Today, the Chancellor, George Osborne, presented his third budget to the House of Commons. While like most I’m not a big fan of politicians (esp. Chancellors), it was a work of art how he managed to nip and tuck the numbers in such a way as to allow him to claim that no-one will lose any cash.
No-one that is except those contemplating buying a £2million house, smokers, drinkers, parents, foreign investors, property fund managers and perhaps most cruelly, pensioners. “Gran Theft Auto” chirped The Sun Newspaper whilst condemning the easing of income tax for higher rate tax payers. “Disappointing” understated AGE UK.
It led me to thinking how well he had buried the bad news. Referring to the new tax arrangements, “It’s simpler” he explained as if somehow that made it all better. Throughout it all and under fire from a rampant Kate Garraway on Breakfast TV the next morning Osborne bore a kind of soupy smirk. He shifted from buttock to buttock on the orange sofa as if he had passed wind and didn’t want to draw attention to himself.
There is no escaping it though, the economy is in a mess and we need something to take our minds of it. So the Olympics will have to keep the bad news at bay; our very own Harry Potter invisible cloak masking budget deficits and flat export figures.
Based even on Gosborne’s own calculations we can’t afford the Olympics although we thought we could when we got the gig. But I’m really looking forward to it as we have some real athletic talent in the UK. So to hell with the cost, turn the heat up full, spread the marge to the edges, kill the fatted calf. It may be like throwing a party after you’ve lost at the races but at least we can enjoy ourselves.