Budget

After the budget, more austerity

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George Osborne's budget last month was better received than his disastrous "omnishambles" budget of two years ago.

That was attacked from the left for cutting the top rate of tax, from the right for freezing pensioners tax allowances ("Osborne picks the pockets of pensioners" screamed the Daily Mail) and widely mocked for the "pasty tax" on hot takeaway food.

Divide and rule: Osborne's Autumn Statement

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In his first autumn statement, on 29 November 2010, George Osborne, then aged 39, announced the detail of the economic measures that would begin to polarise Britain. Housing benefit for people just five years younger than him would no longer be paid if they lived alone. That was just one of dozens of vindictive polices aimed at the poor, the young and everyone else who had less power.

In 2011, the year that followed his first pronouncements, there were major riots. Research using data collected over the course of the last century has shown that riots in Europe have been more common whenever there have been cuts of this kind.

A budget, an autumn statement and another budget further on, and on 5 December 2012, 41 year old George delivered his third autumn statement. If anything he had hardened his attitudes with a little aging.

The Budget: Not Very Taxing on the Bosses

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A terrible squealing and squawking has been set up by the ruling class and their experts as they pretend to be 'shocked' by Gordon Brown's Budget.

Stephen Radley, chief economist at the Engineering Employers Federation, set the tone when he told the 'Financial Times' on 19 April of 'widespread anger' among his members. 'Some of them feel they have been shafted by the government,' he whined. Ian Fletcher, head of policy at the British Chambers of Commerce, was equally furious. He complained that the rises in National Insurance contributions for the poor and the workers were to some extent 'cushioned' by tax credits for families with children, while tax cuts for 'business' had been 'overshadowed by the scale of the tax rises'.

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