Wednesday, March 21, 2007

"Be thankful I don't take it all..."

22p down to 20p ... one per cent up per annum, to 22 per cent by 2010 ... £17.45 to £20 by 2010 ... 20 per cent, but really that's 10 per cent, to £6,600 ... £7,280 for under-75s becomes £9,770 in 2011 ... £300 for insulation, or £4,000, or somewhere in between anyway ... 2012 zero-carbon homes (whatever they are - tents?) stamp duty-free to £500k ... eight per cent, to 2.7 per cent, to 1.4 per cent, in five years ... £60billion, to £74billion, in four ... and overall, that's £674billion ... and, after all ...
... that's Numberwang!
Oh, those and many more dizzying statistic shall surely be streaming before my eyes, my dreams, this evening after that day again, mired under a mountain of figures and calculations and conclusions and recalculations and convulsions, all in aid of simplistic restylings.
A business studies GCSE only goes so far... well, not very far at all.
On a purely selfish scale, I can't help but be reasonably satisfied enough, on earlyish digesting - as a non-smoking, spirit-drinking, small-car-driving, mediocre professional whose salary sits conveniently (uncannily so) between the £17,000 and £43,000 gates outside which the other income tax reforms do actually kick in no-doubt-annoyingly.
(Then again, looks like I'm a couple of hundred down on non-refundable flights thanks to the rather exhibionist religiosity over in Seville. Huh. "There is no deadline", says Uefa - a lovely insight into how much the average fan means to those oblivious old soaks... But anyway.)
Away from the forensic economic analysis - of which there will no doubt be much but not here, oh no - I thought Gordon Brown comfortably trounced David Cameron on the jokes front, especially of a Stalinist theme. Cameron, usually so suave, seemed more blustery than brilliant today, his Kylie line especially toppling into the gutter, forlornly, unfunnily...
Then again, he did seem a little stunned by that superb, "oh-and-one-more-thing" touch of showmanship by Brown, as he dug that income-tax cut from the depths of a back pocket.
Yes, the emerging ramifications may bring some bitter stings, and abolishing the 10p tax rate emphasises the "Gord giveth, Gord taketh away" element of the whole affair.
But, er, isn't that what they all, always, do?
("Tax - it has to be paid", as an ardent Stevie P told The Glory Game in 1972. "Aren't all the players Labour?" Er...)
Heavens a'mighty, that a Chancellor of the Exchequer should have the audacity to levy taxes?
Honestly, some people - they win the popular vote at the most recent election, and they think that gives them the right to govern...
(Interesting-ish fact: When George Harrison toured Japan in 1991, his live version of "Taxman" had backing singers replacing "Ah, ah, Mr Wilson" with "Ah, ah, Mr Major", "Ah, ah, Mr Heath" with "Ah, ah, Neil Kinnock".
The first fitted slightly better than the second.
Okay, not even interesting-ish, but anyway...)
Anyway, that final flourish was rather cherishable in the delivery.
Almost as much James Brown as Gordon.
All that was missing was Mr Blair handing Brown his cape at the climax...

7 comments:

prolix said...

Hahah! I loved the Numberwang introduction to this post. I think most of us are still trying to work out if and how the budget will affect us and probably will be up until the next one. Whoever the Chancellor is then...

Aidan said...

It's a little irritating how many of the changes don't kick in until next April, or even 2009...

Numberwang: I still can't help but laugh out loud (a very irregular occurence for me, really) at that rotating-the-board gag. Simple but superb...

Aidan said...

Oh, and my 2penny's-worth is on Jack Straw...

Lyndon said...

possibly Alistair Darling. Friend of Mr B, natural step up from DTI, though Straw's a good shout after carefully repositioning himself for a good while now.

prolix said...

George Osbourne was saying on yesterday's Today programme that even the 2p off income tax isn't heard in the Commons until after the NEXT budget.

I say Darling, he of the eyebrows.

Aidan said...

Ah, but that would mean: Scottish PM, Scottish Chancellor, Scottish Home Secretary...
I just think Jack Straw's previously-high-profile involvement among the vast hordes applying for the Deputy Leader's job appears to have gone very very quiet recently...

Lyndon said...

Good point... talking of the deputy leadership, it's actually quite hard to look at reshuffles until that's sorted. Most of those up for deputy should be up for Cabinet seats.