowances rise…which they will, many will be taken out of paying tax…This ONLY applies to taxpaying pensioners by the way.
            The allowances for 65-74 yr olds in 2012/13 is £10,500
            For over 75’s £10,666. Which are pretty reasonable amounts before paying tax, compared with the basic rate taxpayer. 

          • derek

            Yer off ya trolley Holly! go and play with your rubik cube.

          • Holly

            That was Miliband’s bag. He could do one in a flash…Dorks played with Rubik cubes , I played in a scrapyard, in the local canal and railway lines as a kid, so Rubik cubes were boring in comparison.
            I am quite good at Sudoku though, so maybe I’ve mellowed in my old age?? 

    • GuyM

      Most millionaires get paid large amounts in ways that attract capital gains not income taxes so with capital gains not changing I doubt it will affect anyone much on the front bench of either side.

      But if you are suggesting government tax policy needs to be set to make 30 politicians look good rather than improve the UK’s performance then you are a little mad.

      • derek

        I think you indirectly miss understood the call directly speaking?

    • Holly

      Same as the millionaires/stamp duty dodgers/expenses claiming bar stewards on the opposition benches then eh??
      You really can not keep complaining that the Tories are rich/millionaires when the present Labour benches are filled with the same ilk…..Time to either grow up, or sack quite a few of your own….Which is it to be???….Even the union bods have shafted their members for MILLIONS over the years, while depriving families of council homes, or live the life of Riley at poorer people’s expense.
      Pot, kettle anyone??
      Sleaze indeedy!!!

      • derek

        What are you rabbiting on about, have you been tangoed, slap happy Holly!

        Grow up? I’ll put my pit boot right up yer jacksy, now away and dribble your nonsense elsewhere.

        • treborc

           Lose your boot, anyway it would have been covered in bull shitte

          • derek

            LoL! like is that big?

        • Holly

          So Miliband & Co are not rich and are certainly not millionaires, or the kind of people who would shaft the taxpayer by dodging stamp duty or house flipping?
          They would NEVER dream of claiming on expenses or asking the top bods in the unions to get out of homes intended for those worse off?

          The thing that irks you is that when you get someone, who does not think everything should be handed to us on a plate, by the state, funded by taxpayers, out come the insults…no sensible/plausible counter argument, just the usual lazy rhetoric spouted by the left..
          Now that the lid has been lifted, and people can see what Labour achieved during their time in office, what do you think the 18-24 yr old is thinking?? How do they feel after going through Labour’s education system, then uni, and coming out at the other end unemployable, because they have learnt all the WRONG things??
          What do you think the 18-24 yr old is feeling after going through Labour’s education system, straight on to benefits and being told it is not their fault they can’t get a job, because they can’t do the basics in English/maths, so we’ll give you so much in benefits,disconnect you from society, and leave you there to rot?
          More & more people are realising Labour lied to them…On an epic scale…An entire generation having to start at the primary school level.
          It is an absolute betrayal of those who trusted them, those who sat the exams believing it would stand them in good stead when they entered the jobs market….How do we make it up to them??
          By telling them they are NOT stupid, they have been betrayed by Labour and they ARE perfectly capable of learning what they need to to move forward into jobs.
          What Miliband & Balls want is for them NEVER to improve their lives, because if they do, they will be LESS inclined to vote Labour!
          The Tories, on the other hand WANT them to succeed, are openly ENCOURAGING them to come forward & get help..and the left can’t stand it.
          As for you putting your pit boot up my jacksy….Oooo scary!
          You WOULD lose I’m afraid, because us Northern lasses take no s*** from blokes, especially not from those threatening physical violence ‘cos they can’t win an argument with Smart girls.
          Nice try though..4/20.

          • AlanGiles

            Holly, please calm down. The accent into capitals for certain words. Non-words like “indeedy”. The last time I heard such hysterical conversation was a schoolgirl of about 12 showing off on the bus the other afternoon.

            You don’t make yourself sound intelligent or clever – quite the reverse in fact.

          • Holly

            I have never claimed to be clever or over twelve.
            The stuff the young are facing absolutely makes me raging mad, not hysterical.

  • Ed Miliband played a blinder.

    • William

      Well said Dave.

    • Holly

      Yeah he did, but he was only blind to the benefits for those earning UNDER £60k!!!!
      You remember them….the ones who usually vote for Labour!!!!!
      He’s really on top of things in’t he.

      • Unlike your Downton Abbey chum Osborne. The only people popping corks last night were millionaires. It seems the Tories can’t escape their historical role.

        • Holly

          Don’t forget the teacher interviewed on telly…Planning to CELEBRATE!
          See how EASY you make it for us…Class wars are history, get used to it.

  • derek

    Osborne’s raising the tax threshold will give the poorest in society a bout a £3.27 rise a week, while cutting the tax for the super rich millionaires will give them about £760 extra a week. Are we in it together? 

    • AnotherOldBoy

      Where do you get your figure?  £760 x 52 weeks = £39,250 pa.  The reduction in tax is from 50% to 45% on earnings above £150,000.  That would be the reduction in income tax for those earning £940,400 pa.  But, self-evidently, not all those earning above £150,000 pa earn £940,400.  Amd, equally self-evidently, not all millionaires earn £1 million a year.

      Anyway, those earning lots of money can – in some cases – avoid income tax by setting up companies, see for example, that excellent example, Mr Ken Livingstone.

      • derek

        K? YOUR £270 OUT? so roughly 769 per week.

  • trotters1957

    Nothing for jobs and nothing for growth.

    A pretty non-event overall and another opportunity lost for this idiotic government to change course and give the priority to the unemployed and to businesses.

    There isn’t one measure to help businesses invest, cutting taxes doesn’t mean they will invest more if they have no confidence.

    Businesses will just trouser the cash and say thanks George.

    A cut in national insurance for employers could have been done but not even that.


    • Dave Postles

       Pathetic – a euphemism, I feel.  I think we will have to resort to expletives.

    • GuyM

      Nothing for jobs and nothing for growth????? Are you real?

      Moves to the LOWEST corporation tax rate in the G20 and support for R&D and key UK industries?

      Simplified tax regimes for all small businesses?

      400,000 apprentices in the works.

      Oh, sorry I forget in the crazy world of the left jobs and growth come not from private sector development but from creating new non jobs in the public sector all over the country.

      • trotters1957

        I currently run four businesses and have bought, sold and started more businesses than you could shake a stick at.
        If you knew anything about running a business you would know that tax cuts do not create jobs. 
        Businesses need confidence not more cash to sit on.

        British companies are already sat on record cash piles, they just don’t want to invest and these idiots like Cameron, Clegg and Osborne don’t have a clue,  just like you.

        Expect zero growth this year and very little next and 3 million unemployed.

        • GuyM

          If you don’t think policies to keep very low interest rates, using the government ability to borrow to lend to mid sized companies, 400,000 apprenticeships, R&D allowances and the panned move to one of the lowest rate of corporation tax of our competitors plus help with boosint exports to BRIC etc. is less likely to generate confidence that pumping high tax high spend welfare state economics then you don’t know much about business.

        • Winston_from_the_Ministry

           Fancy betting one of your businesses on that?

          My boss seems pretty happy, and we’re an SME.

          • Dave Postles

            O.k., so that’s four against and one for in my experience today, although I would not wish to extrapolate from that.

          • derek

            So your boss makes a million then?

        • Holly

          So as someone who currently runs FOUR businesses are you unhappy at the cut in the rates businesses, including yours, will pay?…In your case four cuts…And will you not use the money from the cuts to invest in your FOUR companies, expand and employ more British people…Thus the possibility for you to move up the ladder, as well as your FOUR businesses and, at the same time helping to lower the unemployment numbers.
          You are a joy, just what the country needs eh???
          Clueless or shameful?
          Did you ‘THINK’ before you posted your comment???
          Digging your heels in just to ‘get one up on the Tories’ seems to me to be self defeating….But hey I am not a business owner, I would more than likely be someone you could employ, if only you would stop cutting your nose of to spite your face…

      • Mike Murray

        Only the rabid right make a distinction between real jobs and non real jobs. My local supermarket accepts money for goods regardless of whether the money comes from wages in the public sector or the private. So far they haven’t told me that they won’t take my public sector money because it’s a different colour to private sector money. Most jobs in the private sector are funded by taxpayers. The private sector would collapse if it weren’t for government contracts which are, of course,  funded by taxpayers. That’s why the economy is in such a mess: because there have been huge cut backs in government contracts which benefit the private sector.  You are making a distinction without a difference when you talk about non jobs. A job is something you work at and for which you receive money and the Tories are very good  at making them disappear!

        • GuyM

          Public sector jobs don’t result in inward investment in the UK.

          Public sector jobs result from a net flow of money around the system that costs more than it delivers. Public jobs are not a perpetual motion machine.

          Do we need Doctors, Nurses, Firemen etc. abosolutey. Do we need endless Diversity officers, play co-ordinators on the public purse… no we don’t

          You either compete in a private sector market economy which is a global marketplace or you fade into obscurity.

          Better a low coporation tax rate and new private investment than high taxes and another set of public sector non-jobs… yep non-jobs as there would be no economic demand or case for them other than to try to mop up unemployment through redistribution.

          If all public sector jobs were net contributors then why didn’t Labour create 3 million more of them and move to zero unemploment? 

          • Mike Murray

            You’re talking, I assume,  about all those non-jobs to be created in the North Sea Oil Industry from the 3 Billion of taxpayer handouts to the industry?  Or the non jobs which will be created from the billions of taxpayer investment in the New High Speed rail link? Or all those non jobs created by taxpayer  investment in the Olympics? 

            I suggest you start looking for a beginner’s course in Economics.

          • GuyM

            You clearly cant differentiate between industrial incentives, capital infrastructure projects and public sector jobs.

            Last I checked there was no government owned contruction firm, so a lot of that capital infrastructure invesment goes in contracts to the private sector and unlike under Labour it won’t be via PFI.

            I think you need the begineers course in economics if you cant see the difference between finite projects funded by state investment and permanent roles created in the public sector that are near meaningless.

          • Mike Murray

            All of your examples are simply categories of state finance funded by taxpayers who are paying the employees of the private sector their wages. In effect, subsidising the private sector. That’s why PFI was originally a Tory policy. By the way,  I didn’t notice companies turning their noses up at Labour’s PFI projects. On the contrary, they couldn’t wait to get their greedy snouts in the trough. The Tories ideological obsession with cutting back the public sector and state investment is destroying the economy and creating a huge reservoir of unemployed. Until Osborne addresses that problem he will be forever tinkering on the margins.

          • GuyM

            The comment “couldn’t wait to get their gready snouts in the trough” explains why labour can never be trusted by business.

            Companies exist to compete, to generate revenues, make profits, pay employees and reward investors all within a legal framework.

            To castigate any company from entering into a contract with government is simply bizarre.

            You don’t force a contract upon one side, it is negotiated. If one side does better than the other, then get better negotiators. Caveat Emptor.

            The public sector was bloated and too big, near 50% of GDP. It has to be trimmed, you are not going to close a £100 billion deficit simply through tax incresaes.

            But of course Mike, you are for all intents a marxist. You want as large a percentage of jobs in the state sector as possible. You want very powerful Unions with secondary picketing etc. You want a wages policy and high taxation and you collective bargaining. I suspect you’d also like closed shops back as well.

            It’s about time people like yourself on the left were honest and said what you really want rather than only what you think you might get away with electorally.

          • Holly

            These would be the ‘stimulus induced’ jobs Balls & Miliband are crying out for, and it’s just because they are finite, with no taxpayer funded pensions or cushy working practices why these two don’t like them…Oh and no public sector union rubbish to cause any more hassle. 
            Ah well, never mind.

          • Dave Postles

            The private sector also bleeds money out of the country.  Boots most of its income in the UK using the infrastructure provided by UK taxpayers, but exports the profits.  All those offshore tax arrangements soak money out of the country, whilst taking advantage of the infrastructure provided by us.

        • Holly

          Could you please tell me where the money comes from to fund public sector jobs.
          Labour ‘created’ millions of jobs, it’s just a shame the morons didn’t govern properly and do it in the private sector, instead of being lazy gobshites. Why govern the hard way when you can cop out?The private sector will still get government contracts, only now they will be encouraged to use smaller, more local businesses and MORE value for money.The days of ‘it’s not my money so I don’t give a fig’ are over.The economy is in such a mess because LABOUR wasted millions on duff projects, NEVER took into account future financial liabilities to the taxpayer and ‘invested’ far too much in the public sector, while IGNORING/HAMMERING the private sector which, by the way, happens to fund the public sector.But hey, lets not get picky eh????

          • derek

            Hollyshite another tory scab! and all the wonderful things Osborne done will only move the economy by 0.1% what a f…Witted clown.

          • treborc

             Tory home must have sent them out by the dozen to have a go here.

          • Holly

            And your message is????
            You do us ‘Tory scabs’ a GREAT service with the same old, same old, out of date remarks like that.
            We are now in 2012 NOT the ’70’s. 
            I much prefer being a ‘Tory scab’ ENCOURAGED to EARN my way, than a Labour supporter who depends on a ‘Tory scab’ to pay for their keep!!
            Eventually, I hope,when we get our tax statements we have the RIGHT to decide where our percentage of tax goes…ie; from the welfare bill to education or NHS…
            WE will, eventually be able to ‘move’ our tax take on line, so WE decide who deserves what..
            Now there’s a ‘Tory scab’ thought eh???
            The 0.01% is growth of 0.8% overall, that is not based on sand and MORE importantly, NOT ‘forecast’ by a politician.
            What did Darling reckon we’d be growing by at this stage??
            How much did Bozo have to BORROW to get the measly 1% growth in January 2010??
            Witted clown eh??
            Tee bloomin’ hee.

          • derek

            Darn! it’s the wife of the Dr, loaded with Scorn.

            Where’s yer udder half?

          • treborc

             Does not matter what Darling says he has no power to change things, what did Cameron and Osborne say is more important

          • AlanGiles

            Holly,  With respect I never understand why right-wing Conservatives  want to post on this site, but if you do, could you please sound a little less overwrought, and avoid playground langauge (i.e. ”
            Tee bloomin’ hee.”). It merely sounds childish.

            I wonder if Labour List posters missives would last long on Conservative Home?. 

      • Jenny M Smith


  • derek

    So how far will the £3.27 go per week under this government? public transport has risen by on average 20% increasing a return journey from 40 pence return to 80 pence return or £2.80 per well or £5.60 per week, so at best you’ll have a 47 pence gain or a £2.33 loss.

    • GuyM

      Tough really Derek, either the country can pay for itself or we go bust.

      Taxing the rich and having htem all avoid it as the main (if not only) central point of your economic policy is simply bonkers.

      Labour has nothing beyond the 50% rate and a bankers bonus tax that brings in less than the bank levy. Absolutely nothing to say beyond that beyond a bit of political induced money envy to cover a policy vacuum.

      • derek

        I’m surprised by your lack of content? Osborne has cut 36Bn while spending an additional 158Bn to do so? o.8% projected growth? what happened to the 2.7 OBR forecast? you can’t reduce the deficit by creating more pressure on the welfare through massive unemployment levels.

        • GuyM

          Yep you can reduce it and he will.

          In the short term the UK economy needs rebalancing between a pro private sector and the old Labour state non job structure.

          By 2015 the UK will be light years from the mess of 2010.

          • derek

            No? he has to borrow more in the long run and pay more out for unemployment, if your suggesting that taken x amount out of the tax bracket will be a saving for business? well it’s not going to help create more employment, it just means that the frozen minimum wage for 16 to 20 year old means that business bosses will reap the benefit further with low wage and tax cuts couple with lower corporation tax. It’s the millionaires budget and the likes of tesco will be rubbing their grubby hands.

          • GuyM

            Basic conflict, you think government created jobs are more secure than demand led private sector ones.

            I think that idea is bonkers.

            A business with increase retained profit invariably invest back into the business.

          • derek

            Driving everything down to the lowest denominator is like taking a tardis trip back to Victorian Britain, would you gladly run a workhouse operation akin to that of the 19th century?

          • Don’t waste your time, Derek. Ignore the trolls….they aren’t wanted or needed

          • derek

            OK, Mike! no-probs. 

          • GuyM

            If that were the case over the last few decades salaries in the private sector would have dropped or at best stayed almost static, yet they went up across the board.

            It seems business profits invariably go in part towards increased wages, at least they do down here in London and the SE.

          • Dave Postles

             Derek.  You have to bear in mind the adage by which Warren Buffet invests: select businesses that could be run by an idiot; one day it will be. 

          • derek

            Warren Buffet quote.

            “There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning ” 

          • Holly

            I LOVE the way the screamers fail to think about this very important detail.
            Balls & Miliband KNOW this, but are play to the wrong audience when trying to regain the trust/votes of the £60-£100k, while betraying the working class in the process.
            All the time Miliband & Balls have been going on about how ‘unfair’ everything is for the low-middle earners, while only highlighting how the cuts affect those on £60k+
            Those earning less are probably chuffed to bits that their personal allowances have gone up from 6475 in 2010/11 to 9205 in 2013/14..In just three years….During a crash at that.
            And those under £60k will KEEP ALL or most of their child benefit….I reckon we are ALREADY light years away from the mess of 2010….Many will ‘catch on’ well before 2015.

          • AlanGiles

            Guy if you are saying all public sector jobs are “non jobs”, how do you explain policemen, teachers, paramedics, even the military because – as far as I know – even the Tories haven’t yet set up “Liam Fox Pretty Soldiers plc” yet?. Although some teachers are now employed in the private sector, the vast majority work in the public sector not yet having joined “Michael Gove’s Duckie Tutors Ltd”

            It is absurd to suggest all public sector jobs are “non jobs”. There are even some private sector  jobs that are “non jobs” in the sense that producers of vacuous “reality” shows are not producing anything of value. If their jobs went you wouldn’t notice, but if you want to insult the police force and tell them they are in “non jobs”, and we get rid of them you and the fragrant Mrs M will not feel so safe in your nice home on the North Downs.

            You have to have a sense of proportion: what is of more value to society – a paramedic who (who knows?) may one day save your life or a wannabe pop singer on TV on Saturday night?. Both are working but the value of that work is not of equal value.

          • GuyM

            As I’ve said elsewhere, doctors, nurses, policemen (this reminds me of the old spitting image sketch of Kinnock) are all “worthwhile”.

            Diversity officers, play co-ordinators etc. are more often than not.

            We can’t afford a state that eats up 50% of GDP.

            A £100 billion plus deficit won’t go through taxes and growth alone.

            Time to cut and produce a balanced budget over the economic cycle…. live within your means and if that means less socialist largesse then tough, deal with it.

          • AlanGiles

            Well at least we agree that police nurses doctors and paramedics are essential, but for every “play co-ordinator” you have several ordinary  workers doing essential work in keeping your local area in good order – repairing public amenities, roads etc, and these services have to be backed up with clerical workers of course.

            But Guy, you can never answer a single question without some arrogant little jibe (in this case ” tough, deal with it.”.). can’t you just give an answer without resorting to that little trick.

  • AnotherOldBoy

    Mr Livingstone will be delighted at the reduction in Corporation Tax down to 24% and the further reduction to 22% in 2014!

    • Dave Postles

       Why should he pay at the rate of the larger companies?

      • AnotherOldBoy

        Fair point!  He is doing fine as he is.

    • Dave Postles

       The banks, however, will be even more delighted.  If you wish to encourage business investment in the manufacturing sector, you restore capital allowances.  Reducing corporation tax for the larger businesses just helps the banks and financial services as much as any other sector (including Livingstone, if you don’t believe his explanation).  It’s way past time to be more discriminating.

      • So you’ll be delighted to read

        Bank levy to be increased to 0.105% from January 2013 “to ensure that corporation tax cuts do not benefit the banks”. The levy will raise £2.5bn a year. 

        From http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-17449501

        • Dave Postles

          All of Osborne’s ideas about compensating are speculative.  Houses will sell for £1,999,995.  The banks will move stuff off-balance-sheet.  It’s hopeless pie in the sky. 

          • Alexwilliamz

            Is the stamp duty not simply a desperate attempt to cap the average house value in London 😉

  • GuyM

    I fully expect the standard left wing simpletons to focus on the one aspect of 50% to 45% and ignore the overall tax burden on the rich.

    Further, if you accept that those earning over £150,000 pa are the most able to move their taxable income about between different tax regimes then having a top rate horribly uncompetitive with our major competitors makes no sense at all.

    The budget actually will reward those at the top who don’t take extravagent avoidance already. It is an unspoken agreement with Laffer and the experience of the 1980s that saw tax revenues rise when exhorbitant higher levels were cut. The problem with Labour is they want to be seen to hurt the “rich” even if the pain doesn’t actually do very much.

    What you want is:

    * Business and investment in the UK – hence the very low corporation tax the UK will have.

    * International leadership in certain key industries – aerospace, pharma, high tech, creative and yes financial services

    * Low interest rates – tick tick tick

    * Little incentive to avoid income tax – 50% to 45%, anti avoidance measures (to applied retrospectively if need be – which seems to have been missed by many commentators)

    * Simplified tax system – large tax free allowance (standard for all including the retired), moves to get back to just 2 rates (20% and 40%), standard anti-avoidance principle, no incentive to use company shells to avoid property tax, continue move to a merger of income tax and NI

    I suspect Labour have no answer to most of this other than to bleat about the 50% band, which on independent figures has brought in very little (as i said earlier this week and certain left wing supporters disputed).

    Over three years to the election, if future financial reports show increased revenues from the richest, decreased avoidance, increased allowances and more business and jobs in the UK by the 2015 election i wonder if anything Labour will have to say?

    Labour stands for increased taxation, large state, huge welfare and low competitiveness with massive national deficit and rising debt and interest rates. A horrible failed mantra that will cause as much damage as it always has when Labour gets elected.

    • AlanGiles

      Simple question, Guy. Osborne said that “tax avoidance was morally reprehensible”

      Do you agree with him?

      • GuyM

        Take the context of what he said.

        Did he sayt being paid dividends rather than income was reprehensible? Nope, that is acceptable.

        Did he say using tax allowances was reprehensible? Nope he accepts them but wants them limited.

        Tax avoidance is accepted in many forms, pensions, ISAs, expenses etc.

        What he implied was reprehensible was the large scale avoidance techniques designed to avoid the will or parliament by finding loopholes that are clearly anti the spirit of the law i.e using coporations to buy property.

        I know where you are going with this, as I support using avoidance techniques. So perhaps I can list those techyniques I’ve used:

        1 ISA – still there and not chaning

        2 Pensions – no change in the 40% relief rate (so I’ll probably keep paying in at a low level for now)

        3 Expenses – use them all the time as a consultant, no change to them and they are accepted by HMRC

        4 Payment in share allowances and dividends – no change there.

        So in other words my avoidance techniques are accepted and unchanged. There is acceptable avoidance and unacceptable. If you equate using a company to buy a £5 million house as the same as a consultant offsetting business expenses and getting a equity payment scheme then you are out of touch.

        • GuyM

          Terrible spelling as typed quickly as have to get to health club… I’m sure you’ll reply and I deal with that later.

    • Dave Postles

       50% tax
      You said that it brought in only £100m.  As far as I am aware, we have no hard data as the Treasury report has to be published yet. 

    • Dave Postles

       ‘HMRC find that an astonishing £16 billion of income was
      deliberately shifted into the previous tax year – at a cost to the
      taxpayer of £1 billion, something that the previous Government’s figures
      made no allowance for.
      Self assessment receipts this year are below forecast by some £3.6 billion, while other tax receipts have held up.
      The increase from 40p to 50p raised just a third of the £3 billion we were told it would raise.’

      So it raised £1bn even with the avoidance.

      • derek

        @David , if the millionaires have gained £42 thousand plus from a 5 pence reduction, then if we times that by another 9 times then by 14,000 we should get a clearer sum? 

    • Dave Postles

       All it shows is the Treasury is ‘not fit for purpose’ since it was the Treasury which estimated that the income would be £2.4-2.7bn per annum. 

      • GuyM

        Until it saw mass avoidance, which Labour were warned would happen.

        You might as well argue that the Treasury were naive in its forecasts in the first place.

        • Dave Postles

          ‘You might as well argue that the Treasury were naive in its forecasts in the first place.’
          Indeed, that is what I am arguing.

        • Dave Postles

           The Treasury out-turn data suggests that the increase from 40% to 50% brought in £1bn in a year.  That’s a useful amount of money.  Now, that was after the mass migration of money into the previous tax year to avoid the 50% tax.  You can only do that once.  So, the 50% tax in year 2 might well have pulled in much more than £1bn.  Osborne intended to reduce the tax from 50% to 40%, so he was prepared to relieve the most affluent not of £1bn, but likely more in subsequent years. 
          As to the compensation in stamp duty and a general anti-avoidance law (in a year’s time), they are purely speculative and theoretical.  Osborne is very good at this sort of subterfuge.  The accountants are already rubbing their hands.

  • AlanGiles

    It was a predictable budget – as sadly – was Ed Miliband’s response: it failed “the fairness test” and another reference to the “squeezed middle”. I think it is time a self-imposed ban was made on those two terms. They are trite, and it needs a far stronger response than anodyne catch-phrases

    • William

      Alan- Pleased that the highlight for you of this grossly unfair budget  was Miliband’s response. Can you please confirm that in your view the reduction in the top rate of tax for billionaires was Labour’s fault in general and Miliband’s fault in particular?

      • AlanGiles

        Bill. You told me last night that you were going to ignore my posts because they were “crap”.

        I am ignoring yours for the same reason – go away and play with somebody else

        • William

          They are crap but why don’t you clear off and comment on your own side’s site?

          • treborc

            He is for god sake, the problem is now that Blair has gone why are you still here, have you taken my advice and asked your mother for cream for the nappy rash it does seem to be affecting you

        • Jeff_Harvey

          I think “William” is stalking you, Alan.

          Creepy, eh?

          Or an indication of your celebrity?

          Who knows?

          Who cares?

          • AlanGiles

            He certainly appears to be in a silly, excitable mood these past few days!

          • I thiought Ed did really well today, Alan – because here it IS the rich who have gained, not the middle class

          • AlanGiles

            Absloutely appalling budget Mike, no doubt about it, but he really does need to use alternative phrases.

            I remember Cameron and Osborne always repeated the mantra “Labour failed to fix the roof while the sun was shining”, each time you heard it you cringed at the bogosity of it – a sort of faux folksy epithet that just made you switch off mentally – I am afraid keep hearing the word “fairness” and “squeezed middle” has a similar effect.

            Just heard on Radio 4 news that David Laws has supported Osborne’s budget, so you just know it is a rich man’s budget.

          • I agree with you about the mantras, they’re becoming slogan-like and as soon as that happens they provide an excuse for not thinking and not analyising but, on the whole, thought Ed’s response today was excellent. And Ed’s reference to Downton Abbey hit the mark nicely: 

            “A tale of a group of out of touch millionaires. Who act like they’re born to rule. But turn out to be no good at it. Sound familiar Mr Deputy Speaker? We all know it’s a costume drama. They think it’s a fly on the wall documentary.”

            Full text:

          • William

            Alan Giles think + analyze? Do me a favour. 
            Ed was excellent today. Same old Tories-the rich get richer and the poor can go to hell.

          • William

            Only you could turn a terrible budget like that in which millionaires get a £10,000 annual tax bonus into an attack on Ed Miliband. You’re a disgrace.

          • AlanGiles

            I really think you need professional help Bill. If anybody can be bothered, just click on “William” and his comments will come up under the name “Baboon” – and every one of them is about me.

            You need to get a life old chum, apart from being a real unthinking toadying boot-licker.

            He thinks I am a Tory because I take a stand against New Labour’s more Tory-like policies and personalities. He gets madder and madder.

            Now Billy, you told me you were going to stop reading my “crap”, so as this seems to be the only langauge you understand, may I respectfully invite you to p!ss off and go and play your silly games with somebody else

          • treborc

            Well in the end it could have been so much worse, what I did like was Miliband seemed to get angry, or he’s had acting lessons.

            But nobody really expected to gain much did they.

          • AlanGiles

            One measure highlighted more by the BBC than anywhere else, was an almost throwaway line where Osborne suggested that the welfare budget might be cut again from 2014, which will impact on much more than the “squeezed middle”. I am sure Ed Miliband’s anger was genuine – for all his shortcomings, I don’t think he “acts” in the way the saintly Tony did.

          • Holly

            I was under the impression that Labour were the party for the WORKING CLASS.
            Ed did very well in defending those in the £60-£100k bracket, who probably don’t vote Labour, and never will.
            Will the unions now be cock-a-hoop that Ed is the leader of the party for the middle class and FAILED to even mention what was in the budget for the lower paid??
            Probably not, but hey, as long as you think Ed did really well, it does not matter who Ed was ‘concerned’ about.

          • AlanGiles

            Thanks Holly. I made the point about EM keep repeating his “squeezed middle” catchphrase because he seemed to ignore the poorer people – the fact that the welfare budget will be slashed again in 2014 was more important than a reference to “Downtown Abbey” IMO (as I have never seen it anyway the reference was lost on me). Perhaps not too much was made of it because bhy and large Liam Byrne approves of such a move.

            Now I will have to stand by for another heap of abuse from the vexacious “William” who thinks I am a Tory, inasmuch as he “thinks” at all!

          • Holly

            I am a Tory voter.I have been all my adult life. 
            Why would I do that?
            Well for one you KNOW exactly what you get from them, they don’t pretend to be anything different. They are not deceivers when it comes to their personal wealth and believe, with a passion, that those of us at the bottom can move up the social ladder if given the right environment & encouragement
            regardless of their origin or circumstance of birth.
            They applaud enterprise & entrepreneurship, they ENCOURAGE people to work to get where they want to be and try to instill ambition, faith and self belief in people.
            All the young unemployed have to do is go out and NEVER stop trying, NEVER give up when they get a knock back. 
            Labour constantly send out the message that everything will ‘come to us’, all we have to do is wait for Labour to spoon feed what we want. Taking away our right to do it for ourselves, unheeded by rules & regulations.
            Inspiration beats dependence any day of the week.

          • AlanGiles

            I have been lucky in life. I assume you have too, but luck plays a large part in everyones life. Good and bad.

            Misfortune, illness, whatever can happen to anyone at any time. I have always believed in being nice to people on the way up because you could meet them again on the way down. Never forget your roots – that is how I have tried to live my life and that will never change: my own party changed and much good did it do them, finally.

            Looking at the headlines of Conservative newspapers this morning (Mail and Express) they don’t seem to be too happy with Osborne.

  • The millionaires budget, indeed

    Let’s get the message out – we stand for something different

    • Winston_from_the_Ministry

       Like what?

    • Holly

      I VERY dare you!
      What ‘message’ would that be??
      The ‘something different’ message that Labour now stand for the £60-£100k section of society???
      Nothing, not a peep about the Personal Allowances going up for the section of society who tend to vote Labour.
      Why’s that???
      Could it be that Miliband is in the same section of society as Cameron, for all his imaginings that he is ‘poor’/’downtrodden’?
      Labour MP’s and the unions should be VERY worried, because the teacher who was interviewed being worried at breakfast of what the ‘evil Tories’ were going to bestow on his young family was intending to CELEBRATE by tea time.
      After all the scaremongering the lower paid have just breathed a collective sigh of relief.
      Those ‘squeezed’ on £60k need to look at their lifestyle.
      Imagine winning £60k a year on a lottery scratchcard, I doubt very much many of us at the bottom would find living on that amount tough going.
      I would be interested in what ‘YOUR’ message is, because you seem to have glossed over any detail…..It is all very well to encourage others to ‘get the message’ out, but is a bit fake when you fail to tell them what it is.

      • treborc

         You have problems with the Unions, if your not interested in the message why have you wasted your time writing on the forum, seem your another of those Tories who come here to try and counter the Labour  and Union comments

        • Holly

          ‘You have problems with the unions’.
          Too right I do. The main one being that they sponge from their members in order to fund a comfy lifestyle.
          Get ‘token’ compromises from governments, INCLUDING the previous shower, and still think not taking a cut themselves in order to fund lost pay for their members on strike days is all fine & dandy.
          If people wish to subscribe to unions they should, at least get more than a useless magazine in return…As for trying to ‘counter Labour & union comments…you make it so easy it’s pityful. 

  • It’s early to be making judgements on this, but I will put my neck out and say this budget, to me, looks politically astute: there is just enough “noise” to make it hard for Labour to make a consistent and damaging line of attack, and the old guard Tories have definitely been thrown some red meat.  That is not to say it’s necessarily good, of course, but we should be in no doubt that it is a difficult one for Labour to benefit from.

    Meanwhile, the OBR have increased the UK’s growth forecast to 0.8%, while Europe is now predicted to shrink next year (-0.3%).

    Personally I rather suspect Osborne will be smiling (or smirking, if you prefer) tonight.

    • Dave Postles

      From 0.7 to 0.8% for the UK.  Europe is a very wide area: Greece, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Italy will all pull it down.   The OBR has been completely wrong before.  I won’t hold my breath.  The experience of most people in this country will be extreme difficulty over the next two years.  The comparator should really be movement since the election in May 2010 in this country only. 

      • All may well be true, but do you disagree with my analysis?

        • Dave Postles

          The key point to me is one made by Dave Prentiss earlier today: Osborne said that replacing the 50% tax with his other compensatory measures to tax the rich would only cost £100m.   If that’s so, what’s the point?  If that’s so, does he really expect to raise the compensatory tax?  There’s a subterfuge going on here.
          The IFS representative on the World at One, when asked who benefited most from this budget, immediately responded a couple each at work earning just under £60k. 
          It will be shown that all Osborne’s proposals for compensatory taxation are speculative and unlikely to have any effect.  They are ripe for avoidance, despite any future general anti-avoidance rule – how long will we have to wait for that and who will be giving the advice?
          So, yes, I do disagree and I think it will unfold during the next few days.

        • derek

          Isn’t it logical to say that if Europe contracts by 0.3% then Britain’s 50% trade will share a slice of that reduction.

  • charles.ward

    Does anyone know how Ed Miliband worked out that someone on £20k will be £250 a year worse off?  I’ve put the numbers into the BBC’s budget calculator and the only way I can get it to show this is if the person is single with no children and smokes a 60 cigarettes a day, drinks 5 pints a day and puts £120 of petrol a week into their very high road tax car.  And if they didn’t smoke they would actually be better off.

    If married with two children, smoking and drinking about the average and running two average cars it calculates that they will be over £300 better off.

    • derek

      Charles, so any reduction in tax for the low paid wont be offset by a means tested tax credit? I don’t know about your married couple running two cars being £3000 better off? but are you familiar with the tune, M  I  C  K  E  Y   M  O  U  S  E

  • jaime taurosangastre candelas

    I have filled in the BBC web calculator, based on two incomes, 2 children, 2 bottles of wine per week, 2 cars, and discovered we will be £533 a year worse off.  I am very pleased with that, as we can afford it and I hope it goes to those less fortunate.  The biggest difference is our loss of child benefit.  If we had no children we’d be better off, which seems wrong.

    • GuyM

      We are £135 better off.

      Primarily because we don’t drink, smoke or drive a car much.

      Child benefit loss for part of a year on one child is neglible.

      • Daniel Speight

         He should have taxed keyboards. Jaime and Guy could have pulled us out deficit by themselves.

      • Dave Postles

        Excellent – what the increase for those on minimum wage aged below 21 should have received, but has gone to a much worthier cause.

        • GuyM

          Thanks for your support, I think so as well.

    • We will be over 200 better off, which is just ludicrous given that one of us earns 120K and we don’t have kids

  • jaime taurosangastre candelas

    I have filled in the BBC web calculator, based on two incomes, 2 children, 2 bottles of wine per week, 2 cars, and discovered we will be £533 a year worse off.  I am very pleased with that, as we can afford it and I hope it goes to those less fortunate.  The biggest difference is our loss of child benefit.  If we had no children we’d be better off, which seems wrong.

  • treborc

    I’m disappointed to hear again Miliband is off again about his squeezed middle class, it’s a shame he cannot for one minute think about areas like mine which most people are earning £12,000 to £14,000 and none of them feel like they are middle class.

    To night the Welsh Assembly including some Tories say that Osborne missed a chance to help make jobs, and then Welsh labour stated the working class are paying the price of being poor.

    It’s a shame labour cannot move on from telling us about a group of people who may be squeezed on £40,000 but if they are squeezed what are those on £12,000.

    But then again Labour seems to me to be a middle class Tory party now, gone are the days of socialism.

    I suspect if labour had been in power I would have been looking at more cuts.

    It’s a great shame the working class no longer have a party

    • According to the BBC calculator, a 30 year old male on £12,000 drinking 10 pints and smoking 2 packets of cigarettes a week, and spending £100 on fuel for a mid-sized car will be better off by more than £50.

      • treborc

        No problem you’d be dead.

  • Peter Barnard

    If this budget is “pro-business,” (i) why is OBR forecasting lower growth rates in business investment 2013 onwards and (ii) why is total growth to 2016 unchanged? Compare Table D1 in Budget 2012 to Table 3.1 in the OBR November report, “Economic and fiscal outlook.”
    I am reminded of J K Galbraith’s observation, “The modern conservative is engaged in one of man’s oldest exercises in moral philosophy ; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.”

    • GuyM

      Total growth being unchanged whilst the EU area goes into recession seems ok if achieved to me.

      I suggest you suggest that line to the Labour front bench, they seem to have very little else to say for themselves.

      But you do make me laugh Peter, a typical lefty. Anyone not agreeing with you must be selfish, because your ideals of redistribution are without needing any rational thought, perfect. They have to be, you are a socialist, it is the perfect logic loop.

      Socialist says redistribute x, y and z, socialist is right, everyone else (including Tories) are therefore selfish. QED

      A near impregnable pig headed position to defend. 4 legged socialist right, 2 legged Tory wrong.

      So we all just shovel as much tax as we can afford into the public trough and let our benevolent socialist masters give us all hand outs in their magnificence? No thanks, I’ll stay “selfish” and control my own life, you can take collectivism and shove it somewhere.


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