Friday, March 22, 2013

Friday Caption Contest (Budget Brew Edition)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Budget Doesn’t Unravel, Budget Spin Does

24 hours later and Osborne’s budget has yet to unravel, though both sides are having quite a set-to over the Help to Buy mortgage scheme. This morning Labour spinners got very excited by Osborne’s refusal to deny that the scheme would help wealthy homeowners to buy second homes, having the cheek to call it the “spare home subsidy”.

Both Osborne and Cable again did not deny it in the House at lunchtime. A Tory spokesman insists to Guido: “this is a very technical area. We have said that we are going to consult in order to get this right, instead of rushing into decisions or knee jerk reactions”. Yet Housing minister Mark Prisk seems to have made his mind up, telling Wato second homes would not be included.

Labour aren’t having a much better time of it: yesterday two-faced Chuka Umunna told Radio 4 he liked the policy, today he’s against it. If it turns out the spare home subsidy doesn’t exist and the policy is as he thought yesterday, that leaves him in a rather awkward position…

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

FLASHBACK: The Ghost of Osborne Past

As the Chancellor joined the digital age he was left with @George_Osborne; it seems the naughty holders of the preferable @GeorgeOsborne handle have woken up and are sharing what might have been:

Not sure how things are looking “simpler” or “flatter” today… 

CHART: Spending v Receipts in Full

Public sector net borrowing is up from £86 billion in 2012-13 to £108 billion in 2013-14. It will fall to £42 billion by 2017-18, but the borrowing forecast for the entire parliament has risen by at least £140 billion. Herein lies the problem…

Treasury Leak Entire Budget to Standard Before Osborne Up

Their embargoed look at the budget has leaked before the Chancellor even stands up:

  • Planned fuel duty hike scrapped
  • 1p off a pint but cider up 2p, wine up 10p and spirits up 38p.
  • Borrowing up to £61bn
  • Income tax allowance will rise to £10,000 by April 2014
  • Corporation tax cut to 20% by 2015
  • Growth will apparently reach 1.8% next year, 2.3% by 2015. No Triple Dip.
  • £2,000 cut to employer NI contributions.

Terrible economic news but cheaper beer.

UPDATE:

UPDATE II:  Editor Sarah Sands has released this statement:

“An investigation is immediately underway into how this front page was made public and the individual who Tweeted the page has been suspended while this takes place. We have immediately reviewed our procedures. We are devastated that an embargo was breached and offer our heartfelt apologies.”

It’s Budget Day

Quite a day for Osborne to join Digital Dave:

Five minutes in and he’s already on the receiving end.

They’re calling it the Twitter budget…

UPDATE: Right on cue, unemployment is up by 7,000 this morning. Youth unemployment is up 48,000, though employment is also up by 131,000 and the number of JSA claimants is slightly down. Happy budget day…

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Osborne Caves to National Union of Ministers

A big win for the National Union of Ministers: Osborne is demanding £2.5 billion of extra cuts but is protecting May, Hammond and Pickles. The rest of the unprotected Cabinet will have to deal with a 1% cut in resource budgets. The money will be spent on capital spending. Criticise George in public and your department gets ringfenced, everyone else must suffer in silence…

UPDATE: A Whitehall wonk gets in touch to insist Hammond is merely being allowed to roll-over his budget underspend for this year, and while May and Pickles’s grants is protected they will still have to find 1% savings from the rest of their budgets. Their entire budgets will be unprotected in 2014-15.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Treasury Kick Back at Greenpeace G.O. O.G.

gTeam Osborne are kicking back at this morning’s Greenpeace fracking stunt. Occupying his constituency office seems to have backfired somewhat; a Treasury source tells Guido: “we are happy for Greenpeace to draw attention to the fact that George is fighting for cheaper energy bills for all”. Something of an own goal…

Frack & G.O. in Tatton

frack-and-go

Across the street from George Osborne’s constituency office is a village green on a roundabout where teams of Greenpeace activists have constructed a huge mock-up fracking operation – presumably to show the Chancellor how safe the process can be. The drivers of the 4x4s passing the stunt will be reminded just how much shale energy will save in fuel costs. Tatton is set to become the Dallas of England sitting as it does atop reserves which will provide cheap energy for the UK’s future as we dash for gas…

Thursday, February 28, 2013

WATCH: George Osborne Skipping

Give yourself a pat on the back…

 Via Standard

Seen Elsewhere

UKIP Reshuffles | James Forsyth
David Ruffley’s Future Under Discussion by Tories | BBC
The LibDem’s Jewish Problem | Jeremy Brier
Israeli Ambassador’s Letter to Clegg | Twitter
What Became of Cameron’s Big Society Network? | Indy
SpAd Reshuffle | PR Week
Clegg Under Pressure to Expel Ward | Telegraph
Labour’s Teachers Trained in the Art of Brainwashing | Jago Pearson
R.I.P. John Blundell, Former IEA Director General | Atlas
UKIP Hasn’t Gone Away | ConHome
Ward: I’d Be a Terrorist if I Lived in Gaza | Breitbart


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Sarah Vine writes of Esther McVey…

“McVey told Grazia that she hasn’t married or had children because she ‘never found anyone to wind her biological clock’ … If I remember rightly, half the current Cabinet would have cheerfully ‘wound her clock’ if she’d given them a glimmer of a chance.”



Flight Watch says:

Russia Today is a cauldron of bullsh*t. The only people that take it seriously are deluded conspiracy theorists. Other RT journos have resigned citing the same reasons.

It’s about as believable as Press TV, KCNA of North Korea or the Daily Mirror.


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