NEW POLL: what do you make of the Pre-Budget Report?

by Stephen Tall on November 24, 2008

We now know the details of Alastair Darling’s ‘crisis budget’, the PBR. The Guardian has a brief run-down of the headline changes here, chief of which are:

• VAT to be cut from 17.5% to 15% from Monday until 2010
• Top rate of income tax to rise to 45% on those earning more than £150,000 – the top 1% of earners – from 2011
• Allowances to be raised, so this will be worth £145 a year to 22 million basic-rate taxpayers
• National Insurance to rise by 0.5% on all rates of national insurance from 2011

The big question is: will it work? Here are your options in our new poll:

>> The Government’s financial stimulus is spot-on, will get the economy moving again, and pay for itself in the medium-term

>> A number of the Government’s measures are welcome, but overall the impact will be too small and the cost too great

>> The Government’s measures will have virtually no effect on the coming recession, and will result in recklessly high levels of borrowing

>> Don’t know

As ever, feel free to put forward your own more nuanced views in the comments thread below…

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Its all very well taxing the rich at 45% from 2011 but who actually belives that once the Tories get into power they will keep that in place. The rich in this country do not pay their share of the tax.

by Mike on November 24, 2008 at 9:06 pm. Reply #

It a combination of smoke and mirrors, and the budgetary equivalent of feeding the kids masses of sugary, caffeinated pop and laxatives before giving them to granny to look after: someone else will have to clear up the huge mess they leave.

by Steve Cooke on November 24, 2008 at 9:56 pm. Reply #

Captain Darling is on the bridge of Titanic GB and is master has ordered him to keep right on course and steam ahead at full power. Only we all know what happens next.

by Lorenzo on November 24, 2008 at 10:11 pm. Reply #

Mike, what on earth are you talking about? The richest 10% pay around 50% of all income tax, and the richest 2% pay nearly one third. How is that ‘not paying their share’?

If you and 9 friends go for a beer and spilt the bill as we pay taxes, the richest man will pay for half the drinks. If you insist that he should pay more, he might stop coming all together, at which point you all have to pay more – just because you wanted your rich friend to subsidize you more.

by Mark M on November 25, 2008 at 11:02 am. Reply #

Mark M – if your figures are correct they suggest that the richest 10% have done very well for themselves in recent years and are far better placed than those on lower and middle incomes to contribute a little more.

Your second para is a very good argument for why the tax system is a far better way to sort out these things than informal drinks parties.

by Liberal Neil on November 25, 2008 at 1:12 pm. Reply #

You have one option that says “it’s perfect”, and two options which both basically say “it’s a mistake”. I guess the official party view would summarise as “there’s plenty wrong with it but it is better than doing nothing”. That could only be recorded as “don’t know”!

by David Allen on November 25, 2008 at 3:25 pm. Reply #

Do the Liberal Party have any other MPs apart from Vince Cable and just how off the radar would they be without him?

by John Kelly on November 25, 2008 at 5:16 pm. Reply #

Rightly or wrongly Labour seem to have cornered the market in terms of perceptions of crisis management. They own the “Do Something” franchise. Remarkably the Tories are putting there own head in the noose of the “Do Nothing” party though in fairness they sem to have ownership of the “its going to be a Disaster” Franchise.

To date via the Stella, simply Stella, performance of Vince Cable the party has ben able to own the “We saw it comming” franchise. In effect we occupy the narrative of the lone genius/whisteleblower ignored by authority for so long as disater approached.

However in narrative story telling the hero doesn’t find redemption by being right. He/she finds it being mitigating disater or leading the way out.

In January to June 2009 the political space will be for how this should never happen again. So far we have been weak on this. My instinct is that so much of the talk of the tax cuts is all about restoring the status quo ante rather than describing why the status quo ante is inheritantly unstable.

people are in genuine shock so i shouldn’t be so critical about offerring sygary tea and sympathy at the moment. thats how you treat shock.

However we are in a classic two party squeeze the moment both in terms of the polling ( all the non ICM stuff is truely grim) and in terms of media coverage.

The only way to break this is to move outside the consensus and say someting distinctive. The ” Never Again/ A better Future ” slot in the market is there fore the taking. In the New Year when the disater movie stuff about international conferences and £300bn bail outs in over ( hopefuly) and the grim monotony of a recession January kicks in then thats where the party needs to go. I’d suggest five headings which the blogosphere has already started to muse about.

1. End Property Bubbles. Define the worst cases and gear against them.

2. bring “polluter pays” tax principals to Credit Creation

3. have the courage to say consumerism doesn’t make you happy

4. dust off tobin tax principlas on all sorts of speculation and link it to decarbonisation

5. talk afresh about volunteerism.

by David Morton on November 27, 2008 at 12:11 pm. Reply #

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