Monday, November 24, 2008

Live Pre-Budget Report blog

The live blog of the pre-budget report will appear here shortly. Bullet points as usual I expect. Am currently sitting in the Sky News NOC surrounded by monitors and its very warm.

  • It hasn't started yet...... be patient.
  • Chancellor has taken his seat. Brown is siting next to him looking suitably sombre as ever.
  • "Fair and responsible steps" is what is needed says Darling. Responsible like borrowing our way out of debt I guess.
  • Says we have "live within our means" and there are many laughs in the Chamber.
  • Everythign is America's fault. More laughing.
  • More pushing of the line that the world is working together. What I find funniest on this point is this ad populum argument that because lots of people in the world are doing it it must be right.
  • Says Brtiish taxpayer cannot be the "guarantor of last resort". Does that mean that he will now let banks go to the wall I wonder?
  • Yet again we are being told that we are in a "good position". Nobody really beleives that, and apparently the Government has fixed the schools and hospitals in Britain. Anecdotally on schools that is nonsense, Building Schoosl for the Futrue has delivered sweet FA compared to what it should have.
  • Output will continue to fall but has projected growth to recover but still be negative in 2009. The upward trend line.
  • Growth over 1% by 2010. So the recession will be over within the next 18 months according to the Chancellor. A hostage to fortune? Before or after the election? Sounds like tractor statistics to me.
  • Darling will do "whatever it takes" except have the taxpayer as the "guarantor of last resort"? A tiny white lie there from Darling methinks.
  • Has repushed the line that debt is down to 37% which the ONS disagree with.
  • Say we should have borrowing back to current level by 2015-16.
  • Borrowing to rise to £78bn to £118bn.
  • He's going to rapidly reduce borrowing in 2010 to 2015 and then will bring back the "Golden Rule" which clearly worked in the past.
  • Random fantasy figures. That's all I can think as he reads out lots of percentages.
  • Debt will be 48% next year. If you add the other stuff they have ignored like pensions, banks etc that figure is huge in reality.
  • Going to find £5bn in efficiencies in 2010-11. After the election? Why not do it now?
  • Is going to spend more money now, £3bn capital spending, to build new motorways and social housing. This has been lifted from the 2010-11 spending plans apparently.
  • Cutting VAT to 15% until end of next year from December 1st. I have already posted about how this won't really make much difference to people.
  • As expected he has made the temporary rebate for 10p tax losers permanent and made it £140 a year rather £125.
  • NI increased by 0.5% for anyone earning over £20,000. That will impact on a vast number of people on their gross salary. That's the home county marginals and other out-city suburbs lost for Labour. Not to mention in London.
  • Top rate of tax at 45% for over £150,000
  • Anyone over £100,000 has their personal allowance reduced.
  • Offsetting duties on tobacco, booze and alcohol because of the VAT drop. So no actual change.
  • No personal allowance for anyone on over £140,000. Don't aspire.
  • Deferring increase in small business tax. Not really much of a present really. No change so it's pretty meaningless.
  • Something about a new "four band" system for passenger air duty.
  • The insulation fo lofts will be paid for in 60,000 homes. Presumably they will be training people up and creating state jobs to do it. Bottom line? Buy stocks in fibre glass companies.
  • Nuclear energy has just been mentioned. Given the problem the Government has had with other consultation on this subject we may see some railroading of nuclear projects.
  • Apparently the GOvernment is going to tackle the issue of repossessions. By all account though this is actually something that the lenders have said they will do, not the Government.
  • £15 million for "free debt advice". You can get free debt advice already though. Don't understand that one.
  • Pre-redundancy re-training is going to be extended to all redundancies rather than just large scale ones that presumably fall under the TUPE type legislation.
  • Pasing in changes to car tax with an increase of £5 in 2009 and then in 2010 he will bring in his changes that are based on carbon output. Lots of people with old cars on low income will still be hit, just not right now.
  • Here comes the tax credit fiddling. He's going to pay his child tax credits increases early. Slight problem, the uptake of tax credits is appallingly bad.

George Osborne now:

  • Darling has failed to admit that national debt is doubling.
  • Goes on the NI rise. A tax direct on middle Britain.
  • "All Labour Chancellors run out of money. And all Labour Government bring the country to the verge of bankruptcy".
  • Attacks the report for being political.
  • Mocks the deferral of all the Chancellor's taxes.


Old BE said...

So VAT is down a tiny bit, and NI is up a lot! Gee thanks Alistair!

Anonymous said...

8% increase in duty on alcohol from 1st December 2008. Don't remember Alistair mentioning that

Armchair Sceptic said...

This is a despicable PBR from a despicable and discredited Labour Party. This will mess up the economy, the public finances, and will impoverish many people. He should have cut income tax by at least 3p, rather than this nonsense about VAT and all the rest.

Pete said...

Has the Shadow Chancellor said yet what the Conservative policy is?

Anonymous said...

The Conservative policy is to pick up the pieces

Mark Thompson said...

Why was this not a full budget? I suspect the main reason was to avoid debate and also avoid having Cameron respond.

Also, how come the govt is now able to constrain things for the next 8 years? What happened to not binding the hands of your successor?

Anonymous said...

The VAT drop is not going to make much difference but it is interesting to see how quiet the shops are Saturday. Why buy something then when it should be 2.5% cheaper a couple of days later.

I was going to send off for something this morning but realised that I might as well wait until next week.


Anonymous said...

The cut in VAT will not work. Let me my own perspective that may shed some light. I earn just over 50k. My 3rd son was born 8 weeks ago and I have bugger all disposable income left after the rest is hoovered up by my offspring, spouse, dog, car and mortgage. I mean literally nothing left after food and nappies. I drive a clapped out old saloon that after lots of legislation is not big enough for the 3 child seats I now need, so the dog is in the boot and our belongings strapped to the roof. Sold my last house because crack dealers in your front yard is not great if you are raising kids - and the new one's mortgage is so eye-watering, that when my wife went on maternity I changed to interest only and have never gone back. I have no pension and have not had a holiday for a decade. After taxing the bejasus out of me from every orifice they give me back 50p a week in child tax credits (or something like that - actually they give it to my wife). They obviously don't know her - she already gives me "pocket money" to go to work with, so its frankly insulting when they rob me at source, wait 6 months and then give fuck all of it back to my wife and then bleat on about it on the telly like they are a reincarnation of Jesus. Anyway - back to that streak of piss Darling.

Frankly a 2.5% cut in VAT is much akin to Mr Darling taking a piss in my eye. Having spunked the proceeds of the longest period of economic growth in history with shit all to show for it, he is now going to make a new iPod a parmesan shaving less expensive. Wow - I mean shit, I should go out and buy some stuff. What have I been thinking - I will go out right now with my empty wallet and go crazy in Argos! I mean was that doss fucker dropped on the head at birth? Shops are so desperate to flog their wares right now they are willing to give you 2 for the price of one with a free blow-job. And he thinks that a whisker off the rate of VAT will kick start the economy? What a total shed-head!

Nothing has become clearer to me in the last few years that the current shower in power (catchy eh?) have forgotten that it is our money that we earn. Its not theirs. When they take from us we expect to see great things happen. Because I am pretty certain that the average citizen has a much better idea of how to spend THEIR OWN FUCKING MONEY than that arsehole Darling.

To summarize - I think that a reduction in income tax would have had a far more positive effect on the spending habits of the average UK citizen than a derisory cut in VAT. I honestly don't think that they could stomach that option because at the end of the day Labour don't believe that the money you earn is yours. This is simply the New-Labour shine on collectivisation.

Don't you just rue the day you voted for Brown to be PM - oh hang on - NOONE EVER GOT THE CHANCE TO TELL THAT SON OF THE MANSE RED BASTARD TO BURN IN HELL!!!

Christ I feel better after that.