The Budget – a time for optimism and building confidence.

So far so good. Many extra jobs have been created. The economy is growing at a reasonable pace. Inflation is low. On average real wages are going up. The deficit is coming down.

The critics were proved wrong. The UK did not go back into recession. There was no treble dip. We avoided the sorry course of economic development in most Euroland economies which stayed in recession or went back into recession after the 2008 crisis. UK Unemployment came down, despite the predictions of rising unemployment. The private sector more than made up for the reduction in public sector headcount. Critics were even proved wrong about the cost of living crisis, highlighting energy bills just before the price of oil and gas collapsed.

However, we still wish to see stronger rises in living standards, in real wages, and more people getting good jobs with decent prospects. No-one should be happy with current average income levels, nor relaxed all the time there are people without jobs or in jobs that are poorly paid.There are still many young people to educate, many people who need better skills and qualifications. More people can work for themselves and set up businesses. The next few years should be about real pay rises, as the UK works smarter and better. They also have to be about continued progress in removing the public sector deficit, which by general agreement remains too high.

The budget should explain how far we have come from the crisis, and how much more there is to do. I would like to hear a vision of a UK with more people running their own businesses, with more people owning a home, with more people gaining qualifications and getting the rewards for higher skills. I want to hear of tax cuts to come, so people can keep more of their own money and make better provision for their own families. I want to hear and see more measures to allow enterprise to flourish, including tax measures that allow the successful at establishing new businesses to keep more of their returns.

As this is the last budget of this coalition, doubtless any Income Tax cut will have to be in the form of a further increase in the Tax threshold. I do not mind, as Conservatives want tax cuts and will accept whatever ones the Lib Dems allow.

What would you like the Budget to include?

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118 Comments

  1. petermartin2001
    Posted March 14, 2015 at 6:07 am | Permalink

    In particular, I’d like to see a reduction in VAT to 15%.

    More generally, I’d like to see a recognition that the UK government is a sovereign issuer of its own currency. Therefore, taxes serve to only regulate aggregate demand within the economy. If inflation is too high taxes need to rise, and if it’s too low they need to fall.

    • Cheshire Girl
      Posted March 14, 2015 at 7:51 am | Permalink

      I would also like to see a cut in the rate of VAT. I thought the 20 percent rate was supposed to be temporary, but it has been such a nice little earner for the Government that they have kept it. It is on most things now,even the most basic home repair, and on a stay in even the most basic hotel. I believe it is also charged on coffins!
      This would not be quite so bad if so much of the money raised from this was not wasted. and please don’t get me started on the promise to increase Foreign Aid !

      • Hope
        Posted March 14, 2015 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

        £100 billion deficit wh e it was supposed to be £37 billion by now! Public spending g still far too high without the cuts promised to get elected five years ago. No bonfire of quangos to help those spending cuts. Tax rises contributes to over £60 billion to the treasury spending cuts less than £48 billion. Growth incurred by increase in,population not increase in production, DT article today. Overall your opening paragraph is utter nonsense and totally out of character. It can only be electioneering guff. Read your previous blogs about tax rises and spending cuts, they have little resemblence to todays electioneering propaganda.

        Far too many tax rises and too few spending cuts! Trust the Tories with the economy, you must be joking. Cameron said he if he failed to deliver kick him out. I suggest this is be the course of action.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted March 14, 2015 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

        Income tax was supposed to be temporary too.

        Few things are so permanent as those initially described at temporary.

    • kanon
      Posted March 14, 2015 at 11:17 am | Permalink

      Fat chance. What party is responsible for the bulk of the present 20%?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 14, 2015 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

      The usual siren call for the system to be turned on its head so that irresponsible and potentially corrupt politicians would be let off the leash and automatically allowed to borrow, and then failing that to print, as much money as they might wish to waste, without the need to openly impose higher taxes on the population who would instead just suffer the stealth tax of higher inflation.

      • petermartin2001
        Posted March 14, 2015 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

        Denis,

        No. The government and the BoE need to set an inflation target of something like 3%. Inflation needs to be measured in the correct way. If there’s a big shift in the price of oil which is outside the govt’s control, for example, or even a tax rise which is, those can affect the topline figures without changing the underlying rate – which is what matters. Inflation is all that matters on the one hand and recession is all that matters on the other.

        If inflation, which you are obviously worried about, rises above the target band and becomes a ‘stealth tax’ then taxes have to rise to cool down the economy and so reduce demand. I think we can all agree on that.

        In addition, interest rates are too low at the moment. IMO. The economy needs to be ‘warmed up’ by a fiscal stimulus. This will allow interest base rates to be increased to about 2% and take some of the heat out of silly property prices. That will keep general inflation in check too. There’s quite a bit of scope for reducing taxation and allowing the NHS and defence to be properly funded and still reduce taxes at the moment.

        There’s more than enough slack in the economy to give both the left and the right at least some of what they’d like right now.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted March 15, 2015 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

          Actually my main concern is that feckless politicians should not be allowed to make large scale creation of new money to fund their spending into a new norm, in the same way that they made large scale borrowing of existing money into the norm. Osborne has already started us off down that slippery slope with his £175 billion of QE on top of Darling’s £200 billion, despite his initial outburst in the Commons about money printing being the last resort of desperate governments, and now any future Labour government will be able to cite that as a precedent as well as being able to pray in aid the new topsy-turvy economic theory that you favour.

          • petermartin2001
            Posted March 16, 2015 at 12:17 am | Permalink

            Denis,

            I don’t believe there’s anything new about all this. Its been this way at least since the early 70’s when the last vestiges of any link to gold were removed by the Americans. What I’m saying is just a recognition of that. The theory is that we should just stop pretending that money is anything other than an IOU.

            There’s no point railing about Governments printing money. All Governments do that. All currencies are now just printed. Even the Swiss franc! The Swiss had their printing presses running flat out trying to keep their currency pegged to the Euro until recently. They had to give up in the end. Maybe their presses just wore out and they had to stop!

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted March 16, 2015 at 9:10 am | Permalink

            I specifically referred to large scale creation of new money to fund government spending. If that was already perfectly normal before the spring of 2009, why was it described as “unconventional” monetary policy? However good your own motives may be, I wouldn’t want people to talk it into becoming “conventional” policy because it would certainly be abused. As I’ve said before, whatever its merits as an economic policy QE as practised in the UK has already been a disgrace from the point of view of democracy and even of the strict rule of law.

    • behindthefrogs
      Posted March 15, 2015 at 11:48 am | Permalink

      If there is money available, reducing VAT should be the last choice. VAT applies equally to home produce and imports. The money would be better used to reduce national insurance contributions. For employer’s NICs this would create an advantage for our exports and home produce. For employees this could be concentrated on raising the lower threshold, thus helping those on the lowest wages in particular. The lower threshold should be raised to at least equal that for income tax.

    • Pauline
      Posted March 15, 2015 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

      I would like to see VAT reduced as well but one comment in its favour, at least it gets tax from people who do not pay income tax in this country such as some foreign nationals living in the expensive parts of London.

  2. Lifelogic
    Posted March 14, 2015 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    Well the deficit is not coming down very much and the government is still pissing endless money down the drain on HS2, the halfwitted green crap grants, appalling procurement in defence, a totally incompetent (and thousands of deaths causing) NHS model, a large number of often expensive & pointless university courses, pointless wars, payments to augment the healthy but feckless and countless other things. If you want to get taxes down (as Cameron pathetically claims to be a low tax Conservative after all) he first needs to stop wasting money. Perhaps reverse the 299+ tax increases he has made so far as a good start many taxes are well above the rate that raises maximum revenue CGT, SDLT and the 45% income tax rate especially.

    What would I like to see?

    Well they should abolish IHT or at least de-rat on their £1M threshold it should be perhaps £1.2M per person now with inflation.

    Above all they should simplify the tax system and make it so that we do not endlessly need to consult expensive accountants and tax experts. I often find the inconvenience and confusion of the tax laws are (the wasted time and professional fees) more of a tax than the actual tax.

    Stamp duty at 12% + is clearly absurdly high as is CGT without indexation at 28% they serve no purpose other than deterring people from moving. Some form of Corporate Venturing Scheme that gives tax incentives for companies to invest similar to those that individuals get with the EIS scheme.

    They should stop the absurdly complex landlord licencing, which is becoming another tax on landlords and if thus pushing up rents and decreasing available rental properties.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 14, 2015 at 6:50 am | Permalink

      Farage was quite right on the discrimination laws (until he back tracked a little) – employers if left alone (in general) will employ the best people or best machines for the job regardless of colour, race, disability or gender they would be pretty stupid not to and would put themselves at a competitive disadvantage. Even if one or two do not do it on merit silly equality laws do not help.

      These laws can often even backfire and actually deter the taking on of these groups (for fear that should they need fire or make redundant these people later and they will be sued on spurious ground of race, gender or disability). Just as the employment laws clearly deter companies from taking people on in the fist place. Easy hire and fire is the only sensible way to go. Best for the employees too the best protection for them is an available new job. The main beneficiary of the laws are the serial litigants who often see it as a career option and the largely parasitic legal industry. Should the laws perhaps legislate to ensure that 90% of one hundred metre sprinters are white? When on merit it is clearly the other way round?

      Needless to say (the wrong on every issue) Ken Clark (another lawyer) strongly disagreed with this on any questions, thus confirming my opinion.

      Farage is also right on the NHS which also nearly killed me when I needed surgery from it (after they repeatedly failed to diagnose a severely inflamed appendix). A condition that was (until it was recognised & treated) the second commonest cause of premature deaths in males. They were, I suspect, just over loaded in surgery each time and so pushed me away, until they finally did remove it in a more dangerous emergency operation.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 14, 2015 at 7:00 am | Permalink

      He should announce a policy of not giving tax payers money and incentives to people to encourage them to do stupid, pointless, damaging & uneconomic thinks, such as electric cars, wind farms, wave power, tidal lagoons, pv roof nonsense etc. Then just use the saving to reduce taxes in general.

      When and if these things ever do work economically they will be done without the need for counter productive incentives.

      A cheaper energy policy all round and the abolition or HS2. He should announce a five runway Heathwick and HS shuttle train link for that. Then again for political reasons that might we better done on May 8th.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 14, 2015 at 7:07 am | Permalink

      He should certainly not fail to mention IHT yet again. After his IHT threshold promise of six years ago – as he has studiously and foolishly done so far since his popular promise. Does he think we will forget it?

      Alastair Heath has it about right as usual.

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/11471353/George-Osborne-has-hiked-taxes-by-more-than-he-has-cut-them.html

      and

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/budget/11465497/Budget-2015-There-are-two-versions-of-George-Osborne-and-the-radical-one-must-prevail.html

      • outsider
        Posted March 14, 2015 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

        Dear Lifelogic: Only a Left-wing government can credibly carry forward big reforms of death duties. Otherwise, the changes could not be trusted for long-term personal planning. But Mr Osborne’s equivalent of Labour raising top income tax to 50 per cent just before the last election would be to raise the IHT allowance to at least £1million and dare any future government to cut it.
        Sadly, I assume this would require the agreement of the LibDem half of the inner Cabinet. A higher IHT threshold would certainly help several LibDem MPs to retain their seats, particularly Mr Cable, but Messrs Clegg and Alexander may have personal reasons for wishing to see him lose.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted March 15, 2015 at 7:36 am | Permalink

          Well Cameron government clearly is a very left wing government.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 14, 2015 at 9:48 am | Permalink

      In short he should announce that more people should be allowed to keep more of their own money and spend, give away or invest themselves as they choose to. Rather than having it taken off them under threat of imprisonment and the government wasting it for them on things they never wanted or asked for.

      They clearly will spend it far better than governments do on average. Indeed it would be very hard not to. They after all know their own and their families individual needs, aspirations and desires. It is their money so they have every incentive to use it wisely unlike governments who largely care not what they spent not what value they get for it.

      His aim should be a state sector certainly below 30% of GDP. It would of course then be a much larger GDP.

      I would also restrict charity tax reliefs to very closely defined real charities. This as so many are clearly not charities in any real sense of the word. Perhaps giving the tax relief only on their genuine good cause expenditure rather than their often huge overheads or campaigning works.

      In fact just lower all tax rates and abolish the reliefs.

      The policy should be to eliminate pointless jobs (both in the state sector and the private sector) that only exist largely due to contrived government complexity in employment laws, tax laws, OTT building control, the poor and over prices legal litigation system, energy and countless other absurd and misguided regulations. Replacing them with new real & productive jobs in the private sector.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted March 14, 2015 at 9:54 am | Permalink

        More engineers, real scientists, computer people, builders, doctors and trades people who actually do things that are positive and create wealth. With far fewer lawyers, tax experts, hr “experts”, tribunal experts, politicians, planning experts, litigation experts, green grant experts and the likes – who just argue about whose wealth it is or guide you through a government made pointless maze. They just act as another parasitic overhead on business and that top of the hugely bloated state.

        • fedupsouthener
          Posted March 16, 2015 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

          Yes, right here again. My husband has just been to see his specialist who tells him that there are 6 specialists in his field and 9 managers!!!!! this is what is wrong with the NHS.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 14, 2015 at 10:33 am | Permalink

      JR above says:

      I would like to hear a vision of a UK with more people running their own businesses, with more people owning a home, with more people gaining qualifications and getting the rewards for higher skills. I want to hear of tax cuts to come, so people can keep more of their own money and make better provision for their own families. I want to hear and see more measures to allow enterprise to flourish, including tax measures that allow the successful at establishing new businesses to keep more of their returns.

      So would I, but this would be a total & complete reversal of what we have had from Cameron and Osborne for the last five years.We have had more attacks on businesses, the IHT ratting, more EU regulation, the gender equality insurance and annuities drivel, poor and now excessive bank regulation, the enforced pensions laws, no real relaxation on employment laws at all, 299+ tax increases more building control and expensive energy nonsense, more complex taxes, GAAR …… how do you expect anyone to have any time left to actually run their businesses?

      • Bazman
        Posted March 14, 2015 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

        Which employment laws? Again you cannot say. What rules are hindering you in your employment of your zero hours worker. Having to pay him?
        A large number of people work in business that make massive profits, but pay poverty wages so how is any of your deluded rants on tax and regulations going to help them? They will not share without being forced to and given the number of people looking for work never will have too
        You certainly have time to run your business given the number of repetitive ranting posts you write here that when challenged have no reply. Mindless.

        • Mondeo Man
          Posted March 14, 2015 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

          Bazman – And why can zero hours/minimum wage continue ? A surfeit of subsidised, unskilled labour from abroad perhaps ?

          The floodgates opened by Labour and kept open by the Coalition.

          I don’t know about Lifelogic’s free time but you certainly seem to have a lot.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted March 14, 2015 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

          Almost all the employment laws that infringe on a free contractual agreement between the two parties.

          • Bazman
            Posted March 15, 2015 at 10:43 am | Permalink

            Would that include large corporations and low paid unskilled workers being paid wages so small that the state has to subsidise them to make the wage liveable or any health and safety laws that could be bought off in a race to the bottom?
            A different story when it comes to any regulations that you need though isn’t it such as banking or planning laws.
            Mondeo man if this is what business and lierlogic wants then why is such a surplus of cheap unskilled labour bad as we have seen even when there is a skills shortage such as that found in the metal trades wages and retention do not increase anyway.
            You and him would be screaming about the government stopping business employing what they like at whatever rate they, ‘they’ not the employee and the employer agree and thats the rub.
            As I say, mindless gouged out thinking with no basis that is just repeated ad hoc in the hope some will stick.
            Like might make right unless it effects themselves. Just thick.

        • Bob
          Posted March 14, 2015 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

          @Baz

          How many people do you employ?

          • Bazman
            Posted March 15, 2015 at 10:44 am | Permalink

            Do I need to be a woman or a child to talk about their rights?

          • Bob
            Posted March 15, 2015 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

            I asked how many people you employ Baz.
            I assume from your evasive response that you don’t want to answer it, and the readers will take from that what they wish.

          • petermartin2001
            Posted March 18, 2015 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

            Bob,

            I employ 4 people. (some part-time) Bazman is basically right about the employment laws. Its only when employees have been in a job for an extended period of time, that the question of employees’ rights becomes an issue.

            Even then they aren’t unreasonable. So an employee losing a job after several years will receive several weeks pay to enable them to find another one. Many employers will offer a severance payment of more than the legal requirement. No successful employer likes having to make redundancies.

            Businesses can’t operate on the principle that there’s a constant battle between employees and employers. There has to be give and take. Employees have to know that they aren’t going to be sacked for the slightest indiscretion, or if the technology comes along to replace their job. They need to know that the company will do what it can to keep them on in an economic downturn or offer them retraining if they need it.

            If you have any specific suggestions on how the employment laws overly favour employees, then please specify what they are.

          • Bazman
            Posted March 19, 2015 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

            See petermartin2001’s answer Bob and its not evasive to question things that you personally do not have a stake in. If I were to protest about pregnant womans treatment would I have to be a pregnant woman?

        • libertarian
          Posted March 18, 2015 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

          Bazman

          As I’ve told you a few times now ONE of the idiot employment regulations came into force last April and enshrines the right for workers to ask for flexible working. Oh that would be the thing that makes zero hour contracts and part time work necessary in order to comply.

          Please name the companies that make huge profits yet pay poverty wages.

          Please tell us about your experience of implementing, dealing with and administering employment legislation in a business setting.

          Please explain why some workers choose to work for poverty wages when there are jobs available that pay more than that.

          Please also explain where the government would get the tax revenues from if all businesses had profits severely curtailed.

          For the 1,000 time the average salary of the record 31 million people in work is £27k which is hardly poverty is it?

          Bazman you really are monumentally out of touch with the reality of the employment market place.

          • Bazman
            Posted March 19, 2015 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

            The average salary may well be 27k, but thats averages or you? How many in numbers live on a pittance and what do you propose to change this other than tell us they should be grateful for the average and the hardship employers face even when they do not.
            If you cannot find the names of companies making large profits often by paying low wages then you are beyond hep as you are living in a dream world of right wing apologist nonsense and for that reason we will not go there. No problem finding information to contradict me so find some that confirms this fact.
            Million live on low wages in unsafe jobs and poor accommodation? Is this not true?

          • Bazman
            Posted March 20, 2015 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

            Its been pointed out to you before that flexible working and zero hour contracts and part time work is not the same.

    • dumpling
      Posted March 14, 2015 at 11:53 am | Permalink

      You took the words out of my mouth. I agree entirely.

    • Bazman
      Posted March 14, 2015 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

      Same old same old. Do you have anything to do other than write the same repetitive bleating about more tax cuts needed instead of infrastructure and real policies to help the population. Tax cuts are of no use if you have no job and housing problem and regressive tax increases such as VAT are more important than stamp duties that many people avoid by using companies to purchase their homes.
      The usual regressive self centred backward looking views that will send this country to the bottom.
      Laissez-faire deluded fantasy with someone with little to do and even less sense.

      • Mondeo Man
        Posted March 14, 2015 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

        Bazman – There will never be enough tax or enough infrastructure with mass immigration. There is no point discussing the specifics of a celebration party if you have no idea how many guests are going to turn up or without knowing whether or not they are going to bring a bottle.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted March 14, 2015 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

        Tax cut are certainly of use, even if you have no job, it makes it far more likely that you will get one.

        • Bazman
          Posted March 15, 2015 at 10:50 am | Permalink

          What evidence have you of this other than your religious beliefs and how many jobs have been created by the top rate tax cut. How many jobs have been destroyed by unfunded tax cuts for that matter. There can be no unfunded tax cut in your fantasy world. You are just wrong, but as we have seen from your many many posts you are not big on facts just the mindless rhetoric of a 19th century landlord.

          • Edward2
            Posted March 15, 2015 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

            I note you don’t try to claim the cut in the top rate has cost any money Baz.
            The reduction, half way to the rate of 40% applicable in 12.75 of Labours 13 years in power, has brought in much more revenue.
            I know you desperately want to tax the rich even more so I presume you are in favour of this rate.

          • libertarian
            Posted March 18, 2015 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

            Bazman

            Since the top rate of tax was cut we have in fact created 1.7 million new jobs.

            Since the top rate of tax was cut we have a record number of people in work at 31 million

            Since the top rate of tax was cut 500,000 new businesses has started up

            Bazman the evidence is all around you right in front of your eyes. Shame you aren’t up to seeing reality

            You my friend are on the wrong side of history, big statist top down central control is dead. Small is beautiful , economy as if people mattered

          • Bazman
            Posted March 19, 2015 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

            More cuts in the state employees have led to a small raise in self employment. Hardly a cause to celebrate. How many want their old jobs back and how many will get them via agencies at great expense to the state.

      • Edward2
        Posted March 15, 2015 at 7:32 am | Permalink

        I suppose Baz, the question therefore is, how do you best help those poor and unemployed people who cause you champion.
        The best way is by geeting them into a job.
        How do you do that?
        By encouraging emplyers, the vast majority small businesses, to take on more staff.
        And your vision Baz, of a high tax, big State, high regulation, pro EU socialist nation will never achieve that aim.
        Despite your repetitive bleating this Coalition has rebuilt an economy that has created millions of jobs.
        And ensured that millions of lower paid do not pay any income tax on those earnings.
        Any praise for that?
        Or are you still singing the praises of Venuezula.

        • Bazman
          Posted March 17, 2015 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

          A job paying poverty wages is not a job and the top rate of tax cut bringing in more is debatable and if it did then does that make their tax payments somehow voluntary? Don’t tell me about them working more as they pay less tax it does not wash in the real world.

          • libertarian
            Posted March 18, 2015 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

            Bazman

            The current figures from ONS show that 5 million earn at or below the London living wage of £9.17 per hour . That is around 12% of workers which means Bazman that 88% EIGHTY EIGHT % of workers earn MORE than £9.15 per hour

            etc ed

  3. Brian Taylor
    Posted March 14, 2015 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    Budget. NO More subsidy on Wind or Solar.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 14, 2015 at 7:09 am | Permalink

      Indeed and apply it retrospectively to existing project grants – this as the beneficiaries clearly knew what an economic nonsense/scam it was at the time.

      • Atlas
        Posted March 14, 2015 at 10:47 am | Permalink

        I agree with Lifelogic. If we stop squandering money on Green fantasies then we will recover. Otherwise ourselves and even the EU for that matter, will decay to a complete irrelevance in terms of world living standards.

  4. David Edwards
    Posted March 14, 2015 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    The main issue in the economy that in my experience people discuss is housing. The cost of property or rent in this country is prohibitively high and many many people need help and not just the young. Radical thought is required not tinkering at the edges.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 14, 2015 at 7:14 am | Permalink

      For housing relax the OTT planning system, the OTT building controls and the (now) OTT mortgage regulations. Also reduce immigration with a selective points based system.

      But Cameron with never do anything sensible like that. He is a tax, borrow, over regulate and piss down the drain EUphile to his very core. Just not quite as bad as Millipede.

    • Bob
      Posted March 14, 2015 at 9:40 am | Permalink

      @David Edwards
      Housing costs are fueled by high demand from record immigration and the fact that the many buyers and renters are funded by housing benefits. If they were using money they had to earn by themselves there would be a dramatic reduction in the cost of housing and the cost to the taxpayer.

    • Mondeo Man
      Posted March 14, 2015 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

      David – The foundation of this economic recovery IS high house prices.

      They have been propped up at all costs.

  5. stred
    Posted March 14, 2015 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    Reinstatement of inflation allowance for CGT.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 14, 2015 at 7:14 am | Permalink

      Indeed and reduce the rate 28% is far to high even with indexation.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted March 14, 2015 at 10:31 am | Permalink

      Dear Stred–Absolutely–When I was more involved in such things it was accepted that CGT was complicated and a pain in the bum but that if we were to have such a tax then at least with indexing it was essentially fair in its results. Then some genius for reasons I could never understand decided to change it all.

  6. ColinD.
    Posted March 14, 2015 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    A plan to reduce our £1500 billion national debt, of which £700bn Osborne has run up whilst he has been Chancellor. I want him to announce how much he intends to reduce the debt during each year of the next government. As it stands, his target is to get rid of the deficit and then start splashing out any surplus, thus leaving everything for our children to pay back.

  7. Old Albion
    Posted March 14, 2015 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    The word ENGLAND.

  8. eeyore
    Posted March 14, 2015 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    Two things I’d like to see in all Budgets: the date of Tax Freedom Day, and a courteous thank-you to the taxpayers who make it all possible.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 15, 2015 at 7:39 am | Permalink

      Indeed Tax freedom day to be about March rather than May/June.

  9. APL
    Posted March 14, 2015 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    JR: “Critics were even proved wrong about the cost of living crisis, highlighting energy bills just before the price of oil and gas collapsed.”

    Worldwide energy prices collapsed because Tory energy policy? No, I don’t think so.

    UK energy production costs are still a fraction of the ‘high street’ prices, thanks to the government taking its massive slice of excise duty and VAT.

    Tweedle Dum ( The Tory Party ) has still, like it’s chum Tweedle Dee ( The Labour party ) presided over a 9,000 percent rate of inflation over a century.

  10. Gina Dean
    Posted March 14, 2015 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    Get the defence budget up to provide the security of this country. How can anyone ringfence overseas aid at 7% against 2% on our forces. The money for overseas aid is wasted big time.
    withdraw from the EU.
    Start to shout about what has been achieved over this parliament against the negative pull of the libdems. Otherwise the election will be lost.

  11. Margaret Brandreth-J
    Posted March 14, 2015 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    Reduction in council tax and water rates.

  12. Richard1
    Posted March 14, 2015 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    Mr Osborne needs to stick to his guns on deficit reduction and point to how a Conservative govt would act after the election. The IHT threshold should go up to £1m, national insurance below £10k should be abolished (better than raising the Inc Tax threshold), the threshold for the 40p rate should be raised. It’s clear the 45p rate (and probably the 40p rate) is too high but it’s not worth the fight of abolishing it now. It could be worth cutting CGT to 25% to encourage investment and entrepreneurship. (This would pay for itself it’s clear 28% is above the revenue maximising level). Abandoning Hs2, the 0.7% overseas aid commitment and much of the subsidies for green crap would obviously be sensible but perhaps that’s too much to hope for.

  13. alan jutson
    Posted March 14, 2015 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    Inheritance tax threshold £1 million, keeping double relief, as that should take most family homes out of tax in the south and Outer London.

    Capital gain tax with taper relief, no tax after 10 years.

    Care homes fees limited to £25,000 to include accommodation costs.

    Scrap VED and put 3 pence litre on road fuel.

    Annual tax free allowance be be the same amount as the minimum wage over 40 hours.

  14. Ian wragg
    Posted March 14, 2015 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    APD reduced the numbers flying. Paris, Amsterdam and Frankfurt reaping the benefit. This is the highest tax for flying in the world and does untold damage to the economy. Most countries have abolished it
    Reducing defence expenditure whilst increasing aid is totally stupid
    Then again most of what the liblabcon do is stupid and wasteful.

  15. oldtimer
    Posted March 14, 2015 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    “Promises” of future tax cuts are meaningless (see IHT “promise”). Only immediate action counts.

    Specific measures for action in the next Finance Bill should include:
    1 lower tax rates that will increase tax rvenues, specifically resetting CGT at 18% (or 20% if he likes round numbers), resetting the top income tax rate at 40%.
    2 simplification of the tax code, starting with the removal of taxes which yield very little revenue either gross or net of the cost of collection.
    3 removal of subsidies that fail to deliver what they are claimed to deliver, notably subsidies for wind and solar farms
    4 delivery of his IHT “promise”.

  16. agricola
    Posted March 14, 2015 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    I should confess that I no longer pay any tax in the UK apart from the indirect ones when I visit. My tax affaires are settled in Spain. The fiscal detachment is one thing but one never looses ones genetic connection to England and the almost seventy years I lived there.

    What would I like to see. I think the first is honesty in the budget. Any hint of pre election bribery would only confirm my cynicism for politicians. Whatever zephyrs of success there may be in the UK economy we still have a £1.4 Trillion debt which means any increases in interest rates make us very vulnerable.

    You still allow large corporations to delay payment to their suppliers by up to six months. They use small companies as their bankers, in effect taking free loans from them. If you cut it to thirty days with mandatory penalties thereafter it would be one of the best services you could provide to the small businesses you so rightly praise. I suspect the big boys lobby against this with promises of fat directorships on retirement for supporting MPs, so nothing is done.

    While I would like to see Corporation Tax cut to 5% or less to encourage commercial activity and employment, I would also like there to be an absolute rule that any business initiated or transacted in the UK is taxed in the UK. For international corporations there would need to be a mechanism to prevent supplier chain price enhancement to minimise profit, with back datable penalties for those guilty of doing it. This would require people in HMRC who could understand the business they are trying to tax. I imagine there are not many of them left.

    I would like to see income tax come down to a maximum of 20% so that the need for clever accountants is dramatically reduced and the incentive for avoiding or evading was none existent. Think what it might do to the economy with all that extra money whizzing around. It would of course require a considerable reduction of government in the lives of the people, but a bit of self reliance would be good for the character.

    Though not a budget decision, I want to see a UK exit from the EU. The effect on future budgets could be considerable with a starter of £14 Billion per annum. It would put an end to pre election promises by politicians who know that such promises are worthless while membership of the EU continues, because at present they are illegal under the 70% of EU law we suffer.

    While there are so many deserving potential causes within UK borders, I would like to see mandatory Overseas Aid reduced to £2 Billion per annum with a published audit of where it goes and on what it is spent.

    I look forward to next weeks event with little expectation, I gave up on Father Christmas and the Tooth Fairy long ago.

    Reply I have never seen the corruption you allege against MPs being offered Directorships in return for voting for a particular policy. If you any evidence of any company doing this you should report it.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 14, 2015 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

      One only has to look at the many absurd laws that are passed inorder to conclude that they are only passed due to the influence of vested interest on MPs – through “consultancies” etc. as they are often euphemistically referred to.

  17. David Cooper
    Posted March 14, 2015 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    The abolition of Air Passenger Duty. Don’t just stop at last year’s exemption for children, a step that did at least show how hollow the claims are that this iniquitous and counterproductive tax is an important weapon in the so-called fight against climate change. Scrap it now and give the British aviation and tourism industry a chance to get back on level terms with our zero APD neighbours.

    • Pauline
      Posted March 15, 2015 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

      Agree with you completely, APD is just a stealth tax in green clothing which damages our aviation industry – although the present government have improved it, it should be completely scrapped.

  18. Bob
    Posted March 14, 2015 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    The tax free threshold should be set at parity with the Living Wage or at the very least, the Minimum Wage.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted March 14, 2015 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

      And become fully transferable!

      • Bob
        Posted March 15, 2015 at 10:17 am | Permalink

        @Narrow Shoulders
        Thank you – yes, I should have mentioned that.

  19. Bert Young
    Posted March 14, 2015 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    A budget at this stage of the game will probably be window dressing . The role of Chancellor has an enormous power base and the Conservatives will rely on it to boost their standing . There have been many promises and statements made about “we are the best” , “we are the only ones to be trusted” etc etc ; most of this is hogwash and the public , by and large , have had enough of it .

    Family values are very very discarded and there have been many fudges as to how they have been featured in past budgets . I belong to the camp believing that families with children at school are better provided for with the mother at home . The cost of housing , food and other essentials make it difficult for the average family to survive making it almost necessary for mum to also work . This is an issue that needs to be addressed . Much of the present social problems we have derive from the absence of a mother at home and it is time the Chancellor recognised it . I would much rather see tax breaks between married couples ( I don’t agree with this “living together” nonsense ) given prominence than to have public money flowing into Social Services whose record of solving deprivation is abysmal .

    This morning I have just received notice of my property tax for next year . Once again it has increased ( the Parish Council element by 4% ) . The Chancellor has to recognise that “taxes” impact on the family directly and indirectly through his decisions . It is time that “tax” is addressed as a “whole” factor because the family bottom line is what is left .

  20. Bob
    Posted March 14, 2015 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    I would like to see a major reduction in the DfID budget, but of course Mr Osborne would now be breaking the law to do so. You couldn’t make it up!

    At a time of austerity, with the NHS in crisis, 28,000 deaths of elderly people due to the rising cost of heating their homes and the bedroom tax your party increased our foreign aid budget by a third to £12 billion a year.

    The above is in addition to the £1.4 billion which is our share of the EU foreign aid budget.

    We’re all aware of the waste, corruption and inefficiency inherent in the foreign aid industry, and that India had to insist that we stop giving them money, which resulted in pleas from DfID to allow it to continue because they had “invested” so much political capital in justifying it in the first place.

    Can this money that India no longer wants be used to tackle our domestic problems? no, we have to spend it overseas come what may, it’s the law!

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 14, 2015 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

      28,000 deaths due to high energy costs – were does that figure come from out of interest? Perhaps we can take legal action against Ed Davey or is the right not to be frozen alive in your own home not a human right?

      • Bob
        Posted March 15, 2015 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

        @lifelogic
        The ONS. Google excess winter deaths

  21. Ex-expat Colin
    Posted March 14, 2015 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    More jobs…so any idea why suddenly I have experienced multiple door knocks over the last 2 weeks:

    fix my drive (it is blocked paved already..flat and good and its big)
    dig the garden (landscapers/gardeners never easily found before?)
    fix my finances (crooks ?)
    support St Johns Ambulance (I find that insulting)
    support RSPCA (wasted in courts?)
    support air ambulance (should be a state thing)
    fix double glazing (already done and gutters/facias conservatory)
    bible thump (per 3 weeks for years – slow walkers in grey/black and a brief case)
    odd people standing around with leaflets looking at gutters?
    piles of leaflets from pizza sellers
    leaflets from household junk sellers (no wooden pegs though)

    I think I should class my perfectly adequate drive as a public footpath. I don’t use it that much? There is a very big security issue here and its become suddenly very obvious/annoying.

    The PTS…ever wondered why a cold call gets through from UK origin and why others get through from India/USA. So fining fools here for cold calling is simply going to move them elsewhere.

    Time to write to the council (2% hikers) and/or MP about this nuisance. For some reason somebody’s crap business aspiration has to impact on our personal living space.

  22. Michael
    Posted March 14, 2015 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    Discourage buy-to-let which makes it difficult for young first time buyers to purchase their first house.

  23. Tad Davison
    Posted March 14, 2015 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    Laudable aspirations and an acknowledgement that good stewardship of the economy is essential.

    If everyone recognised that indisputable fact, I doubt if Labour would get a single vote, but that is effectively to say that few people really understand how the economy actually works. Some people couldn’t even tell us the name of their MP, let alone what they stood for. Worryingly, according to some researchers, even most MPs don’t really understand the way the economy works either.

    I was talking to a senior political figure through the week about the need to control public spending, and wondered if I ought to try to contact the Chancellor to draw his attention to a particular point of view that is gaining momentum.

    I like to be fair and listen to economists from all sides to get their take on things, and recently, I watched a documentary on YouTube entitled ‘97% Owned’ (long version). In the interests of promoting a good even-handed debate, and if JR will forgive my indulgence, it’s well worth a watch.

    Tad Davison

    Cambridge

  24. Kenneth R Moore
    Posted March 14, 2015 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    Child benefit should be abolished. But realistically it needs to be withdrawn from the 3rd child onwards. The political class are in denial but we face a population crisis.

    If you want a large family you pay for it!

  25. acorn
    Posted March 14, 2015 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    You cannot grow an economy with less aggregate spending. It is impossible, by definition, to grow an economy without an increase in spending. So whatever else Osborne proposes in the budget, a plan that sees aggregate spending increase is a vital component.

    Once you appreciate that, it becomes obvious there are only two sectors that spend (a) the government sector and (b) the non-government sector. And if the non-government sector is not currently willing or able to drive growth at sufficient speed, then there is only one spender of first and last resort; the government.

    So please can we keep the budget “deficit” at the current level, and thank our respective Gods that Osborne missed his balanced budget target for this parliament. He will be forced to miss it again in 2019, by the non-government sector’s desire to save more and not spend it or borrow it to spend.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 14, 2015 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

      if the non-government sector is not currently willing or able to drive growth at sufficient speed,

      Well they would be able to were it not for the endless mugging and inconveniences caused by the government to them.

    • Edward2
      Posted March 15, 2015 at 7:37 am | Permalink

      Perhaps if the Government sector reduced taxes for the private sector they would have more money to spend.
      An ever bigger, ever higher taxing, ever higher borrowing State, leads the population to poverty.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 15, 2015 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

      If you want the budget “deficit” maintained at the current level then by definition you want the government to continue borrowing money at the current rate, either existing money borrowed from normal gilts investors or new money indirectly borrowed from an abnormal, captive, gilts investor, the Bank of England.

      Unless existing money is borrowed from outside of the country then it will add nothing to the money available in the UK economy, and either way it will have to be repaid with interest out of future taxes. If it is new money created by the Bank of England then that will have an inflationary effect, like the £375 billion that has already been created under two episodes of QE, which amounts to a stealth tax on the population as a deceitful alternative to open and transparent taxation.

      • acorn
        Posted March 15, 2015 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

        The government is not borrowing any money, it is the monopoly issuer of the currency it doesn’t have to borrow from anyone. The BoE can’t create new money, it can only swap one Treasury financial asset for another. Gilts are not government debt, they are savings certificates for pension funds. They are bought with Reserves, which is money previously spent by the Treasury, out of thin air with a keyboard.

        • Edward2
          Posted March 15, 2015 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

          Unless they intend to default this has to be paid back.
          The magic money tree does not exist.

          • acorn
            Posted March 16, 2015 at 7:05 am | Permalink

            It will all be paid back by taxation, every Pound of it. This year’s deficit and all the other years deficits are tax the Treasury hasn’t got back yet because the non-government sector is saving it. That is, not spending it so it can be taxed.

            The, so called, government national debt, is the non-government sector’s savings, Pound for Pound.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted March 16, 2015 at 1:06 am | Permalink

          Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong and wrong again!

          • Edward2
            Posted March 16, 2015 at 7:47 am | Permalink

            Indeed Dennis I agree with every word you have said..

            acorn might like to consider that the amount of non Govt savings does not equal the amount of Govt debt.

          • petermartin2001
            Posted March 18, 2015 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

            You may say its wrong but that doesn’t make it wrong. Its just that you don’t understand it!

            The basic principle of double entry bookkeeping is that every financial liability is offset by a financial asset. So everything financial sums to zero. That’s very elegant!

            It doesn’t apply to real assets like machinery, factories, land etc. They are real and positive and ultimately that’s where the real wealth lies.

            I’d say the confusion over the financial system arises because at one time gold was involved. Again that’s a real thing so the principle of summation to zero wouldn’t have applied then.

            So much of the misunderstanding, in economics, is IMO, a hangover from the gold standard days. The system has changed and our understanding of it needs to change too.

  26. Oscar De Ville
    Posted March 14, 2015 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    The responses to your previous excellent Commons speech showed widespread scepticism on our governments’ “achievements” over decades, EU or no EU. Probably justified. Sometimes it pays to take the mickey to gain effect.
    I hope you don`t mind if I quote a short poem which I have long admired. It sould be framed and hung on the wall of any Tory MP, and certainly, well-magnified, on that of the Chancellor before a Budget !

    EVEN MORE TRUE TODAY ?
    [AP HERBERT in a letter to The tTimes, in 1974 on Wilson return to power]

    Save, save, they say, and put away
    What you would like to spend today.
    Don’t drink or smoke, or go abroad,
    And all the parties will applaud.
    But when the money’s in your banks
    Expect no more the nation`s thanks.
    Your earnings have now changed their name :
    They`re CAPITAL, a cause for shame :
    While any yield that they may bring
    Is DIVIDEND, a filthy thing ;
    And what may make the saver sore,
    It`s UNEARNED INCOME, which pays more.
    But selling won’t remove the stain :
    You make a beastly CAPITAL GAIN !
    You should be like the State, you fool,
    And make a CAPITAL LOSS the rule.
    Give some away to poorer Men ?
    Oh no ! You`re DODGING TAXES then.
    In short,the patriots who save
    Emain in error’til the grave,

    So die as quickly as you can
    And pay DEATH DUTIES like a man !

  27. David Williams
    Posted March 14, 2015 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    I would like to see fairer tax treatment for hard working families with children. In particular abolish the “children tax” at £50, 000.

    I would also like to see no more of our taxes wasted on dubious foreign aid schemes.

  28. behindthefrogs
    Posted March 14, 2015 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    Rather than any cut in VAT or rise in income tax thresholds I would like to see a reduction in employee’s NICs. This would give greater help to those below the current income tax threshold and concentrate on those in employment.
    Similarly for employers I would like to see a reduction in their NICs rather than any decrease in corporation tax. This would have the same effect in terms of encouraging companies into the UK while at the same time increasing the competitiveness of our exports and of home production against imports.

  29. Mondeo Man
    Posted March 14, 2015 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    Owning a home makes a person more likely to align with conservatism and vote Conservative. There is much to commend it but there is a direct conflict between capitalistic buy-to-let (driving up property prices and fuelling this recovery) and the home ownership dream – this is bound to be fuelled further by the new pension laws (as is the intention.)

    Often rents are more than the cost of mortgages meaning that young people are unable to raise deposits from taxed income. Such a thing as the ‘bank of mum and dad’ did not exist before and I had not made plans for being a bank manager – so my retirement funds are going to be used to help my children as a ‘loan’ which will probably never be repaid.

    We all get poorer.

    The real solution would have been to allow house prices to adjust to normality but this, of course, would have killed the recovery which is based on ever increasing house prices and a form of equity release – or at least the tendency to spend rather than save based on the optimism brought by owning an asset of rising value against low interest rates.

    What’s conservative about this ?

    For the home ownership dream you either need to build to a capacity which brings house prices down or ensure that wages go up at a faster pace than the house price rise.

    Both solutions are inimical to the so called recovery which is based on multi-property ownered landlording (often by foreign investors), through welfare subsidies on low wages and unemployed tenents and mass immigration.

    The reality of this ‘boom’ on the ground is that people can’t get their kids into schools, can’t get on trains, can’t see doctors, can’t get police officers, can’t get hospital beds, can’t avoid traffic jams – and can’t get accommodation with decent floorspace without a shocking proportion of monthly pay going on it, much less own it . Then there’s defence of the Realm… reports from military chiefs that we can no longer hold our own as the Russians patrol our air and sea space.

    It doesn’t feel like a rich country – rather an indebted one holding onto its standard of living by smoke and mirrors.

  30. Gumpy Goat
    Posted March 14, 2015 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    Defence spending held at 2% of GDP Some of the benefits for pensioners moved to invest in the young ( they are the future ) increase spending on R&D

  31. lojolondonl
    Posted March 14, 2015 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    Do not cut VAT – as it is the only tax that everyone pays – no matter where you keep your money.
    Delete National Insurance and tax credits – two sides of an intrinsically dishonest tax system.
    Delete Green subsidies.
    Cut foreign aid by 90% (can anyone here imagine being deeply in debt, your spending exceeds your income every month, borrowing to feed the children, yet insisting on giving to charity. Now make that charity the most undeserving and least grateful charity in the world – ie. dictators and despots, millionaires and Argentina)

  32. Hefner
    Posted March 14, 2015 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    Assuming a 20-year old starting with (just a bit more than) the present median UK salary, continuously working till a retirement age of 65 years, putting aside 10% of their earnings to a pension pot itself growing every year by 5%, the person will have about 690k in 2060, by which time inflation at 2% will have decreased its purchasing power by about a factor 2.5.
    So I would ask some of the contributors on this blog to think a bit before posting and possibly refrain from asking for cancelling the IHT or similar demands.

    Decreasing VAT would benefit everybody, and aren’t we all in it together?

    • Pauline
      Posted March 15, 2015 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

      The key you miss about the inequity of IHT is its double taxation, tax was already paid on the money before it was saved or sunk into a house and its inescapable except for the very rich or farmers I believe. This cant be fair. I know VAT is also applied to taxed income but at least there is an element of choice.

  33. Richard Hobbs
    Posted March 14, 2015 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    You asked what we would like to see in the budget.

    On a personal basis I would like to see the UK State pension of my wife and self unfrozen. After nearly 7 years ours have already lost 25% of their value compared to todays pension rate and we are not amongst the worse off. The really old British Expats in Commonwealth Countries, many WWII Veterans, are really suffering but not many politicians in UK seem to care!

  34. outsider
    Posted March 14, 2015 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    Dear Mr Redwood, I would like to hear Mr Osborne explain the implications for UK financial management of income tax from one part of the country no longer going into the Exchequer pool and the likely impact on our international credit rating. If income tax is no longer available to fund Union spending our credit rating is likely to fall. Or will the Chancellor announce that income tax from Welsh, N.Irish and English people can be used to service our obligations although Scottish income tax cannot? Or will all the main parties conspire through the usual channels to hide this issue from the electorate?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 15, 2015 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

      Obviously that would depend on how the subventions from the UK government to the Scottish government were adjusted once all or part of the income tax raised in Scotland were going direct to the Scottish government. The same if oil revenue or any other revenue were paid direct to Holyrood, the Scottish government could not expect to receive the same subventions from the UK government.

  35. ian
    Posted March 14, 2015 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    Like all good economy it needs a good pension, that is the backbone of a country and how well the government and companies looks after their workers. I look at pension last week and the question is who going to be in the workers pension fund. I think it should be English pension fund because if Scotland brakes away from the uk it parliament would pay if not the Scottish worker can stay in the pension fund but with no contribution from the English parliament, so when the Scottish worker go to the polls they will have to think about what they may lose. I would not stop any one from joining the English pension fund the question is do you qualify for English parliament workers
    pension pay out.

  36. Denis Cooper
    Posted March 14, 2015 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    I could list half a dozen measures that I’d like to see, but I don’t suppose that any of them will figure in the budget …

    • bluedog
      Posted March 14, 2015 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

      C’mon Denis, don’t hold back. Your ideas are original, practical and well informed (mostly).

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted March 15, 2015 at 9:29 am | Permalink

        They are good ideas (mostly), but they doesn’t mean that they will ever be accepted and implemented …

  37. Pauline
    Posted March 14, 2015 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    I would like to see IHT abolished, regardless of your wealth it seems unfair that if you buy something with taxed income you have to pay tax again to pass it on.

    I would also like to see simplification of the tax system and a reduction in the HMRC budget to match, the tax on pension contributions is very complex and difficult to plan for even if you seek professional advice, especially of you are in a defined benefit scheme where a very small increase in pension pot when multiplied by 16 can easily fall foul of the Annual Allowance. The £1 loss of tax allowance for every £2 earned over £100k also seems to discourage people from working hard as the marginal rate between £100 and 150K earnings is very high.

    I agree with the commentator above that we need to do more to help people who find it almost impossible to afford housing in the south east, how about bringing back mortgage tax relief?

    We do however need to focus on the deficit, would a realistic review of the impact of increasing and decreasing tax rates and the overall tax take would be sensible? Rather than setting tax based on jealousy and bleeding the middle earners as Labour did we should look at maximising its effectiveness.

    Finally not connected directly to the budget but significant I think all fit and able people should work for benefits, I think this would reduce the benefit bill and increase the tax take immediately by forcing many of those active in the black economy (and therefore unavailable for work) whilst claiming benefit to chose between benefits and work.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 14, 2015 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

      Mortgage interest relief would change nothing just push up prices even more. It is very simple you need fewer people or more houses.

      • Pauline
        Posted March 15, 2015 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

        Most of the requests I get in my postbag around housing are actually from single parent families (mostly mothers) who work hard in middle income jobs but simply can’t earn enough to get on the housing ladder and also cant get rented accommodation in the area. Building more affordable houses is one thing but I think reduced tax would help, the growth of demand is not just from EU migrants.

        • A different Simon
          Posted March 16, 2015 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

          Pauline ,

          Reduced tax would enable people to pay a larger mortgage therefore borrow more .

          Expansion of credit is what has enabled land/house prices to reach such astronomical levels .

          Mortgage tax relief would thus make the problem worse for the reasons Lifelogic has spelled out .

          People certainly need a roof over their head but helping them to buy at what looks like the top of the cycle looks like a mis-selling scandal in the making .

          When the music inevitably stops , these people will be trapped in negative equity .

          I am not a great fan of those famous BTL landlords the Wilson’s but Fergus Wilson is canny and has called the top and I suspect he will be proved right .

  38. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted March 14, 2015 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

    Fully transferable household tax allowance please, not just for basic rate chargees but across the whole range and for the whole amount. A bit of support for stay at home mothers/fathers who do not cost the tax payer childcare allowances contributions.

    Contributions based benefits. No/ run out contributions still get basic need (vouchers would be good) then depending upon level of contribution the recipient could be allowed a more comfortable lifestyle. We could call it National Insurance or something similar.

    Legislation to limit government spending and borrowing to 35% of GDP irreversible without a referendum.

  39. M Davis
    Posted March 14, 2015 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

    I would like the Budget to include: – same flat tax rate for all, a huge reduction in Foreign Aid and no child tax benefit for more than 2 children.

  40. Chris S
    Posted March 14, 2015 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

    Increase higher rate threshholds and bring back the 10% starting rate of tax rather than take more people out of tax altogether. That will benefit many more people. People who pay no income tax have no interest in keeping Government expenditure low.

    Fund the give away by reducing the CGT rate or, better still, reintroducing taper relief.

    Either measure would increase the CGT tax take back to where it would have been before regressive changes were made. This might raise an extra £4-5Bn, possibly quite a bit more in year one, as there are many people like me that want to dispose of assets but are holding back because the current regime is far too demanding.

  41. bluedog
    Posted March 14, 2015 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

    Cancel capital taxes such as IHT and CGT. These taxes are purely confiscatory imposts on the effects of quantitive easing and other deliberately inflationary policies that undermine the purchasing power of the currency over the longer term. The government employs this policy to inflate away its debts. I can’t understand why this dishonesty isn’t more widely understood. The entire political class is silent on the continuing theft of the electorate’s assets.

  42. MikeP
    Posted March 15, 2015 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    It’s doubtless too late to be of any influence on the Budget but as you ask John, here is my two penneth in an area that isn’t getting too much attention, to bring down the cost of Central Government:
    – there should be a cap on the cost of the second chamber, then it is up to our legislators to re-design the Lords to live within its new (lower) means
    – likewise the the Commons, we need at least 100 fewer MPs
    – maybe these last two points are outside the scope of Budget Day but we can’t criticise the Brussels gravy train if we run one here too
    – the Whitehall Ministries occupy huge real estate and, in some cases, have very questionable usefulness – so scrap DECC and BIS for starters, probably others too, and re-develop their sites as MPs’ apartments instead of all this second homes nonsense, then there’s a bog standard apartment, with known costs, predictable expenses, take it or leave it
    – I would further decentralise the Govt Departments given cheaper provincial real estate and salaries and sell off the fancy buildings they occupy, we did it with County Hall, now it’s time for the rest.

    • A different Simon
      Posted March 17, 2015 at 7:35 am | Permalink

      MikeP ,

      Better to move Parliament out of the cesspit which is London to say Birmingham .

      That move alone should get rid of at least 40% of professional politicians who never venture outside the M25 .

      Just sell the buildings to Oligarchs , corrupt (foreigners ed) , despot’s , any unfit and improper (probably foreign) person interested in laundering their ill gotten gains to a country which won’t ask questions .

  43. A different Simon
    Posted March 16, 2015 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    My opposite numbers in Israel , India and Malaysia all earn less than me but are getting architects to design houses for them , sending their kids to pay-schools and are able to eat out regularly .

    I can’t afford anything like that sort of lifestyle and can’t raise my prices because I work in the global economy plus the pound is strong .

    This suggests that the problem is cost of living , specifically cost of accommodation , not wages .

    All increasing wages or house prices will do is make us less competitive and move more jobs overseas .

  44. Robert Taggart
    Posted March 16, 2015 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    When will Gideo announce the details about the proposed merger of Income Tax ‘Proper’ and Income Tax ‘Improper’ (NI) ? The savings to be made in bureaucracy will surely outweigh the costs of implementation ?? Could this not prove to be a political masterstroke too ???

    As for what this lifelong layabout would actually want to see – £11K – a flat rate savings ceiling for us Benefits Scroungers !

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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