Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Gordon Brown, texture like sun...

Well here's that prime ministerial manifesto (sorry budget) in full (ok in brief) folks...

...and here's my quick comments on it:

1) Stamp duty threshold raised: good. Still won't help anyone trying to buy anything bigger than a kennel in London but hell, its an improvement.

2) £2,000 to encourage single parents to return to work. I think cheaply available quality childcare would do more to help. I think in general single parents do need more support but I'm not convinced this is the best way to do it. Will lead to more unsupervised kids, street crime, etc. Why can't we support those who want to stay home?

3) New rules to encourage incapacity benefit claimants into work. This panders to a right-wing minority (technically known as Daily Male readers) who believe the DSS offices are full of benefit fraudsters pretending to be ill cos they're too lazy to work. Annually corporate fraud costs the country a lot more than benefit fraud. Lets clamp down on some of that!

4) Free local bus travel for pensioners. Good idea in principle, works well in London but in other regions which have tried it there's been a problem with the buses all being full of old folks who just think its nice to see the sights from the top of a bus. Nothing wrong with that per se but I think regions should reserve the right to charge them during rush hour. Otherwise it can discourage the rest of the population from using the buses.

5) £2bn savings from cutting back on the civil service. Thats quite a lot. You have to ask how they failed to notice where that was being wasted in the past. On the other hand what has been cut? Does include consumer and trading standards and food inspectorates. Mooooo-ooo.

6) Extra £400m for defence. Why would we need this? Who are we invading next?

7) Tax breaks if injured troops stay in the forces. Thanks for volunteering to have your arm blown off, now you can save yourself some cash if you don't mind having the other one done too. And the worst the injury, the bigger the payment, the more you can save. Well we know there's a troop shortage out there, whatever next? Tax breaks for single parents and the long-term disabled to join the para-troopers. This is noxious.

8) Debt reduction deals with 19 of the world's poorest countries. No dude, not enough, we should cancel the debt.

1 comment:

Cruella said...

Tut tut tut, what have I said about posting links to totally unrelated commercial stuff? You gets deleted...