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The Darling Budget - A Week Tomorrow

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IMHO next week's budget will contain some wold cards - it is all party of the style of Brown's government - ill thought through gimmicks as the Tories rightly accuse them of, which tend to have knock on effects way beyond the intellectual reach of the ministers responsible.

Brown, of course is the most over-rated "intellectual" we have ever had in the public eye. The media chose to brand him as a deep thinker (ie a one bath a week librarian type) because hey, what else would you characterise him as - charming, great communicator, attractive, mercurial, witty, diplomatic, broad-minded, hmm........

Given that they are desperate for money, and that the non-dom, small business lobby are now almost feral - they need to turn to a different set of people to plunder - here are some candidate thoughts:

- Wealthy "doms" - Introduce a new higher rate tax band - 50% for those earning over £150k

- Fat Cat erstwhile state industries - Impose formal swoop on other energy/ utility company revenues as they did with Oil

- Banks - Naughty old Banks - Somehow slap the wrists of banks in a public wooing way, but one which does not actually damage banks

- Car drivers - (but of course not plane flyers) Some ridiculous green tax stunt which is purely revenue-generating, like Ken's congestion charge

- Boozers - goes without saying, alas

- BTL Landlords - now I know this is a potential HP trigger, but they are so stupid they may not see this in their blind need to tap people who have got "too wealthy". How about removing the tax relief on mortage interest?

My starter for ten - any other ideas?

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Either a re-structuring of the bands or even a temporary suspension of stamp duty.

Revocation of the BoE "independence".

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Either a re-structuring of the bands or even a temporary suspension of stamp duty.

Revocation of the BoE "independence".

This would definitely be the hot chilli-strength version of addressing HPC - but surely they would not get away with it? Stamp duty is where they raise billions - it was part of the revenue generating strategy in allowing HPs to inflate whilst keeping stamp duty bands static.

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I think Darling will pull a sickie and let his boss cover for him. I know I would.

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This would definitely be the hot chilli-strength version of addressing HPC - but surely they would not get away with it? Stamp duty is where they raise billions - it was part of the revenue generating strategy in allowing HPs to inflate whilst keeping stamp duty bands static.

Ah, but think on.... if nothing is selling, they're not making much on stamp duty, are they? Here have um, nothing back.

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- 'Green' tax on packaging - that'll please the Daily Mail trump the Tories

- More sale of gold (still around 300 tons left at the BoE- that's worth over $10bn/£5bn at current prices ......)

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My starter for ten - any other ideas?

Hidden deep in the costings (but nowhere in the speech) - increased VAT on consumer electronics and software. Or some equally insidious reach-around.

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Of course, if he was feeling really malicious he could leave his successor something truly crappy to implement (working on the assumption that Darling is out of a job by June).

Maybe "50 quid incentive per person for registering for an ID card" would do it.....

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Well they should be raising taxes but I doubt they will as I suspect they may do for an election this year. The government has been raising money via bonds to pay for the mess they have got us into...unfortunately that means most the NHS, Schools, Public Buildings etc will be owned by wealthy Arabs. They will leave this mess for the next conservative government.

Unless people pull their finger out and get out there and vote you will probably have to put up with another 5 years of Brown.

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A reduction in the generosity of the lifetime gifts regime for Inheritance Tax -i.e no more outliving a gift of any size by 7 years and having the value fall ouside the estate, and perhaps a reduction in Agricultural and Business reliefs.

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I suspect the following:

They will NOT revoke BOE independence (as if).

However,

- temporary removal of stamp duty.

- or removal of stamp duty for FTBs

- also re-assessment of inheritance tax (reduction, increased gifting, total removal in the future?)

- a scheme to help embattled mortgage payers

- the usual on consumables like alcohol.

- possibly mention of a freeze on the petrol escalator

- possibly mention of carbon taxes for the greens

All in all, a budget designed almost entirely to keep the housing market pumping and making people feel rich (well, most voting voters), with some guff thrown in to appease other interest groups.

Probably a disaster for Britain, but what hasn't been.

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Your chance to have your say...

What do you want in Budget 2008?

Chancellor Alistair Darling delivers his first Budget on Wednesday 12 March.

This year's statement will be especially interesting as the government faces key economic challenges.

These include reduced economic growth and higher import prices.

Consumer spending has been affected by rising inflation and a slow down in the housing market.

What would you like to see in Budget 2008? What are the issues that concern you the most? How should the chancellor balance the nation's books?

Brown's Bull$h1t Corporation

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I suspect the following:

They will NOT revoke BOE independence (as if).

However,

- temporary removal of stamp duty.

- or removal of stamp duty for FTBs

- also re-assessment of inheritance tax (reduction, increased gifting, total removal in the future?)

- a scheme to help embattled mortgage payers

- the usual on consumables like alcohol.

- possibly mention of a freeze on the petrol escalator

- possibly mention of carbon taxes for the greens

All in all, a budget designed almost entirely to keep the housing market pumping and making people feel rich (well, most voting voters), with some guff thrown in to appease other interest groups.

Probably a disaster for Britain, but what hasn't been.

I think you are being too focussed on the housing market (forgivabel given the forum we are writing on), but I do think they will want to attract FTBers to the market to get that end of it going again and probably clobber the BTL guys (who are rich anyway, they will summise), eg, no stamp duty for FTB, or, no stamp duty for puchases under £300k, with 10% duty on second homes, or rediculous tax on second mortgages.

That's what I'd like to see anyway.

In reality, he'll do a GB and do a stealth tax (remember the 1% increase in NI!! that was brilliant!)

he'll simply put a tax on interest paid on credit cards / morgages etc, (saying to the banks that he'll use it to help them with some kind of NR war-chest) and then he'll tell the public it is to pay for an insurance scheme to bail out worthy causes who go bankrupt. In actuality, he'll cream 10p in the £ on all interest paid - A lot of interest.

now everyone seems to be in debt, it is a bottomless pit for him!

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I suspect the following:

They will NOT revoke BOE independence (as if).

However,

- temporary removal of stamp duty.

- or removal of stamp duty for FTBs

- also re-assessment of inheritance tax (reduction, increased gifting, total removal in the future?)

- a scheme to help embattled mortgage payers

- the usual on consumables like alcohol.

- possibly mention of a freeze on the petrol escalator

- possibly mention of carbon taxes for the greens

All in all, a budget designed almost entirely to keep the housing market pumping and making people feel rich (well, most voting voters), with some guff thrown in to appease other interest groups.

Probably a disaster for Britain, but what hasn't been.

My suggestion of the revocation of the BoE independence was a bit tongue in cheek. I agree that he's likely to have a fiddle with stamp duty and try to stimulate FTB "demand".

The problem is, as we've discussed so many times, he can't control the demand; the banks do. The banks don't want to lend to FTBs without solid deposits and a high enough salary to only need a low multiple.

[by the way - 1,000 posts! I REALLY need to get a life]

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I don't think they'll kill stamp duty yet. If, by next year, a full-scale HPC has happened and thus their income from stamp duty has fallen off a cliff anyway, then they may pull it as a gesture.

BoE - while tearing up the MPC system probably isn't on the cards, I wouldn't be surprised if they extend the IR setting criteria to include other things besides inflation. In other words, allow them to reduce IRs even if inflation is going up.

More duty on petrol, justified on greenie grounds. They might put a bigger tax breaks on some sorts of biofuel, but only those which require a very expensive car conversion that they can recoup VAT on. They certainly won't be making it any easier or more legal to run Diesel cars on bogstandard cooking vegetable oil. I fear that they'll increase air passenger duty by a lot too, again justified on environmental grounds. They'll probably weight the tax heavily on business class travel.

20p on a bottle of wine has already been trailed. Lots more on fags, probably. Though of course they don't want to push this too far, because the more people give up, the less revenue they get.

I think they'll hold off on taxing wealthy doms, as they're currently trying to court a load of them for Labour Party donations.

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Definitely a tax grab on alcohol. It's the next big target for the health industry/state meddling groups. Look at all the propaganda being put out by the BBC about drinking and health. The 'war on tobacco' has largely been won (though I predict a ban on smoking outdoors in the next five years) so the 'war on booze' will be next.

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I reckon the government will raise the bottom level of 0% stamp duty to £200,000 across the board. This will be spun as benefiting the young, the less well off, Northerners, FTBs, public sector workers - Labour's core voters. It wouldn't have a major impact on revenue. Let's face it, you can't buy much with £200k these days anyway - well, not in London and the South.

Oil and utility companies are going to get clobbered with a windfall tax and they know it - hence the massive price rises recently. Perhaps they were pricing in a new tax as well as rising oil prices. The extra money will be used for more fuel payments for pensioners and some 'green' initiatives that will really be nothing of the sort.

Booze, fags and air travel will be heavily hit with increased taxes - nothing new there.

The words 'stability' and 'prudence' will be used a grand total of 23,451 times during Darling's speech.

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