Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Budget response from the MP for Bristol East

Ok, don't have time to blog about the whole Budget at the moment (and obviously I'm not going to blog about the whole thing anyway, as that would be very dull indeed). So, some things can wait till later, but here are my first reactions:

  • Disappointed more money couldn't be found on the child poverty front, but realise that this is a Budget about getting people into/ keeping people in work, and I suppose that has to be the absolute priority at the moment.

  • Good to see a focus on making sure young people get work or training, and on the long-term unemployed; I remember the 1980s recession when some of my mates were unemployed for years after leaving school. Apparently 10% of the new jobs created for the long-term unemployed will be 'green jobs'; will try to find out more about this. What sort of jobs are they talking about? There was also the announcement of 50,000 traineeships in the social care sector; need to find out more about this too.

  • Higher rate of income tax of 50p in the £ for those earning more than £150k; someone has to pay for the fiscal stimulus, and it's only right it should be those who can afford it most.

  • Climate change stuff is very interesting, including an interim target of a 34% cut in emissions by 2020 and a big uplift in support for offshore wind projects (which will please the company I visited in St Philip's last week). Also announcements re carbon capture and storage, and the development of a low carbon energy and advanced green manufacturing sector in the UK. Bristol is well placed to play a leading role in this, and we have to make sure we benefit from today's announcements.

  • Increase in landfill taxes by £8 per tonne on 1 April each year from 2011 to 2013; wonder what impact that will have on Bristol City Council's waste strategy? (Although I'm not quite sure it has one at the moment...

  • I need to get my head round all the proposals on savings and pensions, but I'm glad action is being taken on that front. The increase in the savings disregard to £10,000 is good news for pensioners with relatively modest savings.

Well that's what caught my eye. Basically it was a 'job that needs to be done' Budget, all about taking the steps that are necessary to ameliorate the worst effects of the recession and get us out of it as soon as possible. Incidentally I thought Cameron put up a reasonably good performance today. Normally at Budget time he sits there on the Opposition frontbench looking like a puzzled potato, while Boy George and Oliver Letwin scribble frantically on his speech notes. But today he seemed a bit more on top of it, although he said absolutely nothing whatsoever about what his party would do if they were in our position.


Bevanite said...

I suppose the less money we assign to ending child poverty, the greater excuse a future Tory govt. will have to 'do nothing'. We should have prioritsed this, amongst short term necessary measures, today and pulled off what could be most remarkable change in social history.

Kerry said...

You're in a feisty mood today young lady! The Child Poverty Bill, which commits the Government to achieving the 2020 target of eradicating child poverty is about to be published... Watch this space.

Bevanite said...

I know! really don't know what has come over me, adrenaline boost from budget (don't laugh)I think. Told lecturer I was late because I was fixated by Alastair Darling's speech. They didn't believe me.

Bristol Dave said...

I understood most of the budget, and whilst I hate to admit it as I don't think the Tories would be much better - Cameron's analysis was pretty bang on - we can't borrow our way out of debt. But here's something I'm having problems understanding.

There is an announcement listed on the BBC page which states From January all under-25s out of work for a year to be offered a job or training place with extra money on top of benefits for those in training.

I get how the government can guarantee young people training. But how on earth can they guarantee them a job? And if they can only guarantee training, what is the point if there aren't the jobs there for the trained people to fill?

Other than that, not much else to say. Was disappointed he's squeezing the already heavily-punished motorist for even MORE fuel duty (which of course won't be taken off when VAT goes back up), but given his track record is hardly surprising. £2k off new car is utterly pointless as most people running a car that's over 10 years old probably can't afford a new car, even with a 2k discount, and you can get more off the new price just by buying one that's a year old with 20k on the clock. Plus it'd be a matter of weeks before dealers get wise to it and just hike their prices up, rendering it even more useless. 50% income tax on those earning 150k or more will just mean more high earners leaving the country (and no longer paying tax to UK) as lower foreign tax rates become even more appealing - yeah, great move Darling.

Paul said...

I dont think anyone can accuse bristol dave (is he my brother?) of looking for the positives in the budget - half epty this guy hasnt even got a glass

Bristol Dave said...

So I suppose debt hitting (I'm still staggered by this now) 79% of GDP by 2013 is a good thing, is it Paul?

Anonymous said...

The claims that the 50% tax will cause a brain drain are rather strange, and pretty much wrong. I suspect there will be some who will leave under some misguided belief that they will be better off out of the UK. But the tax means that someone who earns £200,000 a year will pay £80 more in tax each week. In order to earn £200,000 a year you must be making a little under £1000 each working day (Monday to Friday). So will they really miss it? This also only effect 600,000 people, the top 1% of earners in the country. Most of them work in "the City" so it is not surprising "the City" disagree with the Government's budget.

I have mixed views on the budget. Yes it would have been better if policy to tackle child poverty recieved more and some mention of fuel poverty would have been nice. But additional payments to the Child Trust Fund are to be welcomed (the Lib Dems after all want to scrap the policy) and there is a boost to the Growth Fund which will help credit unions provide loans.


Bristol Dave said...

I have done a more in-depth analysis of the car scrappage scheme here.

Glenn Vowles said...

The Government's own sustainability advisers, the Sustainable Development Commission, proposed a £30bn investment package very similar to the Green Party's Budget proposals. They calculated that this would create 800,000 jobs and really made a good start on building for future generations. Government should have taken this advice in full. Another great opportunity has been missed.