Friday, 27 November 2015

Oh God, how true! (I presume this is Private Eye?)

The Chancellor's autumn statement was a disgrace - the slimy bribe to pensioners, the refusal to start de-welfaring Britain by reforming Labour's ghastly dependency-creating tax credit system (which basically boils down to middle class tax-payers subsidising cheap labour for business), the sleight-of-hand taxing of the first generation of graduates to pay £9000 tuition fees by freezing the £21,000 income level at which have to start repaying their loans (instead of allowing the figure to rise in line with inflation - how petty!), the inexplicable U-turn on cutting police funding (which I'm not against in principle - unlike this Tory government, it seems), yet more money for foreign aid (just - why?), the failure to use any of the £27Bn OBR "windfall" (which will turn out to be a miscalculation in any case) to get on with paying off our humungous debt  - and all the rest. This was a budget Gordon Brown could have produced: it's hard to think of a worse insult.

Of course, George Osborne got away with it because there is currently no functioning parliamentary opposition - just a gaggle of pathetic, dim-witted, under-educated, economically illiterate, terrorism-supporting old commies who hate their country and want to see it reduced to the status of Albania as soon as possible. If Osborne doesn't have the guts (or, apparently, the desire) to produce a proper right-wing budget now, with four-and-a-half years to go before the next election, with Labour in utter disarray and without any creepy LibDem partners to appease, we can be certain that he never will.


  1. The Chancellor's U-turns on tax credits and police funding in his Autumn Statement have attracted plenty of media attention. Ditto his tax hikes on employment and second homes.

    Charles Moore's article in yesterday's Telegraph, Please stop pretending Osborne is a genius, is one good example as is the blogmeister's post above.

    There has been next to no coverage in the non-specialist media of another one of the Chancellor's Autumn Surprises:

    The Government Digital Service [GDS] will receive an additional £450m, but the core Cabinet Office budget will be cut by 26%, matching a 24% cut in the budget of the Treasury. And the cost of all Whitehall administration will be cut by £1.9bn.

    GDS's achievement in its five years of existence has been patchy. John Manzoni, chief executive of the UK civil service, cleared out the top brass from GDS in September.

    The Autumn Statement would see GDS diminished, it was thought, if not extinguished. Instead, in the event, Mr Osborne bunged them an extra £450 million.

  2. Passed me by entirely, Hawkeye. That's half a BILLION pounds, near enough. Frivolous, to say the least.

  3. Failure to follow through on rumoured cuts to the police budget may be explained by our old friend Home Office incompetence.

    According to the Times of 7 November 2015, the Home Office sent the required budget cuts to each force and got the arithmetic wrong.

    In the case of Scotland Yard, the Home Office grant estimate was said to be wrong by more than £100 million, while the proposed grants for other forces were out by up to tens of millions of pounds ...

    Andrew White, the chief executive of Devon and Cornwall’s PCC office, uncovered the discrepancies after his own analysts were unable to make the Home Office figures add up. He said that he received a letter admitting the mistake yesterday from Mary Callum, the director-general for crime and policing.

    The Times is full of good news about the Home Office at the moment. £830m border watchlist system breaks down twice every week, in particular, cheered me up no end on 3 December 2015.

    I first wrote about this matter in April 2009. There doesn't seem to have been any progress since.

    1. Who can forget our old friend Sir John Gieve, the Permanent Secretary who signed off the Home Office accounts with a trial balance of £26,527,108,436,994, almost 2,000 times higher than the Home Office’s gross expenditure for 2004-05 and approximately one and a half times higher than the estimated gross domestic product of the entire planet, according to a note from the National Audit Office.

      Which satirist would then have appointed him Deputy Governor of the Bank of England?

      And who would have dared predict that, at the height of the credit crunch, Sir John would refuse to break off his holiday and come back to do, you know, his job?

      Arise Lady Callum of Threadneedle Street?