It was a millionaire’s budget, agreed by the fakers dozen of millionaires in the cabinet and delivered by one of those millionaires for the benefit of other millionaires making up the 1%.
There was the odd bone thrown to the Liberal Democrats so that they can continue to delude themselves that they are on the side of the angels but, overall, the 1% collected on their political donations – why get tens of thousands out on the streets to protest, as was done against student fees and healthcare reforms, when a few key party donations can get you high level representation without taxation?
What are we to make of a Chancellor who describes his budget as a budget for working people but whose actions confirm that the average working person is paid wages so low that the only way they can even begin to cope with their normal household bills is by reclassifying millions of them as too poor to pay tax, despite current tax rates being lower today than in Thatcher’s reign?
The working wage of the lowest 20% has remained almost stagnant since Thatcher burst on to the scene, while top executives have seen their remuneration increased by almost 150% – no wonder even this Chancellor could not bring himself to repeat the words; “we are all in this together”.
What are we to make of a Chancellor who describes tax avoidance as “morally repugnant” shortly before going on to reduce the 50% tax rate because those fortunate few rich enough to be eligible for it, have been avoiding it?
The Chancellor talked tough about tax avoidance and loopholes, but delivered a powder puff punch. Compare his warning across the bows about buying residential property through corporate entities, giving plenty of opportunity for those who have already benefited to take appropriate action to avoid being penalised, with his government’s previous announcement of a public sector pay freeze without consultation and without notice, or the decision to cut subsidies for large-scale solar without any compensation for those small businesses who had already invested hard-earned funds in developing renewable energy this way.
What do we make of a Chancellor who continues to repeat the mantra of needing to invest in the economy because of the weakness of the private sector but continues to refuse to make the kind of economy developing investments that only the public sector can make when the private sector is so weak?
While countries like Germany forge ahead creating new export opportunities and future-proofing their economy due to a long-term and continuing strategy of public investment in green infrastructure and green technology, here in the UK the underfunded Green Investment Bank becomes simply another way of channelling funds to the City of London and we throw more money at opening up new carbon intensive oil fields in the Shetlands in the hope that it might somehow persuade the Scots to stay in the union.
Indeed what do we make of those Conservatives who cry havoc at the slightest perception of a loss of decision making powers to Brussels, but are apparently immune to how this country has lost almost total control of its own economy to the power brokers of New York?
This government, having been captured by the financial sector, seems more concerned about how its economic policies are seen by the American credit ratings agencies – the same agencies that gave triple A ratings to the sub-prime mortgage securities that sparked the financial crisis and then downgraded the now recovering US economy – then it is about how its actions might actually effect the average Briton and their confidence in the economic outlook and thus willingness to spend into the economy.
As a result, Britain keeps it triple-A rating and stagnates, losing jobs whilst the US loses its triple-A rating and recovers, creating jobs.
The same Conservatives who complain about the EU taking over the country were the same Conservatives who cheered the Chancellor when he announced that Liverpool and probably other cities like Bristol are to be re-packaged, re-branded and sold off to the Chinese in return for the British government implementing the kind of draconian planning controls that the Chinese communist government are more used to – ones in which local communities do what they are told by those in charge.
This was a budget for idle hands, for those without vision, for those without the courage it takes to do something radical even if that means that others may well seize upon it as an admittance of previous mistakes – instead it was a budget that devilled with the details, before simply re-arranging the deckchairs on the Titanic, safe in the knowledge that there is always room in the lifeboats for the 1%.
Will the last person who has a job and is still paid enough to pay tax, but not wealthy enough to avoid doing so, please let the rest of the world know when they are going to be able to put more money in the meter to turn Britain’s lights back on?