Well we’ve had our budget, we knew it would be painful, is it ethical?
The most striking announcement came with the Housing Benefit cuts, £280 maximum allowance for a 1 bed place and £400 maximum for a 4 bedroom. That does seem harsh but then if you have 3 kids (requiring a 4 bedroom house) why on earth should the government pay to house you all, if you can’t afford 3 kids, have 1! Of course I say the government pays but it isn’t is it? Its all of us, after all, the government don’t have any money, it’s our money. Still, I can sympathise with those who’ve got used to this benefit, its going to hurt, sorry folks, hope there are still jobs left in the economy for the extra people needing extra income.
Capital gains tax is to rise from 18 to 28% for higher rate tax payers. That’s a big hit to the middle class and a brave move in my opinion. I think its right, but brave nonetheless. If you earn 40K plus and dabble in shares, and do quite well then I guess you might decide to stop dabbling in shares! I wonder if this will have an effect on stock market revenue. I wonder how many people dabble in shares. Maybe I’ll put up a poll and see how many people dabble with between £500 and £10K in shares and do a back of the fag packet calculation. Let’s see, either way I doubt it’s a big figure.
The VAT rate going up to 20%, I have to say, I don’t like it, it does hurt the poorest more then it hurts the richest but essentially VAT is largely paid on optional items. I expected the coalition to introduce VAT on food but they didn’t, and good for them what with food price inflation being so high. Arguably fuel can be said to be essential but then we use fuel (a limited resource in most respects) so wastefully. I mean why should we feel the right to sit in a house in winter wearing a T Shirt and no socks? Wrap up. Fuel duty isn’t being increased and they (the government) are trying to figure a way to stabilise the price of fuel at the pump. I hope they have more imagination than me because my mind is blank, short of lowering tax when fuel prices rise and raising it when they fall I can’t imagine how they do this, save for the fossil fuel energy fairy turning up. Even my idea would have such a disastrous effect on forecasts for tax revenues that it’s impossible to implement, we’ll see, they may be cleverer than I give them credit for.
The personal allowance is being increased by £1000.00 bravo; this will certainly help the poorest in society. £1000.00 per year tax free is £200 per year extra in your pocket. If nothing else it should pay for Christmas.
No increase in duty on Alcohol and Cigarettes. I think they should have raised the price to £10 a pack of ciggies personally, and I promise you, I am a smoker! I know it’s no good, you know it’s no good, so smoke less.
Tax credits are reduced for households with an income of over £40k; well if you earn 40k per year do you really need benefits? If you do the government should pay (with our money) for you to go on a household economics course.
The health in pregnancy grant is to be abolished, well, if you can’t afford to have kids, don’t have them, there is free contraception available.
Unemployed will have a cut in housing benefit after 12 months of claiming the dole. This seems a little harsh; I hope there are jobs available for everyone. If there are then all is good but it is uncertain that’s for sure.
Last point to make is this: We have been spending more than we’ve been earning as a country for some time. At some point we have to pay our debts, we can wait until later or we can man-up and do it now. Paying our debts gives us greater self esteem, paying off our budget defecit shows the world that this society takes its financial obligations seriously….eventually.