George Osborne - "Come Back, was it something I said?"
Rats deserting a sinking ship
In his usual quiet calm way Ed Miliband set about dissecting the budget piece by piece, his precision in dissecting Osborne's work and sleight of hand was fatally accurate. Osborne, Cameron and Clegg and the entire government front bench suddenly looked like bunnies caught in the headlamps. Gone was their back slapping bonhomie and we could visibly see the the smirks on their shaken faces literally fall away as they realised they were being duffed up by a Leader of the Opposition on brilliant form and they just did not know how to react.
The crest fallen looks on the faces of the government front bench will stay in people's memories for a long time.
The chancellor had a new buzzword that replaces "we're all in this together" that's gone apparently and now "Britain is going to earn its way out". Really? Like the way the chancellor said in his first budget "Britain was going to manufacture our way out of trouble", of course that was before his austerity measures took pounds out of people's pockets and his massive VAT all but killed the fragile recovery that was underway in this country when Osborne took over and before this insane government gave big lucrative manufacturing contracts to overseas companies, just ask British companies like Bombardier and Sheffield Forgemasters etc what they think of this government giving away British orders and British jobs to overseas companies.
On tax cuts for 14,000 of the country's wealthiest people, Miliband asked the government where the entire front bench are among those wealthiest people in the country to nod or shake their heads if they benefited from the huge tax give away, they were paralysed, they knew Miliband had them and he knew it too and he wasn't about to let them go very easily.
Osborne justified reducing the 50p rate of income tax for the top earners by saying it raised less than expected, but this isn't down to the policy, this is down to the fact that these people hire teams of accountants to find loop holes so they do not have to pay tax. Osborne's point is not an argument for getting rid of it, it is actually and argument for clamping down just as heavily on tax avoidance as this government has done to so-called "benefit cheats". If as the chancellor said that the 50p rate did not bring in as much as it should have done, if that is so, then how will getting rid of it somehow magically create jobs and help "earn our way out"? Osborne called tax avoidance "morally repugnant" then if this is so then why is he rewarding it with these tax cuts?
In fact George Osborne himself hired a firm of accountants to help him avoid paying £1.6 million inheritance tax, isn't that "morally repugnant" and seriously hypocritical?
We badly needed a budget for growth, (we needed one last year which we never got one then either) but the measures announced by Osborne today will only in fact increase GDP by a paltry £0.51 million, the country will not grow on that, in fact it will probably contract.
As for increasing the personal taxation allowance good, fine, but you need to be in work to benefit and there are almost 3 million unemployed, many of them women and many others are in part time work because they cannot get full time work. Unemployment is at its highest for 17 years, ever since the Tories were last in power.
What the Tories are doing to pensioners by freezing their personal allowances, what they are doing to the most vulnerable people in this country like the chronically sick, the disabled, the terminally ill, the elderly, the young, women and the unemployed; what they are doing to the NHS in privatising it and how they are now hoping to privatise our roads and more - all of this is re toxifying the Tories.
A budget for the rich, designed by the rich - Same old Toxic Tories! Only this time being propped up by the Liberal Democrats.
I trust you will help give this government a bloody nose in the coming May elections? Send them a message they will not forget in a long time and "Get out and vote, and vote for anyone except the Lib Dems and Tories.