What do you want in the budget?

We have not been short of budgets recently. Last year we had a spring one, a summer one, and a full Autumn Statement. We have a pretty good idea of what the Office of Budget Responsibility thinks will happen, and can watch it adjust its forecasts in line with conventional wisdom and market gyrations.

This bugdet takes place against the background of a downswing in fashionable opinion, just as the Autumn Statement took place against the background of a modest upswing in optimism. Last time the Chancellor was told he had money to spend or give away, whilst still hitting his targets in four years time. This time he will be told he has to rein in spending or increase revenue to hit those same targets. One wonders if anything real has changed since December to justify this change fo stance.

The OBR will say they are now pessimistic because they now know China is slowing, stock markets have fallen and Japan has adopted negative interest rates. Yet we knew China had a slow down last year when we last looked at the economy. We knew Japan was continuing with ultra low rates and Quantitative easing, as the economy is not responding well to the medicine. We had an oil price collapse late last year, and now have an oil rally.

The budget revisions are likely to show even lower interest rate costs, to partially offset the forecast of lower tax revenues which will flow from the lower economic growth forecasts we will doubtless be given. Playing around with £4bn spending in 2019 in a budget of £800 bn spawns headlines but is no great event affecting jobs, lives and incomes anytime soon. It would be good instead to look at the big longer term picture.

That tells us all the time the UK continues with its high migration policy of commitment to the EU’s single market with free movement, we are going to need a lot more capacity on our transport networks and in energy. Could this budget please do something more decisive to give us the future capacity we will need?

If we need to raise so much extra tax revenue, can we please this time try and set taxes like high end income tax, CGT and Stamp duties at rates more people will stay to pay? We have seen how cutting the top rate of Income Tax from 50% to 45% brought in an additional £8bn. Lower rates make the rich pay more tax and higher proportion of the tax take.

As we want a march of the makers, can we not only generate much more cheaper power and provide more domestic cheaper energy, but can we also get the UK public sector to buy more things at home for a change? Why can’t our submarines be made from British steel? Why do we need to import technology for nuclear power when we have domestic technologies for generating power in other ways?

As we want to get wages up so people can spend more and enjoy a higher standard of living, why not insist on proper controls on our borders and explain to the EU that we just have to do that for Uk democratic and economic reasons? I see Austria has gone to the extreme of simply putting up a fence to keep people out despite the rules. We don’t need to do that. We just need some clear fair rules which we enforce at our borders.

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150 Comments

  1. Horatio
    Posted March 15, 2016 at 5:46 am | Permalink

    I did notice during all the fire and brimstone spewed over the closures of British steel mills the government and assorted europhiles (led by the bbc) blamed Chinese dumping. Nonsense, blame European procurement rules and energy policy. It would be lovely to build our subs and ships from british steel. Anther lunacy: Boris bikes made in Canada rather than the UK as they had to apply EU competitive tendering rules and the British company lost out by a few pence a bike.

    Nothing Osborne will do can be trusted. No vote in parliament on more money to the EU for Turkey, that £500m was a direct cost of EU policy and pays for Erdogan’s new palace and a few bombs for the kurds. Next we’ll be paying to replace his son’s oil tankers.

    Doubtless there might be another handout or bull crap increase in flood relief for Bangladesh. A few more million of English taxpayers money to Scotland. A further complication or two of the tax code. More money for green crap (mostly in Scotland).

    How about halving funding for the BBC. Refusing to pay Marr’s wages and the new Top Gear budget and spend the money on eliminating the postcode lottery that bedevils drug provision in the NHS?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 15, 2016 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

      I tend to agree on Marr might as well have a stuffed teddy bear with a card saying what would you like to say next PM or Chancellor.

      If he is interviewing Boris or other “leave” person or sensible climate sceptic then just a tape loop with endless daft interruptions. He adds nothing and destroys the program. I only watch to see just how biased the BBC actually is.

      Osborne is almost the exact opposite of what is required of a responsible Chancellor of the Exchequer. His results so far demonstrate this clearly. Still running a huge deficit, almost zero wage growth, inept and hugely over stretched public services, endless tax increases and tax complexity increases, a bonkers energy policy, a desire to remain in the anti democratic EU and to keep funding them, silly wage law gimmicks, the damage he inflicts is endless.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted March 16, 2016 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

        Certainly not the silly gimmicks he has just delivered. He has just put some of the mugging on hold due to the imminent referendum.

        Sugar taxes, silly new ISA’s, increased taxes on car and other insurances, confirmation he is ratting hugely on his IHT promise of 8 years ago, further mugging of pensions and a few jam tomorrow promises that will probably never be delivered. Rather like his IHT promise.

        More tax complexity too. He is a dreadful chancellor, he even makes Gordon Brown and John Major look relatively competent.

        He needs to cut out the endless waste from this bloated government and cut taxes.

        Oh and anyway all carbohydrates potato, rice, sugar, flour, bread, fruit …… all turn to glucose very rapidly in the body – will he tax all those too? What about tea with sugar and all those hugely over sweet smoothies.

        Restoring water fountains in school, sports centres and parks might make more sense. Perhaps make all restaurants & cafes provide water free of charge from a fountain too.

        He has failed on all his target, he is promising Jam tomorrow that he will not deliver. He has ratted on IHT and will rat again. Get rid of this dreadful man by voting Brexit. He is a disaster.

      • Robert Christopher
        Posted March 16, 2016 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

        Re Marr: £60k/m doesn’t buy very much these days.

      • Hope
        Posted March 16, 2016 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

        Osborne’s resignation that he failed all his targets and will miss all his targets In the future. I did not hear how the ONS think migration figures will still be missed by 2020. Or how continued mass immigration will affect public spending. Politicising the budget for his pro EU agenda. Using ONBR to give him a message, would the organisation have made a moment if not asked? Neutral my foot, BoE message neutral as well, G20 message?

        JR, Cameron needs to be sacked and his weird side kick will follow.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted March 15, 2016 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

      Indeed. 3 and a half million, million pounds for the BBC to spend on high salaries, pensions, lunches and taxis is absolutely disgusting when people are being refused life-saving drugs.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted March 16, 2016 at 5:52 am | Permalink

        Not just life saving drugs, large delays and an incompetent systems for all sort of treatments, often resulting in needless deaths, immobility, blindness and the likes.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted March 16, 2016 at 9:29 am | Permalink

          Perhaps the biggest scandal is that sometimes they do not even tell patients that they need an operation/treatment/investigation that they could easily get privately a day or two later. Sometimes even performing minor operations (with risks attached) to get you off the waiting lists when really you needed perhaps a full knee or hip operation or something.

          All sorts of silly, patient damaging games they play with patients to hit foolishly designed artificial targets, save money and delay and expensive treatments. Often actually increasing the costs to them in the end and delaying people getting back to work.

          Start charging something (as we do for dental anyway) and give tax relief to people to go privately or insure.

          Free at the point of rationing, non treatment, delay and death. It is the way it is funded that makes it such a disaster, patients are a nuisance to be deterred and put off. Cameron seems to have forgotten it was his priority in three letters. As he forgets nearly all he utters.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted March 16, 2016 at 9:34 am | Permalink

        £600K reportedly just for the dopey Mr Marr a lefty, English Graduate who seem unable to even think of any intelligent questions to ask of Cameron or Osborne – or indeed of anyone else.

        Even thing he says shows his own lefty, BBC think, PC, art graduate, even larger state, bias.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted March 16, 2016 at 9:35 am | Permalink

          4000 BBC licence payer PA just to fund him – rather more with his pension I assume.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted March 15, 2016 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

      Those of us unfortunate to be living in Scotland and close to wind farms would love the subsidy paying scheme to end tomorrow, landowners to be taxed 80% on their unearned income which we are all paying for and for Amber to get on with reforming our energy policy into something which works and doesn’t increase costs to businesses driving jobs abroad.

      As for Top Gear, it doesn’t matter if they got permission or not – isn’t one of the morons capable of thinking that it was disrespectful to do what they did?? Idiots the lot of them and as for Chris Evans in his pyjamas????? What the hell is that all about? These people are all earning too much money and it has addled their brains. Yet another thing we are paying for.

      • Know-dice
        Posted March 16, 2016 at 8:00 am | Permalink

        The BBC are totally hypocritical over this… They spent all day “promoting” what they had done was wrong and disrespectful.

        Chris Evans (the Marmite man) said that it would be cut from the final show…

        What did BBC News do? Show the clip at every chance they had – self promoting morons…

        • Horatio
          Posted March 16, 2016 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

          Its because they know that Top Gears loyal following had nothing to do with ultra pc, bbc think. It was entirely down to Clarkson and co and their non pc, English style. Something the BBC loathes. Despite the fact that Clarkson’s Top Gear was the BBCs biggest international seller by miles, i bet the execs were high fiving all round at getting rid of him.

          Theyre scared stiff that no one will watch it without him. I for one wont and i have to say i’m loving my Prime subscription. Cant wait for the new programme and loving my 1 click, next day delivery. It’s called capitalism, it is still the future and represents everything the BBC is not

  2. Richard1
    Posted March 15, 2016 at 5:48 am | Permalink

    Both the £8bn increase in receipts from cutting the top rate of income tax to 45% and the reduction in receipts seen from increasing CGT from 18% to 28% provide dramatic and irrefutable evidence of the Laffer curve effect. So, this early in the parliament the Chancellor should just get on and do the right thing for the Country, the Conservative thing, and get rid of the 45% band and get CGT back to c 20%. We should not be comparing the UK to the most high tax, sclerotic economies in the developed world – those in the EU – but to the fast-growing and more prosperous economies outside it. Switzerland has a balanced budget, higher standards of living than the UK and much better infrastructure and services. It also has tax / GDP of c 30%. We should be heading in this direction.

    • Know-dice
      Posted March 15, 2016 at 8:18 am | Permalink

      Too true 🙂

      Listening to Tessa Jowell on Sky News a couple of nights back, she accepted that the “tax take” at 45% was larger than at 50% but still had the audacity to say that it was “fairer” to take more tax from higher earners (or some similar rubbish).

      In my book tax bands are government theft and pure jealousy from the left.
      Other than tax relief at the bottom end, someone earning £100,000 will already be paying more tax than someone earning £20,000 even at 20% flat rate.

      And Osborne’s saving scheme for those receiving welfare is complete stupidity…welfare is a “safety net” not a life style choice. And has already been said on here somebody receiving welfare and having £50/month spare, just will not happen, it’s a complete fantasy…

      • Hope
        Posted March 15, 2016 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

        The posh idiots are now campaigning to give people on welfare savings! This should not be a life style. It a temporary measure to help people in need. It beggars belief the idea came from a Conservative party. Only last year he was going to cut tax credits and caved in. How do these two think this will stop migration, do they think it undermines any discussion Cameron had with the EU on welfare for his failed negotiation? Both unfit for office.

    • Original Richard
      Posted March 15, 2016 at 10:07 am | Permalink

      “Switzerland has a balanced budget, higher standards of living than the UK and much better infrastructure and services. It also has tax / GDP of c 30%. We should be heading in this direction.”

      Yes, out of the EU for a start.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted March 15, 2016 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

        Indeed the Swiss also have far more real democracy than the UK (even after a Brexit) with more power resting with the people rather than their (say one thing do the opposite, serial ratting) representatives.

        The UK is in a much better position that Switzerland too, it is far larger and has sea ports.

        The more I hear from Peter Mandelson the more pro Brexit I become, do the remain side realise how damaging these ERM/EURO enthusiasts, twice resigned/proven political failures are to their remain cause? He is even worse for their cause than say “finger up the bottom and rather likes it/lets have a grown up debate” Anna Soubry and Kinnock.

        Can they find no rational arguments to put for remaining, it seems not?

    • stred
      Posted March 15, 2016 at 10:20 am | Permalink

      Many BTL properties would be sold and tax paid if the simple inflation allowance was reinstated. Osborne kept this and in effect made the real tax near to 56% on properties owned for 20 years. He and Brown created a stealth wealth tax, which does not have to be paid until death and is then taxed at 40%, less £375k allowance. My friend is keen to sell his one ‘pension’ investement but the thought of paying £100k tax and being left with the balance worth half what it was when he bought it makes him decide to keep it, and HMO regulation cost mean he has to let it to 2 students instead of 4.

      We are taxed and regulated into paralysis and by a so called Conservative government. Perhaps they are looking at a possible house price collapse if BTLs were sold off, in which case the national borrowing/worth stats would expose the game they are playing.

      • Richard1
        Posted March 15, 2016 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

        Yes the abolition of indexation allowance is particularly unfair on property owners, especially with CGT now at 28%. This must be a major reason for shortage of property. It is absurd that inflation is taxed in this way.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted March 15, 2016 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

          Indeed taxing profits that have not even been made seems to Osborne’s idiotic agenda. With his stamp duty, landlord interest rules, IHT ratting and lack of CGT indexation,

          I think theft is the correct word for it.

          No longer tax borrow and waste, but thieve, borrow and waste from this dreadful, wooden, socialist.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted March 15, 2016 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

      Both the £8bn increase in receipts from cutting the top rate of income tax to 45% and the reduction in receipts seen from increasing CGT from 18% to 28% provide dramatic and irrefutable evidence of the Laffer curve effect.

      The £8 billion was a result of tax planning as people brought earnings ‘forward’ to avoid paying the higher rate.

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted March 16, 2016 at 7:55 am | Permalink

        That is the point @Mike

        These people can choose how and when to declare or take their income and take less when the rates are high. Different world to us PAYE serfs.

      • Richard1
        Posted March 16, 2016 at 8:12 am | Permalink

        Really how do you know? Maybe it was an increased incentive to earn income subject to IT. We will see. If you are right we will see a £8bn reduction the following year due to the brought forward income. Do you have an explanation for the reduction in CGT receipts?

    • Bob
      Posted March 17, 2016 at 11:34 am | Permalink

      I see that we now have a different CGT rate for residential property.
      Is this Gideon’s idea of simplification?

  3. JJE
    Posted March 15, 2016 at 6:12 am | Permalink

    We want a Conservative budget, not another New Labour one. We want a budget that simplifies taxation. We want to see some strategic vision and stability, not endless tinkering every quarter.
    All these budgets every few months convey the same message as the Central Bank’s negative interest rates policies, namely one of continuing crisis. We need to say the crisis is over.
    We want a budget that recognises that it is our own efforts in working harder and smarter that will make us wealthy, not fiscal and monetary trickery from a Government that fails to recognise the proper limits of its role.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 15, 2016 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

      Well unless Osborne has has a brain transplant forget it!

  4. Iain gill
    Posted March 15, 2016 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    Increase price of work visas.

    Remove national insurance dispensation for work visa holders during their first 12 months here.

    No expenses, and hence money tax free, for work visa holders that Brits cannot claim.

    No free NHS or school places for work visa holders and their families from countries that do not provide similar to British in their country.

    All popular tax rises.

  5. Mark B
    Posted March 15, 2016 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    Your second from last paragraph is the most important as it covers things that will affect all of us in the rest of this century.

    Cheap available energy is a must. Sadly it will not come from this budget, Chancellor or Government.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted March 15, 2016 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

      Cheap available energy is a must.

      It won’t come from any government as long as they need to tax energy so much.

  6. Antisthenes
    Posted March 15, 2016 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    The world is a lot more complicated than it needs to be because governments have grown to enormous sizes, taken on far too many roles and interferes too much. Government and their agencies have been conjured up out of thin air for very nebulous reasons. The EU and most of the quangos are a government gone too far and in the wrong direction. Duplication is everywhere it can be seen in our health service, education system in fact anywhere a civil servant, politician or a public sector worker is in charge.

    The waste, inefficiency and incompetence of government and the public sector is tragic to behold. We are paying a heavy cost our public finances are out of control because of it and because of our overly generous welfare state. The answer of course is for government to stop doing what people should be doing for themselves. In short stop being a nanny state. Stop employing progressive solutions to everything it does. For example Keynesian economics an economic theory that was discredited decades ago has been resurrected again to do infinite damage. Under those conditions the budget could be slashed our deficit and debt brought under control.

    It will never happen of course dependency and entitlement now runs too deep planted there by the left. Nobody is going to put the goose that lays the golden eggs into retirement despite the fact the poor thing is on it’s last legs and exhausted. Our stupidity will see the death of it then what.

  7. eeyore
    Posted March 15, 2016 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    My wants are modest: a commitment always to include the date of Tax Freedom Day in Budgets, and a word of thanks to the taxpayer who makes it all possible. Not once have I heard a Chancellor say thank you. Gratitude is an ennobling emotion – it’s good for you. Why is it so painful for politicians?

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted March 15, 2016 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

      Because once they took the right to take your money from you by law, any idea of gratitude vanished.

  8. Mike Stallard
    Posted March 15, 2016 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    In a lot of the EU planning, the Semester is mentioned quite a lot. The idea is that all the 28 finance ministers get together on the continent and have their budgets approved.
    Is our budget yet checked like this? Is the Chancellor actually offering us a budget which has been checked by Brussels?
    I honestly do not know the answer. Do you?

    Reply The UK sends the budget book to Brussels as it has to comply with the requirement to show them the numbers. They can condemn the scale fo the deficit or whatever but cannot fine us or make us change

    • Hope
      Posted March 15, 2016 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

      Mike, the short answer is Yes, HM govnment has to send th budget to abrussells before parliament so thy can see how we collect and spend our taxes and to make sure they get their proper cut! Outrageous.

      JR, my understanding is that they can interfere on matters such a VAT which normally raises its head at budget time.

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted March 15, 2016 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply,
      Is that before our Parliament hear and see it or after?

  9. Jerry
    Posted March 15, 2016 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    What do I want to see in the Budget tomorrow, well I can sum it up in one word – Honesty!

    We won’t get any though, we never do, from who ever delivers it…

    • Cliff. Wokingham.
      Posted March 16, 2016 at 10:00 am | Permalink

      Jerry,

      Now you’re frightening me!…. I find myself agreeing with you:-)

  10. Cheshire Girl
    Posted March 15, 2016 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    I dont think ot will matter what the general public want from the Budget. We will get what our Government wants to give us.
    On one hand we are told that we are in debt over our heads, and on the other, the Government are spending our money like water. A billion or two for Syria – 40 Land Rovers ‘donated’ to another country a few days ago – 30 troops sent out to train another country’s forces. Need I go on – the list is endless!
    I dont think the people of the UK would mind paying a little more tax, as long as the money is spent on what we need here in the UK, but the endless throwing away of our money just to make the Politicians look good, is getting very tedious. This is not going to change any time soon. I’m sure this Budget will be more of the same.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted March 15, 2016 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

      I dont think the people of the UK would mind paying a little more tax

      Speak for yourself! By the time I have paid income tax, national insurance, VAT, Council Tax and duties on fuel – the government already gets about half my money. 50% is MORE THAN ENOUGH!

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted March 16, 2016 at 7:58 am | Permalink

        @Mike plus 13% payment from your employer for employing you. That money could go in your pocket if it was not demanded by government.

      • Cheshire Girl
        Posted March 16, 2016 at 9:45 am | Permalink

        I did say ‘I dont ‘think’. I didn’t say I knew. However I do think that in the future there may have to be a charge for some of the services of the NHS. I can’t see how it can continue in its present form.

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted March 16, 2016 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

        Exactly!! There is no need to raise taxes. They are already high enough now. Stop giving away our money to corrupt governments and on vanity projects, immigrants and the feckless and we could all manage perfectly well.

  11. alan jutson
    Posted March 15, 2016 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    Afraid I have lost faith in Mr Osbourne doing anything other than raising taxes, and he does not seem to have the courage to hold Department s to account on spending.

    The Departments themselves do not seem to have the courage or will to become more efficient and to reduce waste.

    Our Home Secretary/Prime Minister does not seem to want to do anything sensible to cut immigration.

    Health tourism seems to be a continual problem which the NHS seems to refuse to want to tackle.

    Our tax system is far, far too complicated, yet it continues to get ever more complicated each year.

    In short our Government seem to be about 180 degrees out of sync with what is required, and continues to kick the can down the road on infrastructure, airports, power generation etc.

    Will we have cleared the deficit by 2020, I doubt it !

    Meanwhile Debt piles up.

    The only good thing that seems to have happened in the last few years is the personal tax allowance has increased, but it still needs to go considerably higher.

    • Hope
      Posted March 16, 2016 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

      Alan, sadly this was a lib dem idea!

  12. APL
    Posted March 15, 2016 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    JR: “What do you want in the budget?”

    How about, did you get what you wanted in the last Tory (EU) budget?

  13. agricola
    Posted March 15, 2016 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    Honesty, and no suggestion of penalising the truly disadvantaged in our society.

  14. Ex-expat Colin
    Posted March 15, 2016 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    An end to this game would be well appreciated:

    “The Government’s carbon values are designed to be consistent with action required under the Climate Change Act and reach £78/tonne in 2030. These values are the appropriate basis for decision-making for a country committed to long-term carbon targets and international efforts to tackle climate change.”

    “If unabated gas-fired generation faces the full cost of its carbon emissions, several low-carbon options could be delivered without further subsidy. ”

    In no way can I take this government seriously on any subject really where they commit to stupidity of this nature.

    • hefner
      Posted March 15, 2016 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

      Much more complicated than that: if a proper carbon tax had been implemented years ago, it would have allowed non-carbon emitting technology included nuclear energy to be properly implemented, i.e., with mainly private sector involvement.

      Various parts of governments and MPs (one not too far from this blog) prevented this from happening, and here it is: Will Hinckley C be built or not? Will the others be built? How much more will the public have to pay for a lack of intelligent decisions over the last 40 years. It has to be realised that the implementation of nuclear energy in the UK has practically been a mess (with both Labour and Conservative governments) for more than 50 years:

      See Simon Taylor, “The fall and rise of nuclear energy in the UK: a history”.

    • Mark
      Posted March 15, 2016 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

      The news today is of even greater stupidity from DECC, who are now arguing for zero carbon by 2050. That MPs should be called on to waste their time on such nonsense that will surely eventually be repealed or ignored, and is tantamount to an attempt to return us to the stone age, is a monument to a desire for self aggrandisement at the expense of the population. Let us hope that there will be a large number prepared to vote it down.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted March 15, 2016 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

        Clearly breathing need to be banned.

        • Know-dice
          Posted March 16, 2016 at 8:02 am | Permalink

          He will have missed a trick there then.

          Breaking news “Osborne to TAX the air we breath”…

  15. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted March 15, 2016 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    Increased interest rates.

    Savings on EU fees

    Savings on overseas aid.

    Increased threshold for higher rate taxpayers

    Reduced access to tax credits for part time workers and those who have not paid much in (time limited claiming based on payments maybe)

    Public sector pensions going forward to become defined contribution schemes.

    Huge reduction in public sector executive pay to reflect there is no commercial income raising requirement

    Simplified tax code

    Introduction of pay as you use public services

    Any hope of getting my child benefit back. I have contributed £10K to date towards reducing the rate at which our total debt increases plus the 60%+ of my earnings that HM government takes in taxes and duties

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted March 15, 2016 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

      Increased interest rates

      Why? Why should you earn higher interest, risk-free, on your savings?

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted March 16, 2016 at 8:04 am | Permalink

        I have no savings. The cost of living for PAYE serfs ensures that I merely survive in our consumer led society with a rapidly increasing population.

        Increased interest rates will reduce house price inflation and lance the boil of zombie companies within our economy. Short term pain for long term gain.

        Low interest rates benefits banks, profligate government and those who borrowed excessively to buy property. Once the cost of money becomes more realistic and less available the economy can begin to recover.

  16. rick hamilton
    Posted March 15, 2016 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    “……..can we also get the UK public sector to buy more things at home for a change? ”

    Indeed they should, but there is nothing new in the UK public sector being apparently determined to NOT support the home team if they can avoid it. In the days of British Leyland when the taxpayer was financing that huge business there was no obvious policy that police for example should be obliged to buy BL cars. If BL didn’t have suitable vehicles (which it did) then there were other manufacturers in the UK to draw on. Yet we saw plenty of BMWs, Volvos etc bought by police forces.

    Other countries are frankly not so stupid. In all my years in Japan I never saw a single foreign car used by any public agency. As for foreign trucks and buses there are practically none in the whole country, but that’s another story.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted March 15, 2016 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

      Indeed, but the years go by and still the public sector is not instructed to buy British! For heaven’s sake, why? I bet the police in France don’t drive cars other than Peugeot, Citroen or Renault.

      • hefner
        Posted March 16, 2016 at 7:27 am | Permalink

        Right now, French police has Renault Meganes, but some years ago they had Subaru Imprezzas.

  17. The PrangWizard
    Posted March 15, 2016 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    Why can’t……? Fat chance. And the economy so destroyed that we can’t even build submarines with our own steel. Those responsible for such a situation would have been taken to ‘the chop’ in years gone by and rightly so. In peacetime too – what about in wartime? The stables need the urgent attention of an army of Hercules’.

    How can you be loyal to a party and with which in government you have so many differences and which disappoints you and betrays the nation (of England in particular)at every turn?

    Looks like with the failures, ‘English Votes….’ included, mounting up, and the lack of vision and principle, we’ll get Jeremy and Nicola next time.

    Maybe all we can hope for is a revolution to follow a successful vote to Leave the EU. You will have to throw out Cameron and Osborne, the former saying he has no intention of resigning – will anyone have enough guts to stand up to them or will we see only limp-wristed and empty protests. And ”mustn’t rock the boat at this difficult time, old bean” from the old farts.

  18. Denis Cooper
    Posted March 15, 2016 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    “That tells us all the time the UK continues with its high migration policy of commitment to the EU’s single market with free movement … ”

    Firstly of course the mass immigration from the rest of the EU only vies in magnitude with the mass immigration from the rest of the world outside the EU – more precisely the EEA, but that doesn’t make any significant difference – and like its predecessors for more than two decades this government is still pursuing a policy of allowing and encouraging mass immigration from outside the EU on a variety of pretexts. Sometimes EU immigration exceeds that from the rest of the world, sometimes their positions reverse.

    Secondly I believe that to reassure doubters and to ease the transition we should aim to stay in the present EU Single Market for goods, services and capital, at least as an interim solution, but with restricted or balanced freedom of movement of persons.

    Although there may have been some irritations and grumblings about immigration from the other 14 EU countries when there were just 15 members the real problems with mass immigration have come from the 13 new, much poorer, members, and in fact some of those like Poland far more than others.

    There is a table here:

    http://www.migrationwatchuk.org/briefing-paper/354

    showing the numbers of citizens of other EEA countries, and also Switzerland, living in the UK as of 2013, and the numbers of UK citizens living in each of those countries, and for most of them the numbers do not not indicate that significant problems for the UK will have arisen from unrestricted freedom of movement of persons within the EU.

    None of this is to say that there is necessarily anything wrong with individuals from those countries, in general the problems arise simply from their numbers rather than from their personal qualities. In that I disagree with the tenor of government policy, which tends to portray them as all being here just for the welfare benefits.

    • Iain Moore
      Posted March 16, 2016 at 8:45 am | Permalink

      Osborne is running a ponzi type of economy by stuffing the country with immigrants in order to give us the illusion of growth. In light of their reluctance to give us figures of the true level of immigrants working here by telling us the number of active immigrant NI numbers , with the capacity constraints in housing, schools, hospitals, and transport giving us an indication of it being extremely high, as such I doubt if there is very much growth to be had on a GDP per capita basis and certainly not enough to give Osborne the money to alleviate the capacity constraints.

  19. turbo terrier
    Posted March 15, 2016 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    What I want is to see those that are really screwing up this country’s energy policy to be hauled back in.

    80% taxation on all constraint payments and land lease subsidies leaving them with a 20% net profit.

    All solar pv on domestic properties to be rated as a business if selling power to the grid.

    Let the owners decide. I am a forest,farm, stately manor, industrail area or a power station you cannot receive subsidies for both. Especially with the millions in fuel debt and poverty.

    Tax those that can afford it they might walk awy but the turbines/panels are still there so there is no get out clause.

    An announcement that the DECC is to be disbanded along with all the other useless quangos.

  20. Roy Grainger
    Posted March 15, 2016 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    I’d rather he did nothing at all, constant tinkering with things every few months is destabilising. He already announced measures in previous budgets which have yet to come into effect so how about giving it a rest for a year ? I bet we’d notice no difference.

  21. Lifelogic
    Posted March 15, 2016 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    Well he should start be keeping his £1M IHT threshold each per person as promised by George ratter Osborne, all those years ago when G Brown foolishly bottled his early election. Shortly before Cameron lost it and stuffed the country by running a Libdem administration.

    Get CGT down to about 18% after indexation and undo his huge IPT tax increases.

    Stamp duty on property should never exceed 2% otherwise in damages people ability to move at all.

    Income tax should never be more that 40%, the apprentice levy/charges on businesses are just another damaging tax get rid of them.

    Get rid of the dividend tax and the absurd taxes on landlords the addition 3% stamp duty, the non deduction of legitimate interest costs. Why is he trying to tax tenants so much?

    Get rid of the half baked workplace pension, yet another time waster & tax on employers, get rid of the job destroying national minimum wage.

    Get the pension cap up to £2 M and contribution up to £250K PA.

    Give tax relief for private school and medical care to take the pressure of the NHS and the state & develop more alternatives.

    Get rid of the Carbon religion distortions to the energy market and give us cheaper energy.

    In fact if he just undid all the damage he has done since becoming chancellor.

    Simper, lower, clear efficient taxes the opposite of what he has done so far. They raise far more in the end and distract the productive far less.

    To pay for it cancel HS2, fire the 50% of the state sector that does little or nothing useful, stop payments to augment the feckless, limit immigration to only the higher earners and the wealthy, stop paying the EU anything at all, and stop all the green crap wind and pv subsidies.

    Just run an efficient smaller government and stop the endless waste.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 15, 2016 at 11:43 am | Permalink

      Perhaps his biggest deceit is that he pretends he is giving something away to voters with his national minimum wage legislation. Firstly it is the employers who will pay and then their customers. In fact it will destroy many jobs, give business less money to invest, damage the economy and is entirely negative in overall effect.

      In effect, it is just another large increase in tax and NI, and a decrease in benefits to be paid (further tax increases). Making employers poorer, less competitive, less able/likely to invest in the UK and thus pushing up prices and killing jobs.

      A huge own goal by the man. Is he just too dim to see all this or does he just like lying and causing harm to the economy and jobs.

      All this damage for what? I assume he sees it as a political advantage/con trick – what a pathetic man that would make him.

  22. Denis Cooper
    Posted March 15, 2016 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    Off-topic, Sky News had this interesting 6 minute report on a mixed bag of forces which is gradually pushing Islamic State back to Raqqa:

    http://news.sky.com/story/1659408/anti-is-forces-close-in-on-groups-raqqa-hq

    Including a Polish women who has left her husband and four children with her family in Poland in order to go and fight against Islamic State in Syria.

    Meanwhile young Syrian men flee their country to avoid being drafted into Assad’s army, and it seems some of them prefer to fight against Macedonian border guards, and despite electoral setbacks Merkel still encourages them to come.

  23. bigneil
    Posted March 15, 2016 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    There is only one thing guaranteed from the budget – the rich will get richer and the poor will get poorer.
    And ( off topic) as for the suggestion that pensioners should get into the fields and pick crops – will that include the office people who have never done a days physical work in their lives? never mind 40+ yrs of hard physical work. Why not tell the asylum seekers and “refugees” they are NOT just going to sit in hotels and be waited on – -tell them they earn their keep – or they are flown out. The situation with these is farcical. They see us as their slaves, earning their lives for them.

    • Carpe Diem
      Posted March 15, 2016 at 10:41 am | Permalink

      You’ve obviously not heard of the “knowledge” economy, have you?

      Throughout recent decades, Western economies in general have been substituting knowledge and skill for muscle and sweat. Fewer and fewer people do what you would probably define as a “real” job nowadays, in case you hadn’t noticed.

      If you’re going to spout utter rubbish that people who sit at desks, etc don’t work, then perhaps you shouldn’t be contributing to these boards.

      • R.T.G.
        Posted March 15, 2016 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

        That’s quite rude, Carpe Diem.

        Firstly, you haven’t read Bigneil’s comment properly, as the question he asked, perfectly reasonably and, possibly, a little sardonically, was, “will that include the office people who have never done a days physical work in their lives? never mind 40+ yrs of hard physical work.”

        Secondly, JR is the sole moderator, and he has not, I believe, asked for any assistance from those who comment here.

        Lastly, perhaps you could try to address with a little more respect those of bigneil’s generation who wore out their bodies helping to rebuild this country after the Second World War, and without whose “muscle and sweat”, you and I would not connect one end of the day to the other.

        • alan jutson
          Posted March 16, 2016 at 8:27 am | Permalink

          R.T.G

          Agreed.

          Those who have had physically demanding jobs all of their working career, or for many years, have bodies which are quite honestly wrecked by the time they are 60 years old.

          Life expectancy may have increased, but the human skeleton and joints still wear out in the same time scale as years gone by.

          Those in non demanding, non physical jobs, do not always understand the above.

          • fedupsoutherner
            Posted March 16, 2016 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

            Agree with RTG and Alan on this. I asked my husband the other day how the government expects some people in physical jobs to carry on into their 70’s. It might be ok if you work for the civil service and get one of their pensions at an earlier age but if you are a manual workers for a private company you are doomed. I doubt if many will reach pension age and if they do will be unable to enjoy retirement as they will be knackered. Another good money saving project by the government.

          • bigneil
            Posted March 17, 2016 at 2:05 am | Permalink

            Can I thank you and RTG for your comments. I spent 2/3 of my life doing hard physical work on a production line – 12 hr shifts – stood up on bare concrete . I worked more xmas days than not- many days I never even got a break or a sit down to eat/drink – Yes I know it is illegal but the management didn’t care – there was no union for the majority of the time – in winter when the heating sometimes broke down we would be working in 3C – that is INSIDE the building.
            I’ll give a classic case ( from our own firm) of how some management see shop-floor workers. Our shift had just finished the last of a block of 12 hr nights and as they left the factory floor, in walked one of the managers who saw us all going home. After showering and going home my phone rang and I was amazed to hear that same manager asking me if I would come back as they needed someone to do a job. He said he had already rung the rest of the shift, who had all refused and he was dumbfounded when I said – “I’m going to bed”.
            When our shift returned 48hr later on day shift the same manager came across to me to ask why nobody would come back that particular day. I honestly thought he was joking and eventually asked him if he realised that when people have worked a night shift – -they go home to sleep. His reaction and comment absolutely blew my mind – his comment was – “What do you mean go to sleep? – people sleep at night and are awake during the day”. So I asked him “if he thought when we did a weekend of 3 nights, that we actually stayed awake from Friday morning till Monday night?” – -as he stood there speechless I seized the chance ( knowing he had a large amount of paperwork to do and didn’t need all his usual daily interruptions) to invite him to spend our next weekend of nights with us – not doing physical work – just doing his paperwork – and he took the invitation. True to his word – he turned up and started with a smirk on his face – by 3am he was flagging, by 4am he was going downhill quickly, he went home at 5 – while the rest of the shift still had hours to go. He gave a distant wave to show he was off home. He turned up for the 2nd shift, same happened but he lasted even less. 3rd shift – even less. When we went back on day shift he came across very early on to explain he hadn’t any idea what shift work was like and it had opened his eyes. At this point, realising how rough he had felt during the weekend – I pointed out that the majority of the shift personnel had actually worked this shift pattern for as long as he had been alive. He had done 3 part shifts – no actual physical work – – we had done it for years and it was killing us. This was not an idiot who had been made into a manager, he had been to Uni and got his qualifications – a genuine nice person – but had no idea about our side of “real life”.
            All the above is true, even though some will refuse to believe it.
            Some other people see manual workers as only fit for working into a grave and being replaced with another. If these type of managers etc will make themselves publicly recognisable ( a badge with a turned up nose maybe) i’ll buy myself a cap to doff as they go past. Until I can afford the cap i’ll just have to tug my forelock.

            And if our host wants me to stop he can tell me by email that I will be blocked – his choice – At least he is willing to show the other side of life. Maybe some don’t want to see it so want a rose-tinted website.

  24. Lifelogic
    Posted March 15, 2016 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    Osborne’s performance (for nearly six years now) has been completely in the opposite direction from what is needed for the benefit of the economy and the public. He should really just resign and go back to college to learn some sensible economics or perhaps get a job with a small or medium sized business to see what the real world of business is actually like.

    He should also cancel the absurdly expensive Hinckley Point C. It is totally the wrong nuclear project.

  25. oldtimer
    Posted March 15, 2016 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    You ask good and pertient questions. Based on their track record we are not going to get good and pertinent answers from the Cameron/Osborne duopoly. They seem incapable of looking much beyond next week let alone next year. Osborne’s budget presentational techniques owe just about everything to Gordon Brown down to the meaningless rabbits produced from a shabby hat at their conclusion. He and Cameron have failed in their onjective to eliminate the deficit, failed to reform and simplify the tax system and have failed to provide the nation with a secure energy strategy on which all else depends. Their time is over.

  26. ian
    Posted March 15, 2016 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    nothing

  27. Bert Young
    Posted March 15, 2016 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    In a reformed Government I want to see John as Chancellor . His views this morning are sound , they reflect much of what the public wants and , above all , he gets the priorities right . Lowering the top income tax rate and bringing our energy costs down are very important features ; Chancellors have got it wrong too much in the past .

    Managing the country should not be in the hands of the inexperienced and career blinded individuals ; we want substance and trusted people at the helm . Our future needs economic stability and only someone who properly understands this should be in charge .

  28. agricola
    Posted March 15, 2016 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    To lessen the burden of taxation on the majority and the disadvantaged, who do not have the options of the wealthy both individual and corporate, I would consider a form of turnover or sales tax, the equivalent of corporation tax, for all those incorporated outside the UK but trading within the UK.

    • Know-dice
      Posted March 15, 2016 at 11:53 am | Permalink

      Isn’t that how VAT works?

  29. stred
    Posted March 15, 2016 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    The OBR has been unable to produce any reliable forecasts. They play with their computers like children and feed in the latest variables. Then a few small changes can alter the clever and exact calculations and produce large variations in the results. It’s to do with chaos theory. It would be a good idea to do what some schools are doing now and make them put their computers away for a few weeks. Then Osborne might look less like a dunce every time he reverses his last attempt at forecasting. Even the Met Office does better.

  30. Mockbeggar
    Posted March 15, 2016 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    Is my hearing/comprehension going, or did I hear on the Today programme this morning that the government is proposing to reduce the amount of CO2 we produce from the current target of 80% to 100% by 2050? Does this mean that we shall all have to stop breathing?

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted March 15, 2016 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

      No, it just means you will have to get rid of your gas cooker, gas fire, gas boiler and diesel car/petrol car and go everywhere on foot. If you cannot afford to replace your gas appliances then you can freeze to death – and then stop breathing!

    • Atlas
      Posted March 15, 2016 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

      I think you heard correctly:

      Fortunately for us, few politicians understand science and so what they are committing themselves to, hence we can all safely go down the economic plughole…

      I wonder whether similar thinking was in operation when somebody suggested building a bigger StoneHenge (to avoid that nearly renewable resource the Sun not rising)?

  31. Sue Doughty
    Posted March 15, 2016 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    If we Leave the EU we do not have to obey the ban on Duty Free. How will that affect the Chancellor’s revenues?

    • stred
      Posted March 16, 2016 at 8:00 am | Permalink

      Having been banned from buying some cheap Scotch at Stockholm airport, while an Arab beside me was allowed to, as he was non-EU, leaving would seem to present another advantage.

  32. sm
    Posted March 15, 2016 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    What I would like to see, but know that I never will, is a radical simplification of the tax system, so that whether personally or commercially, everyone knows where they are, what they will have to pay and there will be no fiddling around with extensive loopholes and incentives which only benefit the extremely wealthy, it appears.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted March 15, 2016 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

      Indeed. Mr. Redwood himself was quizzed on this subject by Andrew Neill a while ago … he had to face the accusation that, under the Tories/Coalition, the Tax Code had gone from a notional 13,000 pages of A4 paper to 18,000 pages. Shameful.

  33. Kenneth
    Posted March 15, 2016 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    All I want is a Conservative budget and not the Labour budgets we have so far had to endure from this government.

    For example, scrap job-destroying policies such as the ‘living wage’, get spending right down and get taxes right down.

    Oh, and get out of the eu so my money is not regularly sent abroad.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted March 15, 2016 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

      What? You want people working for less than the ‘living wage’? Why? It does no one any good. Apart from people making a fortune from employing them.

      • Kenneth
        Posted March 15, 2016 at 11:58 pm | Permalink

        I want people to be left to negotiate their own wages and conditions.

        The ‘living wage’ is an oxymoron. Those on less than the ‘living wage’ have presumably died by now.

        • Peter Parsons
          Posted March 17, 2016 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

          Before condeming a minimum wage (Osborne’s is not a living wage), I would recommend reading some of Winston Churchill’s arguments made over 100 years ago. Some of his points are as relevant today as they were then:

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trade_Boards_Act_1909

          Abolishing the minimum wage will result in a race to the bottom as employers seek to increase their profits at the expense of their employees, with pitiful wages being subsidised by welfare bill which will be the only way covering the shortfall (as happened before its reintroduction), driving up the cost of the welfare bill.

  34. Mick
    Posted March 15, 2016 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    Mr Osborne will have a few billions more to play with after June 23rd “hopefully ”
    Just been watching the BBC news channel and the amount of coverage Cameron keeps getting to try and con the public to vote out, surly this carn’t be right from the pro eu bias BBC to promote the inners, something needs sorting quickly to stop this blatant bias by the BBC and a flat playing field for the outers

    • Mick
      Posted March 15, 2016 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

      I should have read my message again, it should have been Cameron conning the public to vote IN ?

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted March 15, 2016 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

      On R4 the other day one of the BBC’s correspondents noted how totally paradoxical it was that the Leavers on the one hand didn’t want to have Obama say that we should vote to Remain but on the other hand they “wanted to get closer to the USA” after we leave the EU. We’re paying him for this, just saying any old rubbish that come into his head. As Osborne would no doubt say “I don’t want Great Britain to get closer to the USA, I want Great Britain to get closer to Great Britain”.

  35. acorn
    Posted March 15, 2016 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    The budget speech will be the usual Snake Oil salesman’s script. You have to read the paperwork to see who got screwed. The OBR has now been fully captured by the Treasury; spends its time trying to work out why it got it wrong last time.

    The IFS will get to be the final judge in the media, again, which I have never understood. The outfit does not understand how a fiat currency economy works. That is, it still thinks the government has to borrow its own money, before it can spend its own money.

    What would be nice for me, is a Daily Treasury Statement, like the US Treasury does. Then we all could see in detail, where the money is coming from and where it is going. It may even encourage an MP to ask a question about, say, why did the MOD withdraw £n billion yesterday, who got paid for what minister?

    https://www.fms.treas.gov/fmsweb/viewDTSFiles?dir=w&fname=16031100.pdf

  36. Mike Wilson
    Posted March 15, 2016 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    We have seen how cutting the top rate of Income Tax from 50% to 45% brought in an additional £8bn.

    I don’t expect ‘spin’ on here. When this was reported, it was widely reported elsewhere that this was as a result of tax planning.

    I know it’s boring but I’d like to see waste and costs cut in the public sector. It is often talked about but, actually, never seems to happen. The stories of profligacy and waste abound. Public sector pensions are far too generous too. Decent pensions have disappeared from the private sector – you know, the sector that creates the wealth. It is now very unfair that a job in the public sector is the ONLY chance of a decent pension. I am advising both my sons to move into the public sector – for an easy life, a decent salary, excellent working conditions and a big pension.

    These days, it is a no brainer.

  37. ian
    Posted March 15, 2016 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    As the government only tells half truth in it budget like borrowing for last year was 92 billion but if it was not for the sale of assets of 29 billion it would of been about 110 to 120 billion pounds, they have 47 billion in banking assets left and will likely sell most of that this year.

    From jan last year to dec growth was 1.7 per cent instead of 2.6 per cent or more, I would say growth this year will be around 1 per cent and not 2.5 per cent so they need to boost assets sale, with growth of maybe 1.5 to 1.7 for the next two year after this year, of cos the black hole will grow and more assets will be needed for sale, when growth was to be 3.5 per cent last year not 1.7 per cent forecast by the OBR in 2014 and 3.1 this year coming.

    With Scotland yearly debt at 10% of Scotland GDP and this year could be hitting 15% or more this year, 22 billion black hole in the NHS and growing and EU costs going up, network rail 40 billion in debt and going up, council debt going up and other things,
    What to do.
    Sell more assets, but what to do when assets are all sold CATCH 22.

    Well limit Scotland yearly debt to 12 per cent of GDP and let them put up tax in Scotland,
    government takeover the NHS PFI payments and get new terms, EU if you come out all to the good money saved but you will not see any of it, councils not a lot with the cuts they already had with more to come, just put up the rates, net work rail get rid of and start a new company and don’t let any a elite on the board to waste money.

    As for lower growth. not a lot you can do apart from sacking high up staff to bring down costs and cut the high up pensions and make sure they get no tax breaks, I hear he is cutting tax break for them this budget by 400 million pounds, when you hear that you know it getting bad. what I mean is sack the people who can afford to be sacked.

  38. scottspeig
    Posted March 15, 2016 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    Flat rate of Income Tax

    Universal Income to all subjects of Her Majesty the Queen (aka British Nationals) and a removal of all other benefits

    All (except defense) govt departments to have a budget freeze for remaining government

    “Bonfire of Quangoes”

    Rejection of HS2 and reallocate funds to energy production

    Freeze all payments to EU until after referendum.

    Will I get a SINGLE one of these? No.

  39. scottspeig
    Posted March 15, 2016 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    The fact that I prefer Labour’s idea (spend what you receive) is telling! Although I have no idea why the government isn’t limited to last years’ income.

  40. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted March 15, 2016 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    There was a time when a Chancellor lost his job for revealing contents of his budget before presenting to Parliament.
    No longer it would seem as Osborne is announcing all sorts on social media and through MSM briefing.

  41. ian
    Posted March 15, 2016 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    As for the money printing coming in for low paid workers on benefits like tax credits 2018 of you save 50 pounds a month and we will print you 50 pounds a month, which I would think would be a low take up given they have no money.
    With 2 billion a year in benefit cut coming in 2017 /2018 I think they are having a joke.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted March 16, 2016 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

      Don’t you believe they have no money. Some of them are rolling in it!! Welfare is not what it used to be. I know some who have a very nice lifestyle on welfare.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted March 16, 2016 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

      Also, grandparents/parents could give them the money to invest and then split the profit later.

  42. Nick W
    Posted March 15, 2016 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    What is interesting about economists and central bankers is that when faced with self evident truths they are completely blind.

    Economists accept that QE has led to massive inequality with huge amounts of wealth being held in very few hands.

    Faced with dormant economies, the economists are proposing helicopter money, literally giving money away to as many people as possible, in order that they might spend it on goods and services.

    It is only possible to live in one house at a time, drive one car at a time, and wear one pair of trousers at a time.

    Rather than helicopter money, what is needed is economic policies that better distribute wealth, not by confiscation but by structural changes to the way businesses work, how they pay tax, wages and look after their capital.

    The problem is now, particularly in the USA, that the rich have grabbed the levers of political power, and they are not going to let go.

    Rather than helicopter money, we need economies that are structured to pay decent wages, and we need to remove big money from politics and power.

  43. ian wragg
    Posted March 15, 2016 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    The last line of the budget
    …………having failed spectacularly to clear the deficit and reduce debt and because the financially incontinent Prime Minister wants to continue borrowing to finance the EU and foreign aid, I hereby resign with immediate effect………….
    Wouldn’t that be good.
    I see with breath taking arrogance, ?….. Murkel insists she will continue mass immigration and granting Turkey unfettered access to the EU by June.
    So that’s it then Germany has spoken. the other 27 fall in line.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted March 16, 2016 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

      I dont’ understand how Merkel decides something and we all have to comply!???

  44. Denis Cooper
    Posted March 15, 2016 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    Here, for amusement, is Anna Soubry telling Kate Hoey that if we leave the EU then our exports to the other countries will drop to “almost absolutely zero”:

    http://order-order.com/2016/03/15/eu-order-of-the-ott-super-soubs-souped-up-spin/

    So basically they will treat us like North Korea with a total trade embargo …

    I don’t want to make this party political, but how in God’s name did such a stupid woman get selected as a main party parliamentary candidate?

  45. ian
    Posted March 15, 2016 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    When labour left office in 2010 spending by government was 669 billion a year last year government spending was 749 billion which is 80 billion difference of 80 billion which is the borrowed amount for 2015/2016, so if he kept to 2010 spending you would had little debt apart from the asset sales.

    As always it better to let unemployment go up at little cost than to seek full employment with overseas works on benefits and government top end employment going up with big pay rises, ie 200.ooo pounds to 1 million pounds jobs that have been paying company tax at 20%.

  46. ian
    Posted March 15, 2016 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    and of cos putting up houses price which has put up rents with no wages increases at the bottom.

  47. ian
    Posted March 15, 2016 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    and with government spending to go up 850 billion by 2020/2021 that’s 25 billion each year, should be quit a laugh.
    Most will be going to companies for half baked infrastructure and government works at the top in pay and pensions.

  48. turbo terrier
    Posted March 15, 2016 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    With the reports in the papers about Ms Rudd stopping new subsidies for turbines on shore going back to the HoL she should have given notice that it is her intent to stop all the subsidies which would save billions.

    The whole energy policy is a house of cards and the sooner it is pushed over or falls down on its own the better the country will be off.

    Gideon can make it happen with taxes but we all know he won’t.

    Driving down energy costs especially for large industries is paramount to really driving this country forward.

    Real economic pressure put on the get rich quick brigade especially on those projects that todate have not had to pay for the real transmission costs even though they have been sited miles from transmission routes and can get by very well on constraint payments alone. The price that had to be paid for the total lack of control over the siting of on shore wind turbines.

    When will the politicians controlling these departments ever learn?

  49. They Work for Us?
    Posted March 15, 2016 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    Much of what we see here reflects a Presidential style of Government linked to empowerment by the Executive to do what they like. We need fewer items to be tackled by Government with binding approval by referendum for all major items after a balanced case for the pro and against sides. There should be no question of promising more money to any foreign country without public consultation and approval. This would include passing the annual cash settlement to Scotland and to the EU (if we stay). If there is a small margin to remain in the EU (hopefully not) we should seize the opportunity for us to be a prickly and determined member. Sorry Gov my people won’t stand for it Mr junker/ Mrs Merkel etc. Clipping the wings of our employees (the politicians and govt) would save us a fortune as well as save us lots of time and trouble. Switzerland seems to manage well on such a system.

  50. acorn
    Posted March 15, 2016 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

    If you get a chance JR, get Osbo’ to have a look at this. There is an opportunity arising for a budding heterodox Chancellor, to save the nation. 😉 http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-03-13/ignored-for-years-a-radical-economic-theory-is-gaining-converts

  51. Margaret
    Posted March 15, 2016 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

    Ah the bud gets ; really there is not a lot to play with but I reckon nursery fees should be lower..i.e. subsidised so my daughter can have more free time to think about her second career after being made redundant. For grandma’s like myself ,champagne should definitely be subsidised and dating agencies should get some help so fewer houses would need to be built as Individuals coupled. Steel should definitely be helped so I can acquire a huge 4 wheel drive to take me up to my sons farm in snow. Investment into leisure time for the over 40’s singles would stop these singles driving around for hours on their own pretending that they have mates and looking for social contact in a world of loners. How can we stop these older singles getting dressed up in their Sunday best to go for an hour out in Tesco.

    • Margaret
      Posted March 17, 2016 at 4:43 am | Permalink

      I thought I may get some negative criticism on my prima facia superficial comment etc ed
      OK I will explain. Looking at how money is spent without engaging in the social aspects of economics is not going to get us anywhere. Budgets should not be punitive, they should foretell hope for the many. Making taxes easier for the rich without helping the worse off is really damaging. If people cannot find an exit out of their way of life and a ladder to creating improvements what have they got to look forward to. The philosophy of living and being isn’t all that good as a social outcast . People can not establish relationships with work ethics which demand that they are employed with one off shifts all over the country .

  52. ian
    Posted March 15, 2016 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

    No end to the borrowing in sight, they will end up like the japan and ECB buying all the government bonds then corporate bonds, shares, and then houses, one day they will own everything or to put it another way the bank of England will own everything the elite do not want and no debt will ever be repaid, full stop, its the biggest con in history.

  53. ian
    Posted March 15, 2016 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

    Thee establishment has no uses for the majority of people in this country, you are not required going forward, they have steady supply of overseas people and will look to get rid of you in anyway they can like no housing, hospital full cannot get in, cutting all your service, and cutting your benefits for housing and food, when they start using new tec the middle class will be next, they are already under attack, overseas people are ideal for them.
    A true story.

  54. Phil Richmond
    Posted March 15, 2016 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

    Simplify the tax system. Its not difficult!
    Oh how I wish for a Conservative chancellor instead of this New Labour idiot currently at No.11.

  55. sm
    Posted March 15, 2016 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

    Simplify.

    1) Merge NI and PAYE into a single rate tax on all income bands.
    2) Increase the thresholds for the merged tax to mitigate transitions.
    3) Bring capital taxes into line with taxes on income with some transition period.
    4) Nationalise PFI contracts.
    5) Increase the value of cash in the economy not created by debt, spend it on some infrastructure. Not Hinkley. Not HS2. Perhaps into energy storage and buffering technology. Don’t close any further coal stations as an interim measure.
    6) Funds directed at training where skills are CLAIMED as a shortage, for visa applications purposes.
    7) Fully cost the provision of a visa including all ancillary costs and ensure this is recovered from the sponsor.

    Cap public pension provision at £1m (calculated on same method as private sector). Any further contributions must be defined contribution and similarly taxed.

  56. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted March 16, 2016 at 1:42 am | Permalink

    Cut the annual deficit by at least £20 billion.

    Sack the Government of the Bank of England.

    End easy money.

    Taxes should be low and EVERYBODY should pay them.

  57. Yosarion
    Posted March 16, 2016 at 2:32 am | Permalink

    Equality, where we are all in it together, so those that get no increase in Pensions because of the RPI are treated like MPs who seem to take the piss, maybe we should all have independent reviews.

  58. Iain Moore
    Posted March 16, 2016 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    I see Osborne has added a new responsibility to his collection.

    Chancellor of the Exchequer.
    Deputy Prime Minister.
    First Minister.
    Defence Secretary.
    EU Negotiator.
    Defence Secretary.
    Energy Minister.
    Transport Minister.
    English Constitutional and local Government expert.
    And today we today we gather he is to take up the role of Education Secretary.

    Shame he hasn’t mastered any of the rolls he has already taken up before adding Education to his list. If he gets to add another one he will make up a football side of responsibilities.

    PS With Osborne running all these departments, what do the Ministers do to justify their pay checks?

    • Iain Moore
      Posted March 16, 2016 at 8:57 am | Permalink

      PS remove one of the defence Secretaries and add Planning and Housing Minister.

    • stred
      Posted March 16, 2016 at 11:55 am | Permalink

      His proudest self-appointment must be Minister for the North and EU Regionalisation. Last week he had to give up being Minister for Retail and Working Hours. Perhaps some MPs might have a word in the ear of the Irish aristocratic failed journalist and explain that we like to have manifesto contents implemented, rather than the latest whims of the boarders of Downing St. Otherwise bugger off and get a job selling posh wallpaper.

      Has he consulted on the effect on traffic or homework on longer school hours or was it over dinner after a glass of claret with some other experts?

  59. Michael James
    Posted March 16, 2016 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    What we want is progress on reducing the national debt. This is Osborne’s eighth budget and the debt is still rising. Could Gordon Brown have done any worse?

  60. Iain Moore
    Posted March 16, 2016 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    Today we hear that employment has reached a record high, with the economy reported at full employment.

    So how come growth is so slow, and how come we are running a budget deficit? If we are at full employment the Treasury should be rolling in tax money

    • stred
      Posted March 16, 2016 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

      Gordon’s part time, low wage, low productivity, low skill, high tax credit, housing and child benefit economy is still going strong. At least most people have a job, just like they did in East Germany. And soon the minimum wage will make the UK even more attractive to anyone wanting to improve their basic pay from the Euro disaster areas, while not costing the Treasury a penny, and helping to put inflation up to where they think it should be.

      Clever stuff worthy of a good socialist.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted March 16, 2016 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

      probably because a lot of these jobs are 16 hours contracts (part time) which are subsidised by the rest of us working full time so that they earn as much as us!!

  61. A different Simon
    Posted March 16, 2016 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    I want George Osborne NOT to flog off any of the family silver , especially at the bottom of the market .

    His resignation would be comforting too .

  62. a-tracy
    Posted March 16, 2016 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    I would like a decent savings return scheme announced where the money would be invested to build decent one bedroomed apartments in all of the areas affected by the spare room subsidy. A proper yield return and a lower cost for Housing benefit/welfare, a freeing up of larger social housing properties for larger families and a lower need to look at buy to let properties as people’s private pensions are being diminished by Osborne whilst protecting his and the public sector workers so they don’t feel the worry and concern about this policy.

  63. David
    Posted March 16, 2016 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    Get rid of stamp duty. I can understand why people who earn more should pay tax but not those who move house more.

    Fund it by putting up council tax on more expensive homes.

    Reform and reduction of tax credits would be a good idea.

  64. ian
    Posted March 16, 2016 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    British foreign secretary gutted, you loses again with all your friends in parliament.
    All money wasted, now for the rebuilding.

  65. ChrisS
    Posted March 16, 2016 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    An enlightened chancellor would reduce capital gains tax or re-introduce taper relief, both of which are likely to increase revenue.

    As our host has pointed out previously, revenue from CGT has halved since the much higher 28% rate was introduced and Taper relief removed.

    Receipts were £2.45bn in 2015, 2.5bn in 2013 but in 2008-2009 they were £7.85bn when the rate was 18%.

    So, if Osbourne reduces the rate back down to a flat 18% he might rake in an extra £5bn pa and such is the pent up demand from investors put off from selling because of the current penal rate, there could be at least an extra £2bn-£5bn windfall in years one and two.

  66. adams
    Posted March 16, 2016 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    You are asking very good questions in this article John . Here is one for you .
    Why are you still a member of this ex Conservative Party ?

  67. fedupsoutherner
    Posted March 16, 2016 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    Just heard Osborne going on about how we will all be better off, stronger and more secure by staying in the EU. Who’s he trying to kid? What he means is that politicians will be better off.

  68. Edward M
    Posted March 16, 2016 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    John, as always you make a lot of sense.
    You pick up the point about our government supporting our makers – I thoroughly agree – especially at this time for steel.
    In the case of nuclear power, we have previously had British designed and built nuclear power stations at an affordable price. Why is our government so keen on importing foreign designs at an exorbitant price to produce expensive electricity – why don’t they support British engineering and manufacturing – and why close good coal power stations before we have replacements built (and conversion to burn wood is unecological as it consumes forests).
    Hopefully the vote to leave the EU will trigger a spring clean in the upper reaches of the conservative party.

    • A different Simon
      Posted March 17, 2016 at 9:06 am | Permalink

      Edward M ,

      That they want to import a foreign design is the least worrying aspect .

      That they want to import this particular design with all it’s safety and cost problems is astounding .

      The reason appears to be two fold . The EU wants the UK to bail out EDF and the UK wants Chinese construction companies to get the work because it is prepared to sacrifice anything in order to ingratiate The City of London to Beijing .

  69. ale bro
    Posted March 16, 2016 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    Taxing private number plates could bring in a quick billion

  70. stred
    Posted March 16, 2016 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    For a while, it appeared that the changes to CGT would allow BTL owners to sell and retire. I thought there would be a catch as usually these are not announced. Checking the government website on the changes, the reductions do not apply to residential property, except for owner occupiers. Of course, he kept Brown’s inflation tax too.

    Good news for city boys with share packages though.

    • A different Simon
      Posted March 17, 2016 at 9:00 am | Permalink

      28% was too high – especially when the paper gain is not linked to inflation and there is no longer a taper .

      The Chancellor could have announced that he was lowering it to 20% for a fixed period of time .

      That would have provided a one off boost in the tax take .

      I’d prefer that for land and property , the transaction taxes CGT and stamp duty be replaced with an annual location value tax (LVT) based on the rentable value of the land itself .

  71. ian
    Posted March 16, 2016 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    Budget, a lot of hot air, if they doing so well why cut disabled and tax credits also councils funding from government to nil by 2020 and put it all on to council tax increases, his rising tax from high up government workers, and going to try to rise tax on overseas companies and cut money they been getting on they debt hear but at end of the day the amount of money he is spending on this that and other for business and infrastructure he is spending so I will be looking at tomorrow rate meeting for a interest rate cut to bring down the 10 year bond to 1 per cent and negative rates on 3- month 6 month bonds and maybe 1 year bond the start of NIRP in the UK.

    I will look for the short fall in money in a budget after the ref or nov this year most likely in pensions reform to rises the money for today budget and try to bring down borrowing
    with poor taking the brunt with tax credits and disablement payments cuts and rolling cuts to housing credits and tax credits till 2020 of 2 billion pounds a year.

  72. stred
    Posted March 16, 2016 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    Matthew Hancock has just told us that the budget is based on saving the government will make by efficiency in spending. Just after Cameron announced that Hinckley Point will go ahead while ignoring the half price options for the same output, and Osborne announced millions to be spent on a start to an 18 mile road tunnel under the Pennines when traffic could take the M1 and cut over to the M62, which is being upgraded. Hancocks half hour is back, but without the laughs.

  73. graham1946
    Posted March 16, 2016 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    The biggest lie he told today at the end of his speech was that the Conservatives are going to build a surplus so that the debt is not left to succeeding generations. Yes, of course, George, but mathematics is not your strong point is it? Bit of a problem for a finance minister. 10 billion surplus, if he achieves it,(he won’t), 1.6 trillion of debt – the succeeding generations will have to live to about 150 before they see it paid off.

  74. ian
    Posted March 16, 2016 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    The new pension for under 40 is alright but needs to be 8.000 a year but how do poor youngster get the money for there pensions, but trusting government your money at the moment is high risk, will wait for the full pension reform in the next year, council tax will go up by 10 a week or more by 2020, a few more small business to be rate free, ISA to 20.000 a year, CGT down but not for house sales, so no one will want to sell they houses and price go up, the min in London 100.000 deposit and a 75. 000 a year job just for a flat with average house price going 270.000 by 2018/ 2019 with the poor still felt out of everything and overseas people living 8 to 12 to a house and paying 20 to 50 pounds a week each in rent depending where they live and council tax of 4 pounds a week. I see that they can all pile into house and break the laws but people living on the streets are not aloud to pile into a houses 8 to 12 and pay the same because they will told it against housing laws.
    That’s why the council should changed to each person not each house.

  75. ian
    Posted March 16, 2016 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    I do not believe this year borrowing was 73.5 billion and will be revised up, with growth going down more than OBR is saying because from January to December was 1Q 0.4 2Q 0.4 3Q 0.5 and 4Q 0.4 which is 1.7 per cent and will be less this year than the 2.0 per cent or so they are reporting. more like 1 per cent 2.2 per cent after this year is wrong but all good for ref and council elections.

  76. ian
    Posted March 16, 2016 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

    So with 29 billion of asset sale and borrowing last year at 73.5 billion to be revised up that’s 102.5 billion hole to fill so far a year and if you add the QE pay back 7 billion that’s 110 and cuts which maybe as much as 6 to 7 billion that’s council support, tax credits, and 3.5 he cut . Still running around 120 billion black hole a year.

  77. ChrisS
    Posted March 16, 2016 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    Once again Osbourne has singled out property investors for severe treatment in the budget.

    While the reduction in CGT was welcome and long overdue, hidden in the Red Book was a sting in the tail for property investors. They alone are to be singled out and will have to continue to pay the higher current rates of CGT as well as the new stamp duty surcharge and limitations on interest relief.

    Why is this Chancellor so harsh on property investors ? Osbourne has done more damage in six years than his Labour predecessor, Brown, ever did in 13 years.

    In almost every case, as a recently-retired IFA I can assure everyone here that we are providing homes for tenants who would have no chance whatsoever of ever getting a mortgage to buy one. The local authority tells us that we are also one of the few property investors in the area in which we operate who will take tenants in receipt of Housing Benefit.

    Well, I am afraid that we are going to call a halt to the business and dispose of all our portfolio over the next three or four years. Thanks to Brown and Osborne in equal measure, we will end up paying at least three times the rate of CGT that would have applied when we started the business, . But that will be worth it to be out of a business in which it is increasingly difficult to cover costs let alone obtain a reasonable return on capital employed.

    As for our current and prospective tenants, there will be a noticeable reduction in the housing stock available for rent in what is a very small south coast town. If this is what Osbourne is trying to achieve then he will have succeeded.

    Very disappointing.

  78. ian
    Posted March 16, 2016 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    and what about NI class 2 being abolish, how will they pay for there retirement pension, is it going to be free or will they have to pay voluntary contributions at 650 pounds a year instead of 130 to 160 pounds a year for class 2. most these low paid self employed people some 3.5 million were told by the job centres to go self employed and they might not get a old age pension if they cannot afford voluntary contributions at 650 pounds a year. Will you be looking in to this.

  79. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted March 18, 2016 at 1:02 am | Permalink

    Now that we have the budget, it is clearly a wasted opportunity, consisting of lots of fiddly little bits and pieces. The annual deficit this year will be down from £72.2 billion to £55.5 billion – maybe. At least the OBR’s grossly optimistic GDP growth forecast has been cut back to something believable.

    It bears the hallmarks of Lord Heseltine, now over 80 and definitely past his sell by day. This is the man who said he would intervene at breakfast, lunch and dinner and thought (thinks?) that his interventions would do good. He is also one of the few men left in British politics who believe that it is inevitable that the UK will join the Euro and become part of a Federal European SuperState.

    Those of you who reject conspiracy theories might care to ponder why Messrs Cameron and Osborne think so highly of him.

  80. Margaret
    Posted March 18, 2016 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    I would like to see the powers that be acknowledge the state , the people want their state benefits , they want their state pensions and they call it top heavy . Everyone who has paid NI wants their pension . That is bottom heavy . They won’t acknowledge State registered Nurses as having medical knowledge , yet the self same Nurses can be struck off for not using their medical knowledge correctly. That is not logical.
    Universities you pay into , The State pays out. I am working all Easter to be highly taxed to pay those who are trying to spoil the state..

  • 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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