Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Budget Live Blog


13.21: Raising winter fuel benefit from £200 to £250 for pensioners.

13.21: Gift Aid will continue at the current rate of 22% for the next three years.

13.20: Still no mention of Northern Rock.

13.18: So no detail on how much VED will rise by! Incredible. Just an aspiration. Or will it be hidden away in the Red Book?

13.17: Road Tax. Here we go. [tightens belt]. From 2009 VED will be rebanded to encourage people to use less polluting cars. People will have to pay more in the first year. Why only the first year?

13.16: Aviation must meet its environmental costs. Cars account for 22% of total emissions.

13.13: Anti plastic bag legislation in 2009. Money raised to go to environmental charities.

13.11: Climate Change - here's the sting...

13.09: No mention yet of Northern Rock.

13.06: So let's get this straight. My road tax is going to shoot up. I've got to pay more for petrol. I've got to pay £25 a day congestion charge, £2000 extra showroom tax (maybe) and also road tolls. Glad we've got that clear.

13.06: Inviting tenders for road pricing technology. Tories did that in 1995!

13.05: A startling admission that "we do need more capacity on our roads".

13.01: Confirms non dom tax from April. No more changes in this Parliament or the next.

13:00: Corporation Tax - lowest in G7. Has fallen from 38% to 28%. No more changes. More help for small businesses on top of previous announcements in January. Wants to help them get finance more easily.

12.55: Is anyone still awake? Judging from the noise in the House of Commons, very few MPs are.

12.52: He says he wants to help children from 'hard working families'. Isn't it the children from non hard working families who are most likely to need help?

12.51: Remember when budgets used to be about the nation's finances? This is just one long party political broadcast. Anyone would think there was an election in the offing.

12.46: Says public spending rising slower than in last ten years. Grew by 3.6% 1997-2007. Will go up by 2.2% in future.

12.44: I'm bored now. Can I have a tax cut please?

12.42: 2008 borrowing is £36 billion, £1.4 billion lower than forecast. 2009 will go up to £43 billion. Says this is lower than in Tory years.

12.41: Says borrowing is lower than it was in 1997. Funny way of calculating it, then. Says public finances are strong. Set to signal increased borrowing.

12.39: Inflation target to remain 2%. That will be the first pledge to be broken then. Most people who live in the real world know that it's far higher than that now.

12.36: All countries have lowered their growth forecasts. 2008 growth forecast to be 1.75-2.25% for 2008. Faster than Japan and the US, says Darling.

12.34: Don't blame it on the sunshine, don't blame it on the moonlight, don't blame it on the good times, blame it on the world econonmy.

12.33: I can see 'stability' replacing prudence as a watchword. Stability, fairness, blah blah. Building a fairer society, more opportunity. Come on, cut the blah, get on with telling me how you're going to make my pips squeak!

12.23: Robert Peston predicts huge rise in borrowing and says the main question will be how much taxes rise by and when. He suspects there may be a delay in implementation.

12.20: PMQs was a damp squib with David Cameron asking about Dafur and then whipping on the Human Embryo & Fertilisation Bill. He scored a hit on that, I thought. Nick Clegg was a bit shouty on party funding, with Gordon Brown seeming to feel sorry for him by not going for the 'Michael Brown' jugular.

I'll be trying to do a Live Blog of Alistair Darling's budget speech from 12.30pm. I cannot promise that it won't run into a live rant...

Oh, and for an alternative budget view, click onto the BBC Politics Page to see what Jade Goody and Trisha Goddard think of what should be in the budget. This is naturally far more important than what Vince Cable, Michael Fallon or John McFall think. The only other video is on that page is of John Culshaw doing a comedy skit of Alistair Darling. And this is the country's premier public service broadcaster on budget day. YeGods. Yes, I am in rant mode...


Anonymous said...

On the BBC issue, I was amazed that its coverage of the citizenship report yesterday was focussed solely on the oath of allegiance issue, despite it having loads of perfectly reasonable ideas. What does the BBC provide that isn't already provided by lazy journos working in any of the tabloids? Why am I forced to pay a very hefty poll tax to support it?

Not that Nick Wood said...

I suspect the main problem will be staying awake.

AloneMan said...

Ranting would be more interstnig than the contents of the Budget, I'm sure.

Anonymous said...

Someone wake me up when Darling sits down!

Then I can remind myself of the wonderful budget produced by Guy Herbert at Samizdata.

Anonymous said...

there's a reason that he didnt go for the Michael Brown story - it's nothing like the scandal that you all hope it will be: it hasnt made it past the front page of the Times.

Anonymous said...

The racist Jade Goody must have a very good agent. I thought we had seen the last of her in the Celebrity Big Brother debacle, but it seems Aunty is willing to help with her rehabilitation.

Re PMQs, I wish someone would challenge Brown's claim that the government has created 3million jobss. If jobs have been created, I rather think that it's the business community and enterprising companies that deserve the credit.

Anonymous said...

He's created 3million jobs for Poles.

Anonymous said...

Alastair Darling might be more boring than Neil Kinnock and Ian Duncan Smith combined.

Bill Quango MP said...

Budget speech for Alistair Darling.
by Gordon Brown and team.

To be Followed exactly.{or else]

Page 21
Turn your head to half left. Slight squint. Reach for
glass of water, pause .{this is cue for Yvette cooper
to mouth "THIS IS A BRILLIANT BUDGET" clearly enough
for TV cameras to pick up}

I NOW WISH TO MOVE ON TO [slight hesitation here..
LICENCE SALES AND [ and here..pick up the water glass
now! One slow gulp and ..} AND DEEP SEA FISHING
LICENCES. {put glass down .Ed Balls will nod sagely at
this point in your direction.} THEN I WOULD LIKE TO
DISCUSS STABIlity .. turn to page 22

Anonymous said...

I'm bored too. When's something going to happen? What booze has he got?

Anonymous said...

If you continue to riducle the association of the world economy and Britains part in it, you will be ridiculed.

Better to accept the situation and criticise the way through.

Remember Iain, the Tory Party of last week is different from this week.

Have you made the change?

It's fun looking for backtrackers anonymous in the ranks.

Don't miss the boat, Iain, as I suspect that the cream are already forwarned and the drips will be rounded up later on.

Nice, but tired old trick, in politics to look the regenerator.


nuttycow said...

Do you think he's waiting until everyone's asleep before telling us about all the tax hikes?

tory boys never grow up said...

Remember when budgets used to be about the nation's finances?

Of course that is nothing to do with public spending growth and all the other previous figures that you quoted - and which appear to bore you.

Anonymous said...

"No more changes in this Parliament or the next"

Which constitutional power would this be? One I might have missed?

BOF2BS said...

"Lowest Corporation Tax in G7".

ie not G* cos Russia is 24%!!!

Anonymous said...

"£25 a day congestion charge"... only if Ken wins.

Oscar Miller said...

Iain is right - this is just one long party political - but one dating from circa 1955. Snooze. Yawn. Switch off.

Anonymous said...

Charge for carrier bags and give the money to "environmental charities".

Time to migrate to Dubai...

Newmania said...

How do they work out that borrowing has gone down then ? While Emu is talking what does Rod Hull look like , a shiver without a spine ,as usual?

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Utterly dishonest. Pumping up alcohol prices under the guise of preventing binge drinking. No, it is going to pay for illegal wars and Northern Rock.

Anonymous said...

Cameron is just reading a prepared reply.
I thought he was supposed to be quick on his feet.

Anonymous said...

No mention of income-splitting....

Anonymous said...

Has income tax been abolished then? After all, there was no mention of it, or was I asleep through that bit?

Anonymous said...

Budget was bland, uninteresting, characterless, unexciting, grey and featureless - now what about the Chancellor?

Anonymous said...

Cameron to Ed Balls:

"I know he's minister for children but he doesn't have to behave like one"

Nice one!

Oscar Miller said...

Cameron is just reading a prepared reply.
I thought he was supposed to be quick on his feet.

March 12, 2008 1:28 PM

Tim - were you deaf to all Cameron's witty ripostes to Ed Balls' heckling? "I know you're Minister for children but it doesn't mean you have to behave like one" and letting the nation know that Balls yelled out "so what" to the charge that the nation is more taxed than ever before - Balls ended up with a very red face. No doubt you are following yoru leader in trying to screen out everything you dont want to hear.

Anonymous said...

Finally found a reference to Northern Rock! Budget Notice 50 (ISAs and Norther Rock). It's very dull.

monoi said...

Inflation is a TARGET not a promise, so it can be overshot at will it does not really matter.

Anonymous said...

In his speech (poor!), Nick Clegg pointed out that the increase in the pensioners' winter fuel allowance is for one year only. If this is true, then Darling has been deceitful (just like his boss in all the budgets since 1997).

Anonymous said...

winter fuel allowance for pensioners is a one off election wheeze.

Anonymous said...

I don't know why everyone is fussing around and discussing this. It's not a real budget. It's a tool of control of the population. It is completely Sovietesque. Or Maoesque if you prefer. And Britain is going the way of all planned economies - down the pan.

The Cbinese are taking to capitalism like a duck to water, and the British are passively accepting communism and leaders that even in Eastern Europe would have been regarded as not up to the mark intellectually. On the dishonesty and lying level, yes, they're on a par with the former Eastern Europe. But intellectually, no.

Anonymous said...

I've been watching some of this on BBC Parliament.

Totally off topic, but now I'm sure that Yvette Cooper is some sort of ladyboy.

Anonymous said...

BBC reporting some non-doms might leave. Boo hoo! Some people who aren't paying tax will leave. Good.

Anonymous said...

Oh dear another naff protest sanctioned by the Tories.

First we had the 99 red balloons protest, the life size brown ale bottles, and now the "Running on Empty" demonstration. Brown compared David Cameron to a student politician, the silly masks and costumes confirm this assertion. Politics is a serious business; Darling will probably deliver a dull, but serious, budget - so what.

If the countries economy can be steered in the right course, that’s fine.

Yak40 said...

13.13: Anti plastic bag legislation in 2009. Money raised to go to environmental charities

Oh of course.. another law, another tax ..

Fuel allowance up for one year, after all Global Warming will take care of them after that !

Anonymous said...

Alcohol and petrol up! Once again it's the honest drink driver who has to pay for this government's economic idiocy.

Anonymous said...

Aside: this is my first visit to your site since you stopped anons several months ago.

Tedious budget; but where was the detail? Just like Gordo's, the unpleasant stuff will be hidden in the book I'll bet. On second thoughts, Gordo probably wrote this one anyway.

Anonymous said...

"More help for small businesses on top of previous announcements in January. Wants to help them get finance more easily."

Yawn. I shall expect an increase in sales calls from people who've never run a business in their lives yet have just the loan my business needs.

Anonymous said...

BOF2BS said...
"Lowest Corporation Tax in G7".

ie not G* cos Russia is 24%!!!

YOU are wrong. Russia is not one of the G7.

Anonymous said...

Blair should've been done for misleading parliament and the country for calling any of them "Babes"

tory boys never grow up said...

Your comments at 12:33, 12:44, 13:06 and 13:17 really just demonstrate what you are looking for in a budget. Fortunately Alastair Darling can see beyond the interests of wealthy people in Tunbridge Wells, with no family commitments and just a flash car to maintain. But nice to see the true Tory priorities coming to the top.

Anonymous said...

Billed as a "Green Budget"

More spin

How can it be a green budget when it will remove the duty differential on Bio Fuels from 2010, costing those that use this green fuel over half a billion pounds a year extra?

Anonymous said...

Brilliant News - I'm going to get another £50 fuel payment - As I earn over £60,000 its going to come in really useful - did anything else happen? I'm off down the yellow brick road.....wheres me white coat!

Alex said...

As ever, the truth is somewhat different from the Budget Speech.

For those who want to wade through it there is a 270 page set of explanatory notes setting out all the changes glossed over by the Chancellor:

Anonymous said...

The gift aid left at 22% is interesting. What should happen to tax relief when income tax falls?

Pension contributions are tax "efficient", so if, say Osborne does what you proper Tories want him to do and cuts or even abolishes income tax, what happens to tax relief as an incentive to give or save or invest?

Does DK or Roger Thornhill have an answer?

Johnny Norfolk said...

Nasty grabbing labour government, what are they cutting back on.

Increase duty on Big cars open another runway at Stanstead and Heathrow it just does not fit together.

They are the worst government I have ever known and you will all pay in the end.

Anonymous said...

2:15 pm - "I'm sure that Yvette Cooper is some sort of ladyboy."

How many sorts of ladyboys are there?

Doctor Millionaire said...

Is it just me or does relieving tax on environmentally friendly cars in the first year of ownership not incentivise buying new ones more frequently, thereby incentivising the use of resources to build them, thereby incentivising the consumption of more natural resources than had government refrained from interfering in the market?

Thse things are environmentally friendly to run, not to make, right?

Anonymous said...

Hey Iain - It's the budget. How come no considered views? No posts for over 2 hours since Darling sat down. Where are you?

Anonymous said...

Iain, on the subject of taxing the motorist, you sound increasingly like Jeremy Clarkson at his most demented - why not try leaving the car at home and walking, cycling (like Boris), or taking a bus / tube?

I have lived within Zone 1 (and worked within Zone 2) for the last 15 years, and have never felt the need for a car. I'm sure you could survive too.

Anonymous said...

A budget clearly designed to screw the opposition, then to start dealing with the long term problems in the economy.

But then screwing the opposition is about the only thing Gordon Brown and the Labour Party are absolutely wonderful at.

That and of course keeping the Banks content, happing borrowing money from them and making us become the security as well as the interest payer, for generations to come.

Some may think that we can't go on like this. But they would be wrong.

We can go on like this until we the people are worth about as much as last weeks rolled up news-paper. We have to ask permission from the credit card company, to buy a round of drinks, and are all renting our homes from the banks.

Hopefully we will not wait that long.

But hope does not pay the bills. Our future freedom, seemingly pointless hard work, and that of our children will obviously have to, in the end.

As for the penny pinching aspects, don't panic. Just stop buying or doing anything you don't actually need or need to do. Which is far more then you may think.

Or doing any work you don't feel perfectly happy to perform. Which is also easier then you may think.

They will then have to stop taxing it to death, because it will have already died.

Atlas shrugged.

Patrick said...

I think the Ed Balls 'So What?' comment is a politcal gift and would make a top election poster!

What a C*&^.

Anonymous said...

It's a good story that there was no mention of Northern Rock, but it's not actually true. ChX said:

"And so we welcome yesterday’s commitment by the world's central banks, including the Bank of England, to address these concerns.

Here, the action we took last autumn to support Northern Rock and protect depositors and savers means that – despite seeing the worst period of financial disruption for a generation – we have maintained confidence and stability in the banking system."

You may not agree with him, but he did at least mention it.

Anonymous said...

Tories withdraw whip from Spink

Mr Spink is MP for Castle Point
The Conservatives say they have withdrawn the party whip from Castle Point MP Bob Spink.
Mr Spink earlier told MPs he had resigned over the party's failure to deal with serious "criminal and other irregularities" in his constituency.

At this point he was cut off by the Deputy Speaker.

But a spokesman for the Conservative Party said it had withdrawn the whip from Mr Spink - excluding him from the Tory group of MPs at Westminster.

Oscar Miller said...

Typical sneaky edit in the BBCs report of Cameron's response to the budget. The BBC reports that Cameron said:
"not every responsible drinker in this country who wants a glass of wine at the end of a hard day's work".
What Cameron actually said was "who wants a glass of wine or a beer at the end of a hard day's work".
But the BBC aren't going to put the bit about beer in - that would ruin their silly attempt at spin.
Oscar | 12.03.08 - 5:33 pm | #

Anonymous said...

Verity said:

How many sorts of ladyboys are there?

Haven't got a clue, so I'll cede to your obvious expertise in this area.

Oscar Miller said...

the silly masks and costumes confirm this assertion. Politics is a serious business;

Err anonymous @ 2.22 - Didn't a troop of Labour party activists dresssed up as vampires follow Michael Howard everywhere he went during the 2005 election campaign? That was serious politics was it? Usual Labour hypocrisy.

Anonymous said...


There are as many different types of Lady Boy as there are any other type of female looking people.

Ugly, tall, short, pretty, white, black, Asian, etc etc etc.

Our problem is that only Tory perverts are ever exposed by the BBC.

The way things are going if Gordon Brown turned up waring his favorate off the shoulder pink number in his best most highest high-heals to PMQT. The BBC would just carry on as if nothing happened. If not call for the instant arrest of any one that laughed.

But if Cameron or Boris belong to the wrong type of eating club, they get the full BBC treatment, as much and as often as they think they can get away with.

A small point I grant. But true all the same.

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed the line about Ed Balls, but I don;t think it showed that Cameron is sharp on his feet. He's good at public-school debating insults, but not on actually opposing from the dispatch box.

David Lindsay said...

Oh, and I had so wanted my Right Honourable Kinsman (I don't know the details, but an elderly relative is adamant and I have no reason to doubt her) to do well. Still, dullness can be a virtue, not least where money is concerned.

Cameron was completely beyond parody, engaging in sick-making "all good public school Oxonians together" banter with Ed Balls, and delivering his whole speech in his trademark style and tone: that of a posh undergraduate who knows that he'll never need to work and who thinks that everyone else is an insolent new footman asking for the sack.

But he should have given us all an even bigger laugh by breaking with tradition and putting up Osborne instead. Number Two Bully Boy sat through Darling's speech wearing the expression of a Classicist at a chemistry convention. He couldn't understand a word of it. He is literally only there because he is a member of the Bullingdon Club. Which is presumably why he almost never speaks in public.

Anonymous said...

I think Andrew "Andy" Burnham is some sort of ladyboy. The drugs have definitely started to kick in, but I don't reckon he's had his bits off yet.

BOF2BS said...

Anonymous 2:48 PM
"BOF2BS said...
"Lowest Corporation Tax in G7".

ie not G* cos Russia is 24%!!!

YOU are wrong. Russia is not one of the G7."

Not wrong I just can't type G* = G8

G& ie G7 doesn't exist any more is my point!

Anonymous said...

So, our economic woes are going to be cured by carrier bags?

Just shows how far we've come in 11 years of Nulab rule.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone else notice that Darling said that corporation tax was currently 38% rather than 30%? He misread the speech. Idiot.

Anonymous said...

Don't normally read the Huffington Post, but it's quite entertaining today.

Anonymous said...

Let's hope tomorrow's press focuses on a)Brown giggling and smirking throughout Cameron's response and b)Balls's embarrassment. But then again, it's probably too much to hope for......

Not a sheep said...

David Lindsay: Try looking at the video of David Cameron's speech rather than remembering what you want to believe happened and you will see George Osborne reading through the Budget Speech and the Red Book (or a summray of it) to find the more obvious diversions from the truth.

Anonymous said...

SKY News blog saying that ED Balls has phoned to say that what he actually said was "so weak"

Unsworth said...

@ David Lindsay

A graphic demonstration of your lack of understanding of Parliamentary procedure - and anything else for that matter. Inter alia, it has always been the case that the Leader of the Opposition responds to the Chancellor's budget speech. Take a good look at Hansard.

On the one hand you say 'Still dullness can be a virtue' - as if you'd prefer the Chancellor to be more 'exciting' (difficult, I know). Then on the other hand you bitch about Cameron's 'style'. Let's get some consistency in here, eh? Which particular position do you want to adopt?

asquith said...

Iain is going down like a lead balloon on Comment Is Free! :)

Anonymous said...

Iain, have you turned into Mcavity?
Budget day and you have vanished this afternoon. Are you moving your assets overseas?

Anonymous said...

I just checked the BBC Budget calculator. I am going to gain £700 from the income tax cut, and lose £500 from the NI changes. So, £200 better off (I don't drive or smoke, and I hardly ever drink alcohol), so I'm pretty happy.

Anonymous said...

David Lindsay - I made the mistake of:

(a) visiting your blog

(b) not being warned off by the self-congratulatory puff you write as your profile and then

(c) reading some of your postings.

Can you explain why you have hardly any comments and, of those, half are your own?

Does this all tell us something?

Anonymous said...

Another nulabour attack on the working class of England. No doubt this will mean yet another wave of parasites from Poland descending on London to claim child benefit.

Mostly Ordinary said...

Mmmm green budget eh?

Summed up in the phrase "fewer cars - more nice clean, green planes and airports"

Here's an idea, if they want to get people out of their cars make fuel used for public transport tax free if they savings are taken off the fares.

Or how about stopping taxing home broadband connections used by remote workings as a benefit?

But they don't really want people out of cars (or they'd try and tax you out of planes as well) they just want you to pay more.

Scum bags.

AloneMan said...

55p on a bottle of whisky ! God, I hate socialism.

Anonymous said...

BOF2BS said...
"G& ie G7 doesn't exist any more is my point!"

G7 still exists. When they invite Russia allong to a meeting it becomes G8.

David Anthony said...

Just done the BBC Budget Calculator .. looks like I'm in for a 13.9% tax hike next year!

Thank you Mr.Darling.

Anonymous said...

Oscar Miller said...

!What Cameron actually said was "who wants a glass of wine or a beer at the end of a hard day's work".!

You aren't right either. What he said was "who wants a glass of wine or a PINT OF beer at the end of a hard day's work".

Anonymous said...

"13.06: Inviting tenders for road pricing technology. Tories did that in 1995!"

The technology has changed a lot over the past 13 years.

Anonymous said...

asquith said...

Iain is going down like a lead balloon on Comment Is Free! :)

As in the 3 comments out of 11 that you have posted on Comment is Free?


hatfield girl said...

The Prime Minister's ill manners on every public occasion, and there are many reports of his inability to control himself in private too, must be confronted by his colleagues and advisors, and by the New Labour party.

This man, in his fifties, is unable to sit still, listen, and display the courtesy that should be offered to the Leader of the Opposition, and to the House and our elected representatives, by any normal person.

Does he not realise he is being televised smirking, chatting, wriggling about and sneering before us all?

He should grow up, and grow some respect for others and for himself.

Anonymous said...

Hatfield Girl:

I have already commented on the possible reasons for Gordo's pleasurable discomfort over on Guido's blog.

Anonymous said...

@ hatfield girl:

I didn't watch Snotgobbler, but did you notice if he happened to tuck into any of his bawgies as well?

Oscar Miller said...

You aren't right either. What he said was "who wants a glass of wine or a PINT OF beer at the end of a hard day's work".

March 12, 2008 9:10 PM

err Anon - I'm happy to admit this minor mistake. It does not of course make a jot of difference to the point I was making.

David Lindsay said...

Oh, I get comments, it's just thata lot of them aren't fit to put up. There are people who comment several times per day that I am irrelevant and that no one reads my blog. They genuinely can't see the problem, poor souls.

I am truly aghast to see that there is a Save Our Gideon committee active on here. Is he who you want after the by-election? You know, the one standing between Cameron and the chop. (Clegg is in the same position, whereas Brown just ought to be). You must be out of your minds!

Anonymous said...

David Lindsay -

If you deleted comments, they would show up as having been deleted by the blog administrator.

The reason why there aren't many comments on your blog is........