Week 29: Prat – George Osborne

by Jackie_South on July 21, 2013

Con_PratOur weekly award for the biggest idiot of the last seen days goes to Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Rt Hon Gideon George Osborne

What the frack? All the Conservatives and George Osborne have been going on about for the last four years is the size of the deficit and how the first and foremost priority must be to bring this down.

So you would think that when you were given a complete windfall opportunity to raise new revenue without hitting the pockets of the taxpayer, Gideon would jump at the chance. But this week he announced that taxation on gas shale fracking would be much less than that for other fossil fuels: 30 percent compared to 62% for North Sea Oil.

OK, fracking clearly has drawbacks, particularly in a densely populated island such as ours. The scale of the environmental risks and risks of seismic disturbance are still largely unknown, and unlike the sparsely populated Great Plains of the USA and Canada the gamble with lives and homes are massive. But that is a reason not to incentivise fracking with light taxation. Osborne’s approach is to forego the tax and yet take the risk.

One of this nation’s massive lost opportunities was the Tories’ decision in the Eighties to squander the revenues from North Sea Oil to fund short term tax cuts, rather than invest in a sovereign wealth fund in the way Norway did. In not raising the revenue we could from fracking, the Conservatives are passing up the opportunity to put that right.

Of course, it must be entirely coincidental that the dark figure of Lynton Crosby is involved in lobbying for the shale fracking industry. We would not dream of calling the chancellor corrupt in deciding that it is a good idea to give away billions in this way to the fracking industry.

So, that means we can only conclude that Gideon is one fracking prat.

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