I am more than pleased to see I have not entirely lost my grip on budgetary matters and that the rather slow-witted members of the labouring party have at last awaken to the effect of the soporific Mr Darling's nullity of a budget on those poor working families who struggle to pay their taxes.
Some two weeks ago I condemned the removal of the 10p tax rate as a partial reduction, a sleight of hand and a dishonest trick. I pointed out that increases in indirect taxes would further remove the bread from the mouths of the children of these families. I wrote: in studying his budget report I cannot find that large sums are to be disbursed to the poor.
Now it seems the Queen's ghillie has been forced to promise to look anew at this sham of a budget. This, I understand, is the self-same politician who claimed his mastery of the fiscal process entitled him to step into the first minister's shoes. The British Broadcasting Corporation reports that some 30 labouring party MPs appended their signatures to a motion condemning the Chancellor's deceit. It seems an organisation called the Institute for Fiscal Studies has estimated that some 5.3 million families would be disadvantaged by the budget. One of the restive MPs, Mr Greg Pope, states that those claiming pensions would lose some £200 from their limited incomes.
I can only repeat again, for the benefit of the Queen's ghillie and his Chancellor, those principles of setting a good budget: that it should be simple; it should not be deceitful; it should seek to reduce taxes, especially on the poor.
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