Thursday, March 22, 2012

Disappointed but not surprised

So the "We're in this together" principle took another turn towards the rich and away form the poor with yesterday's budget announcements. This morning's paper were full of "Granny tax" headlines, presumably because Granddad isn't expected to live long enough anymore to qualify for a state pension!

I haven't read all the analysis, but the disappointment is clear to anyone who wonders why an extra £170 after inflation for the lowest earners equates in any way to the 5% reduction for very high earners. Anyone who is earning £153,000 will save that amount straightaway, and once again as you go up the higher income scale you win and just keep winning even if you have to pay more stamp duty.

So it seems that this budget is about putting more people into higher rate tax, cutting benefits and all in order to fuel the misconception that rich people are dis-incentivised by paying tax. The rest of us naturally find paying our taxes a real joy! I'm not sure what work is actually being rewarded by George Osborne's plans.

I'm equally disappointed this week in the attitude of the train drivers union over the Olympics. Rejecting an £850 bonus because there were "too many strings attached to the offer'" has all the hallmarks of greed. Is anyone else being paid a bonus for doing their job during the Olympics? Am I just being cynical or won't they be doing overtime too and getting rather well paid for that. It seems quite ridiculous that there are hundreds if not thousands of people giving up their time for free to make the Olympics a great event, and here we have an unmistakable grab for personal gain. I'm sorry but I can't see it any other way.

So, if it hadn't been for winning my tennis match on Monday, this might just have been the most disappointing week I've had for a long time! Every cloud has a silver lining as they say, and I did win a Premium Bond too, so life can't be all that bad.

Perhaps, when it all comes out in the wash, we will actually be grateful for the influence of the Lib Dems. Maybe without them this budget would have been far worse for most of us.

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