Budget 2010

These are my intial reactions to some of the measures made in the Budget 2010 (subject to change, does contain some humour):

Tax on bank bonuses will pay for a £2.5bn growth package.

For me this is less to do with growth, as it is to do with repaying those who have had to bail out risk – bad risk.

No one under 24 will be unemployed for more than six months, without receiving the firm offer of training.

NEETs is a serious problem in this country, that really hasn’t been helped by the push to get more people into university – which has resulted in short term internships or part time work. But perhaps there is something in the future of the latter – namely people working less hours. When I raised shorter working hours across the country, keeping the stability perks of full-time employment, in a sociology class at college 7 or 8 years ago it was treated as utopian dream – but more and more this becomes nearer to a reality – and has the backing of at least one small, but up-and-coming political party in this country with the Greens.

Alongside plans to rejuvenate frontline workers – for example nurses or social workers – efforts can be taken by the government – and are plausible, not utopian folly – to raise the minimum wage to a European living wage (not just the 2.2% increase to £5.93 per hour), and start cutting hours to make use of the newly trained workforce – to be sure fewer hours are better than no hours, which unfortunately has been the only option for some people.

Though, of course, one measure must be met with the other, which informs my discomfort with the half-baked effort of this particular measure. Will we see a day where, when after 6 months of this measure’s enforcement, we have more trained workers than jobs?

Help for first-time buyers by raising the tax-free threshold from £125,000 to £250,000, but raising stamp duty on residential property over £1m to 5 per cent.

I’m with John Prescott on this one – no brainer; if you don’t raise stamp for those with properties of over £1m it by causality affects the lesser off- the no-brainer is, of course, who will be affected the least.

Those earning more than £100,000 can look forward to some allowances being removed. Re-announces 1p rise in national insurance and 50p tax.

I don’t know where this potential saving is planning to go into, but the general rule remains; unless you tax the well off in spending squeezes, you hurt the poor.

New £35bn fund to help universities spin out entrepreneurial ideas

Translation: Darling causes 600% increase in sales of Edward de Bono’s Six Thinking Hats.

Child tax credit to rise by £4 a week

Noble gesture, of course, but could be better if tailored – and increased – for the more vulnerable families rather than across the board.

Cider is “under-taxed” – it will be raised by 10 per cent from midnight on Sunday. Strong ciders will be even more heavily taxed, though the Chancellor didn’t give details.

But no saving will be made, in the long term, owing to the vast increase in waging special constables to curb scrumping.

Writing in red came from the live updates of the budget report on the Telegraph


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