Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Never mind growth and jobs – tax the poor and hit the disabled!


My instant reaction – this budget is consistent with what we've already seen from this government - short term, blaming everything on other people and good for their friends (Cheshire is the least affected area in the country, and where is Osborne's constituency?).

There are some specific policies I am immediately concerned about, including 25% budget cuts for education, policing, housing and social care.  VAT up to 20% will hit everyone including businesses. 
Two things I like, firstly another levy on banks, continuing Labour's policy (but this time offset by a cut in corporation tax!) and the increase in capital gains tax is fairer than the VAT rate going up.

Overall though I it answers the wrong question – ““How do we encourage economic growth?” is the question Osborne he should have asked.   

I have to say Harriet Harman hit the nail on the head “A reckless Budget which pulls the rug out from under the economy”.

It’s nonsense for Osborne to suggest he doesn’t have a choice - I think he just hasn't thought too much about growth.  His own “Office of Budget Responsibility” have just revised their growth and employment predictions down as a result of policies announced in this budget (not to mention Obama calling on G20 leaders not to consolidate too quickly!).  

Reading is a great, resilient place to live and work, I just hope that we're resilient enough to cope with this government.