March 18th, 2014

How Osborne Can Outwit Clegg Tomorrow


It is no secret that the budget is expected to see an announcement of the raising of the income tax threshold. It is no secret because Clegg is boasting at every opportunity that he can that this is a LibDem policy to help the low paid. With some justice, co-conspirators will remember that Daniel Finkelstein argued that raising the threshold was unaffordable and “punk tax cutter” Guido argued it was affordable and politically savvy. Nick Clegg joined the argument about this policy before the election – on Guido’s side. In government the policy was implemented by Osborne as part of the coalition deal. Nevertheless the LibDems get all the credit for the policy from the voters.

So how could the ever political Osborne get the electoral credit for the policy? Let Guido suggest how his speech might play out:

“Mr Speaker I have received many representations, not least from the junior partners in the government coalition, about raising the minimum tax threshold by £500, I have decided to reject these representations.

Mr Speaker it is not in the country’s interest to risk the stability of the economy…


…it is for that reason that I have decided that now we are seeing balanced growth, falling unemployment and a stable macroeconomic outlook, to raise the tax threshold by £1,000 to £11,000. The Conservative Party is a tax cutting party and when it is prudent to do so we will cut taxes for everybody. This tax cut removes the tax burden from thousands more people on low pay.”

In one stroke Clegg is outbid on fair taxes, the policy is reclaimed for the Tories, Osborne is cheered by his backbenches and the lowest paid are better off. Even better, most of those on in-work benefits will see their benefits reduced by an equivalent amount. The Brown benefits dependency culture will be undone a little bit more… 


  1. 1
    Mrs Harpersons Boys says:

    We don’t what raise the threshold, we just want to give away tax breaks to encourage more children….

  2. 2
    Gordon Brown says:

    Mine’s massive and it isn’t made of plastic

  3. 3

    If I couldn’t outwit Clegg on ANYTHING I’d have to jump under a bus !!

  4. 4
    M103 says:

    ‘And the lowest paid are better off’?

    Please explain how that works for someone earning £9000 pa.

    The low tax party who raised VAT from 8% to 15% in 1979, from 15% to 17.5% in 1993, and from 17.5% to 20% in 2010? And who would they be?

  5. 5
    BC says:

    Clegg is of little or no consequence.

    Reduce the size of the state, then reduce ALL taxes.

  6. 6
    Guy News Room says:

    Owen Jones the trombone Player Makes Huge Sneeze During Concert | Watch the video – Yahoo Yahoo UK

  7. 7
    Gooey Blob says:

    No problem with raising the tax threshold here, but I wish they wouldn’t pay for it by lowering the 40% bracket.

  8. 8
    He should stick to coke and black tarts says:

    Quite brilliant.

    Don’t forget the bit about reducing the 40% tax threshold to ensure that higher rate taxpayers (all 4.7 million of them – used to vote Conservative) are no better off.

    Osborne is such a genius that he has realised that they have no other party to vote for.

  9. 9
    Ed Miliband says:

    How will this help the Cost of Living crisis?

    Does he not realise it may actually destroy it?

  10. 10
    He should stick to coke and black tarts says:

    Good point, but you’ll need to make it simpler for a moron like Osborne to understand.

  11. 11
    The Client State says:

    Here is some money, lets call them benefits. Now vote Labour

  12. 12
    A typical voter (Well in Gideons mind) says:

    *punches air*

  13. 13
    nigel evans says:

    its just westminster bubble fiddling round the edges.

    cut the state by 80%. tax cuts for all

  14. 14
    nigel evans says:

    quite. what the hell does the state need to spend 50% of all money in the economy for? are politicians really going to make better choices of what to do with my money than I am?

  15. 15
    It is getting serious now says:

    Sky’s Nick Martin in Crimea said there are reports that Russian forces threw stones and debris at the Ukrainian soldiers.

  16. 16
    Penfold says:

    But, all those that gain at the bottom will never ever vote Tory.
    And those that end up neutral, as they lose benefits, will blame the Tories and swallow any crap spouted by Balls and the rest of the lefty twats.

  17. 17
    Bosun Higgs says:

    I predict a Budget with some futile tinkering, some meretricious flim-flam to give the Mail a headline, a cock-up to give the Mirror a headline, a crackdown on something or other and a complete lack of resolve to get a grip on the nation’s finances.

  18. 18
    nigel evans says:

    vote UKIP.

    got my voter registration docs through the post. am going to work the photocopier into the ground doing this ‘postal voting’ thingy

  19. 19
    Dirk Diggler says:

    Button Mushroom said J S-P .

  20. 20
    Serial mugging victim says:

    Well, according to Osborn’s logic, we’d all feel so much more successful if he raised the rate to 25 %

    And according to Treasury opinion (see Telegraph today), everyone would work harder as a result.

    They’d call that a win-win result.

  21. 21
    The HoC (Greedy) Purloiners says:

    Thats right we will throw a few miserly crumbs to the
    filthy stinking great unwashed masses & then grab it
    all back plus more after our re-election, these sheepe
    will never learn & thats why we are all multi millionaires.
    Who have divine right to rule handed down from on high
    & thats is the way it will always be.

  22. 22
    M103 says:

    Are people so stupid that they don’t realise that the only people who benefit from this are those who earn between £10k and £11k per annum?
    If you earn £9k you don’t benefit. If you earn £12k, you don’t benefit.

    Clegg – STFU.

  23. 23
    Anonymous says:

    Brilliant idea Guido. Let’s hope George does it.

  24. 24
    Nigel Evans says:

    The trombone’s a favourite of mine.

  25. 25
    Hollandé says:

    So when I increased the tax to 75% how come people were not as you say cock a hoop?

  26. 26
    John blyth says:

    It makes more sense to raise the NI threshold. NI means basic rate tax 32 percent. Not 20 percent.

  27. 27
    the road to serfdom says:

    Our government isn’t taking it seriously enough. We need an immediate state of emergency. Rounding up of trades unionists and other lefty agitators. Internment and deportation of people with accents. A temporary installation of a thousand year national socialist government (or reich if you will).

  28. 28
    He should stick to coke and black tarts says:

    Good points – there do seem to a number of flaws in this approach.

    However, it is widely acknowledged that Osborne is a political genius, so I’m sure he will have all this covered tomorrow to ensure this government surges to victory in 14 months’ time.

  29. 29
    C O (Ξ7d) says:

    So much for the Friday deadline…

  30. 30
    Dave - the pervert's best friend says:

    Works for me.

  31. 31
    A person who stayed awake during Maths says:

    Oh dear oh dear oh dear oh dear

  32. 32
    Vince Cable says:

    He will leak it all to the Standard tonight so no need to worry about tomorrow (when the money markets open)


  33. 33
    Gooey Blob says:

    Never mind that, tell us where you’re hiding Ed Balls. Have you locked him away in the policy cupboard? Are you ashamed of your choice of shadow chancellor? Perhaps it wasn’t such a good judgement call to pick Ed…

  34. 34
    the road to serfdom says:

    abolish booze and petrol duties. paid for with a pa#do tax. the excess raised can fund a mars base.

    it’s win win.

    only labour voters will end up poorer

  35. 35
    Innocent Bystander says:

    Are the voices in your head talking to you again Eddie?

  36. 36
    Danielle Stevens says:

    Deafening here – I have got an irony klaxon in one ear & an hypocrisy klaxon in the other:

    Herman Van Rompuy and Jose Manuel Barroso, said in a joint statement.

    “The European Union does neither recognise the illegal and illegitimate referendum in Crimea nor its outcome. The European Union does not and will not recognise the annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol to the Russian Federation,” their statement said.

    Like most Western democrats, I am on Putin’s side in this.

  37. 37
    C O (Ξ7d) says:

    Osborne’s politics are somewhat crisp, but his lack of charisma rules him out as leadership material.

  38. 38
    Bunga says:

    Owen Jones appears to be under some delusion that the money i earn from packing boxes in a dirty warehouse somehow morally belongs to the the left

  39. 39
    Vlad says:

    Я пердеть в общем направлении

  40. 40
    He should stick to coke and black tarts says:

    Are you sure that “logic” is really what you wanted to say there?

    Wouldn’t “pathetic, desperate bullshit” be more accurate?

  41. 41
    8umboy 8illy Hague says:

    Putin would probably take more notice of the Chuckle Brothers.

  42. 42
    Swings and Roundabouts says:

    No difference between doing either, actually.

  43. 43
    Ed Balls says:

    Use the bankers tax.

  44. 44
    The left says:

    It’s not your money, it’s our money!!! We want more of it to give to muslim terrorists and their families!

  45. 45
    Black Jack says:

    Which end?.

  46. 46
    M103 says:


    Does a person earning £9k get taken out of tax? No.
    Does a person earning £12k get taken out of tax? No.

  47. 47
    the road to serfdom says:

    I am on whatever is the opposite side to rumpy-pumpy and big-nose barrosso.

    go team putin!

    i suspect the EU hate the idea that an ethnic group might want to live together and that ethnic solidarity is more important than national borders. maybe some of southern spain that’s full of english might want to secede and join the UK?

  48. 48
    IQ_of_154 says:

    Outwitting Clegg far too easy, hardly worth the effort…

  49. 49
    He should stick to coke and black tarts says:

    Or, in Osborne’s case, the Wanker’s Tax.

  50. 50
    Wake up & vote UKIP says:

    + 1 English billion.

  51. 51
    H Harmskids says:

    More like punches Gideon!.

  52. 52
    the road to serfdom says:

    did anyone ever make a list of what labour’s bankers tax has been promised for? i can remember at least a score of announcements

  53. 53
    H Harmskids says:

    Oh my god,millipede hes on to us

  54. 54
    M103 says:

    Why does Scameron support Turkish entry into the EU?

    1. Turkey is part of Asia.
    2. Turkey is a muslim country – their ‘beliefs’ are totally incompatible with ours.

  55. 55
  56. 56
    Swings and Roundabouts says:

    It’s another £1,000 tax free for anyone earning over £10k, nobhead.

  57. 57
    sponsored comment says:

    how many lines of gak and black whores can prime minister in waiting george osborne get through in one evening?

    the best answer wins years of illegal covert monitoring from special branch!

  58. 58
    was it something I said? says:

    It’s obvious. The tax threshold in the first year of The Imbecility was £4045 (1997-8) and the last year of The Imbecility (2009-2010) was £6475.

    Osborne will double that £6457 to almost £13000.

    He can then (rightly) brag about having done more in five years to take the poorest entirely out of tax than The Imbecile did in 13 years.

    …. DOUBLING …. pause for cheers, waving of order papers …. YES – DOUBLING – a 100% INCREASE in the tax free allowance …. more cheers ..pandemonium ….

    in only five years when the previous government [pause for boos] …

    managed only 63% in 13 years thus dragging more of the poor INTO poverty …. pause for cheers, waving of order papers

    We are the friend of the low paid, we have taken more poor people out of tax entirely in 5 years than LAbour managed in 13 years and I commend this budget to the house.

    …. pause for cheers, waving of order papers .. complete pandemonium … Ed Balls goes puce and swallows his tongue … Franky Maude points and laughs his head off….

    Hardly worth watching really. We know what’ll happen.

  59. 59
    He should stick to coke and black tarts says:

    As long as they don’t pay higher rate tax.

  60. 60
    Ivor Nobello says:

    The bell end.

  61. 61
    a meme is born says:


  62. 62
    Willy Vague says:

    The Chuckle Bros, surely that’s their stage name?.

  63. 63
    C O (Ξ7d) says:

    EU wants T’urkey in so as it can claim full control of the B’osphorous.

    I would not worry too much about this though, as R-Fed / !ran are well and truly onto that game.

  64. 64
    Anonymous says:

    Well we could save £52 million a day by coming out of the EU but that wont happen under Cameron and here is why

  65. 65
    He should stick to coke and black tarts says:

    Particularly brilliant when it’s aimed directly at actual and potential Conservative voters, none of whom pay higher rate tax.

    Meanwhile, in shitholes across the land kneejerk Labour supporters will pocket the benefit and still think that Cameron, Osborne et al are stuck up tossers.

    What could possibly go wrong?

  66. 66
    Flange says:

    To be fair, it’s not tax free and no-one is being “taken out of tax” as NI is still being charged which is no different to income tax.

  67. 67
    An Englishman says:

    You don’t suppose a person on £12K will then only be paying tax on £1K instead of on £2K, then?

  68. 68
    Swings and Roundabouts says:

    No, it applies to everyone.

  69. 69
    Gooey Blob says:

    Here’s another prediction. Both Eds will get a bit of airtime so I wouldn’t be surprised if the polls tighten by another point or two in the next week.

  70. 70
    Swings and Roundabouts says:

    Flange – it IS tax free, by definition. Fair point about NI, though.

  71. 71
    Sir Rodney Trotter of Black Economy says:

    True but Clegg’s point is about taking people out of tax altogether.

  72. 72
    the very poor bloody taxpayer says:

    thats right – the illusion that ‘government gives’ must be maintained

    the threshold raisng needs to be extended to nic’s

  73. 73
    This isn't Hard says:

    If the personal allowance is raised to £11k then a person on £12k would pay tax on £1k.

  74. 74
    This isn't Hard says:

    Doubling the allowance would be an excellent idea. The only downside would be paying for it.

  75. 75
    P l e b says:

    And what, apart from towel-folding, qualifies him for that position?

  76. 76
    Dot Cottons fag says:

    Putin threatens to dump Dollar as reserve currency.

  77. 77
    Lord Swanbourne says:

    It isn’t difficult to outwit the witless.

  78. 78
    8umboy 8illy Hague says:

    You hum it and I’ll play along.

  79. 79
    on selected models terms and conditions apply your home might be at risk blah blah blah says:

    ever seen an elephant queuing at a supermarket checkout to pay for their bananas? or a monkey handing over a credit card at a hotel reception desk? how about a giraffe being sentenced to spend a couple of years in a jail for tax avoidance? oh i know they are “only” “animals” but they have got their priorities straight, the things that they need to perpetuate their lives- namely food and shelter, are basically free.

    i guess there are a couple of ways replies to this could go. people might hark about the angle of the law of the jungle and how animals aren’t civilized or you could take the positives from it and try to pull your heads out of the sand and realize that “money” is a giant fucking scam. and since we are meant to be more civilized than elephants, monkeys and giraffes you’d think we could get it together to create a system that actually perpetuates our species rather than destroy it… because whilst they might be the herds of wildebeest sweeping majestically across the plain being pursued by a pride of lions, those lions aren’t wielding machine guns and rocket propelled grenades.

  80. 80
    Fred the shred says:

    Labour gave me a knighthood

  81. 81
    Ed Balls says:

    Need something paying for? Not a problem for me…Banker’s Bonus tax. Always a winner.

  82. 82
    Flange says:

    Swings and Roundabouts – But it’s NOT tax free. It might be “Income tax” free but tax on earnings is not just that. NI is just income tax by another name and claiming to be “taking people out of tax” is just nonsense as that is simply not true.

  83. 83
    Idon'tneednodoctor says:

    By George I think Guido is on to something, unless he isn’t.

  84. 84
    teasy weasy says:

    and by the looks of it he uses max keiser’s hairdresser.

  85. 85
    Ed Miliband of Primrose Hill devoid of any ideas on how to govern the UK says:

    Bankers bonus tax.
    Mansion tax.

  86. 86
    Cleg Head says:

    The net tax paid also needs to include National Insurance, which drops to 2% from 12% above ~£40K.

    So, the net tax per £ at 20K income is 20% + 12% = 32%

    and at £40K is 40% + 2% = 42%

    And remember the student loan! A student on 20K will pay tax at

    20% (tax) + 12%(NI) + 10% (loan) = 42%, the same net tax as someone on 100K!

  87. 87
    Baroness Warsi says:

    Old Etonians are hideously white.

  88. 88
    Don't give a shit about UKRAP, the Limp Dumbs or LieBore says:

    How about a tax on people employing their mistress in a publicly funded job – tax them at, say, 95%?

  89. 89
    Anonymous says:

    Quelle crepe.

  90. 90
    Toxic Labour for Spongers, Parasites, Criminals, Peedos, Green Nazis & other Wasters says:

    Yes cut the State by 90% and put all these sponging bastards in caravans with food stamps.

  91. 91
    Nick Cleggover - The Unthinking Man's Role Model says:

    No it isn’t.
    It is my idea and I am staying with it as it is populist and I don’t care if it is unaffordable as I am a loony left winger and used to spending public money. So there.
    See me in Brussels as a commissioner in 2 years time.

  92. 92
    Truly Putinisk says:

    The BBC are doing a marvellous job for me in spreading the news that the Ukraine government in Kiev is a far right Fascist operation, and that we kindly Russian should put them down.
    Reminds me so much of what Comrade Stalin said about them. You can always rely on the BBC to carry our message.

  93. 93
    Just Saying says:

    This blog is getting more like BBC radio 4 every day – loads of half truths and biased leftie trolls.

  94. 94
    The Art of War. says:

    Very Good!

  95. 95
    broderick crawford says:

    we ve got no money to cut anything . it s all binary numbers on a computer screen being transferred about .

    Recent online video presentation from Sovereign Society ( admittedly a partial sales puff) states that USA Fort Knox physical gold reserves down from 28 thousand tonnes in 1992 to about three thousand tonnes now . Some say Fort Knox is empty as all requests by media etc to inspect its innatds have been refused todate .
    Yanks have been selling it to keep from bankruptcy but time running out
    The savvy Gerrmans some time ago officially requested their gold reserves of 1500 tonnes located in a Manhattan vault to be returned to Berlin . Yanks said you can only have 300 tonnes — drip fed over the next SEVEN years . Go figure !!0

  96. 96
    Pliny the Welder says:

    except that their catch phrase is “FROM you, to me”

  97. 97
    broderick crawford says:

    don t let the truth get in the way if a D Notice will you Moddy ??

  98. 98
    WInking.... Bingo! says:

    Turkey is half European, half asiatic.
    Better part of the EU than some league of Micky Mozzie crap.

    Just saying…..

  99. 99
    Frank's son says:

    Going by your logic, Guido, surely he could raise the threshold even further because the more money folk earn will mean less needed via tax credits and the like. So in theory any amount of rise woud be cost neutral? Or am I wrong in my assumption?

  100. 100
    Billy Hill says:

    At a stroke, save the Country ‘Billions’ slash the Foriegn Office & Overseas Aid budget. Biggest disappointment in Politics is William Hague. Foriegn Office is no longer fit for purpose and costs taxpayer a fortune!

  101. 101
    Vince Cable, Anti-Business Secretary and Deputy Chief Cockroach says:

    Never give a LibDem credit – I’ll see that you never get your capital back.

  102. 102
    Ed Balls talks balls says:

    It would be the half-wit trying to out-wit the fuck-wit

  103. 103
    Socialism = Starvation says:

    One problem is no one in the real world will notice. Almost no one knows who Mr Osborne is, and those who do know think he is inconsequential.

  104. 104
    Socialism = Starvation says:

    You get tax credits even if you don’t pay tax, it makes no difference what the personal allowance is.

  105. 105
    Romford_Stu says:

    If only that would happen though. I really will not be holding my breath for slashed spending & reduced taxation.

  106. 106
    an obvious pun says:

    Or simpler for Guido

  107. 107
    Jimmy says:

    Well it is Clegg

    But then again it is Osborne

  108. 108
    Ballsey says:

    I like the way osbourne is labelled TWIT on the GF mobile app picture for this piece. Nice one Guido.

  109. 109
    Invading immigrants says:

    Judging by yesterday’s events yesterday, quite a lot of Moroccans want to live in Spain. Must be the paella, I suppose.

  110. 110
    Invading immigrants says:

    ^oops – too many yesterdays; sorry Macca, you can have one back.

  111. 111
    Invading immigrants says:

    Naughty naughty! Percentages are very misleading. 42% of 100K is rather more cash that 42% of 20K

  112. 112
    EyeSee says:

    I think the short answer to the headline question is ‘use words’.

  113. 113
    broderick crawford says:

    er hello modbot ..

    my comment is STILL awaiting moderation 24 hours after it was posted .

    Either shit it out or get it off the pot !

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