With Alistair Darling due to give his second Budget as Chancellor, what should you be watching for?
A lot of commentators are out in force on the web, saying worthy things about a serious budget. But really all we want to know is what is Darling going to do to petrol, fags and booze tax. As we wait to find up, here are ten things he should say to make a wonderful Budget day in the House of Commons.
The big one – will he apologise for the mess the numbers are? Last year he reckoned debt would be £38 million. Then upped it to £100 million ish. The expectation is it is actually £180 million.
Go on, say it, we know we’re in one.
One measure says we have deflation, one says we are just above it. Guess which one he’ll use to win, er, the national debt.
Gordon Made Me Do It
The Prime Minister leads all the country, not one department, that’s up to the other Ministers. But we all think that Brown still ‘runs’ the economy. Will Darling tell the truth?
Personal Tax Threshold to £10,000
Would significantly help the less well off (you know, the hard working families) and negate a potential rebellion from Frank Field and 30 other Labour MP’s who promised something unless the 10p tax band injustice was addressed.
Upper Tax Limit to stay at 40%
To be honest we expect Darling to raise the top level of tax (or maybe a 50% rate for £150,000 and over) but study after study shows that raising this means more income is diverted away from wages to ‘in kind’ stuff, thus earning less money. But “Tax The Rich” makes a good headline to a dwindling labour base.
As he points at the Conservative party while implementing something they suggested in 1963.
Tried before, but likely to appear again as it either the fuel duty is raised, or likely suspended for 12 months (till after an election) and then having an above inflation increase year on year for the following three years to make it up.
It’s for the environment
Because a ‘green tax’ on something will go to titling windmills and not pay off the national debt or buying books for schools.
You may well hear this from the commentators, alluding back to the 1909 Budget from the Liberal Party. It promoted redistribution of wealth by hefting taxes on the rich and a massive social welfare programme. You won’t hear it from Darling if he has any sense… The Liberals who pushed it through never saw power again to this day.
Fags Up, Beer Up, Whiskey Down
Scottish concerns will see the national drink kept outside any alcohol duty, while everything else goes sky high. After all, there’s profit in people drowning their sorrows.
The Budget Speech will start at 3pm today, and hopefully Darling can count to ten better than we can…