13 March 2008

British budget - just more taxes

British Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling has released his first budget and it's about tax.

Sin taxes on alcohol and tobacco are up, and the extortionate fuel tax will be up in 6 months (in the UK over 80% of fuel tax does not go on roads).

New taxes are imposed on new cars - a "showroom tax" on all new vehicles, rated at CO2 emission levels. Of course taxing new cars means it is cheaper to keep an older car for longer, increasing net emissions - but this is about tax.

A tax on plastic bags also has nothing backing up whether it will generate net benefits for the country - just an excuse for more tax, with the money going into an environmental charity slush fund. Set one up today to take advantage of it!

Then there is the "non dom" tax. Non domiciles resident in the UK for more than 7 years will have to pay £30,000 to retain their status, or face being taxed on their overseas income. That will undoubtedly have a negative effect on London's status as a world financial capital.

On the other side there is more money for the military because of the cost of commitments in Iraq, and more money on welfare - allegedly to relieve child poverty, but I guess others can make judgments as to how much extra welfare is spent on children, and not on the higher cost of alcohol and tobacco. Pensioners get more money to subsidise their energy bills (yes its funny that the compulsory state pension that you can't inherit isn't one to survive on).

and all this with £43 billion in borrowing. The UK has a huge budget deficit and growing state debt. The prospects for that being addressed in the near future are very slim indeed while Labour continues to grow the state sector.

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