The Chancellor, George Osborne is a clever man yet he cannot understand the plight of most ordinary people.
His budget today gives the appearance of taking account of the problems that face most people in the UK, not least the cost of fuel, whilst at the same time he continues to rob us blind by refusing to do anything about the cost of food and essential commodities.
In rural areas in particular, people will be pleased that fuel duty is not being increased in the normal leeching manner that previous governments have utilised but with the recent VAT increase, this concession is largely cosmetic.
Far more important is the basic fact that even a twelve year old can understand, that if VAT continues to be held at 20%, the overall effect is to increase the cost of everything, including food.
It is really very simple to understand that the higher the rate of VAT, the more it costs to process, package and deliver everything that is on sale in the local supermarket.
Nor is Osborne prepared to recognise that the cost of fuel in the UK is lower than in most EU countries but that the rate of tax and duty on that fuel is one of the highest. Two thirds of the cost of a litre of fuel in the UK is tax of one kind or another.
Changes to personal tax levels, playing around with business taxes and putting a tax on private jets is unlikely to help those who have no chance of finding a job, not a full-time job anyway, nor is it likely to help those who cannot afford to pay for their weekly grocery bill or pay the exorbitant charges of the local water company.
The Chancellor and Prime Minister keep talking about “difficult decisions”. TheOpinionSite.org would point out that for at least 18 members of Cameron’s cabinet, there are no ‘difficult’ decisions as they are all millionaires.
To the family reliant on benefits or to those on the minimum wage, the Chancellor’s budget means nothing.
The fact that the few luxuries that were once occasionally available are now unaffordable thanks to VAT and Duty is of no comfort. Whilst Osborne and his cronies sip their champagne and malt whisky, many in the UK will still be wondering whether or not they can afford to boil the kettle for a cup of tea.
In any case, Osborne’s maths and his growth forecasts have collapsed. To put it another way, he got his sums wrong. His forecast for the future can therefore be largely disregarded.
As inflation continues to rise it will inevitably be the poorest families and individuals who feel the most pain. A cut in the rate of personal tax is of no use whatsoever to those who are unemployed and who are unlikely to ever find a meaningful job.
While the British government wastes money poking its nose into the business of middle eastern countries in the hope that the oil price will not go up, the cost increases anyway and ordinary families fall into debt because they cannot pay their electricity, gas and water bills.
Cameron, Osborne and Clegg have a ‘vision’ for the future but this vision does not include the poorest.
Osborne talks about a ‘competative’ tax system and a highly educated workforce. In reality, his budget will make the rich richer, the poor poorer and students will continue to learn as little as they do now, safe in the knowledge that no one can fail a degree in this modern age.
Putting up the cost of tobacco and alcohol does not raise a great deal of money but does rob those with little money of two of the few pleasures they can still enjoy and plays well with the politically correct health and sobriety lobbies.
The consultation on amalgamating Income Tax and National Insurance is more camouflage as the consultation will, by the Chancellor’s own admission take years and in truth will probably never come to fruition anyway. If a change means that the government will lose money, it simply will not happen.
Osborne has reduced Corporation Tax and will continue to do so to encourage business to start up in Britain. This will also make the rich richer but do little for the poor as new business are unlikely to pay more than the minimum wage, will be technology based rather than employing hundreds of people and will make little difference to the rate of UK unemployment.
The Chancellor seems to have simply ignored the situation in which most people find themselves. Meanwhile, Osborne states that high taxes on the rich will suffocate business development. To an extent this is true but he fails to understand that none of the measures in this budget will actually increase the chance of the unemployed finding a job.
Without that fundamental change, everything else is a total waste of time. Osborne’s ‘plan for growth’ may well improve the lot of multi-national companies, banks and big business but again, the point has to be made that it will do nothing at all for the ordinary folk of the land.
They will still be scratching around trying to pay their bills for many years to come.
The Chancellor is providing £250 million pounds to assist new property buyers. Apart from the fact that such a sum is too small to make any difference, he is missing the point entirely as, if his intention is to help ‘first time buyers’ he should realise that the real problem in the housing market is the ridiculously high price of UK properties which are the highest in Europe.
Until the high, artificial prices of UK houses is addressed, those on an ordinary wage are no more likely to buy in the future than they have in the past. Their parents too have run out of money and can no longer afford to provide the odd £30,ooo needed for a deposit.
This is a typical Conservative budget – there is no sign of the Liberal Democrats. It is designed for those who have money already and totally ignores the pain felt by those who have little financial stability. It takes no account of the increasingly high numbers of unemployed citizens and it does nothing to help the poorest in society.
To put it simply, this budget hurts the poor and helps the rich.
TheOpinionSite.org would therefore suggest that this budget is indeed a perfect Conservative con.
Prepare to be hurt and prepare to get poorer whilst food prices, fuel prices and all the things you like go up and up thanks to Mr Osbourne and his Conservative Budget.