The British Budget 2012

The Budget………is more about Politics than Economics.

Balancing the books by making political decisions and it looks like the Coalition has got the “politics” wrong. In a sense that was inevitable in the “coalition” dynamic because the Conservatives wanted one thing (a reduction in the higher rate of tax from 50% to 40%) and the Lib Dems wanted the earnings threshold raised to £10,000). Of course compromises were made around 45% and £9,100…….which meant that (at best) the two parties can only assure their core voters that things are moving in the right direction.

With nearly all the main proposals well leaked…..it was almost impossible to be surprised. But the decision to “freeze” any increase on the additional tax allowances due to over-65s has provoked a reaction from pensioner groups. There are essentially two distinct types of pensioner……those on basic state pensions who live below the poverty line……..and those who have a state pension, a company or public sector pension and (often) savings. Not surprisingly it is the latter group which is the better organised and most vocal.

Pensioners are famously the most likely people to actually vote in an election and taking pensioners on is a thankless task for a politician……the Coalition’s hope that pensioners will look beyond the “frozen tax allowances” and look at the increased pension (apparently the best ever increase) looks very forlorn. Pensioners want their cake (increased pension) and to eat it (increased tax allowance). Of course this is a mid-term budget. No mid-term budget is a giveaway budget. That will be the last budget before the 2015 Election which will send pensioners and the rest of us to the polls happy.

I am not a big fan of Ed Miliband. An Islington Labour type parachuted into Doncaster of all places. Basically destroying REAL Labour……David Miliband is MP for South Shields, Tony B Liar was MP for Sedgefield. These people are (at best) a “wing” within Labour rather than Labour itself. But in turning the Budget into Pensioners against Millionaires, Ed probably had his best ever day as Labour Leader.

I am almost ….but not quite a pensioner. There will be a supplementary budget for Norn Iron and frankly my main concern is my BUS PASS. In forty eight days I am entitled to free travel on buses and trains within Norn Iron and I intend making good use of this during the summer…….but rumours persist that part of the upcoming budget cuts will involve DUP Minister, Nelson McCausland closing this little benefit.

Be warned Mr McCausland. My wrath will know no bounds. I may never vote DUP again!

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