Week 12: Villain – George Osborne

by Jackie_South on March 24, 2013

villain_2_iconToday, our Villain of the Week award goes to Chancellor of the Exchequer, The Rt Hon Gideon George Osborne

Not for the first time (in fact for the twelfth time)  the man who has managed to be both the worst and most rightwing Chancellor of the Exchequer since the war has been recognised as our villain of the week, thanks to his terrible budget.

First, there was the well-trailed spectacle of deeper cuts facing the services and benefits of millions, to pay for tax-cuts for millionaires.  Osborne announced even deeper cuts for a swathe of public services.  In some cases, such as local government, they were already facing an excruciating squeeze next year and so the extra pressure will be extremely damaging and are likely to fall disproportionately on the poorer parts of the country.  Tory Local Government Association chair, Sir Merrick Cockell of Kensington, has attacked Osborne for doing so despite the deep cuts already faced by local government, and expressed a view that other parts of the public sector have considerably more wasteful practice than councils.

Despite the fact that both economic growth and the size of the national debt have failed to behave in the way that Osborne had expected, he ploughs on regardless in his agenda – no plan B here.

But it was some of the largesse in other areas that has drawn criticism.  His ham-fisted announcement of government subsidies to help people buy homes was designed to grab headlines and support for people unable to get on the property ladder, but was quickly exposed for having two critical failings.

First, it is open to all, not just first-time buyers and not restricted to single-home ownership.  This is now a government that taxes extra bedrooms for the poor but subsidises second homes for the rich.

Second, it will fuel a temporary housing-price bubble until the subsidy comes to an end, at which point it is likely to come back crashing down. Lets remember that it was the decline in property prices in 2007, and the resultant negative equity, that begat the credit crunch which in turn begat bank failure and recession.

What can the rest of us celebrate from this budget?  A whole penny taken off a pint of beer.  Buy 350 pints, get one free courtesy of George. Cheers, Gideon.

And corporation tax gets cut again.  There is no evidence that this actually boosts the economy- given it is levied on profits, the business has to be profitable in the first place – but as we have seen from our various tax dodgers makes it easier for the wealthy to pretend their income is actually the profit of a company they own and so avoid higher-rate tax.  This just incentivises tax avoidance.

No, this is a disasterous budget by a thoroughly villainous, sociopathic, chancellor.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Charlie_East_West March 24, 2013 at 9:25 pm

Spot on.

Interesting to see that The Sunday Times are openly questioning the Osborne sub prime mortgage policy. If the Sunday Times are against this, and Vince Cable is for this…are we not living in some sort of fucked up topsy-turvy political landscape?

Vince Cable…ahh…Dear old Vince, the man who warned us all about a consumer debut bubble back in 2007/8, and now running amok with his support towards creating another one.


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