Sunday, 18 March 2012
Osborne Plants His First Red Herring.
George Osborne hit the TV studios today (or at least the BBC studio) in order to plant his first red herring and persuade us all that he's being fair in the budget. "I intend to come down hard on rich people who try to avoid stamp duty when buying homes," he told Andrew Marr. Until today the super-rich avoiding stamp duty was never discused. The reason? Because it is not a major problem since, like the rest of us, the super-rich tend to buy a home and then live there. By and large they don't buy a new home every week, though they do avoid paying other taxes on a daily basis. Aware that he needs to throw a bone to an electorate eager to be fooled again, Osborne has picked the least lucrative of all the tax dodges that the super-rich enjoy. Then, having "come down hard" on the super-rich, he will cut their income tax bill by 20% and, hey presto, problem solved. Meanwhile he will go ahead with cutting the wages, benefits and tax credits of the poor, creating the low wage, high taxation economy that he dreams about. Don't be fooled by this slight of hand, Osborne is simply playing a shell game in which ordinary people will always lose. Toryism dolendum est!