The Budget (cross-post from Diary of a benefit scrounger)
Just why DID Osborne cut pensions?
I was in that big London yesterday, so for the first time for as long as I can remember I didn’t watch the budget.
I got back to my hotel , checked twitter and blow me down if George Gideon Osborne hadn’t shafted pensioners! A #Grannypolltax according to twitter.
Now this is a sore point for disability campaigners. Kaliya and I often say “Damn their evil genius – as long as the pensioners are airbrushed from “welfare” no-one gives a damn”.
The internet lit up with confused political editors “WHY?” They asked? Why did Gideon cut the 50p tax rate for millionaires and pay for it out of the pockets of “Decent Middle Class Pensioners”???”
There is only one possible reason.
Gideon is in big trouble.
Many of us know this already and have been perplexed about why the media – so certain austerity would work – have given our baby chancellor such an easy ride. Debt is exploding (it will rise by over 150 billion MORE than he had predicted.)
Last month the deficit ROSE by 15 billion – compared to 8.8 Billion in the same month last year.
The welfare bill has RISEN by over 12 Billion since he took over at the Treasury. Yep, all this tough talk and eye-wateringly tough action crushing the very poorest and most disabled in our society has simply plugged the gap left by the rising unemployment benefits bill – youth unemployment for instance is now at the highest level since records began.
Growth, originally predicted to be over 2% came in at a pathetic 0.8%, whilst the Eurozone and US look well on the road to recovery.
I even spent most of last week asking Conservatives for signs that Osborne’s plan was working. Not one replied.
So Gideon needs to find more money. And we all need to hurt more. Well, most of us. Not millionaires, obviously, they will get 40 thousand pounds a year, every year, MORE to spend.
Here’s the key thing to remember : As you get older, you get more likely to vote Conservative. Every opinion poll since the dawn of time shows that a majority of over 60s will vote Tory. At the moment, they are the only age group saying that more will vote Conservative than Labour. This usually means one thing : Tories never, ever, shaft pensioners.
But he did. Because he’s desperate.
As for the reaction today on all the front pages, something much, much more important has happened.
There is only one thing keeping polls close, only one thing separating the Tories from a 10 point clobbering : The economy. Gideon is seen as rather clever, a good strategist. He has set many a trap for the Labour front bench to walk into. He has saved the Tories at several key points. The public still overwhelmingly trusted them more than Labour on the economy.
He has consistently shown that despite howls of leftie rage, he understands his grassroots and can appeal to enough floating voters to keep the party ticking over.
This morning sees the Telegraph howling with disgust, the Mail and the Sun mocking his stupidity with dripping scorn. Will he recover? Will this simply be a minor budget blip, too far from the next election to make a difference? Or will today be the day the Conservatives lose their deadliest weapon?
It’s too soon to tell, but surely, yesterday was as damaging for Gideon as Gordon Brown’s 10p tax disaster? If it turns out to be Gideon’s poll tax moment, then the outlook just got a lot brighter for those of us who don’t believe in the growth fairy.
Click here for a montage of today’s appalling front pages : http://twitpic.com/8zn92i
As a final point, our trustafarian millionaire chancellor suggested that he will have to find a further 10 billion from the welfare budget. I have a message for him. “You can’t, silly boy”
But then, there’s no such word as can’t is there? So here’s another message “If you do George, tens of thousands of our most vulnerable children, pensioners and disabled people will die. That is not hyperbole. And I will make sure that you can never hide from it, every day, for the rest of your life.”