McDonnell v Corbyn on Tax Cuts


Labour haven’t quite worked out what their line is on the perennially popular idea of letting people keep more of their own money.

“We wouldn’t reverse” versus “ideological tax cuts.”

Corbyn didn’t really know how to respond yesterday and just blurted out his usual slogans and soundbites…

mdi-timer 30th October 2018 @ 12:51 pm 30th Oct 2018 @ 12:51 pm mdi-comment Comments
Front Page Phil Good Factor

The Treasury will be happy with the coverage the Chancellor got this morning. So far the budget hasn’t unravelled, because the ambiguity of the budget has meant the Labour counter attack and Corbyn’s irrelevant response are getting no traction. The commentariat is unclear if it really signals the end of austerity or not, it certainly signalled a slowing in the urgency of the effort to close the deficit…

mdi-timer 30th October 2018 @ 7:11 am 30th Oct 2018 @ 7:11 am mdi-comment Comments
Budget: The Think Tanks’ Verdict

Hammond appears to have avoided a Halloween horror show with several popular announcements including a freeze on beer, cider and spirits duty and bringing the income tax threshold rise forward to next April. However, fiscal hawks are alarmed at the rate of fiscal expansion. Here’s what the wonks made of it…

The Centre for Policy Studies is happy for now but calls for a more radical Budget post-Brexit:

“The focus on the end of austerity, giving hard working people more money in their pockets through tax cuts for 32 million people, and the largest ever increase in NHS spending without any rise in personal tax are hugely welcome. However we hope the Government pushes a more radical agenda that delivers for ordinary people once the Brexit deal is complete.”

The TaxPayers’ Alliance is broadly positive but calls for more serious tax reform:

“Increases in the personal allowance and higher rate income tax thresholds, with freezes to taxes on beer, cider, fuel and short-haul flights, will give much-needed breathing space to hard-pressed taxpayers. That said, the tax burden overall will be still be increasing. And to truly seize the opportunities afforded by Brexit, we should be looking at a much more serious and overdue reform of the tax code.”

The Adam Smith Institute is significantly less impressed, calling it a “botched budget”:

“What the Chancellor gave with one hand though, he took with the other as he hit firms large and small that make capital losses by restricting their exemptions—meaning less risk taking, less profit and fewer economic dividends… A digital revenue tax—lifted straight from the Corbynite playbook—will punish the millions of people who shop online and use online services every day.”

The Institute of Economic Affairs also takes aim at the “Fiddly Budget”:

“More broadly, it was a Budget littered with spending commitments across the board. In an attempt to signal the ‘end of austerity’, it appears this government has given up on deficit elimination… Fiscal responsibility is being sidelined, giving way to short-term giveaways and unaffordable pledges.”

As the Office for Budget Responsibility points out, the Government would have been on course to balance the books by 2023 with the unexpected fiscal windfall this year, but has spent it all already:

“Buoyant tax receipts and an improved outlook for employment have delivered the Government a significant fiscal windfall since March, sufficient to deliver its objective of a balanced budget by 2025. But this had already been swallowed up by the Prime Minister’s promise of more money for the NHS in June, to which the Chancellor has added a further near-term tax and spending giveaway. This leaves the medium-term outlook for government borrowing little changed since March.”

Balancing the budget was meant to be this Government’s fiscal priority, yet this Budget puts it firmly on the back burner…

mdi-timer 29th October 2018 @ 6:05 pm 29th Oct 2018 @ 6:05 pm mdi-comment Comments
Phil’s Potty Mouth

Big Phil spent over a minute making jokes about his mandatory business rates relief for public lavatories. There are some real groaners here…

mdi-timer 29th October 2018 @ 5:38 pm 29th Oct 2018 @ 5:38 pm mdi-comment Comments
Liz’s Lap Dance

The Commons erupts with cheers as Liz Truss can’t find a seat on the front bench for the Budget Statement and ends up sitting on Sajid Javid’s knee. Not the first time she’s sat on another MP’s lap…

mdi-timer 29th October 2018 @ 4:17 pm 29th Oct 2018 @ 4:17 pm mdi-comment Comments
Budget 2018 Live
mdi-timer 29th October 2018 @ 3:33 pm 29th Oct 2018 @ 3:33 pm mdi-comment Comments
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