Thursday, November 26, 2015
The Budget; UK Chancellor George Osborne pulls of a ‘good budget’ performance by his U –turn on tax credits and protecting police budgets, the Labour Party need slow down and not try too hard, John McDonnell doesn’t need the red book of Mao, his point about protecting UK assets stands on its own merit, learn to pick your spot
Every now and then I get surprised in politics, I have been campaigning against the idea of Tax Credits Cuts, the idea would have saved money but the method was badly thought-out and to be fair it was too blunt.
Too many people would have suffered unfairly and it wasn’t I feel good politics.
We were told that everything would be okay re Tax Credits cuts and employers would be encouraged to pay more.
I didn’t think this would hold water; encouragement isn’t worth the paper it is written on as they say.
Chancellor George Osborne done the right thingt, although some call it a U-turn, I think it more it is more like understanding the impact at the ‘rockface’.
About 4.5 million people rely on Tax Credits depending on what figures you look at, we are talking billions of pounds, when people criticise the House of Lords, remember that they rejected the plan.
This unelected body that some people so despise as being out of date, today we see yet again, it has value and it is an essential part of our democracy.
The Chancellor surprised Westminster on Wednesday by ditching the bulk of the controversial cuts to the benefit, but the fight still goes on, good governance requires good opposition to act constructively.
Another interesting development was the announcement that Osborne was protecting police budgets, some say this is his pitch for PM when David Cameron steps down, maybe aye maybe naw. The Paris attacks make the case for protecting our police service, we are seeing trouble in Europe and we will see trouble here, which is why everyone in Britain should stand together to protect our communities.
When a bomb goes off, it doesn’t matter what religion you are.
I would say we need more listening by the Conservative Government not just on issues that make the national press or gain traction in the public domain, politics is supposed to be about listening to the people you represent.
Shadow chancellor John McDonnell made a stir when he brandished a copy of Chairman Mao's Little Red Book in the Commons, I am sure that I wouldn't have went that way myself, but part of politics is theatre and a bit of drama at the budget adds spice, if done right.
The budget can be rather dry which is why I don’t tend to watch it, instead I do to the highlights and pick out the good bits.
In an interview with Good Morning Britain, the shadow chancellor said:
"I was trying to draw attention to the fact, with a bit of irony, that actually what George Osborne is doing is selling off British assets to the Chinese People's Republic. Now I find that deeply ironic."
"We are now debating one of the issues I wanted to raise. It worked."
Mr McDonnell said that producing the book, which he had from his days as a politics student, had been a "self-deprecating joke".
Although I don’t agree with his method, he does raise an interesting point; countries that continually sell off their assets leave themselves vulnerable. Greece is a case in point, assets sold off and their financial hole just keeps on getting deeper. We need our assets, we need to develop new ones in multiple fields, the more of a surplus we can run, the better the country can weather storms.
Apparently there is supposed to be a £27 billion windfall resulting from better-than-expected forecast tax receipts and rock-bottom debt interest rates, we should invest this wisely in paying down our debts and supporting businesses.
Certainly there is a debate to be had over welfare, but there is also a debate about not punishing people who are trapped, more needs to be done to address their needs in terms of prospects, social mobility and opportunities.
I favour a revamped DWP which gets people the training they need, along with my other ideas on welfare which I have floated in the past to help social mobility.
I would say George Osborne has made his pitch for PM, but he will have to deliver more to those at the bottom of society to win people over. It would be interesting to see a return to the old style of Conservatism which was prominent in the 1970’s, whose members were sometimes called the ‘wets’.
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University