No doubt Osborne will never dare use his infamous phrase again “We’re all in it together”. If it was ever true, it was only till the rich wanted out, and as we now see in the run-up to this budget, that was almost immediately as soon as it had the slightest adverse impact on themselves. Never mind that it’s going to cripple hundreds of thousands of ordinary families who will lose child tax credits because they can’t get the extra hours of work to stay qualified. Who cares in this Tory crew about those on the breadline? Not a bleep. But what is really causing a rumpus is that persons on £85,000 or more (£1,635 a week) might lose their tax credits. Now that would be really unkind, wouldn’t it? But that’s not the half of it.
It would be a real shame if people on more than £150,000 a year (£2,855 a week) right up to the aptly named Barclays duo Bob Diamond and Rich Ricci on around £16 million a year (£307,690 a week) had to make a tiny extra contribution towards dealing with the economic maelstrom they caused. So we’d better soften the blow, else they might emigrate. One could paraphrase Disraeli’s riposte when it was reported that Gladstone had fallen into the Thames: it would be a disater if they left, but a catastrophe if they came back. However, we must remember at the same time to dock the pay of public sector workers in the poorer regions, albeit most of them are below the median wage (£380 a week).
But it wouldn’t be a proper Tory budget if it didn’t wipe out regulations that make Britain a decent and pleasant place to live. Right on cue Osborne has vouchsafed to us his considered judgement that country must get rid of the “ridiculous costs” of “endless social and environmental goals”. That’s obviously a sound reason to dispose of controls on asbestos, invasive species and industrial air pollution, protection for wildlife, and restrictions on noise nuisance and deadly animal traps. Oh I nearly forgot, to round it off to make the Budget a true Tory occasion, we’re going to privatise the road system and create more roads to deal with congestion (though even the Tory government in 1992 acknowledged you can’t build your way out of congestion because it always rapidlt builds up again). So much for pretending to be the greenest government ever – no-one will ever beat the Tories for gall and brass neck – but who anyway in the Tory camp cares a fig about climate change and reducing carbon emissions? This lot are so hard-nosed they’d stamp on their grandmother’s face if they thought they could make a profit out of it.