George Gideon Oliver Osborne was roundly cheered for his speech at the Conservative Party Conference today as he promised to cut the benefits to 10 million families by up to £500 per annum if the tories are re-elected, saving the exchequer £3billion per annum. This was part of a package of cuts totalling £25billion which was announced today by the Baron in waiting.
Government departments will be forced to cut their budgets by £13million and there will be another £9billion cuts to welfare spending. We will just have to wait in trepidation to see where that particular axe will fall but my guess is that it will be the state pension since that is what makes up the largest part of welfare spending, but it would be electoral suicide to announce that particular bombshell prior to a general election.
As a sop to the grey vote he also announced that the 55% tax rate on inherited pensions would be abolished and in some instances there would be no tax liability at all on sums up to £1.2million, in effect turning pensions into tax free savings vehicles for the well off. This move is expected to benefit around 320000 people in the UK, or put another way 0.5% of the population. Who says this government only works for the 1%?
In other news Ian Duncan Smith, or Ideologically Driven Shithead as he’s known to his friends, has proposed a new state credit card for the poor. The idea is that their benefits would be credited to the cards, assuming that they haven’t been sanctioned this week, and they would then be able to spend them in “selected stores”. I wonder which of the tory benefactors will benefit from this particular poverty control measure. With his halo reflecting eerily upon his pate he announced to his breathless admirers that the poor would not be allowed to spend their benefits in betting shops or off licences but, in a move widely regarded as a thank you to Rupert Murdoch for his help in the Scottish Referendum campaign, the poor will be allowed to use their benefits to pay for Sky TV. Watch the bookies share prices fall if the tories win the next election.
And finally a little compare and contrast about the state of the housing market. The BBC says “House Prices Accelerated In August” citing Land Registrystatistics although they failed to mention the fall in house prices in the South West and North West. The Bank of England has stated that the number of mortgage approvals had fallen in August, a sign that the housing market is cooling off according to Reuters. Prime Minister David Cameron pledged on Sunday to assist young first time buyers into a lifetime of debt if his party is re-elected by knocking 20% off the price of new homes, so even he admits that the housing market is over priced and due a correction soon. But the debt fuelled economy that he has helped to create cannot continue unless there is more debt. Now would be a good time to pay off as much of that debt as you can afford.