The bit that annoys me most about the Budget…..

It’s not that there’s more for potholes than schools.

It really isn’t that I’m going to have to pay more for my wine.

It’s something that isn’t really being picked up in the responses I’ve heard so far.

Better off people, higher rate tax payers, are getting a much bigger tax cut than those on low incomes.

That’s right. If you are  a basic rate tax payer, your tax threshold rises from £11,850 to £12,500. And while we’re on the subject, this is the annual “Tories take credit for Lib Dem idea” day. Remember how David Cameron told Nick Clegg the idea wasn’t affordable? Every year during the coalition, the Tories used to whinge like anything about having to implement this Lib Dem tax cut for the poorest. Now they just take credit for it like we never happened.

If you are a higher rate taxpayer, you won’t start paying the 40% rate until you are earning £50k, up from £46,350.That is proportionately a significantly higher tax cut than those on low incomes are getting. Sp much for fairness and helping the Just About Managing.

This, of course, is not the case in Scotland where higher rate taxpayers didn’t get last year’s rise and we’ll have to wait and see if Finance Secretary Derek Mackay repeats that this year. The Tories will create merry hell if he doesn’t as they continue with their agenda of grievance. I’d actually rather the SNP sorted public services out, to be honest.

I don’t live in a terribly affluent household, but, even so, a budget that gives us £20 or so extra a month while people are really struggling to find even the most basic housing, or to put food on the table, has got its priorities well and truly wrong.

I would much rather pay a bit more tax to make sure that people got the public services and medical treatment and social security that they need.

Add to this injustice the fact that Universal Credit has only had half of what George Osborne took out of it in 2015 as soon as we were out of the picture put back. If Iain Duncan Smith reckons it needs £2 billion, then it probably needs more to make it work for people.

The Tories will never be progressive – it is not in their nature. They should not be allowed to get way with pretending they have done anywhere near enough for the people on the lowest incomes, many of whom are actually in work.

What did you think about today’s Budget?

 

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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11 Comments

  • From a tax prespective I’m a winner. However I’d rather he had left the 40% tax band alone and used the money to better fund public services. I’d feel a lot safer with more police and better funded social services than with £500 pounds a year in my pocket which I’ll only fritter away and will not bring me a feeling of security.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 29th Oct '18 - 10:23pm

    Very good from this article and other comments from the opposing parties.

    A useless commentary on it was made by the man who gave it

    ” Universal credit is here to stay.”

    Hammond is more progressive than Osborne yet cannot hold up this package as anymore progressive than the whole lot of pitiful and egregious policies we see today, in many aspects.

    ” Universal credit is abolished, tax credits come back.”

    There is the necessary solution.

    Universal basic income on it’s way.”

    Well done chancellor , Mr. Cherin!

  • The more significant point is that half of the tiny “benefit” being delivered to basic rate taxpayers was due anyway, through the normal inflation-uprating of personal allowances, and the other half was due to be delivered next year anyway, when the budget announcement is that the basic rate allowance will now be frozen.

    Whereas higher rate taxpayers will be getting a significant ongoing benefit.

  • Peter Watson 30th Oct '18 - 7:48am

    @Ian “the other half was due to be delivered next year anyway, when the budget announcement is that the basic rate allowance will now be frozen.”
    Perhaps a hint of plans for a general election before then?

  • I don’t know about no more cuts but Hammond made some very dodgy moves to prevent immediate ‘real’ scrutiny.
    Dumping his figures on the OBR (Guardian..”OBR roasts Treasury over budget tardiness”) at the last minute, not giving the opposition a copy of the budget before he spoke…
    However, I’m sure he said that the ‘extra help’ for those on Universal Credit would start when ‘implementation is complete’; isn’t that supposedly in 2023, at the earliest, or did I mishear?

  • Steve Trevethan 30th Oct '18 - 11:17am

    “Green” issues?
    Structural banking improvements?
    A coherent economic theory for the budget?

  • David Evershed 30th Oct '18 - 12:20pm

    Potholes consistently come top of the survey list of issues for people in our area.

    Over 95% of journey’s are made by road. Potholed roads are dangerous; the damage caused to vehicles and the time lost to make repairs are a drag on our economy.

    Lib Dem campaign leaflets rightly focus on potholes.

    We should talk the walk (sic) and push for far more spending on road repair.

  • John Marriott 30th Oct '18 - 12:40pm

    Just as Blair and co had a possibly once in a generation chance to make the U.K. a modern truly democratic state back in 1997, when the electorate was clearly crying out for change, and basically blew it, so the Tory Chancellor in 2018, with a country, if you believe the opinion polls, collectively willing to pay a bit more via direct taxation to make things better, did much the same.

    Instead of cutting taxes he could easily have put them up by a couple of percentage points and raised well over £10 billion. He could have added a couple of top bands to the Council Tax and promised a root and branch reform to local government finance. I could go on; but suffice it to say that, come a ‘no deal’ Brexit, which is still not an impossibility, he might need that extra cash sooner rather than later.

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