Wednesday, 20 March 2013


Overall, I actually quite liked the budget from what I've seen of it - busy days seem to be coming thick and fast these days, and getting ever busier in themselves.

As a business owner I'm of course pleased with the National Insurance relief and bringing forward a 1% Corporation Tax reduction, and pleased that our staff will pay even less tax with the £10k free pay threshold being rushed in.

The beer duty escalator scrapped and even reversed was a delight (I really must check out Alcohol Concern's Twitter feed) and I reckon a mere 2% over inflation on snout was about the best we could hope for from the current mindset of fake charity enthralled politicos (must check ASH's too). Not that I've paid UK tobacco duty for quite some time, it has to be said.

Here are, for me, a couple of stand-out quotes from today's BBC coverage.
[Mike Benner, chief executive of the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra), said:] "Since the duty escalator was introduced in 2008, 5,800 pubs have been forced to call last orders for good. What could have been the final nail in the coffin for our pubs has been decisively avoided by the chancellor in a move that will spark celebration in pubs across the UK."
A bit of over-enthusiasm for show is it, Mike mate? Chances are they won't even notice it - after 100 pints they'll be able to buy one extra product in Poundland, it's not exactly Whisky Galore, is it?

And about those 5,800 pub losses, I think you know very well what caused the majority of them. Clue: it ain't the beer tax.
"We've now frozen fuel duty for two years," Mr Osborne said. "This has not been easy. The government has foregone £6bn in revenues to date."
My heart bleeds, Georgie-boy. It must be horrendous to be forced by public opinion to only steal the same amount from us this year as you did last. How Al Capone's Chicago shopkeepers must have similarly wept for his deprivation when he generously froze their eye-watering protection racket premiums.


Sam Duncan said...

“Hasn't been easy”? £6bn over two years is less than 0.5% of public spending. That's like £130 for someone on average earnings. Hell, I could save a ton over the course of a year standing on my head, and I'm not even close to average earnings (you can't even see it from here). Geez. Does he think if he says “six BILLION pounds” like Dr. Evil out of Austin Powers, we'll all think, “Oh, that's a lot of money,” - which, to be fair, six thousand million pounds certainly is - “it must be really hard for him, the poor dear”? Listening to these people is like watching the bloody three-card trick, it really is.

Junican said...

For more and more people, it does not matter what the Chancellor does to tobacco tax. More and more people are making their own arrangements. Trips to Belgium or elsewhere (if you have the capital), grow your own and whole leaf are very viable alternatives. You don't even need to avail yourself of the services of white van man.

Growing your own plants is a very nice hobby. It is quite easy to cure the leaves and you get stuff which has no additives, which you can flavour as you wish. You can even buy whole leaf without tax, and it is quite cheap. In that case, the only time consuming part is rolling your own.

The weird thing is that those who could benefit most from growing their own are those who smoke very little. The reason is that, for such people, only a few plants will suffice for their needs.

The inelasticity of the 'tax take' from cigs depends almost entirely upon those who smoke only a little (say, ten per day). If those people started to make other arrangements in large numbers, then the Chancellor could say goodby to his tax income from that source to a very large extent for ever.

Note the words 'for ever'.

Junican said...

Sam, you make a valid point, but I would put it in a different way.

For as long as I can remember, Chancellors have talked about billions of this and billions of that. If you take out the word billions, you finish up with 20 this, less 6 that plus 10 the other. IE. The whole budget thing is very simple arithmetic. That is, it is the word 'billions' which is intended to impress.

You also see statement such as 'the fuel escalator has been abandoned', as though that is a wonderful relief. The reality is that it should never have existed. It is merely a reversion to the status quo anti, and is not something new.

What we have not seen, as far as I can see, is a massive reduction in financial provisions for that leach known as the EU. Nor have we seen a massive reduction in provisions for that other leach known as the UN. Nor have we seen a reduction in provisions for the Health Zealots in the DoH.

If I was really short of money, the last things that I would cut would be food, water and heating. The first things that I would cut would be donations.

prog said...

Bottom line is that public spending is far too big. Seems that half the working population are paid by tax receipts and billions wasted on unnecessary agenda. Problem is, I can't see how this could be politically solved - too many potentially disgruntled voters and scroungers.

Bill said...

Another useless medical idiot brainwashing the masses this time in Cumbria.