What Lib Dem bloggers are saying about the Budget

I thought I’d do a quick roundup of what Liberal Democrat bloggers have been saying about today’s Budget. I suspect there will be more tomorrow.

Stephen Williams MP was probably always going to be supportive but he has an extra reason – and it’s all to do with Wallace and Gromit:

The Budget also had some good news for Bristol.  You wouldn’t expect Wallace and Gromit to feature in a budget.  But the Chancellor mentioned them in his speech as he is proposing an extension of film tax credits to made for tv films.  I met with Aardman Animations a few months ago to discuss the competitive pressures they were facing from other countries tax regimes.  As chair of the Lib Dems’ Treasury committee I made their case to ministerial colleagues.  The lobbying has paid off.

The Lib Dem Blogosphere’s favourite Elephant is not so happy:

Successfully not benefitting EITHER of my Daddies, because one earns too much and one earns too little. Congratulations to the households of TWO top-end basic rate payers, though. You earn more than both Daddies put together AND get two tax cuts. Plus you keep your Fluffy Child benefit! Hooray!

Thanks to our changes, a basic rate taxpayer will be paying £45 a month less in tax than they would have been under Labour.

Although strictly speaking, that’s £45 LESS the extra that they are paying in VAT and duties on fuel, beer and ciggies. And yes, Hard Labour WOULD have put those things up too (especially the VAT) but you’re not comparing a fictional Labour budget with Gideon’s actual figures – you’re comparing the actual tax rates they had in 2010.

Neil Stockley has three stories the  Liberal Democrats must tell:

Both the rise in stamp duty and the rise in personal income tax allowance are hard won, key totems for the Liberal Democrats.  But their well “trailed” mentions in today’s Guardian and FT don’t mean the party’s political problems are over, far from it.

As the veteran US Democratic political consultants James Carville and Paul Begala once said:

“Facts tell, but stories sell . . . If you’re not communicating in stories, you’re not communicating.”

Nick Clegg and his colleagues will need to quickly get across three connected types of story.

Our own Mark Pack sees Liberal Democrat fingerprints everywhere. On the Stamp Duty increase:

What’s more, the way in which the richest will be paying more reflects a long-standing Liberal Democrat push to tax property more fairly compared to people’s salaries. The new 7% stamp duty on properties worth over £2m is a son-of-Mansion-Tax. Unlike the Mansion Tax, it does not require any new systems to levy, simply being an increase of an existing charge. That makes it quick, easy and cheap to introduce – important considerations.

Overall the updated economic forecasts in the 2012 Budget showed small moves in the right direction; the tax changes show a much bigger move in the right direction.

Jennie Rigg is not so bothered about the 50p tax rate, but not impressed with cutting Corporation Tax, especially when taxes on beer and, would you believe, angostura bitters go up:

Frankly, I don’t give a fart in a high wind about the top rate of tax. If they reckon they can get more out of rich folks by taxing them in other ways than income then they probaly know what they’re doing, and I’m never going to be a top rate tax payer, so I don’t really care. What I DO care about is how they’ve funded the various tax cuts, including, I notice, a nice big cut in corporation tax for all those big companies who donate to the Tory party:

Neil Monnery rambles about the half million people in Essex who will be getting a tax cut:

The amount of people who earn between £8,105 and £9,205 is clearly a large amount. These are people who work nearly full-time at the minimum wage. This change will put money back in the pockets of these people and that is something the Liberal Democrats have been committed to for a long time. This should be regarded as a very good thing for everyone and for 60,500 people in Southend their Income Tax Bill from 2014 will be roughly halved according to the Chancellor and that will put around £220 back into the pockets of these people and by 2014 it is hoped the threshold will rise to £10,000, which will effect even more people and put more people in a good situation with regards to Income Tax.

A Lanson Boy talks about the tensions about delivering a Budget in Coalition.

It’s not a perfect budget – being in coalition with the Tories meant that some of their preoccupations with the mega-rich had to be accommodated. But overall it will being benefits to millions of people and be paid for in the main by millionaires.

And, finally, the tweet of the day from Hackney Liberal Democrats:

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

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  • Those who claim to support a switch from taxing income to taxing unearned wealth should surely support a cut in the corporate income tax?

    Jennie Rigg should acquaint herself with the concept of tax incidence. Companies are legal entities but in the end it is workers, consumers and shareholders who ultimately pay corporation tax. In large measure it is just another tax on labour income, which is already far too highly taxed in Britain.

    The planned 6p cut in corporation tax being implemented by the coalition over this Parliament (from 28p to 22p) is arguably its most substantial measure supporting medium-term growth.

  • Michael Seymour 22nd Mar '12 - 11:28am

    I see, so you are penalising the poor pensioners again, what a cheap trick. You are freezing our pitiful pensions to enable the rich and super rich to pay only 45p in the pound?
    This year I will be 80, I received a letter from the DHSS that after my birthday I will receive a further 25p a week, such largesse is overwhelming!
    I need suggestions of how I could spend it, if I save it for two weeks I might be able to buy a second class stamp. If I save it for a month I could buy a newspaper. I’m not sure how much I would need to go to a public toilet. Any other suggestions?

  • Caron Lindsay Caron Lindsay 22nd Mar '12 - 11:40am

    Michael, the State Pension is going up by £5.30 a week thanks to Lib Dem Pensions Minister Steve Webb.

    It’s the over 65 tax allowance, currently at just over £10,000 which is being frozen which will cost taxpayers £1.60 a week or thereabouts. They will still have gained that £5.30, though. It’s not ideal, but it’s not as bad as is being portrayed in the press.

  • Malcolm Todd 22nd Mar '12 - 12:17pm

    Two things that always puzzle me about tht 25p a week for over-80s:

    1. Why does it still exist? It hasn’t been uprated in at least forty years (seriously — it used to be five shillings and was a serious addition to what was then a much smaller state pension). It would be the easiest thing in the world to add an extra 25p to the normal inflation uprating of pensions one year and delete the 25p additional element. Cost about £130million, and think of the administrative saving of not having to write to thousands of pensioners every year to tell them about it.

    2. Why do so many people feel the need to complain about getting an extra 25p per week? We all know it’s not a life-changing increase, but no one ever said it was; it’s not as if anything’s being taken away. You’re being given something you didn’t get before. If you don’t want it, chuck it in a charity tin.

  • On Sunday Stephen Williams said now was not the time to cut or abolish to 50p rate on the BBC.


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