by Tim MacBain
For a Conservative Budget, this is surprisingly well rounded. However, I would like to point out quite a few examples of a lack of ability to help those who need it most.
Ed Miliband raised some valid points today – this budget does nothing to help those who have been hit the hardest by the recession. The majority of Liberal Democrat pledges seem to have been passed over, and the so-called ‘squeezed middle’ will be worse off than last year. In addition to this, the freezing of the personal allowance of pensioners is disgraceful – how can they hope to cope under this new policy? No other sections of the budget even address the growing problem of the lack of funding for the care of the elderly, and an increase in the amount they have to pay will only add to that problem.
Finally, we come to the real sticking point. I think we can all agree that the phasing out of child benefit for the high earners is desirable. However, consider this scenario. Two families are presented, each with three children: in one, one partner works, earning £60,000, whereas the other does not work. They receive no child benefit. In the other, both partners work, earning £50,000 each. They receive full child benefit, despite – and here’s the kicker – earning £40,000 more than the first family.