Tag Archives: Osborne

Yeah. But No.

So now that the EU campaign is officially on, we’re in for two months of one side making a claim and the other going: erm, no. At the moment it seems like it’s more the Remain camp putting its foot forward and the Leave camp squawking its indignation like chickens disturbed mid-meal. Perhaps that’s the nature of a campaign that has the government involved? it will use its might to lead the headlines.

This morning, then, the Treasury goes to bat with the cost of Brexit (over £3,000 to each family or something)  which Osborne describes as an act of self-immolation.

Predictably, Boris Osborne spluttered something.

Vote Leave basically said: nah. Not that they put forward different stats for you to compare or anything, but hey. What a time to be alive.

Project Fear is alive.

Project Perpetual Indignation is lit.

What I find most striking is the Tory Brexiters, who are now decrying Osborne’s economic expertise and the Treasury forecasts, when they seem happy enough to bank on both to proceed with austerity.

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Notes on a Fiscal Policy

Tonight the fiscal charter is being discussed. From what I can see, George Osborne continues to steal Labour’s rhetoric – “Now we are the true party of labour” – but reality belies this, such as the cuts to tax credits and the rise in people earning below the living wage (the real one) even as unemployment falls. Oh and the firesale of national assets – Royal Mail, shares in RBS…

I suspect it will pass anyway as some Labour MPs are plannng to abstain. It’s a shame that Labour’s bitterness and inner tumult is hampering its effectiveness as an Opposition. George Osborne is a political master; the fiscal charter was always a trap and unfortunately the simplicity of the stupid idea is easier communicated than the arguments against. But, here are some great tweets on this anyway.

Like, for instance, Osborne rejecting this silly idea in 2010


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Just enforce the law

A few weeks ago I was getting off a train when I saw a rather odd advert – a picture of a pair of eyes peering sneakily to the side and text advising tax evaders that the government is coming for them. I guess this was the precursor to the government PR campaign against offshore tax evaders unveiled on the Guardian website today.

If you’re evading tax, you probably know the risk you’re taking. And instead of providing resources for the tiny team tasked with chasing down this money, or closing some of the UK’s own tax havens, the government rolls out a poster campaing.

As with the immigration PR campaign, they’re not talking to the tax evaders, the government is telling the rest of us that they’re working on it. I wish they’d  just direct the money to chasing people down.

Here’s a slogan: Just enforce the law.

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