Friday, April 19, 2013

To Boldly Go Where No Chancellor Has Gone Before AA+

Movie star Benedict Cumberbatch is a textbook metropolitan lefty, almost apologising for being middle class as he attacked arts spending cuts during a speech at a TUC rally in 2010. Surely just a coincidence that his new role as the baddie in Star Trek casts him as the spitting image of George Osborne. “Into Darkness”, just as Fitch downgrades Britain’s credit rating from AAA to AA+…

Pic via @tweeter_anita

Thursday, April 4, 2013

WATCH: Osborne Asks Why Taxpayer Subsidised Philpott

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

That Osborne General Election Message in Full

Click to enlarge. You can read his speech in full here.

UPDATE: Buried in his HMT promoted speech is Osborne’s general election campaign message:

With all our welfare changes, we’re simply asking people on benefits to make some of the same choices working families have to make every day.

To live in a less expensive house.

To live in a house without a spare bedroom unless they can afford it.

To get by on the average family income.

These are the realities of life for working people.

They should be the reality for everyone else too.

No wonder the Tories were PRing the speech too. Whose side are Labour on? Simples…

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.


Seen Elsewhere

More Owen Jones Errors | Michael Ezra
Why Should Men Get Equal Maternity Leave? | Laura Keynes
Dentists Have Last Laugh Over Sneering Keynes | FT
Why’s Clegg Giving Men Paternity Leave? | Conservative Women
Cam Cannot Stem EU Immigration | David Keighley
9 Mansion Tax Questions for Ed Balls | TPA
Politicians are Lying to You About Immigration | Alex Wickham
Give Journalists Public Interest Defence in Law | Guardian
Cameron is Going to Have to Deal With UKIP | Dan Hodges
Opinions on Key Issues By Constituency | Red Box
Britain Irrelevant Inside EU | Dan Hannan


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Chris Bryant talks to the Times Diary about a famous gay actor:

“I don’t think I’ve had sex with him. He says we had sex in Clapham. I’m fairly certain I’ve never had sex south of the river”



Progressive Inclusion Champion says:

Great to hear Carswell call for inclusive policies and that UKIP must stand for first and second generation immigrants as much as the English.


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