It's the first day of Spring and budget time again. It is always difficult to make an instant assessment of these occasions - but I think that the abolition of the 10p starting band to fund the headline cut in basic tax rates is very iffy politics. One of the benefits of the 10p band was to make for a gradual entry into the tax system for those on low incomes.
Some will not be earning enough to benefit from the 2p cut. And so many people find the tax credit system bewildering and complicated that they do not claim what is their due. Indeed Government finances are planned on the basis that only a certain number will claim!
So this Budget is a transfer from the poorest households to the better off - just so Gordon Brown could appeal to the Daily Mail and the Daily Express. The bottom twenty percent of taxpayers continue to pay a higher proposrtion of their income in tax than the top twenty percent. Where is the fairness in that? The other missed opportunity is green taxation. He has simply tinkered round the edges with some skin deep proposals for vehicle excise duty. He cannot go on fiddling while the planet burns. There will just be even more pain when real action has to be taken to save the planet. As for my thoughts on Brown the Stalinist, see my blog!