It looks like the only thing on Alistair Darling and Gordon Brown’s mind at the moment is getting elected again in the summer. Fat chance! People in this country are not stupid.
I listened to the Pre-Budget Report, which has Gordon Brown’s finger prints all over it, and the only people who are going to be happy are those in need of a new boiler – and bingo enthusiasts. Ironic really, as it was the greedy bankers gambling with other people’s money which got us into this mess in the first place!
Ramping up National Insurance is no way to get us out of trouble. It is yet another attack on small businesses, who are at the very heart of the economy and who are the very people who will pull us through this mess.
Alistair Darling stood in front of the country and said that he "genuinely believed" that there would be recovery early next year. And then in the same breath announced borrowing of £178bn to balance the books.
It seems clear to everyone, except the Chancellor, that we will not see recovery early next year and that we are in debt for the long haul. The Institute of Fiscal Studies has revealed that the cost of balancing the books by 2017-2018 would be £76bn. This will mean severe spending cuts and tax hikes for the next eight years. And even though we have heard time and time again that "front-line services" will be protected, the IFS has said that the Pre-Budget Report will mean cuts in areas like defence and housing. Well, I don’t know about you but in my book these are definitely "front-line services".
Most of this £76bn has been accounted for in the Pre-Budget Report but it is unknown how £30bn of it will be raised. I think we can all predict what that will mean – even more tax hikes for everyone else. Back in the real world, where people are getting on with things as best they can amid the disastrous leadership of our government, I’m delighted to say the three charities I visited on Secret Millionaire came down from Warrington and joined us for the annual Pimlico christmas party. I hope our friends from Long Lane Garden Centre, The Honey Rose Foundation and The John Holt Cancer Support Foundation really enjoyed themselves.
I know lots of firms have been forced to cut back on their Christmas budgets and many are not going to be able to have any festivities at all. We are one of the lucky ones, in a position to be able to treat our hardworking team. It proved to be yet another fantastic knees-up!
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