Contrary to what Osborne said, this organisation thinks that the 50p tax band was set to make some £6,7billion for HMRC. But I suppose statistics can be made to say whatever you want them to say. I'm inclined to think that if they actually insisted that the rich PAY their tax instead of dodging it, they probably would have made more than the £1 billion that Osborne seemed to think they would.
The tax allowances increase was welcome, and hats raised to the Liberals for pushing for this, but remember that it's about the cost of 15 cigarettes a week that is being added to the wage packet. It's welcome but it's more than swallowed by inflation and VAT increases (which although they have fallen out of the inflation rate, are still with us). Another thought: Did it not occur to the treasury to tell the revenue and Customs NOT to send out 2012-13 codings last week. I got two separate envelopes, and now I'll have to get another two. So presumably will another 40 million or so people, and their employers. That's a lot of stamps.
It's a risky business, perhaps even more so these days, taking from pensioners. The winter fuel allowance was substantially reduced last year, and now the additional tax allowances for pensioners is to be phased out for existing pensioners and not introduced for new ones. Pensioners have had a rough ride. First of all they had their state pension cut by Mrs Thatcher by linking increases to inflation instead of general wage increases, and thus falling behind by around £40 a week, then their private pensions were decimated (in the modern sense of the word) by Gordon Brown, then decimated again (same sense) by Osborne's quantitative easing. Now Osborne is having another go. Of course the pensioners in his family aren't typical, but most pensioners need more heat, because they are in the house more, and they feel the cold more, and as they get older they sit around more. Still, Osborne would do well to remember that pensioners vote. And they do it in vast numbers. it might be an idea to review this in time for the next election.
It seems strange that having agreed that the low cost of alcohol is contributing to the drink problem that the whole union has, Osborne didn't think about adding something to the price of drink. It's not the only cause of our problems by a long way, and I think that Scottish Labour's spokesman made a reasonable point about high caffeine/alcohol drinks (although if you tax them heavily people will just put a red bull substitute in their vodka), but an increase in tax might have killed two birds with one stone, without making a bigger profit for the stores or brewers. There must be vested interests somewhere in the Tory party somewhere.
I've not chosen the photographs for this post because of their close correlation with the story, but because they all made me smile. The first relates to a temporary relaxation of the strict Sunday trading laws of England (and possibly Wales). I think it's for the period up to the Olympics. After all what would that great sporting event be without a bit of Sunday shopping. The second one makes Cameron look like a patronising git, which he probably is; the third was the look of hate that was apparently directed at Bercow, when he compared the Queen to Gandhi. Maybe Cameron, who presumably believes in all that order of precedence garbage, should remember that Mr Bercow is a deal farther up the ladder than he is, and treat the little fop with the respect he deserves. The last is Cameron stuffing his fat little coupon with hot dog, preparatory to being tucked up in bed and read a story by Mr Obama on the big aeroplane, oooooooowwwww... whatever.