Monday, 4 October 2010

Can Osborne seek redemption through betrayl?

Osborne, never a big favourite of this blog for his ecomomic calls (his political ones are masterful) has begun to spell out what has long been expected, an attack on Tory marginal voters.

The cutting of child benefit will disproportionately affect those on middle incomes in the South East; but here the Tories are home and hosed. Where it will have less impact is in the Midlands and the North. Even in the early months of Government, the eye of politicians is on the next election.

The truth is the child benefit cut will save footling amounts, perhaps £10 billion over the course of the Parliament; it is thought meant to be symbolic of the self-flagellation of Tories for the sake of the deficit. The idea is to provide cover for the future cuts to come.

So, perhaps now is the time to wait and see what these cuts are going to be, I am waiting be be unexpectedly pleased rather than underwhelmed. Excellent comments for yesterday's post show the frustration at the lack of tackling the big issues, like public sector pensions. It is a disgrace in the extreme.
Example A - (UK Ponzi pension scheme)  Police force where the average retirement age is 49.


Steven_L said...

Can't see them cheesing the police off to much the way the riots are starting over the channel.

Anonymous said...

On the other hand,it might give them something to vent their frustration on.

Mark Wadsworth said...


SL, "to much" or "too much"? "the channel" or "The Channel", proper noun.

Anon - no space after the comma? Preposition at the end of a sentence?

Sebastian Weetabix said...

@Wadsworth: clearly he hasn't been laid lately.

There is nothing wrong with a preposition at the end of a sentence. It has been common idiomatic usage since at least middle English and it is to be found in Shakespeare. Here are two examples:
Henry V: "Who servest thou under?"
As You Like It: "Who do you speak to?"

As Winston Churchill might put it, the injunction never to end a sentence with a preposition is the kind of English 'Grammar' up with which we should not put. It is a nonsense developed around the time of John Dryden.

As a general rule in life, it is better not to be a pettifogging twat as there is always another more pettifogging twat to be found further down the thread.

simply ken said...

Please take this problem seriously.
I retired at 49 and i am now 65 plus.I have two tax payer funded penions which put me in the top 10% of earners in this Country.

I dont pay N.I.C,s i have all sorts of benefits and tax breaks.

I then get a heating allowance a bus pass and free medicine.

I am better off now that i have ever been because I have no debts.

This is unsustainable madness.Take something away please i feel guilty.

Anonymous said...

So, Mr Wadsworth is an undercover grammar police person.

Steven_L said...

I give it 10 years tops until 'u' is in the Oxford English Dictionary.

B. Wildered said...

Ken: Perhaps we should start with your brain since clearly you have no further use for it.

Sackerson said...

If this is a touchstone of the Coalition's thinking, I'm unimpressed.

The proposed child benefit cut is effectively a higher level benefit trap - as a financial adviser I'd be looking for ways to bring my marginal HRT clients below the threshold, perhaps by "salary sacrifice" in return for higher company-paid pension contributions. The self-employed will have lots of ways to increase their expenses until this daft idea goes away.

It's also effectively a regressive tax, affecting the £50k earner twice as much as the £100k earner. And it has already been pointed out that families earning 2 * £25k escape the penalty when the 1 * £50k are caught. Adjusting this will end up with a complex and politically embarrassing (and administratively expensive) mess like the abolition of the 10p tax band.

If the doctor is giving you nasty medicine, you have to be sure he know's what he's doing. This will be a one-term government, I think.

CityUnslicker said...

Sackerson - your points on this are fair. i ama one worker household head so this affects me personally.

However, to say this is a one-term government off the back of this is daft. Have the Labour party got any credibility left at all?

I think not.

CityUnslicker said...

MW - comments on my lack of spelling prowess are always most welcome, as I have fallen off the wagon of late when it comes to all things grammer. You should see the state of my blackberry emails...

Bill Quango MP said...

Now I've read the details I'm appalled. Office reaction is equally furious. There are a host of £44k income earners there who can't believe their £35k income relatives escape.

I thought all higher rate tax payers had to complete a self assessment tax form anyway.

Surely there is a better way to implement this 'cut' without the excessive Brownocracy such a thing normally entails?

Budgie said...

Child benefit should be scrapped entirely. Those out of work have it deducted from their notional ss assessment anyway; and those in work can be compensated fairly by a personal tax allowance for the child, transferable to the parents.

Mark Wadsworth said...

Seb W: "As Winston Churchill might put it, the injunction never to end a sentence with a preposition is the kind of English 'Grammar' up with which we should not put."

What an ugly sentence! Doesn't it sound nicer if you minimise on compound verbs which are meaningless to a foreigner and use a more international word:

"The injunction never to end a sentence with a preposition is the kind of English 'Grammar' which we should not tolerate."?

Sackerson said...

CU: Daft, my breeks. Both parties are a disgraceful shambles, neither deserves power and yes, I think this lot will cock up in short order and deservedly or not the other lot will have a fair chance next time round, probably finishing us off altogether. Imagine being 3 points behind after less than 6 months in office and before taking any major decisions.

Sebastian Weetabix said...


I see Churchill's irony has passed you by. Personally I prefer idiomatic English in a conversational style, but nil gustibus disputandum.

Sackerson said...

De gustibus non est disputandum. I know, I haven't had enough to drink yet, sorry.