Op-ed: One day after Chancellor George Osborne's spring budget the big red budget book has been analysed and the conclusion is more spending cuts will be necessary.
Osborne has rejected claims that he will have to cut spending or raise taxes to meet his budget but something will have to give and you can bet your bottom dollar it will not be wealthy citizens.
The Chancellor is standing by his promise that Britain will be back in the black by 2020 but with a proviso; as long as the economy keeps growing. He has been forced to revise growth forecasts down and admit he missed key targets in his budget which was a giveaway for the rich.
The problem is the UK is not as 'productive' as many countries; with so much sold off to foreign investors and outsourced little is produced in the UK these days.
But Osborne is a typical style over substance politician and Wednesday after a semi shaky start soon got into his stride and by the end of his budget bombastically hammered home his set phrases.
Phrases such as working to a plan, helping hard working people (changed from families possibly after attacking child tax credit) we are on course and more were all used to pad out the budget.
Delivering the budget could be simpler and quicker but it starts with an intro which is all about political campaigning and is stuffed with theatrics.
Osborne's main budget aim, he claims, is getting the country into surplus by 2020 and the price paid by others to achieve this appears immaterial as long as it is not Tory fat friends losing out.
The Tory attack on disability benefits such as PIP, personal independent payments, and ESA, employment support allowance, when you consider the budget handouts to others by way of cuts to corporation tax and more, highlight priorities not good government.
The Independent had quickly analysed the budget details Wednesday and their report is well worth reading. It includes the following;
For those with large salaries, the threshold for the higher rate of income tax will be raised from £42,386 to £45,000. For those with valuable assets, capital gains tax will be cut from 28 per cent to 20 per cent. For those wealthy enough to have savings, the ISA limit will be increased from £15,000 to £20,000. For those wealthy enough to run businesses, corporation tax will fall from 20 per cent to 17 per cent.
Osborne tends to quote bodies such as the OBR which he claims are independent but he shies away from the IFS, institute for fiscal studies, which is less supportive. Budget 2016: 'Last chance' for George Osborne, IFS chief says reports the Independent.
Thursday the IFS will give its response to the budget but ahead of that Paul Johnson, the director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies criticised the budget saying Osborne only has a 50/50 chance of reaching his target.
If Osborne was serious about his so-called plan being all about fixing the roof while the sun was shining he would have delivered financial pain across the board; that would have been fair and done the job faster.
But Osborne's modus operandi has nothing to do with fairness and everything to do with securing Tory votes and helping fat friends.
Take his lifetime ISA promise Wednesday which sounds good on paper. It will allow anyone under 40 to save ideally for a first home with a little government top-up thrown in for good measure. But the point here is ANYONE.
This means if eligible on age the children of millionaires, including some adults in politics such as Tony Blair, David Cameron, Iain Duncan Smith, George Osborne and Nick Clegg could benefit from the scheme. Young people from poorer backgrounds may struggle to save and obviously save less over the 'life time' of the ISA which has a 50 age cut off. The Express writes;
The scheme for under-40s will be introduced in April 2017 but there are worries it could encourage workers to spurn existing pension schemes that hold a number of benefits for long-term savers.
For many people the conclusion is Wednesday's budget is flawed and fails on all levels except helping the rich get richer.
The latest from the Guardian is - Richest households gain £225 from Osborne's income tax cuts - and the poorest just £10, thinktank says.
Perhaps Osborne is waiting until the May elections and the EU referendum are out of the way before slashing budgets further.
After all there will always be another budget along and he could always opt for yet another emergency budget in July once votes are under his belt.
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