Wednesday 8 July 2015

Summer Budget: Open Thread

Will update later with any details but so far it seems to be the usual,  'not has hard as we are portrayed are we?' attempt along with some fiddling around the edges and finding ways to avoid real cuts where possible...middling...what do you think?


Blue Eyes said...

Amazing. Top drawer stuff.

Huge welfare reform.

Direction of travel towards lower taxes.

Nixed the low-wage race-to-the-bottom lefty hogwash foodbank fuckwittery with a chunky rise in the minumum wage.

Grade A*.

dearieme said...

Look, has he or has he not handed me a thousand pounds?

That's the question the man on the Clapham omnibus is interested in.

dearieme said...

Ooooo, he's a Nazi.

(Guardian reader in the cab following the Clapham omnibus.)

Bill Quango MP said...

I think he's just taken about £5k off of me.

Anonymous said...

Shot the Labour fox with the minimum wage rise. But raising the minimum wage when there's already more people than jobs will incentivise more young Europeans to head this way, and more dodgy employers to ignore minimum wage. I presume that's what's bothering BQ ? Bloody hell, I've just noticed the IPT hike from 6 to 9.5% on car and house insurance - that won't do BQ any good either.

The reduction in benefits for those having more than two kids (in the future - it won't apply to those already in receipt) will cause some head-scratching in Bethnal Green (and Stamford Hill) - not to mention the reduction of the total benefit cap which I assume WILL apply to all going forward.

John miller said...


Increasing the minimum wage? The man is insane.

Bill Quango MP said...

The Min wage is going up to only a bit higher than it would be anyway. By 2020.
But its going up regardless of whatever happens between now and 2020.
So Osbo is taking a risk with employment.

Budgie said...

Osborne has just tinkered around the edges, no major reforms just alterations in rates and thresholds. The unreliables scam goes on largely unscathed, and foreign aid was backed despite its cost and the harm it does. Very disappointing - it could have been written by the Lib-Dems.

Bill Quango MP said...

Budgie - Its already being talked about as a landmark budget. A budget to rival the great budgets of the past.
I haven't caught all the details yet .. patchy online.. but to suggest its 'same as ever' is not the opinions of the media.

Sebastian Weetabix said...

Let's see what everyone thinks in 48 hours. There are bound to be little measures he hasn't announced which unravel by then.

andrew said...

Budgets have always been about the things you don't initially spot

The further restriction on the tax advantages for high earners is a smooth move as those high earners who are in DB Schemes can only grin and suffer.

The green paper is the real iceberg.
Suppose it comes out with pension conts are from post tax income but the payments are tax-free (like ISAs).
If this happens the income tax take will rise by ~10% instantly and the drop in receipts will be spread over the next 70 years.

Anonymous said...

Really enjoyed this. Two Budgets and an Autumn Statement. Why can't we have more of these.

More politicians too. Elected Mayors. Elected Police Commissioners. More Quangos.

Just the stuff.

Blue Eyes said...

Some people would still be calling Osborne a lefty if he cut public spending to 6% of GDP. He is aiming for 36%, the lowest for ages, and lots of people are crying "too soft! too soft!". What the hell would it take to please you guys?

Anonymous said...

A Conservative Government ? There's more to a country than "THE ECONOMY".

dearieme said...

"reduction in benefits for those having more than two kids (in the future - it won't apply to those already in receipt)": maybe for those there could be a cull?

Blue Eyes said...

Well, Anon, it was the budget, which tends to focus on economic issues. What was un-Conservative about it? A huge shift in responsibility for welfare from the state to the individual? Business tax cuts? Income tax cuts? Very lefty.

Were you expecting a 2015 Tory government to ban French people and cold fizzy beer?

andrew said...

Were you expecting a 2015 Tory government to ban French people and cold fizzy beer?

...well, possibly foreigners who don't tie their shoelaces

Timbo614 said...

I'm glad that, since incorporating, I have not taken full (idiotic/greedy?) advantage of the fact that I have a small ltd co. business and can pay myself & Mrs Timbo dividends. I was told years ago "be reasonable" then HMRC won't ask awkward questions and you won't show up on the radar etc.

So reasonable have I been that the dividend rule changes don't actually affect my (self regulated) income at all.

I know others who will be convinced that they have just been shafted, when actually it was them (acting like Greeks) that was shafting the government, and it is them, being greedy, that have caused this change to come about!

So for me nothing changes much, a few additional quid for higher personal allowances. A few extra quid eventually for lower corporation tax.

A good budget tho' pretty much what they said they would do in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

arg...where are my comments going? still, Ok overall.

my prediction though - the next recession will start with a deficit still in play...

Anonymous said...

"So reasonable have I been that the dividend rule changes don't actually affect my (self regulated) income at all."

No dividends at all ? As I understand it the rules will change taxation of dividends (for basic rate payers in this example) for one's limited company from 20% (i.e. 20% CT and no extra tax liability) to 25.5% (18% CT and 7.5% divi tax). Am I mistaken ?

I pay a smallish divi in a year and HMRC have been dormant so far.

Anonymous said...

Sorry - forgot that divi tax only applies above total divi income of £5K

Timbo614 said...

@Anon at 10:52&4, yes and there are two of us so up to 10K is no problem after that 7.5%/5.5% is hardly a deal breaker.

Electro-Kevin said...

Wages shouldn't be subsidised by the state and nor should landlording or big families.

"Council housing was always subsidised." Yes. But there was limited supply and the people living in those houses had work in menial jobs the local area.

"The £9 minimum wage will increase immigration." Well at least those incentivised by it want work and not welfare. I have always maintained that toughness on welfare should be coupled with a limit in immigration. It isn't fair to force people off welfare into a saturated labour market.

This may cost business and it may cost jobs but the fact is that the country cannot afford to keep borrowing to fund this system. Especially where some of those businesses off-shore their accounts and avoid tax.

It seems that the capitalists have come to believe in the magic money tree as well as the socialists. The mixture of the two is what they call Blairism and it's about time we got rid.

Blue Eyes said...

So, err, you don't like the welfare cuts, the reduction in social rent subsidies to above-averagely-paid workers, the reduction in buy-to-let tax relief? Immigration and welfare are two sides of the same coin. Cut welfare and you will have fewer jobs to fill by importing workers who haven't been trapped in the system.

Nick Drew said...

what's not to like ?!

Blue Eyes said...

Listen to those subsidy junkies squeal!

(Bonus: a meaningless waffle by Lucas, and an open invitation to shale investors). The quote from George looks promising as well. GO George!

Electro-Kevin said...

Blue - I like the welfare cuts. It's just that I see the other side of the coin. "Off you go into the harsh world of work" is cruel when the taskmaster allows the global movement of unskilled labour to depress wages.

Soon the £9 minimum wage will be eaten up by the cost of real inflation - the cost of housing as we become more crowded. Perhaps this increase in housing demand will put upward pressure on rents and offset the loss of tax relief for landlords.

There shouldn't be a minimum wage. A sensibly balanced population would have ensured a healthy living wage and affordable housing.

Mass immigration has been made tolerable by in-work subsidy and welfarism - and this has back fed to encourage more and more immigration.

Business has been more subsidised than the mines ever were. And the social costs are not even measured.

CityUnslicker said...

well put EK.

The need to cut welfare is paramount; the need to be real about the world even more so. Here we are with a huge wave of immigrants desperate to get to the UK. The Government response is to shoulder shrug. Even the 'EU Referendum' will say nothing about immigration.

The world of the future is going to be full of too many people with nothing productive to do in Asia and Africa. They will look to come to the UK - I would in their shoes too. But no UK Government seems ready to take the Australian approach.

I was speaking to a chap who has set up a business in Sierra Leone last week (how brave is he, ex-special forces mind). The idea is to create jobs and profit. We discussed why so many left - the truth is they hear, on the ground there, about free houses and free food in the UK. He knows as he is asked every day how they can come with him to paradise.

Until this image is challenged, immigration is going to increase even further, not decrease.

Cutting welfare is a start but its a long war.

andrew said...


Please forgive my ignorance but as France and Germany are countries with higher incomes and lower living costs than the UK,

Why do people try to come here?

Budgie said...

Osborne is fiddling around the edges. Many of our main global competitors have energy costs approaching half of ours. He has done next to nothing about that, apart from tilting at onshore windmills.

Cutting CT by 1% here or there won't bring back the hundreds of thousands of jobs lost in the chemicals, glass, steel and aluminium industries. But no, Osborne like Cameron is wedded to the green blob and the EU.

A "landmark budget"? No, BQ, it is an ineffectual pussy-footing budget of wasted opportunities; a budget hedged by political correctness and the Westminster bubble.

dearieme said...

"a budget hedged by political correctness and the Westminster bubble" Probably, but probably also by the desire to win the next general election. It's a democracy: if the electorate has its head full of silly nonsense there's a limit to how much sense of reality a politician will dare to attempt to introduce. They can't be confident of being opposed by another Ed Moribund next time.

Blue Eyes said...

Dearieme, correct. Lots of people seem to think that their views are wildly popular out there.

Andrew, plenty of people migrate to France and Germany as well; as a proportion of existing population, Britain attracts fewer migrants than several other EU countries.

"It's a long war", which you and others apparently wanted to start off by electing the hapless Miliband. Odd, most odd.

Budgie said...

Budgie said: "a budget hedged by political correctness and the Westminster bubble";
Dearieme said: "Probably, but probably also by the desire to win the next general election";
Blue Eyes said: "Dearieme, correct"

Indeed correct, and a long way from the original BE gusher of "Top drawer stuff". And a bit more realistic too.

Sebastian Weetabix said...

Hmm. The more I look at this budget the less I like it. The living wage is just lefty guff which will cost jobs and an extra eleventy-twelfty billion into the NHS without any plans to improve productivity... meh.
And where are the actual cuts? The bonfire of quangos? Selling off Channel 4 and the other useless mouths in the public sector?
His "long term economic plan" is nothing of the sort. He has not done as well as Alistair Darling's original plans and his targets keep slipping ever further into the distance. If you are going to be excoriated by the Grauniad, the Unions and the Buggers Broadcasting Communism as an evil slasher you might as well actually be one.

A furtive onanist indeed.

CityUnslicker said...

SW - same as 2010, the one chance is the first budget for real, painful cuts. The left will howl so you may as well get on with it - but no.

The real elephant for me is the refusal to limit pensions to inflation plus 0.5% or some such. The oldies keep getting rewarded by the Tories at the expense of the young, its becoming quite extreme now. Of the Social Wlefare budgt of which they are so keen tocut, over 50% is pensions but these are allowed to rise.

It is a couple of days later now, the gloss is coming off as per usual.

Anonymous said...

"as France and Germany are countries with higher incomes and lower living costs than the UK, Why do people try to come here?"

Because we're seen as the softest touch (and the global use of English doesn't help either).

On the budget and the continual wailing about productivity, it's "easy"* to raise productivity in a country with a large manufacturing sector. Not so easy with services, the road we took thirty five years back. My barber still takes the same 10 minutes to cut my hair that she did ten years ago. How do you raise the productivity of, say, a health care assistant in a care home, or someone who washes and clips your dog?

* "easy" = "possible"

Anonymous said...

SW - the two-kids benefit restrictions, if left in place, will actually have a profound eugenic effect. But that's coming after 35 years of dysgenics (the policy of benefits-for-babies has been around longer, but the lag in the necessary cultural changes meant that it only really got going in the 80s).

A policy of additional transferable personal tax allowance per child would be icing on the cake. I can dream.