Queen’s visit and budget dominate week

This has been a most unusual week in Parliament. On Tuesday we had the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee address to both Houses of Parliament held in Westminster Hall. I was fortunate to secure a ticket both for the address and the Reception afterwards where I was presented to His Royal Highness Prince Philip. I thought the Queen struck exactly the right note and it was certainly a memorable morning.

On Wednesday it was back to normal politics and the Budget Statement. Thousands of families on basic rate tax will have an extra £220 a year to spend as a result of the increase in the personal allowance.

The announcement of a further reduction in corporation tax was particularly welcome as we need profitable companies to create new jobs. The news that GlaxoSmithKline are going to build a new factory here in the North West and creat hundreds of new jobs was hopefully a first sign that corporate Britain will react positively to this news.

3 thoughts on “Queen’s visit and budget dominate week

  1. David,

    I think it’s fair to point out that:

    “Thousands of families on basic rate tax will have an extra £220 a year to spend as a result of the increase in the personal allowance.”

    is disingenuous, is it not? It wasn’t a Tory election commitment, and it ignores the fact that as people are taken out of tax, their tax credits are commensurately reduced, hence the working poor gain nothing. Add to that, your own (Tory) chancellor has shifted the rules so that a tax credit claimant now has to work 24 hours per week rather than 16 hours per week (previously) to be able to claim tax credits, and it seems to me that you are actually impoverishing the poor further.

    This is nothing to boast about. Chuck in the effects of VAT at 20%, inflation at 4% and the fact that many people on tax credits will be very hard pressed to persuade their employers to give them an additional 8 hours a week employment (why would they with a static/recessionary economy?), and you have, in effect, condemned a lot of your voters to a real and very painful cut in their income and standard of living.

    Perhaps you could address these points, and explain why it is that you will still be likely to wander through the ‘aye’ lobby when the budget is put to a vote in Parliament? I’m sure that people would be pleased to see you address the specific points I’ve made above.

    Regards,
    Simon

    • Hi Simon,
      The problem the Government has to deal with is the fact that the last Government left an unsustainable budget deficit and a welfare system the Country simple cannot afford. Difficult decisions have had to be taken and it will still take several years before our Country is living within its means.

      I think most people would accept that a non-taxpayer would not be entitled to receive tax credits. As I understand the tax credit rule changes the hours rule relates to couples – if a single person is expected to work 16 hours it seems reasonable to expect two persons to work at least 24 hours in order to qualify for working tax credit.

      David

  2. “The problem the Government has to deal with is the fact that the last Government left an unsustainable budget deficit and a welfare system the Country simple cannot afford. Difficult decisions have had to be taken and it will still take several years before our Country is living within its means.”

    Come now, David, do not insult your readers’ intelligence.

    The reason we have the deficit is down the the global financial crash of 2007/08. The welfare system has nothing to do with it, and even you must acknowledge that money spent on welfare is hardly likely to be hoarded – it is spent as quickly as it comes, as most people who receive them rely on those payments. Given the lack of discretionary spending by those still in jobs (but possibly fearful of retaining them), you must surely see that killing off economic activity in the constituency will lead to nothing but more misery, and that’s exactly what recent changes will ensure.

    Have a walk around Bury some time, and then tell me if your opinion is still valid. After all, is not your government spending an extra £157,000,000,000 in the course of this Parliament due to the lack of growth in the economy and the number of unemployed?

    “I think most people would accept that a non-taxpayer would not be entitled to receive tax credits.”

    Bong! Well done David – you’ve shown how little you know. You don’t even realise that many people in receipt of tax credits are the working poor: people whose wages are so low that they need help to survive. Do you support the concept of a Living Wage? You should. Why do we subsidise bad employers in this manner? I find it a disgrace. Remember also that most people on Housing Benefit are also in work. Bear that in mind the next time your government colleagues decide to whip up public opprobrium against them.

    “As I understand the tax credit rule changes the hours rule relates to couples – if a single person is expected to work 16 hours it seems reasonable to expect two persons to work at least 24 hours in order to qualify for working tax credit.”

    Except that (a) it will massively impoverish them – the figures are simply horrific. An instant loss of over 20% of one’s income in a heartbeat? That should fill you with shame – (b) it makes it more economically viable for a working person to become a full time recipient of benefits in order to maintain their minimal living standards – what’s that about making work always pay more? – and (c) it’s likely to drive couples apart. Why would they remain – legally – a couple when it’s preferable from a financial POV to separate? And this from the party of the family (allegedly).

    I am surprised and saddened at the superficiality of your response. I would appreciate a little more engagement with the problems that your constituents will undoubtedly be facing as a result of these changes. Don’t forget that 2015 is not that far away.

    Regards,
    Simon

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