Monday 5 November 2018

What Does the Budget Betoken?

In some idle moments over the weekend I perused a few leftish websites and discovered a distinct strand of opinion on t'other side is that Hammond's effort of last week is a pre-election Budget.

Which might be wishful thinking on their part, I guess.  But perhaps it's worth a moment's reflection?  My impression, FWIW, had been that the Budget was a signal to those Brexiteer Tory MPs who care most of all about tax-cutting that it'll be worth their while to support whatever half-baked deal May finally comes up with.  

Which isn't incompatible with the pre-election thesis, of course.  And it's done double duty, because the tax cuts seem to have thrown Labour into a bit of a tactical dilemma, with suggestions that their private polling has lead McDonnell to be wary on the subject, and consequent awkwardness on the Labour benches.

How do C@W readers interpret last week?



Charlie said...

If May fights the next GE, it's all just deckchair shuffling.

CityUnslicker said...

I don't think the Tories will ever want to think about the next election. See John Major, doing it the last day possible in the desperate hope that something will turn up.

DJK said...

Sadly, those of us in Scotland are more likely to get a tax increase than tax cut.

personalmusing said...

Why would any Conservative MP want an election? They barely scraped through the last one and are clearly in a worse spot now- the past 18 months of dithering and incompetence. So keep job for 3 years and the brexit process should fade, or toss a coin to see if you lose your job now.

The only merit of attempting to call an election now would be the photo-op of May going through the aye lobby hand in hand with corbyn, and all the conservatives in the No lobby.

andrew said...

I think it is a good bit of moving tanks onto the bottom of the lab front drive.
May geusses that there are a lot of lab supporters who want a good excuse to not vote corbyn and not many con supporters who think she is too left wing have ukip which seems to be getting a bit nutjobby and so net you end up ahead.

Fwiw i think she is right.
Universal credit should have been worked out and paid on a weekly basis.
Monthly in arrears is no use if you are paid weekly and lose your job and only have that last paypacket.

Anonymous said...

How do C@W readers interpret last week?

We're f**ked without a decent trade deal with anyone. We should shoot May's fox that we can have an easy transition as Fox is useless.

Tin hats for a few years as Brexit/No Brexit doesn't cover over the issue of piss poor productivity gains. All this idea of a highly skilled graduate workforce can be dispelled any Friday night in a Uni town and the high level of graduate debt.

In essence, Brexit has been no more than a diversion to cover over the incompetence of our political "masters".

Charlie said...

Productivity has fallen for two reasons:

- Cheap foreign labour supported by tax credits. Why would a business invest in new plant and automation when they can just add bodies on bargain basement wages?

- Low wages, suppressed by cheap foreign labour. Why work your arse off for a company when you've not had a decent pay rise for 10 years?

OK, so that's only one reason.

andrew said...

There is a trade off.
Look at france. Much more productive than us. Much higher wages. Much more regulation. Much more unemployment.

The french are one of the world leaders in automaton, partly because of the local market conditions.

E-K said...

"Here are some goodies. If you don't accept a deal I'll take them away."

Charles said...

I think the budget was a sop to old school conservatives. It’s aim was to sooth and at least look competent. Interestingly it has not unravelled as yet so maybe Hammond thought it through. Throwing money at the NHS without sorting out social care is idiotic and continuing with overseas aid is worse. We will know the Brexit terms are really bad if May suggests cutting overseas aid....

dearieme said...

"Monthly in arrears is no use if ..."

Dear God, I didn't know. What sort of dunderhead wanted that? Do none of our civil servants have any inkling of working class life?