Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from April, 2015

Ed Balls and the strange case of minor hysteria.

So, this morning, the boy Miliband advanced a fairly modest policy to normalise tax regulation for those classed as non-domiciled in the UK. It’s pretty small beer, more of a token gesture. Non-doms make up 0.4% of the overall tax base, but in terms of fairness, it’s reasonable enough. A bit of a win-win for Ed, puts him on the populist side of a debate, doesn’t actually amount to any real difference in the grand scheme of things. A bit like announcing a manifesto promise to not punch any ponies in the face.

Then? Oooh, turned out Ed Balls had said that this may not necessarily be such a good idea, in a somewhat equivocal interview a few months ago. That it might cost money, as the rich fucked off in a sulk, but it was something that needed looking at.

Cue an Olympic standard display of synchronised squawking from Tory High Command. “A shambles, chaos” said Cambo “ A shambles, chaos” said Osborne, only in a slightly more strangled voice. “Chaos, a shambles” said Gove, ever the icono…

Happy Pensions day!

I’m trying to be fair, really I am. I’m attempting to consider the government line – that the change in pension flexibility, coming in today, which allows those over 55 to withdraw money from their pension pot as and when they see fit is a sensible policy, designed to help trustworthy consumers take charge of their own finances. That’s what Osborne says it is. And if you squint hard enough, it can indeed look like that.

And yet, and yet...we are told we are in the midst of an economic recovery, and certainly GDP growth seems to reflect that (the heady heights of 2%, people). However, the rebalancing of the economy which was trumpeted by Gorgeous George was predicated ion the idea of growing the manufacturing base, ramping up exports, making us a nation of makers, in his phrase. Get the British making stuff, sell it to other people, take their money. That’s how the recovery was supposed to work.
Except exports have, in fact, fallen. And whilst manufacturing has increased slightly, cap…