Wednesday, March 21, 2007

I'm in a Gordon Brown Trance

I'm watching the budget and trying to pay attention, but it really is so difficult when the Chancellor makes a speech with no full stops in it. He's been on his feet for 15 minutes now and I am finding it difficult to remember a single thing he has said. Has he put me in a trance? Perhaps it's just me.

Prescott is either constantly nodding off, or taking an unhealthy interest in Brown's backside. I'd be worried if I were him. More thoughtful words on the budget later... Betcha can't wait...

UPDATE: Hugo Rifkind is live blogging Gordon Brown's speech... and indeed his whole day from what I can make out. What on earth has he done to deserve that?!

UPDATE: So let me get this right. He's putting up Corporatiob Tax on small businesses to pay for a cut for larger businesses. Madness.

UPDATE: Bad start from Ming. He started: "I am already struggling to live up to the intellectual rigour of the last speech". Oh dear. Love Bob Russell's waistcoat... not.

UPDATE: Cameron is having a stormer. "The Chancellor has the worst of all worlds - the tendences of Stalin and the poll ratings of Michael Foot". Loads of other funny lines but plenty of meat too.

UPDATE: 2p off the basic rate. Great. As far as it goes. Abolishing the 10p rate will hit poorer people and increasing NI will hit middle income families. A lot of calculating to do...

UPDATE: Tony Blair is just loving Cameron's speech. He's cracking up with laughter!

68 comments:

Ken from Gloucester said...

I had to stop watching because he spouts never ending clap trap.

It will take a few days in any case for the experts to get through the spin and let us know about all the sneaky tax rises.

Off on a nice long walk because its better for my health!!

Ralph said...

This is supposed to be Gordon's day but I've never seen something so dull as this speech. OK it's about money but still...

Andy D said...

Great. More Corporation tax on small businesses to pay for large ones. Way to go Gordo.

AnyoneButBlair said...

ohmygod he's soooo boring. A collected set of traders and brokers around me are contemplating collective suicide whilst watching. This guy is going to be PM? Is the Labour Party having a laugh with it's "Jim Jones strategy...i.e. there won't be many left in the morning after the next election !

Anonymous said...

We need a few words on Dave's "Flights Tax"-Gordo gave it a very swift burial!

AnyoneButBlair said...

Is the 2p extra tax on small companies Gordon's 100th tax rise?
A milestone not to be celebrated!

Chris said...

Supporting enterprise?

Last budget he abolished the 0% for profits below 50k, now stepped increases to small co tax to 22% from 19%. It may be dressed up with changes to capital allowances but we need to support entrepreneurs!

Anonymous said...

does anyone else hate the corruption of the work "Invest". You don't invest in education, the NHS or Defence. You spend. It's a buzz word to make things sound better. Spending bad, investment good....geddit
Sadly the conservatives misude invest as well

pseudoleftie said...

I think you chaps are missing the big picture...

HE WAS PICKING HIS NOSE DURING PMQs!!!

Rog said...

Brown as PM will surely bury NuLab as a viable governing party for decades.

Thank God - I only hope whoever has to pick up the pieces can repair some of the damage they've done.

Anonymous said...

Dave,2p cut!
Suspect he won't be changing em he'll be using em!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

fido said...

Well I am sure that in his mis-guided way he has his eye on the UK economy, although that is most likely his glass eye.

judith said...

More tax credits, more benefits, more people/fools bribed to vote Labour .....

Anonymous said...

he has buggered up massive numbers of contract workers.
This is a massive tax rise, (probably fair though, he is putting corporation tax for self employed people *higher* then income tax, hundreds of thousands of people are on this tax code. This is huge, only a few years ago he wiped out the tax free allowance on dividends (corporation tax), and now this.

The BBC, where everything is paye might not pick this up, but you have just pissed off a huge number of voters.

Anonymous said...

Has noone told Dave he's supposed to respond to the budget?

Mark said...

Ha ha!

Rabbit out the hat time for Gordo -
Cameron having a stormer? Are you having a laugh?

He's attacking Labour from the left! His shrill delivery is almost being drowned out by laughter from the Labour benches.

muppeteconomics said...

that was a shocking performance, truely a morons budget.

House prices are too high so he comes up with another scheme for shared equity. Putting another massive bid under the market when its about to collapse.

AnyoneButBlair said...

Cutting 2p off the basic rate of tax and eliminating the 10p rate at the same time is a tiny tax break to middle-income earners (i.e they gain the 2p break but lose the 10% band), but a tax rise to low and very-low / minimum wage earners?
The numbers are being crunched as I speak....

Ed said...

2p off the basic rate but what's going on with allowances and NI?

I don't believe for a minute he's giving an actual tax cut!

Chris said...

Watch out for the small print on the income tax changes. Income tax threshold is going up to £43k from about £38k, obviously a good thing. However, the NI threshold is coming into line with income tax.

NI falls from 11% to 1% over the upper threshold (currently £33k) so anyone earning over this will be paying more NI. Great way of dressing up an NI increase.

Little Gay Sambo said...

Great gags from Cameron.

Simon Unwin said...

I have voted Conservative for nearly 25 years, but now see Brown as the tax-cutter, and Cameron as the stupid kid making jokes.

I won't be voting Labour, let me make that clear, but Cameron is just spewing corny jokes and making no substantial points.

Let's get rid of him, and get a heavyweight to match Brown.

As Campbell even points out, the intellectual rigour on the Conservative bench is nil.

Andy D said...

Using very rough figures, if you earn 12k a year, you will be £100 a year worse off.

If you earn 25k a year, you will be about £160 a year better off.

What the hell is Gordo doing? Taxing the poor?

buoffthelowpaid said...

even the polish plumber loses.....wot a mug

Dream on DC... said...

You Tory wankers were left with your mouths wide open, with only a few Christmas cracker gags to throw back.

Sorry you got your hopes up, but you lot are in the political wilderness for years yet to come.

Andy D said...

Ah great..the BBC line is 'Income tax down by 2p.....' Not mentioning the removal of the starting 10p rate.

Idiots

Iain Dale said...

Simon Unwin. Are you deluded? He hasn't cut taxes at all. He's increased them for God's sake. I despair if you can't see that. Even the BBC is reporting it as a tax rise.

Anonymous said...

What Labour seat is Nick Robinson standing for? He's just creamed his trousers at wonderful Brown!!

Andy D said...

Iain, they are just swallowing the line about the 2p fall. By ignoring the removal of the starting 10% rate it looks good.

Do the calculations. If you are a low earner, this is a tax rise. Most people won't notice the difference, and some people will be better off.

At least it makes doing tax returns slightly easier.

dizzy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ezra said...

"He's increased them for God's sake"

Even though, Iain, the headlines will be in Brown's favour tommorrow.

I think this was politically quite a clever budget. That's probably why you're getting so worked up; this budget is difficult to attack in broad terms - only in specifics are there issues. And your man on the street doesn't like specifics.

Cameron's gags were good but everyone knows that speeches in the House don't affect poll ratings or anything (who actually sees them?). It's just point-scoring.

Anonymous said...

The last two comments ignore the changes in tax credit.
try again

AussieGooner79 said...

I thought David's point about GB now 'sharing the proceeds of growth' was a good one.

What's wrong with making jokes at the expense of a joke of a budget?

Little Gay Sambo said...

Good to see the anonymous Labour trolls out in force.

dizzy said...

am recalculating as I made a mistake in allowances. Also tax credits is misnomer because it is a beneift and assumes that people take them.

emilyvdb said...

I saw the nose-picking too. Most distracting...

Andy D said...

I was about to point out your mistake dizzy....I do get paid to work these things out you know.

ex-labour said...

Brown's screwed the lowest paid: no increase in the basic tax allownce, abolition of the 10p rate, increased NI.

That won't play well on the council estates.

Great performance from Cameron BTW

Schoolboy-Error said...

Good of Mr Dimbleby to cut Cameron off.Love it that Brown's 'sharing the proceeds of growth.'Cameron's a winner.

Anonymous said...

Eton Dave had some nice jokes-obviously has decent crackers at Christmas.
Sadly no substance-yet again.
Even Ming looked good compared to the sad low grade Dave performance.

Anonymous said...

next election in the bag for labour. watch the tories tear themselves apart now calling for even bigger tax cuts. cameron looked callow, his hands were shaking. the mail and the times are squared.

griswold said...

Cameron - Master and Commander today. Brilliant analysis. Stalin jokes had front bench squirming. Blair loving it. Cameron's best day ever.

Anonymous said...

Come on, that was pure political theatre. As usual, there's a lot of number-crunching to do in the next few days to work out the real details, but even the most hardened anti-Brownite has to admit that was a masterstroke in terms of broad-brush political strategy.

Cameron put on a great performance in the circumstances, but it's like winning the man of the match award in a game you've just lost 8-0.

AnyoneButBlair said...

Lots of NuLab trolls out today trying to give some gloss to an awful budget. A tax grab on low earners, who now pay higher taxes, plus for higher earners two big changes. Removal of the lower tax threshold on unearned income (i.e. investments / rental etc) and NI changes to realign with tax thresholds....ouch! Strangely no mention of that on the BBC? There is also some potentially nasty (but vague) pension changes (will need the guidance notes to decrypt)

Michael said...

Cameron’s response is one the funniest things I’ve seen in a long while.

Brown looked like a buffoon. Blair couldn’t stop smirking.

Punch and Judy at its best.

floating voter said...

Cameron's reply was brilliant, how typical of the BBC to cut him off in mid-flow.

As for Brown, the man is a shameless liar.

michael said...

The reference to David Milliband, skulking in his corner, masterminding a coup against the one-eyed Norse warrior, was also very funny.

Mark said...

taBrown isn't daft and I think he has boosted both his personal standing and that of his party.

What kind of response to an hour long speech setting out the political landscape of the country is pre-scripted series of jokes?

Robinson said on the Beeb that Cameron did well not to 'throw his hands up and fall over' after Brown's speech. Cameron has done some solid work movibg the Tories to the centre, but the spectacle of him attacking Labour from the left today spells disaster for his party in the long run - surely Hague or Davis would land more substantive blows and do better?

This whole 'Stalin' episode isn't going to hold water for the Tories for much longer - it's not particularly classy to try and draw parallels between a political adversary and the most murderous dictator of the 20th century.

It was by no means a perfect budget, and there will be fall out for the rise in taxes for small businesses, but it;s Brown who's smiling (admittedly in a lop-sided, slightly spooky fashion) now.

A post Blair bounce, the satisfaction of beating a no-hoper like Milburn or Reid in a leadership contest, Murdoch placated by the cut in corporation tax, imminent photo-ops with world leaders and all the accoutrements of office tht come with being a global leader, and the Tories still to tackle their old bugbears of Europe and Tax.

Bet the odds on Labour winning the next election went down today.

Michael said...

Iain,

If you come across a YouTube of Cameron’s performance today, could you please put it up on your blog?

[P.S. Did he, or did he not, refer to Gordon Brown as an “old man in the Kremlin.” Classic.]

alan said...

This budget is all spin and no trousers. There is a marginal reduction for someone earning £20,000, but everyone else has a rather large tax increase. If taking into account the NI reforms as well, someone earning £30,000 will have a tax rate increase of ~0.7%. On hte other hand, someone earning £10,000 has their tax rate increase by 1.7%

Don't fall for the spin - it isn't a 2p rate cut at all!

sharingtheproceedsofgrowth said...

What the NuLab muppets havent worked out is that this is an utter delusion, a good one fair enough, but it just proves he is qan idiot.
After 10 years of tax and spend he tries to buy us off with a tax neutral tax cut just when teh revebnue figures are getting further out of touch with reality.

A good budget for Brown, ie just a load of recycled shit
A bad budget for Cameron, he was on the wrong track. He should have just got up and said " thank god for that, I thought the country was in the shit" and sat down.

The sad thing is that ultimately Cameron is right in what he says and Brown just lies through his teeth. Tomorrow however the NuLab mugs will be trumpeting a tax cut.


The economy is a myth, a total myth.

Pedant said...

Iain, I know you've been asked before, but why DO you give space to the NuLab and Gordo anonymongs?

Young Mason said...

Earning up to £5225 - no change in taxation
Earning £5225 to £7375 - double taxation
Earning £7375 to £18124.99 - increase in taxation
Earning £18125 - no change in taxation
Earning more than £18125 - decrease in taxation

fr said...

Living on an actuarially reduced pension. It's not every day you listen to a budget that has just doubled your income tax !

fr said...

Living on an actuarially reduced pension. It's not every day you listen to a budget that has just doubled your income tax !

qaqwex said...

Big Business must be laughing - invest 20 million in bribes to Nu Labor coffers and get back a skip full of gongs and billions in tax cuts.

fr said...

Sorry for double post. Still in shock!

voted labour in 97 but never again said...

Brown's headline grabbing con-trick of a 2p tax reduction in 2009 has been seen through already.

New Labour muppets can spin it all they like but those of their core voters who are still working will end up paying more tax and won't like it one bit.

Cameron wiped the floor with the tax-and-spend Scottish charlatan which was too much for the BBC who cut him off halfway through his speech. Disgraceful bias towards New Labour again.

Londoner said...

At 2:11 "anyonebutblair" said the budget had included: "Removal of the lower tax threshold on unearned income (i.e. investments / rental etc)".

Was there something specifically on unearned income that you are referring to or do you just mean that people with just inv income will lose the 10% band (like everyone else). I have had a quick look at the Treasury website and cannot see anything.

Chris said...

10% on investment income is staying, just being scrapped for employment/trade income

2br02b said...

All this spinning against Brown and for Cameron seen here, does not alter the main fact about today's budget:

It's difficult to comment properly on the economic consequences of any budget without a lot more detailed data and much more time, but politically, this one was a masterpiece. And Windmill Dave was left floudering, exposed as a callow, outclassed youth trying to take on a real heavyweight.

As a lifelong Tory it gives me no pleasure to say this, but I said at the time of selection that DC was the wrong leader, 'designed' to emulate TB in style, etc. The trouble is that that was the last 'war'. The coming 'war' (general election) will be quite different, and on the basis of today's performance, Labour will walk it.

So here we have it: the Tory's huddled up in their Maginot Line, morale held up by a number of misleading polls, not even noticing the Panzer Divisions pouring through the Ardennes to take the Line from the rear....

Game over!

chatterbox said...

Gordon's budget figures may have put Iain in a trance but I kid you not I fell asleep and missed David Cameron's response!
Anyone got a link to it?
Just one question after digesting the moving of the deckchairs on the good ship Treasury, anyone else think that the 2p cut in income tax to coincide with his first year as PM is the most blatant and cynical move yet.
I wondered if he would do something like that but dismissed it, because such an obvious bribe after 10 years and 99 tax increases would backfire. It will just further back up the view that this man is only concerned with his own ambitions even at the expense of his colleagues and his party.
His usual smoke and mirrors budget, have the indigestion medicine ready after the red book has been read in all its detail.

no longer anonymous said...

Instead of fiddling around with all these various allowances, tax credits and other exceptions, why doesn't he just abolish them and stick to just moving tax rates up and down?

The Stoat said...

I'm glad it wasn't just me: we were all watching it in the office and none of us followed a single word of it. Dear oh dear, the speechwriter needs shooting and Brown needs lessons in presentation and speech delivery.

I'm no better or worse off... I think... I fell asleep...

Anonymous said...

Sadly Blair was laughing at Dave not with him!

Anonymous said...

Parliament has a website and you can watch Brown v Cameron there
http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Player/?Meeting=6977

Chuck Unsworth said...

Simon Unwin:

'I have voted Conservative for nearly 25 years, but now see Brown as the tax-cutter'

Why? How?

It's a tax neutral budget - at best.

Anonymous said...

pseudoleftie said...
"I think you chaps are missing the big picture...

HE WAS PICKING HIS NOSE DURING PMQs!!!"

Yes, indeed. People should watch these things on the Parliament channel.
He did it two or three times in fact. Then he appeared to eat it. Waste not, want not. Yum!