Posts Tagged ‘Budget’

Fastest anti-budget protest?

22/06/2010, 07:28:29 PM

By 6pm this evening, banner-waving protesters were already massed outside Camden town hall in north London.

Surely, they must be the first to have taken to the streets against the budget?

Even more so, they won’t be last.

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John McTernan on Militant, muppets and the coalition budget

22/06/2010, 05:51:09 PM

Some commentators compare Danny Alexander to a missing member of the Sesame Street cast. While such disrespect may annoy and upset him, he’s lucky to be described in such cuddly terms. For when I listen to him and his Lib Dem colleagues, I hear echoes of something far worse and far more sinister – the Militant Tendency.

Admittedly there aren’t the hand gestures, but there is the absolute conviction of the convert to a totalising ideology. By which I mean an ideology that can offer an explanation for every woe. For Trotskyists, it’s capitalist monopolies that wreck lives; the solution: nationalisation. For the coalition, it’s debt; the solution – deep cuts in spending. (more…)

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Ed Balls on the budget from hell

22/06/2010, 05:24:17 PM

For millions of families, this is the budget from hell. The combination of a sharp and unfair rise in VAT, the callous freezing of child benefit and the deepest cuts our public services have ever seen will be a hammer-blow to lower and middle income families.

Not only is this an unemployment budget which will see the jobless total rise by 100,000 a year, but George Osborne has also raised the only tax – VAT – that all the unemployed pay – and pensioners too. (more…)

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Mark Fox explains why Conservatives are delighted with the budget

22/06/2010, 04:44:45 PM

George Osborne delivered the emergency budget with confidence and clarity. He tackled the deficit head on and was clear and open about his plans.

Business on the whole will be pleased that Britain now has a decisive plan to reduce the deficit, stabilise the economy and encourage small and medium sized businesses. Industry will broadly welcome the measures that were taken to reduce tax rates. The move on CGT was expected as was the increase in VAT.

This in turn should lead to a continuation of low interest rates. Low interest rates will give business the confidence to invest in their future and recruit more staff as the economy grows. We need a private sector driven recovery. The private sector is the only part of the economy that generates the wealth – and the tax stream – to pay for what we want delivered in the public sector. (more…)

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Siôn Simon’s budget sketch

22/06/2010, 02:16:43 PM

Gentlemen in suits no longer call at one’s door selling things. Sometimes shaggy young men in football shirts turn up with baskets of sponges and rags. But the days of polite young men selling insurance and encyclopaedias seem to have passed.

In their stead, we have this nice young fellow on the television. He is smart and well-spoken and has learned a lot of information. And he brings us things we need with solemn charm.

Not all the words he says make sense. And sometimes he seems to say things which sound as though they might not be true. But he looks very well washed. His hair is shiny. He is going to rebalance the economy. (more…)

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Harman’s Budget Challenge, by Jonathan Todd

22/06/2010, 08:30:43 AM

The budget response is the great set-piece political challenge. Your opponent has an age to prepare and all the resources of treasury. You stand up when they sit down. By the time you sit down, the political context is virtually set, not least because your opponent’s spinners have tried to fix this. Given the centrality of economics to present politics, it is a bigger challenge than ever. Harriet Harman must rise to this as our acting leader.  Which transience of tenure, of itself, reduces her potential agility compared with a permanent leader. You have to feel for her. Here are a few, hopefully helpful, suggestions.

The first task is to distinguish pragmatic economics from small-state ideology. As the need for deficit management is widely acknowledged, pragmatism is required, but only Thatcherites see this crisis as an opportunity for ideological resurgence.

The second task is to oppose the manifestations of this ideology, while the third is to provide a coherent alternative economic prospectus. This prospectus must contain tax increases and spending cuts, but the mix should reflect a very different ideology from that supported by Tory MPs agitating for a budget akin to the Thatcherite “cold shower” of the 1981 budget. Overarching all of this is the need to gain an audience in a media climate favourable to the coalition.


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Tuesday News Review – The Budget

22/06/2010, 08:03:24 AM

Now is the time to fight

George Osborne to unveil his emergency budget

“So tomorrow, when George Osborne puts the fragile recovery at risk with his ideological onslaught on public services, by pretending the economy is worse than it is, and using the quisling Lib Dems as political cover, it will be up to acting leader Harriet Harman and shadow chancellor Alistair Darling to lead the Labour response. But it is also important that the David and Ed Miliband, Ed Balls, Andy Burnham and Diane Abbott pile in, and do so with real impact. Not just as a way of highlighting the risk Osborne and Co pose, but as a way of showing party and country what they have by way of argument, strategy and fight.” Alastair Campbell Blog

“Labour leadership candidate Ed Balls warned: “A VAT increase would hit the poorest hardest – pensioners, the unemployed, those on lower incomes.” – The Mirror

“Leaderless they may be, but Labour MPs are able to agree on a common line to use against the Government’s deficit-reduction plans. They argue that the public expenditure cuts to be announced later today by the Chancellor George Osborne reflect not necessity but desire bordering on the sadistic.” – The Independent

“Yesterday Labour leadership contender Ed Miliband called on Lib Dem MPs to vote against the Budget. “I say to the Lib Dems very clearly that they should exercise their consciences and be willing to oppose this Budget, on issues such as VAT and fairness,” he said.” – City AM

“Alistair Darling, free at last of Mr Brown’s budgetary meddling, is almost a lone defender of his party’s economic legacy (which is not as grim as Mr Osborne pretends). While the leadership contenders have done some Osborne-bashing, none offers a coherent vision of how capitalism can be reconnected to the public good.” – The Telegraph

“Labour’s reply to the Budget in the Commons will come from the party’s stand-in leader, Harriet Harman. But Labour’s big hitters are already predicting tax rises and claiming they will hit the poor hardest. The shadow chancellor Alistair Darling told Sky News he would be “absolutely astonished” if VAT does not go up, probably up to 20%. “If you need money, income tax and VAT are the cash cows,” he said.” – Sky News

Darling defends his legacy

“Former chancellor Alistair Darling said a move from the RPI Index to the CPI Index, which he believed Mr Osborne would announce and which would save the exchequer £1 billion if he did, had been discussed when he was still in the treasury […] Unlike other senior Labour figures, Mr Darling, who is not a leadership candidate, sought to adopt a reasonable approach: accepting the need for some cuts, but disapproving of others.” – Irish Times

Alistair Darling, not a man given to hyperbole, is on top form defending his economic legacy and attacking what he sees as ideological cuts from the Tory-led coalition. He has been a regular on the air-waves at a time when Labour lacks leadership, and this passionate piece in the Observer was a model Keynesian take-down of the Government’s fiscal plans.” – The New Statesman


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