Saturday, 31 March 2012
A missed opportunity budget
So now we have had the budget. The headlines were all about the so called 'Granny Tax' which is not a tax at all but a reduction in the age related allowance that was put in as a gimmick by Labour to avoid giving a decent basic pension. Long before you get to the average income level of about £26k it starts to be clawed back. And yes,my pension income is big enough to be affected by this & I don't mind. The rise in basic pension & other benefits are better & why should the retired be better off than those in work on a similar income? I don't have any of the expenses that my kids who are in the same £10k to £26k income bracket have to face. Nevertheless the budget is a hugely missed opportunity. The rise in stamp duty on mansions is trivial compared to the untouched and absurdly low Council Tax levied on properties worth millions. As Will Hutton says (Observer 25th March) "Anyone who believes that a 45% top rate will suddenly unleash a wave of dynamic entrepreneurialism needs to lie down in a darkened room". Meanwhile 7300 employees of AstraZeneca are to lose their jobs - presumably to pay for the two thirds increase in the Chief Executives remuneration. And just to bolster the delusions of grandeur that permeate the UK establishment we still spend more on defence than the police/the courts/the fire service/the prisons all put together.