In the wake of the "Granny Tax" fallout, Cameron put Tess of the Horribles into the firing line today, to draw some of the flack away from his beloved Gideon.
It seems from what Tess says, that the Tories have come to the conclusion that what the SNP intends to do in Scotland is the right path for them too, just as they did with the council tax freeze. The trouble is that, yet again, it will involve prices going up and more money going to the Treasury.
Now Gideon the Greasy had already pulled a fast one on the price of alcohol this week, having said that there would be ‘no change’. What he meant was that there would be no change from the Labour policy, which meant that the tax would rise by inflation +. So all the people who thought that no change meant no change in the price, were sadly mistaken.
Tess announced minimum pricing legislation would be introduced to reduce the mayhem to which many English cities are reduced at weekends and to reduce the cost to the NHS in England (and Wales), after all, in a semi privatised health service it might be their chums who would carry some of that cost. It was surely not an extremely unConservative-like meddling in people's lives and lifestyles.
Meanwhile, whether or not Cameron liked it, the furore over the "granny tax" continued with someone from the Treasury, called Gauke (must be the minister for making the tea or something) said that it was fair, many pensioners would be better off and they had been largely protected from the coalitions deficit reduction.
Unfortunately for him, or rather for Gideon (as probably no one knows who he is), none other than the highly respected Institute for Fiscal Studies sees it differently. They said that 5 million pensioners would be worse off, losing around £350. They criticised Osborne for trying to dress up "what is clearly a tax increase" as a simplification.
I suspect that the pensioners who will be better off are the ones who will benefit from the reduction of 5% from the top rate of tax paid on income over £150,000: maybe Michael Cain or Paul Daniels.
Have pensioners been protected? Gideon was at pains to tell us how much the pension would increase in April, seeming to think that the pensioners might have forgotten that this was a legal obligation based on the rate of inflation.
The truth is that pensioners have suffered very badly from this, (and the last) government's policies. Private pensions have been ruined by Gordon Brown's raid on pension funds, and have tumbled even further as a result of quantitative easing. Low interest rates have turned savings into a depreciating asset, paying low interest and losing value by the day.
In England cheap travel has been cut, and now the NHS, which older people need more than most of the rest of us, is to be privatised.
Is this the Treasury’s idea of protection?
From minute one I said that it was a silly mistake to hit pensioners in the same budget as he gave away billions to the rich. Osborne will live to regret it.