Op-Ed: Supporters of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn would not care if he attended the House of Commons in his jim jams; they want to hear what he has to say and are fed up of style over substance politics.
Wednesday for the budget he looked dapper after a makeover, whether voluntary is not clear, but he looked smart and ministerial if that is the sort of thing that floats your boat.
Me I was more interested in what he had to say and he did not disappoint.
It seems the right-wing millionaire rag the Daily Express could find little to fault so went with "jacket with a red tie fastened neatly over a crisp white shirt. But one detail was missing, as Mr Corbyn appeared to be wearing black trousers instead of blue ones to match his jacket. Noticing the mismatch on Twitter, Helen James wrote: "Is...Corbyn wearing black trousers and a blue suit jacket? If so, unforgivable!"
Err no things like the Tories slashing ESA for people with disabilities is unforgivable while a blue jacket with black trousers is just a matter of style choice. It shows how meaningless politics is to some who watch the House of Commons daily business and how little they care for we the people.
So with that out of the way how did our Jeremy do?
Well as a Labour supporter I may be somewhat biased but you have to remember Mr Corbyn was not my choice for leader in the party election. He is now though and grows in my estimation each time I see him.
I also felt like a Mum watching her young child at his first big deal day as I tuned in for Budget 2016 yet I am almost the age of Mr Corbyn.
From the moment he got to his feet you could sense his presence in the House.
Remember this is a man facing attacks from within the party, even from his own Common's benches, as well as from elsewhere. He has only been leader of the opposition since September 2015 and it takes time to grow into the role-that has been true of all former party leaders even the ultimately slick Tony Blair.
I posted some of his comments on Osborne's budget in my words on Twitter as I watched Mr Corbyn's speech and I wrote:
Overall Mr Corbyn picked the heart, though heart is the wrong word, out of the budget and won the day.
His dress style was immaterial but I have to say he looked damn good!
Op-ed: BBC News is reporting ahead of the Chancellor’s Budget statement Wednesday that he could be offering a bitter sweet pill to encourage low paid workers to save but before we go into the detail let me say this is another idea nabbed from the Labour Party.
In 2010 when the Tory Party came to power with its Lib Dem partners in tow they scrapped a very similar savings scheme; the difference being the Labour one was more generous.
That was called the Saving Gateway and it aimed to give a 50p boost for every pound saved.
It was something that Hubby was offered in its trial stages and helped us through one of those difficult financial times that come along.
But it never got beyond the trial run as the Condems axed it. Here is what the Guardian said in 2010:
The government has quietly scrapped one of Labour's flagship initiatives to encourage Britain's financially excluded people to save.
The current Tory majority government will no doubt try to blame Labour for scrapping that scheme; you know the economy was so shot because of the outgoing Labour government and the global economic crisis was only real when we use it to explain out fiscal mess.
But all it shows is their priorities.
And silently scrapped.
So what will the new scheme offer? BBC News reports Monday;
Millions of low-paid workers who put aside savings could receive a top-up of up to £1,200 over four years, the government has announced. Employees on in-work benefits, such as tax credits, who put aside £50 a month would receive a bonus of 50% after two years - worth up to £600.
Well I hate to use my cracked record saying but as always the devil is in the detail.
The new scheme will be called Help To Save and be open to around 3.5 million adults who received universal credit or tax credit. How many will actually have enough disposable income to use as savings is not clear but my guess is not many. The scheme however will look good on paper.
Changes to tax credits, the minimum wage and more will limit who is eligible. And if your income is rock bottom putting any money aside may be impossible.
The Tory onslaught against the most vulnerable people of the UK continues; that means some people who should be eligible for the saving scheme will not be, plus others will have suffered such a drop in income via Tory legislation such as the Bedroom Tax that saving 1p a day would prove difficult.
For Hubby and I Labour's Savings Gateway helped us through a sticky patch but I worked too and that did not make us ineligible.
The Tories Help to Save scheme is less generous and after six years of Tory cuts and so-called austerity measures for many any kind of 'disposable income' is not attainable.
[It seems ahead of the budget Osborne is playing his usual games and filtering bits and pieces from the budget to his mainstream media allies]
Speaking on Sky News David Cameron used his usual spin in announcing the Help to Save scheme saying;
"I've made it the mission of this government to transform life chances across the country.
Hard-working is a term touted a lot by Cameron and his colleagues though many have never actually done a day's hard work in their lives.
I will leave you to read "David Cameron's father left assets in tax haven" to highlight the irony.
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