Hello and welcome to the week again my rather sporadic, mainly political area, sorry there wasn’t one last week. I had a helicopter assessment thing I had to do that gobbled up the time: any who here we go the big news for me this week – it has to be the budget, the first Conservative in 17 years and what it will do for the country, so let get to it.
First of all let’s look at the budget itself, so I pop over to the government site to peruse it, as you may have read in the headlines that the budget really hammered the poor and the young so I went to see for myself what it says. From the top there are lots of figures and the like, as always with a budget, to promote themselves, look how good we are ,can we get a gold star? – an example is in the 3 months to April the employment level and rate were both around record levels at 31.1 million and 73.4% the usual appealing figures to show what a good job there doing but once I got past the @oh what a good job we are doing’ rhetoric felt my stomach starting to sink “4.9% deficit growth dept is now 80% of GDP, well that’s not good but that just the over view, the reality of what’s going on with our economy this year is yet to come and like all good books the Chancellor sets the scene to show how bad things were and now watch as the hero wades in to save the day, but this government is not that hero, after delving in to the actual meat of the budget I came away numb and if you will permit me I will show you why.
First of all, in the area that matters to us on the ground the governments new living wage for 2020 is a joke. It is actually lower, with inflation factored in, then where we would be by then and if you watched any kind of TV you will have seen what the majority of business leaders think of that proposal, so not looking good but unsurprising for multi-millionaires who haven’t seen a ten pound note since they left the Bullingdon Club ”what, what!” And so I moved on with an open mind as there must be strong points in this budget, you can’t always be wrong, as my mum says. The tax levels have been raised which is a good step up for low earners at £11000 and those middle to higher at £ 43000,saving a thousand which is nice for people in those brackets but doesn’t help the single parents or single income households, what I mean by this is the fact that someone could be earning £48,000 and be the sole earner in a family so they are worse off than a couple both earning £25,000 each – an area the government has still not full helped with some sort of tax relief for families on single income.
The plan to bring local rents into line with average rents for the area applied to higher earners appears to be a good move to free up housing as why stay in social housing if the rent is as high as other but nicer properties – it seems to be a move to keep social housing for those on lower income but, on further investigation, it is a blatant attempt by the government to continue the de-reg of landlords so they can charge what they like “ keeping competitive” and how long, especially in London, will it take for these land lords to force low wage people out of state sponsored associations. These were the two big ones that everyone is talking about.
But, yet again, the students are hit – quietly going under the radar. I only graduated 3 years ago and I weep for my brother and his friends who are going to uni in the next year or so, as this government continues to return higher education to the reserve of the wealthy in society, to reinforce the hierarchical nature of Great Britain. From now on students from low- income families will have to pay back loans on their living arrangements as well as tuition fees – and many universities are given the green light to charge more than £9000 for fees! So the government has created a larger and deeper debt pool for future generations. (slow clap) My dog has more sense than the entirety of the Cabinet.
The million pound tax-free house was a nice touch I thought when I read it make it look like all of us are going to be rewarded except those living in a house over a million but in reality its only the family homes of Middle England so they can pass it on to their sons and daughters. It makes no difference to the rest of us as we didn’t fall into that bracket in the first place – so less income to the government to benefit property owners in London and wealthier folk around the country win again, Thanks David.
So I spent the rest of my time searching for the inevitable Tory stealth tax, as they give with one they stab in the back with the other and here it is – raising insurance tax from 6% to 9.7.% – that’s ok isn’t it? Nope, as we all know insurance companies are the devil’s work, they take and take and try their hardest not to pay out when there is a claim so the new tax isn’t going to be burden by our friends in the Insurance game with fewer profits, Oh no, that rise will be passed on to us but not as 3.7%, we all know it be 10% as an insurance company only knows how to push prices up by 10% at a time!
As I finish off, I noticed the last line of the budget mentioned an area that affects the majority of us, getting tax off the big boys, it says ‘We will tackle tax dodgers’ but there is no explanation of how or who or if Amazon and Starbucks and the like will ever pay decent tax to us, which will massively help us repay our debt but hey maybe I’m being too picky. The bottom line is whilst politicians may say the budget deficit is coming down, at the same time, national debt is rising. So we may spend less per year as we tighten our belts – but we still owe more each year – e.g. If annual borrowing falls from £80bn to £50bn, the annual deficit is lower. But, at the same time, the national debt (total debt) is still rising – so what’s the plan for that?