The best budget, by a huge margin, for something like 14 years, and maybe much longer. A tour de force. With no manoeuvre room due to the immense economic hole dug by Gordon Brown, this budget still managed to do many of the right things. It reduced the state, with a promise of further, future reductions. And it laid the emphasis firmly on generating wealth through private enterprise. This was a joy to hear after years of listening to Gordon Brown going on about “investment”, by which he meant profligate, wasteful state spending.
Another delight is that George Osborne is far more progressive than the last Labour governments ever were. He is massively favouring lower paid workers. Just as the university funding reforms massively favour those from poor backgrounds. This government, in it’s progressive finances, is far more socialist than the socialists. Gordon Brown never looked after the poorly paid so well.
As a libertarian the announcement I have doubts over is the Enterprise Zones. This looks like socialist micro management when the market would do a far better job of resource allocation. These failed before, when Margaret Thatcher tried them. Maybe the implementation will be better this time.
For all the politics of envy socialists reading this here is some of the “bashing of the rich” contained in the budget:
- Anti Avoidance Measures – A number of complex anti avoidance measures are to be introduced.
- Many tax reliefs to be abolished.
- The annual allowance for tax relief on pension savings for individuals will be reduced from £255,000 to £50,000.
- Employer-Supported Childcare — Relief is to be restricted for higher earners.
- Review of Non-Domicile Taxation.
- The inheritance tax nil rate band is frozen until April 2015. During which time there will be considerable erosion by inflation.
- Employees and directors who are provided with a company car and who also receive free fuel from their employers are subject to the fuel benefit charge. This is increasing faster than inflation.
The amazing feature of this coalition government is that it is massively reforming in everything it does. Something we have not seen since the socialist disaster of 1945, which ended up destroying much of what had made Britain great. This time the impetus is in the opposite direction! You would not expect an amalgam of two different parties with differing political philosophies to be so reforming, internal wrangling should stifle this, but it hasn’t. Quite the opposite. Time after time they are going back to first principles to work out the best things to do. You can easily see that the Liberal Democrats have had a huge influence on policy and on the overall political philosophy of the coalition, everyone who voted for them at the last election did Britain a great favour because we got a better government out of it.