November 24, 2008
The Labour Government is going to borrow a mind boggling £118 billion in 2009 to help it pay for the economic mess that it has got us into. That is the long and short of today’s pre-budget report. This figure is sufficient to understand the trouble our nation’s finances are in and why the promised stimulus was such a letdown and more worryingly, why Labour will significantly raise taxes in the coming years.
Everything else that the Chancellor announced pales into insignificance when compared to next year’s borrowing figure. Bearing in mind that borrowing figures for this year have had to be revised twice upwards by the Chancellor, the estimated borrowing figures cannot be accurately relied upon.The borrowing figures for the next five years are;
£78bn in 2008/09
£118bn in 2009/10
£105bn in 2010/11
£70bn in 2011/12
£54bn in 2012/13
The promised fiscal stimulus to stave off a deep recession was nowhere to be seen. A £20 billion giveaway including the cutting of VAT from 17.5% to 15% for 13 months was off set by a £40 billion tax rise including a 0.5% increase in national insurance contributions for employers and employees alike from April 2011 and a new 45% tax rate for those earning £150 000 or more.
Today we saw the return of Old Labour. The politics of taxing everyone as much as possible but taxing the rich until the pips squeak returned with a vengeance. Prudence, stability and other such sentiments espoused by the PM for so long were all binned for a tax and spend binge and it was shame that it fell to Alistair Darling to deliver the Pre-Budget Report and not Gordon Brown as it would have been pleasing to witness him contradicting everything he has said previously about the economy under his watch. The Chancellor blaming global problems for the state of the UK economy at each and every turn was frankly embarrassing.
George Osborne gave an excellent and perfectly pitched response by heavily focusing on the hypocrisy and sheer incompetence of this Government. It was a very hard hitting rebuttal of Labour’s and especially Gordon Brown’s profligacy and the reckless tax and spend policies that have left the economy in such a mess and the country facing a national debt of £1 trillion.
If the measures in the pre-Budget Report were what this Government thought would get the economy moving again, then it is badly mistaken. If it thought that these measures would win the next general election then it is surely living in cloud cuckoo land.
November 24, 2008
Pre-Budget Report later today. There is talk of VAT being cut by 2.5%, income tax increases for those earning more than £150 000 and a slowdown of public spending. We’ll know the exact details later this afternoon after which I’ll do another post.
November 22, 2008
That seems to be the message emanating from Government sources according to Robert Peston at the BBC who is predicting that VAT will rise from 17.5% to 22.5% in 2010 or 2011. Do read Robert Peston’s analysis here and his colleague Nick Robinson’s take on the same subject here.
November 21, 2008
11,300 homes were repossessed in the third quarter of this year which represents a 12% increase, and is further evidence that banks will do as they please regardless of what Government says. Interest rate cuts are not passed on to mortgage customers and small businesses are not given loans or overdraft facilities in troubled times but we as taxpayers are all expected to bail out troubled banks because it is apparently the right thing to do.
I wonder how those people who have lost their homes feel when they learn that some of the tax they have paid has gone to pay their bank to keep it afloat which in turn has repossessed their homes?
We wait for the pre-budget report on Monday to see what measures the Chancellor will introduce to help struggling homeowners!
November 20, 2008
Nick Griffin, leader of the BNP responded to a question put to him on Channel 4 news yesterday by replying that teachers who were members of the BNP should not lose their jobs as long as they did not bring their political beliefs into the classroom – in effect saying that if they are the best people for their jobs, that should be the most important factor. To support his argument, Griffin queried what the outcry would be like if parents of Christian children asked for the removal of a Muslim teacher.
If he is putting forward the case that teachers should not be judged on their political beliefs (even if they are regarded as racist) but on their professional ability, then doesn’t this undermine BNP philosophy which says that its a person’s colour or religion (Islam usually) which is the most important factor when determining a person’s suitability for something like nationality/citizenship?
And therefore, if a black or Asian person, regardless of where they were born signs up to the ethos of this country, isn’t his ability to adhere to that ethos more important that the colour of his skin or his religion? Nick Griffin in his analogy has confirmed that it is.
November 19, 2008
The BNP is making a big song and dance about the leaking of its membership list on the Internet. Quite bizarrely it is seeking to rely on the Human Rights Act which it despises to seek redress and protect the privacy of its members. What next, a Muslim lawyer to fight its cause in court perhaps?
Having stood against BNP candidates in two local elections, my view is that if the BNP is allowed to stand candidates then it should be afforded protection in the same way as all other parties. If BNP members want their names to remain private, then that should be respected. If it wants to use the Human Rights Act to protect its members and expose its hypocrisy then so be it.
No doubt we’ll be told that BNP members wish to keep their names out of the public domain as they fear persecution which is the usual spin put out by the BNP. The reality is that many of its members wouldn’t want to be publicly associated with a racist and hate filled ideology where colour of skin is more important than any beliefs and values a person holds no matter what excuse they use in private to justify their membership.
November 18, 2008
Nick Clegg, Leader of the Liberal Democrats thinks David Cameron not matching Labour’s spending plans is ‘economic madness’ adding that this was ‘the surest way to push this recession into a slump….of course you have to borrow money for long term investment so that Britain comes out as a fairer and more sustainable economy…To say now…that we should take lots of money out of the economy would be a way of sending us from recession into full blown slump.’
This shouldn’t surprise us. The Lib Dems need to maintain their reputation for financial incompetence and what better way to show it than supporting Gordon Brown’s plans for binge borrowing and ensuring we all face huge tax bills later!