As Osborne delivers his Autumn Statement today, a YouGov poll for the Sun finds his personal ratings have dropped from -3 to -8 over the last nine months. Optimism that the economy will improve is down from 39% to 25%, while pessimism is up from 23% to 32%. The Chancellor’s credibility will hardly be helped this afternoon when he announces OBR numbers confirming he has missed his deficit forecasts and that there is a £50 billion black hole in public finances, when in the same speech he pledges:
- £3 billion extra cash for the NHS
- £15 billion for road improvement infrastructure spending
- £400 million extra to the British Business Bank
- £500 million of new lending guaranteed
- No fresh cuts
Cynical Neo-Keynesianism nevertheless appears to be paying electoral dividends for the Conservatives, proving once again that voters prefer jam today to jam tomorrow. This generation of voters prefers to put the burden for its profligacy on the next generation…
The Times leader puts it plainly: “What is clear is that he has decided to risk what progress has been made towards repairing the nation’s finances on an electorally inspired spending spree that will have to be funded… at least partly with debt.” Douglas Carswell has a point when he says Osborne will today deliver Gordon Brown’s 18th Autumn Statement…
United Nations Special Envoy and High Commissioner of the UNHCR, Angelina Jolie, has voiced her concerns about Ed Miliband’s mansion tax:
“I’m quite responsible about money. That could put me off [moving to London].”
Wonder who could have put her up to that…
Clip via Channel 4 News.
First Myleene Klass, now Bill Oddie:
Guido hates to break it to Bill that his new preferred party are no friend of mansion owners either. In addition to their “wealth tax“ on people worth over £3 million, and their so-called “backdoor mansion tax“ whacking up rates for wealthier home-owners, the Greens also propose a draconian Land Value Tax. This is from their website:
“Land, the primary source of all real wealth, is the common heritage. We acknowledge that land is held in trust by human society on behalf of other species and future generations, and that land should not be treated as a capital investment nor traded for speculative profit. We therefore assert the principle that no person and no body should have absolute control of land, but only particular rights over the use of it.
The Green Party proposes introducing LVT as a tax payable on the annual value of land… The level at which the tax would be levied would be based on the full value of the current permitted use of the land… Where a property rockets in value, LVT would seek to tax that windfall increase in property value to be re-invested back into the community.”
What’s a mansion owning North Londoner to do?
You know it’s bad when the Staggers have to try to spin Ed’s going over by Myleene Klass on last night’s Agenda. Apparently “this row could work in Miliband’s favour.” Hmm, not if the voting public are anything to go by…
Today’s poll on Metro just about says it all:
At least he didn’t sniff a fellow guest on the show, this time.
“The government has a moral duty to think of these people [taxpayers] in any decisions made on tax and spending” says the Prime Minister. “But what is morally wrong is government spending money as if it grows on trees. Every single pound of public money started as private earning” he continues in The Times.
So who immorally raised VAT to an eye-watering 20%? Who has maintained high combined national insurance and tax rates on everyone earning above minimum wage at Gordon Brown levels? Who allowed inflation to push some million more of the middle classes into the higher rate bracket?
£513 billion in 2009-10, representing 36.5% of GDP
£648 billion in 2014-15, representing 37.0% of GDP
£778 billion in 2018-19, representing 38.1% of GDP
Who would be so immoral?
Are you a bookworm who can’t bring yourself to boost the profits of a nasty offshore tax-avoiding corporation? Alan Rusbridger has a suggestion for you:
Of course the anti-Amazon Guardian bookshop neglects to mention to potential customers that the newspaper’s offices are owned offshore. Nor do they disclose their owner’s use of a Caymans Islands corporation to avoid stamp duty. Nor that for three quarters of a century the Guardian has been shirking taxes. Even worse, the first thing that appears when you click on the website is Russell Brand’s face…
Tax cuts are popular? Who knew!
Guido hasn’t seen this reported anywhere else in the news, the PM’s forward promise to move the 40% threshold up to £50,000 means that the rate will kick in at the boundary level last seen in 2009/10 under Gordon Brown. In 2009 the 40% rate kicked in after £37,400 of taxable income and under a Conservative government in 2020 after a decade in office it would kick in at £37,500 (£50,000 – £12,500).[…]
Guido has never seen a tax cut that he does not like so Cameron’s speech today was certainly lively. The hall loved it and Dave hit their sweet spots in a way he has not since before the last election. Personal allowance up, the threshold for 40% rate up from £41,000 to £50,000.[…]
A crass attempt at token Labour-vote stealing communism announced at UKIP conference today. A 25% tax on luxury goods such as £200 shoes, £1,000 handbags and £50,000 cars. UKIP sources are calling it the ‘Theresa May tax’. Claws out for the kitten heels…[…]
Discussing the fact that Britain’s poorly costed second aircraft carrier will see active service after all, Dave told the Commons earlier:
“In a nutshell really, that’s the difference between a socialist and a conservative. They dream about having money, where we raise it and spend it.”
Really, Prime Minister?[…]
“There’s no link [between Mr Umunna and Signature Tax]; there are Labour supporters in all walks of life who share the values of the party and donations do not influence policy.
Chuka Umunna has received a £2,500 donation from a firm which advises its clients on how to swerve HMRC rules to help them avoid tax. Signature Tax paid the sum two weeks ago, with the money “received through the Labour Party to support the office of Chuka Umunna”.[…]
Save the Children is an organisation that gets 53% of its money from the government. You probably think of it is as a charity, yet it’s funding structure looks more like a quango that does a little fundraising on the side.[…]