Thursday, March 24, 2011
Chancellor cuts fuel duty by 1p
Tax threshold increases to £8,105, saving 25million workers £326 a year
Corporation tax cut by 2p as part of pro-business measures
Margaret Thatcher's low-tax 'enterprise zones' revived
Air passenger duty rise delayed until 2012
Labour's 50p rate of income tax to be reviewed
Tax on a pint of beer up 4pIn a dramatic final flourish to his 56-minute speech, the Chancellor announced a surprise £2billion-a-year windfall raid on oil giants.
From the Daily Mail which gives a better non-technical round up than anybody else and has thuis very good graphic which shows how deep in debt we are in that though the borrowing is still out of control at £120 million it is barely triple what we annually repay from previous borrowing.
And there will be £2 billion put into subsidising a "Green bank" but not for several years.
Comparing with my proposed 23 points needed for Cameron's proposed "relentless" pursuit of growth I get the impression of almost all the movement being in the right direction, but not very far, which is a massive improvement on previous experience. The "almost" being the Green bank which is a sop to the LudFims and won''t cost anything for years.
I would like to have seen more cuts in spending funding a bigger cut in corporation tax - 23p may be lower than most of Europe and the US but is still high compared to Ireland's 12%. I would like to have seen far more cuts in regulation evetywhere not just in Enterprise Zones. I would like to have seen a major action to stop the state preventing house building rather than a fairly minor pressure on councils.I would have liked to see active support, through X-Prizes, for space development rather than just the decision that it will now cease to be illegal. I would have liked to see something about actively allowing us to have cheap, nuclear, power but Osborne has no control of that - it is in the hands of the Pseudoliberal Luddite Chris Huhne.
I suspect George Osborne would too. This is close to as good as one can expect in the circumstances.
S The Scottish government will get another £70 million annually out of this. They are not required to put through a number of these cahnges but would be well advised to. Looking at Newsnight Scotland yesterday where the complaint was made several times that this won't help Scotland, particularly if we don't actually do the same as Westminster, it is more likely the Scottish politicians will continue messing up and complaining that it must be the English's fault that somebody has made a mess.
I have previously blogged on how well Scotland could do by adopting Enterprise Zones in a big way. With Osborne adopting them it would clearly be possible to do so. Because Scotland has far more land per person we could do my "Enterprise Zone on steroids" plan without stepping on people's toes.
I think a large part of the reason for such zones is that it is an experimental compromise between those who want less rules and say that works and those who want everything controlled. The latter get to still control 99% and the former get to run the experiment.