Friday, November 21, 2008

Pre-Budget Report Predictions: Post them here

As it's the Pre-Budget report on Monday and many people are wondering what new fiddle the Prime minister and his Chancellor will come up with I thought I would do a post where people could post what they think he will do. As is well accepted and known, and tax cust on Monday will be deferred tax rises for the future paid out of borrowing. The thing is, I don't think either of them are going to be that headline grabbingly bold with the tax cuts they choose.

Brown is convinced, as are most Labour supporters, that tax credits are the greatest and best way to get money to "hard working families" so here is my prediction. They're going to propose changes to the tax credit system. The changes will be such that they will be able to stand up and say that the "avergage family will gain X poounds per week" thanks to their generosity, prudence, fiscal genius etc etc.

Meanwhile, the truth will be that hardly anyone entitled to tax credits takes them already because they don't want to spend the time filling in a ten page form with a 70 page booklets telling them how to do it. The result will be that Brown will be able to claim to have "cut" taxes for people by giving them extra-credit money back, whilst being fully aware that people avoid his system like the plague. The knock on of this is that he has more money to throw and waste at other things.

Any other suggestions for what they might do to in an attempt to con us?


Catosays said...

TV Licensing cut.....ROTFL

Anonymous said...

I think he'll go for the tax credits too, and maybe some tinkering with fuel tax.

Anonymous said...

(a) large increase in the winter fuel allowance (because old people are sympathetic in the media and generally turn out in elections);

(b) further delays in the implementation of earlier tax rises described as a "cut";

(c) some tinkering at the bottom of the income tax bracket (possibly here using tax credits/similar).

(d) something headline grabbing, probably related to National Insurance because (i) the Tories are talking about it and (ii) no one understands it so he can make it sound very clever and important without too much criticism that will impact on most voters.

Anonymous said...

Whatever he proposes he'll use the phrase "right thing" at least 5 times. Ditto global. Ditto blame the yanks.

marksany said...

He will produce a fiddle and play us a tune. Or he might as well for all the good anything he does will do.

Ralph said...

My predictions, it will be done in the most complicated way possible, and Nick Robinson will think it's wonderful.

DiscoveredJoys said...

It will be interesting to see what is announced by Alistair Darling, and what is 'elaborated' by Gordon Brown.

1) Extend the 10p tax band fiasco compensation by another year
2) Qualifying time for assistance with mortgage for the unemployed to be reduced (as trailed on Jeremy Vine, Brown couldn't help himself)
3) Claim more savings in Civil Service expenditure (but probably the same savings again)
4) Zero rate VAT on building supplies
5) Reduce age for free TV license (or introduce a half TV license reduction for those over 65)
6) Hidden away in the fine print, the start of the 40% income tax band to be frozen.

I also think that Gordon Brown intends to freeze Public Service pay, but he will do this by obdurate pay negotiation rather than policy announcements (in his mind too many votes to loose).

It will all sound more positve and prudent than it actually is... I hope the Tories can respond effectively, because the 'tax cuts' will superficially be difficult to argue with.

Anonymous said...

He'll go for a tax credits increase. It's all he knows how to do.

Besides even he knows, that the take up will be low as the system is so beauracratic and complicated, thus puttingpeople off applying for it. That way it look like a tax cut, without costing them anything.