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Chancellor’s budget briefing confirms that difficult decisions lie ahead

The Chancellor has given another of his daily briefings on the contents of the March budget. After twenty or so previous briefings, journalists’ commitment, and credulity, is being tested.

Today the Chancellor laid out the enormous costs required to deliver millions of overdue NHS operations, to build more houses, to address climate change, and to get re-elected.

In view of the enormous costs attached to health, housing and climate change, the Chancellor is warning that he must make difficult decisions. The government is currently considering reducing the size of the civil service to zero, in order to save £16.6bn per year. But this is only enough money to build around 83,000 houses each year, and assumes that all the sacked civil servants find similar private sector jobs (so that there is no reduction in the income tax take and no unemployment benefit to pay). No money would be left over for the NHS, or anything else.

Having made a thorough appraisal of all the options, the Chancellor said that his current thinking is to boost the economy, growth, and exports by abolishing inheritance tax. This would be very popular with the media and should be reported very widely, on the basis that it is almost certainly true. It should not be derided as idle or unfounded speculation. The Chancellor also explained that although abolishing inheritance tax appears to favour the top 5% of earners, the trickle down effect would, over time, provide all the money needed to fix the NHS, the housing crisis and avert climate change. Probably. It was therefore a policy that all voters should support.

The Chancellor is expected to make another sad effort to get into the newspapers tomorrow, by giving yet another budget update.

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1 Comment

Feb 05

Ha,ha ............... .

So sad. So true.

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