Osborne

A Budget Response - Showy Gimmicks vs Solid Foundations

Mark Chapman's picture

As expected in his pre-election showpiece this was a political budget from the most political of chancellors. One by one he attempted to deal with Labour's one-dimensional election attack lines whilst trumpeting whichever statistics he could find to claim positive performance for his now infamous Long-Term Economic Plan.

Despite the rhetoric however, it was a short-term budget from a Coalition that appear to be pulling in different directions, with consequent confusion and complexity. This was exacerbated by the showy gimmicks that provided Osborne with so called 'gags' at Labour's expense - kitchens and deeds of variation. 

Fundamentally however these exemptions and allowances add complexity, rather than simplicity to an already overburdened tax system and are almost certain to be the tax avoidance loopholes of the future.

Osborne leaves UK in the Economic Slow Lane with a Bingo Budget

Wednesday, 19 March, 2014 - 13:30

We deserve a smart recovery and investment

The government announced a package of measures including changes to pension taxation, focus on oil and gas energy, changes to ISAs, road building, expansion of the Help to Buy scheme which is currently linked to rising house prices.

The budget did not make any commitments to digital infrastructure and little substantial for next generation manufacture. A report from NFU Mutual has warned that lack of suitable Internet access is "damaging" rural children's education prospects. In a survey by Accenture 58% of businesses believed that UK investment in technological innovation lagged behind the US and Asian competitors.

Pirate Party Leader Loz Kaye said:

"George Osborne's budget condemns the UK to the economic slow lane. The real way to build in resilience to Britain's economy is to invest boldly in smart manufacturing, smarter, cheaper energy and digital infrastructure. This is what will create long term sustainable growth where everyone gets their fair share."

"Now the whole economy is the digital economy. Investment must be significantly increased to boost smart jobs. We are falling behind our global competitors in reach and speed. The rural and urban broadband funds have been damp squibs.. There must be proper competition for broadband funding, not just a BT monopoly. Digital businesses must not be burdened with government interference like calls for web filtering or site blocking."

Opinion: From Triple A to Triple Dip

Editor's picture

In February 2010, just before the general election, chancellor George Osborne set out his economic objectives "against which I expect to be judged". High among them was retaining Britain's AAA credit rating.  Now the credit rating agency Moody's has stripped Britain of its AAA rating. So judging Osborne by his own criterion, he has failed.   Moody's explained their decision as due to "continuing weakness in the UK’s medium-term growth outlook, with a period of sluggish growth which it now expects will extend into the second half of the decade". Put simply, the economy isn't growing, and isn't expected to grow, and the implication of that for our debt to GDP ratio is dire.  

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