Good news for Britain in Osborne’s ‘beer and bingo’ Budget

Today must have been the day from hell for the Labour Party, as not only did they have to endure George Osborne unveiling a set of fair and sound changes in this year’s Budget, but they also had to experience the pain of watching Ed Miliband attempt to respond to these proposals. Predictably, Miliband trotted out the usual platitudes, accusing Osborne of failing to fix the economy (which Labour trashed in the first place) and cutting taxes for the rich whilst the rest of the nation suffers (which is just simply untrue, and always has been). But despite Labour’s protestations, Osborne should be commended for delivering a Budget that will truly help the British people by implementing some truly conservative policies.

The tabloids have been quick to dub this the ‘beer and bingo’ Budget, as Osborne has announced that beer duty and tax on bingo halls will be cut. Such measures may be shameless in their populism, but are certainly not bad ways to reach out to those people who often feel disillusioned by an ‘out of touch’ Conservative Party. And regardless of their populism, these measures already seem to be working; immediately after the cuts to bingo duty were announced, bingo hall operator Rank Group announced plans for three new clubs. The lesson – tax cuts are popular, they work, and they are vital to create jobs and stimulate the economy.

Beer and bingo aside, Osborne proved his Thatcherite credentials by announcing that the government’s Help to Buy housing scheme will be extended, good news for aspiring homeowners across the country. Likewise, the level of earnings exempt from income tax has been increased by £500, whilst the threshold for the 40p tax rate has also risen. These are all positive measures, reducing the amount of tax being paid at all income levels and rendering Labour’s arguments about the Conservatives just helping the rich absolutely meaningless.

Osborne also appealed directly to pensioners by announcing radical reform of the pensions system. In a move which will help 13 million people, the changes reduce the level of tax on a person’s pension pot, and abolish all restrictions on access to those pension pots, ending the mandatory purchasing of an annuity. This is a shrewd move from the Chancellor, and one which looks ahead to next year’s general election due to the high voting levels of pensioners. The ‘grey vote’ cannot be underestimated, and the Conservatives cannot afford to risk losing votes from this particular demographic.

Overall, the Budget is hugely promising, proving that by implementing policies which are unashamedly conservative, all people stand to benefit. The Conservatives are slowly beginning to prove that they understand what ordinary people want, outclassing the Labour Party in the process. The pitiful sight of Ed Miliband simply repeating tired soundbites in response was proof that Labour haven’t got a clue, and are not fit to govern. Let’s just hope that the recovery isn’t jeopardised at next year’s general election, because we as a nation cannot afford to hand the keys back to the people who crashed the car.

George Reeves

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5 thoughts on “Good news for Britain in Osborne’s ‘beer and bingo’ Budget

  1. “Such measures may be shameless in their populism, but are certainly not bad ways to reach out to those people who often feel disillusioned by an ‘out of touch’ Conservative Party.”

    That’s a joke right? So if someone buys 300 pints of beer, they get a free pint courtesy of the conservative party. It’s not quite on the level of ‘the right to buy’ is it? What you don’t seem to realise is that Thatcher would have been livid if someone had proposed the ad tweeted by Grant Shapps.

    “Help to Buy housing scheme will be extended, good news for aspiring homeowners across the country…”

    No thanks. I don’t pay taxes to help people buy £600,000 homes. Under the mortgage guarantee element, the tax payer is forced to accept liabilities of up to £90,000 per buyer and central to the scheme is the offering of loans of up to £120,000 that remain interest-free for five years. Hardly the best use of tax-payers’ money in times of austerity. Under Labour, Britain will have a ‘help to build’ programme that can actually deal with the underlying problem: the housing shortage.

    “Likewise, the level of earnings exempt from income tax has been increased by £500”

    A tax cut of £100 per year! If however your salary is £250,000, you’ve had a tax cut of £5,000 per year.

    “…whilst the threshold for the 40p tax rate has also risen.”

    After you froze it at the previous budget.

    “Labour’s arguments about the Conservatives just helping the rich absolutely meaningless.”

    Not only do my previous arguments apply, but the VAT increase more than outweighs the benefit of the increase in the personal allowance. (Especially if someone drinks £300 pints of beer where they will save £3 from the duty cut but pay an extra £18.75 as a result of the VAT increase, plus the extra VAT on everything else.)

    It’s taking twice as much time to cut the deficit as planned. Everyone on here said that we shouldn’t borrow any more than outline in budget 2010. But you did. (£180 billion more) In 2010, we were told that borrowing (publice sector net.) for this last financial year would be £60bn and yesterday we learned that it would actually be £96bn.

    The economy has grown half as much as Osborne said it would, and so now there’s over £70bn missing from the economy. Of course that hasn’t stopped the Chancellor patting himself on the back for delivering growth that’s stronger than was predicted a few months ago. That those predictions had been revised down several times has obvioulsy been missed by many in the blue camp.

    The fact remains that if the economy grows by the 2.7% predicted for the coming year, it will be two years later than initially promised and in stark contrast to the 3.5% achived in 1993!

    The three major recessions of the post-war period saw output return to its pre-recession level after 10-13 quarters. We’ve now had 22 quarters since the recession began, and the economy is still 3.2% down on pre-crisis levels.

    “Let’s just hope that the recovery isn’t jeopardised at next year’s general election, because we as a nation cannot afford to hand the keys back to the people who crashed the car.”

    You already choked off one recovery and we can’t afford to let the conservatives do it again. The car was crashed by the banking sector. Just before that banking crisis, a Tory spokesman said that the city was ‘over-regulated’. Now that that spokesman is Chancellor of the Exchequer, he’s shown himself to be even more dangerous in government than he was foolish in opposition.

    • Just a typical Labour response to a very strong budget.

      You can’t say that Help to Buy hasn’t been successful, its helped many get onto the housing ladder and I’m guessing you’ve decided to overlook the 15,000 new homes that are going to be built in Ebbsfleet to solve the shortage of housing in an area that desperatley needs it.

      Oh and claiming that George Osborne has ‘shown himslef to be even more dangerous in governmnet than he was foolish in opposition’ is just ironic considering who you have to replace him. I’m actually frightened at how incompetent Ed Balls actually is and lets not forget the role he played in the lead up to the crisis.

      The fact that Miliband was silent on the actual budget and just stuck to his usual soundbites shows this was a good budget, but of course Labour supporters don’t like to talk about growth in our economy.

      • I’ve said plenty about growth so I’m bemused that you would suggest otherwise. The fact that half the growth is missing is rather pertinent. That this government has finally returned us to average growth, three years late, is hardly something to be proud of.

        Your comments comparing Osborne and Balls are as impotent as they are vague. Your failure to defend Osborne from my accusation is also telling.

  2. Jack, you cannot compare the 1990s recession to th 2008 Financial Crisis. The Financial Crisis is considered the worst since the Great Depression and therefore you simply cannot say that 2.7% is not good enough. The majority of the world is recovering and now Briatin is the fastest growing economy in Europe. If we spent more like Labour wanted to we would probably be like France where unemployment is rising and people are protesting in the streets.

    With Ed Balls only 29% want him as chancellor with 40% wanting George Osborne. It seems a lot of people think he is not up for the job. Osborne understands the economy unlike Ed Balls who has learnt nothing from the events of 2008.

  3. “Jack, you cannot compare the 1990s recession to th 2008 Financial Crisis. The Financial Crisis is considered the worst since the Great Depression and therefore you simply cannot say that 2.7% is not good enough.”

    So why were predictions made to the contrary in the first place? The figures do not measure up to the predictions of your own government. In stark contrast to popular perception, France has actually had quite a sharp fiscal contraction.

    As for the polls: On managing a financial crisis Brown was ahead of Cameron on polling day in 2010. And as you’ve opened that can of worms, you will find that support for a energy price freeze is higher than support for your Chancellor or party. You will also find that there have been sections of this parliament when Ed Balls has had the lead. So aside from my surprise that Tories want to talk about polling we have to confront the facts that I have already described.

    Could you elaborate on your comment about ‘learning from the events of 2008’. Are you now admitting that Osborne got it more wrong than anyone else but he’s changed his mind? I’m not sure people will be that keen to give him the keys to the car.

    “If we spent more like Labour…”

    I want you to read this very carefully: You did spend more. You blew it. Plan A is dead and it’s not coming back. You missed by £180bn. You are overshooting your borrowing plans for this year alone by the same amount as our entire defence budget. You failed on the one thing that was used to justify every ‘tough’ (but often foolish) decision of the last four years.

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