Monday, July 6, 2015

Utterly hypothecated

Mark Thompson, who misjudged a range of things during his time running the BBC, was absolutely right about Government moves to make income from the licence fee pay for free licences for the over-75s. "Constitutionally unacceptable", he wrote, after the deal-done-in-a-weekend in 2010.

Now I can reveal other, quite logical, steps that George Osborne will make to reduce Government spending in Wednesday's "Hey, Hey, We're the Tories" Budget.

  • The £2.1bn (2014/5 figures) handed out to pensioners by the Government in Winter Fuel Payments will in future be covered by a levy on the profits of all gas, oil and electricity suppliers. 
  • The £15m spent on the £10 Christmas bonus for eligible pensioners will in future be covered by a tax on Christmas television adverts longer than a minute, currently favoured by John Lewis, Marks & Spencer etc. There will be additional payments required from companies whose adverts feature animals. 
  • The rise in the start rate of inheritance tax on family homes, from £650k to £1m, will be covered by a levy of 20p on every estate agent leaflet printed for distribution through letterboxes. 
  • All companies supplying goods and services to the NHS will pay back 20% of the pre-tax profits that are attributable to those contracts. 
  • Etc, etc
I understand the Chancellor has dropped plans for a new, higher rate of UK taxation for non-doms who own newspapers

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