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How is the Budget for you?

13:26 UK time, Tuesday, 23 March 2010
Alistair Darling is delivering his pre-election Budget in the Commons. What proposals should he announce?

The chancellor is expected to announce stamp duty will be scrapped on house purchases up to £250,000 for first-time buyers.

Sources have told the BBC that the chancellor will significantly increase the duty on strong ciders and alcopops in order to tackle binge drinking. Other alcohol duties may rise too.

He is also expected to phase in planned fuel duty rises.

What areas should he cut spending? What areas should get money? What's your experience been of the UK economy over the past year? What measures would you like the Chancellor to announce? Are you optimistic about the economic recovery?

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Comments

Page 1 of 6

  • Comment number 1.

    "The Chancellor has warned repeatedly that the Budget will not hold much cheer"

    Classic New Labour spin: manage expectations. I confidently predict there will be some small but headline-grabbing giveaway in the budget. And then because we are all expecting no giveaway at all, we are supposed to be grateful that the Chancellor has exceeded our expectations.

    Don't fall for it.

  • Comment number 2.

    When we give our 'political masters' both social standing and large financial rewards for five or ten years, is it really surprising that, when faced with the loss of both, human greed comes to the fore?

    The only solution, that I can perceive, is for a radical reworking of our entire political system. This is like asking turkeys to vote for Christmas: it isn't going to happen. We will probably have a change of ruling party, a few platitudes and then, in five or ten years time, a repeat performance.

  • Comment number 3.

    I don't want a budget of Bribes, I want a budget for the Nation as a whole. My understanding of history tells me that the massive cuts wanted by some would be a disaster, but some degree of reduction in spending is of course necessary.
    It's time to put personal desires to one side and have a Budget to promote the UK, and not some dreadful Political Party.

  • Comment number 4.

    To start with, I'd like Darling to stand up and admit that he and Brown have destroyed the economy of this country and apologise that our children will suffer the consequences for the next 15 years +.

    They I'd like to see some heavy cuts being announced especially in Local government and Quangos where there is untold waste.

    I'd also like him to be honest. But this is New Labour so I wont hold my breath.

  • Comment number 5.

    I'd like the chancellor to try to un-muddy some of the waters aroud the true state of the british economy.

    There are so many contradictory statements from all the main parties concerning both there own and rival parties policies that i've been left with no idea who is telling the truth.

    I suppose thats the problem when, in the lead up to a general election,all the parties are concentrating on bad mouthing the policies of their rivals, rather than promoting their policies.

    If our politicians would only grow-up and treat the electorate as adults then we might actually be able to make an informed choice as to who to vote for.

  • Comment number 6.

    What does it matter. If the Tories get in, they'll have their own budget. If Labour gets back they'll have another tax, borrow & spend budget. This budget will not be about the economy, it will be about Labour trying to win an election.

  • Comment number 7.

    An acknowledgement that they have wrecked our economy would be nice.
    And then an apology for their incompetence.
    And then an admission the only way to fix it all is to raise our taxes (again).

  • Comment number 8.

    Leagalisation and Taxation of most recreational drugs.

    Deficit solved.

  • Comment number 9.

    I would like the government to spending and making the deficit bigger
    And start to make savings and bring public finances back under control

  • Comment number 10.

    An answer to the crippling financial situation most people are in, we need to stop handing out tax payer money to anyone with a name and start spending it wisely.

  • Comment number 11.

    As an English male working full time no dependants, I expect to get done over in favor of some lazy teen parent with several little "accidents". Both my fiancé and me work full time (as in 8am to 7pm, not public servant hours) and have not been able purchase a house. The next door neighbor took great delight in telling us how proud she was of her daughter, who now has her own house and the ripe old age of 17. And her effort to get this house?? Failing to keep her underwear on.

    Great. Thanks for coming Labour, come back when you can't stay so long.

  • Comment number 12.

    I would like to see a reform of local taxation which is one of the unfairest taxes of all, as it takes no account of ability to pay (a conservative "mess" I might add). I might as well wish for the moon. I am sure there are thousands who feel the same. Bring back the poll tax.

  • Comment number 13.

    I would like to see Cannabis taxed at £30 per Ounce from legalised and regulated retailers, instantly creating several £million of tax receipts while also saving us several £billion in police, judicial & prison resources.

    A quick back of the fag packet calculation gives us some rough figures of;

    At least 5 million regular Cannabis smokers in the UK
    Average smoker is consuming at least 10 Ounces a year
    Equals at least 50 million ounces of Cannabis a year being sold

    50 million Ounces x £30 per Ounce = £1,500,000,000 in taxation

    It may not pay off the deficit but I'd be happier seeing an extra £1.5billion going to the exchequer instead of going to criminal gangs to spend on guns, gangs and people trafficking.

    Add in the savings from the Police, courts and prisons as well as the savings made from people gaining legal and taxable employment in the production, packaging and retailing as well as the business taxes that would be applied to companies growing and distributing Cannabis and we'd be looking at a net gain of over £3billion a year to the UK economy.

  • Comment number 14.

    The ~Chancellor needs to cut taxes, and not penalise people. This will help the economy. If he needs funds let him increase VAT, that is fairer, as you pay what you spend. The new draconian taxes for high earnings is appalling not all these people are bankers, they are just god at what they do. There also needs to be a review of the taxation system as it is grossly unfair. Too many taxes in general thanks to GB.
    The undertone is to penalise people. The government needs to cut spending
    and especially where is waste. Set stiff targets, theya re not doing this now so as not to become unpopular. But tht is reality. People hope better sense prevails, what about all those young unemplyed, get them jobs and off the social welfare.

  • Comment number 15.

    Cutting public sector pensions by 1/3
    Cutting public sector pay by 1/3
    Cutting public sector employment by 1/3

    Deficit problem solved. No real affect
    on the rest of the economy.

  • Comment number 16.

    What we want and what we get are likely to be two very different things.

    I would like to see the excesses of the Banking Industry better regulated. I would like to see encouragement in the way of tax changes to encourage people to save more. I would like to see a change away from the current system of Road Tax and Fuel Duty/VAT to a system that added duty to fuel only so that the heaviest users paid the most. I would like to see Council Tax capped for Pensioners - unless there is an increase at least equal to any additional charge.

    I don't mind an increase on alcohol and tobacco taxes, I don't drink much (and the vast majority of what I do drink is bought in mainland Europe) and I don't smoke.

    Cuts? ID card scheme and our Nuclear Deterrent replacement.

    I will be very surprised indeed if I get anything I have mentioned above!

  • Comment number 17.

    Free Cheese for all

  • Comment number 18.

    An honest evaluation of the financial catastrophe we are facing and action to remedy it, including an assessment of what will happen to our credit rating if we do not cut public sector spending dramatically soon.

    In reality we will get a party before country budget.

  • Comment number 19.

    Nothing. The only thing I'd like is an announcement from the Chancellor that the Budget has been postponed until after the election.

  • Comment number 20.

    What do I want in this budget? Something that will redress the balance so that those that contribute don't subsidise those that are unwilling to do so? Or is it more simply a statement from the chancellor saying how his inept government have mucked things up over the last 13 years?

  • Comment number 21.

    It is obvious that the budget is primarily going to do two things, firstly increase taxes and secondly reduce services. With regard to taxes I would prefer it if the biggest increase in taxes proportional to a persons income, fell upon those who coined it big in the "boom" years and least of all, if at all, on those at the bottom of the economic spectrum. With regard to services it would be preferable if services for those in the greatest need were fully maintained, whilst services for those well able manage without were the ones that were cut.

    I don't have too much faith that I will be satisfied greatly with regard to the matter of taxes or services and should the chancellors baton be passed across to the conservatives after the election I am positive that I would be even less satisfied with subsequent adjustments that will follow.

  • Comment number 22.

    OUR HOPES FOR THE BUDGET:
    ABOLISH ALL LOOPHOLES USED BY NON-UK CITIZENS FOR:

    tax credits for families not living in UK?
    child benefit for children not living in UK?
    'baby bonds' for babies DELIVERED IN UK, but moved to 'other' countries?S

    LABOUR ARE INTENT ON DENYING BENEFIT TO THE MOST VULNERABLE TO PAY FOR THE ABOVE: - DISABLED, STROKE, HEART ATTACK, AMPUTEES AND CHRONICALLY ILL WHO ARE TRAPPED IN BODIES THEY PRAY TO ESCAPE FROM - AND, IF THEY CAN, DO SO DELIBERATELY?

    THIS GOVERNMENT HAS TO BE THE MOST AGEIST, ANTI DISABILITY, ANTI CHRONICALLY ILL ADMINISTRATION SINCE HITLER? £BILLIONS PAID TO HEALTHY AND ABLE TO WORK TEENAGERS AT THE EXPENSE OF THE ELDERLY, DISABLED AND CHRONICALLY ILL?

  • Comment number 23.

    It's not about what I want from the budget. It's about what the country needs from the budget.

    But we can all forget that.

    Expect the usual welfare state giveaways and some more crowd-pleasing banker-bashing.

  • Comment number 24.

    I'd like to see measures to close tax-avoidance loopholes which will force the outrageously wealthy to pay their fair share.

  • Comment number 25.

    13. At 2:33pm on 23 Mar 2010, General_Jack_Ripper wrote:
    I would like to see Cannabis taxed at £30 per Ounce from legalised and regulated retailers, instantly creating several £million of tax receipts while also saving us several £billion in police, judicial & prison resources.

    ----

    £30 tax an ounce might be a little too high - if everything else remains constant that'll put the price up to about £170 an ounce and people will just go back to the black market.

  • Comment number 26.

    The budget should give hope for those aspiring to contribute & have a stake in Society.

  • Comment number 27.

    What do i want in the budget, Stop ripping off the lower end earners and pensioners, make the fat cats, the tax dodgers and cheats (and we all know who a lot of those are) pay their dues.

  • Comment number 28.

    Well, I'd like to see an end to Robin Hood taxes. I don't personally pay higher rate tax, but the fact is such schemes drive rich people out of the country - taking their earning power with them.

    We need them to stay and to buy British goods and services and employ other people in this country, spreading the wealth.

  • Comment number 29.

    I'd like the Chancellor to remember why he entered politics. I'd like him to do what's best for the country, not for him, his party, newspaper headlines or his ego. He needs to remember that whilst he'll soon be living the dream and lying on a beach somewhere counting his money, the rest of us have to live with the consequences of what he and his party do.

  • Comment number 30.

    15. At 2:34pm on 23 Mar 2010, Baildon wrote:
    Cutting public sector pensions by 1/3
    Cutting public sector pay by 1/3
    Cutting public sector employment by 1/3

    -------------

    What you'd actually create is massive unemployment.

    The public sector is so massive in the UK that a significant number of private sector companies exist purely to service it.

    The tabloid idea that you can make huge cuts in the public sector without negatively impacting the entire economy as well as every single British citizen is, like most of what you read in the tabloids, ultra-simplified baloney that makes no attempt to look at the big,far more complex, interconnected picture.

  • Comment number 31.

    I should very much like to see Mr Darling abolish just a few of the stealth taxes his predecessor introduced.

    To begin with, he could choose from a. loss of the married couple's allowance, b. loss of mortgage interest relief, c. loss of the ability to recover overpaid tax on dividends by non-taxpayers, d. imposition of income tax on old-style PEPs, e. imposition of taxes on pension funds, f. loss of ability to transfer unused personal allowances to a spouse, and g. adjustment of state pensions in line with the retail prices index (RPI) instead of the Consumer Prices Index (CPI).

    I feel sufficiently impoverished already, thanks to Brown, and can be confident of one thing. I, as a modest saver, will be punished yet again for not having squandered my money on holidays, cigarettes and booze during a time when taxes were lower. Far better these days to have saved nothing at all, and to scrounge state benefit handouts, which are always guaranteed to improve.

    Indeed, if the Chancellor were to introduce some form of tax-exempt National Savings linked to the rise in benefit payments each year, I would place all my eggs in that particular basket in the certain knowledge that I couldn't possibly lose.

  • Comment number 32.

    Most of all, I would like Brown, the former chancellor, to take this opportunity to stand up and apologise to the people of this country for his party's mismanagement of the economy over the last thirteen years. They have exceeded all previous afforts by Labour governments to bring the British economy to its knees. 'No more boom and bust' indeed!

  • Comment number 33.

    I would like to see all foreign aid stopped with immmediate effect, until Britain's national debt is cleared.

  • Comment number 34.

    It doesn't matter in the least what little old me wants !

  • Comment number 35.

    I do not want to see a budget of cuts to fit in with monetarist economic dogma, where the poor have to suffer for the mistakes of the rich. I want a budget that will recognize that this country needs a manufacturing base and that its workers need incentives to work - you know, like the incentives we give to bankers and bureaucrats.

    I want the Chancellor to end his speech with the following statement. 'Sorry folks we have blown it. NuLabour cannot deliver, we cannot finance wars, bankers and the lazy, or provide any more nourishment to third world dictators, and have anything left for our own people. So this is it. I am resigning'. Replying for the tories Cameron then says: 'I agree with the Chancellor, Westminster is too sleazy and I am quitting to spend more time with my family'. And the entire House resigns en masse. Oh dear. I have been writing whilst asleep...a lovely dream.

  • Comment number 36.

    Gordon Brown's resignation.

  • Comment number 37.

    The budget should be one of restraint and cuts in public spending. There should be NO tax rises or increase in Fuel tax, Booze or cigarettes nor council tax. Its about time the Government realised the people have had enough and are not willing or able to pay more. Of course with the politicians we have at present who never actually pay for anything out of their salaries we shall get hit with higher taxes. If the clowns in power now were in charge of a company they would be sacked for incompetence

  • Comment number 38.

    What I'd really like is to be left alone this time.

    Every budget see's yet another hand in my pocket rifling what I earned and telling me to be grateful for the public services that it pays for that I don't use.

    Really useful services like... cheap houses for public sector workers. A great scheme - Its a shame these public sector workers can't borrow against the value of their pension, they'd have a palace in no time.

  • Comment number 39.

    Three things I'd like to see:

    (1) Increase the starting point for paying tax to a level at which people can live, say £10,000 per yer, and then have a flat rate of tax above that.

    (2) Support for UK employment, making it rewarding for employers to pay people to work rather than turfing them out onto the dole and having their work done in foreign coutries.

    (3) Stop paying millions to the EU until their accounts are fully auditted.

  • Comment number 40.

    MP’s utter contempt for the public is indisputable.
    They are in this job to serve the people of the United Kingdom and they should do that or resign.
    I have no faith in any MP, none whatsoever.
    Will I vote? The question should be `why should I vote?` There is not one party worthy of my vote..............not one.

  • Comment number 41.

    It won't matter what Darling says. If he gives anything away it will be a bribe, if he puts on any tax or charge it will be said to be because things are bad. Inflation is down and Brown is respected world wide even winning the statesman of the year in the US but don't expect Cameron to get up and congratulate him. It will be like watching kids in the playground as usual

  • Comment number 42.

    I believe the more things change the more things stay the same after the election it will the more of the same mp,s stealing and being indignant when caught, finding Ali Baba in the house of commons
    may prove difficult but 40 thieves would be a breeze

  • Comment number 43.

    Massive cuts in benefits paid out to the likes of teenage single Mums, the work shy & other scroungers. Stop paying for the treatment of Junkies, Alcoholics and other 'illnesses' brought on by the stupid actions of the individual. Stop spending money on turning prisons into 4 start hotels. Make criminals pay for their crimes. Cut the number of non jobs in the civil service.

    A windfall tax on the greedy banks, utility companies & the oil companies. Abolish employers NI contributions which is effectively a Tax on jobs. A cut of 0.5 percent in corporation tax. Increase the 40% Tax band starting point to £45k. Increase the 20% Tax starting point to £20K. Scrap the 10% Tax band. Temporarily increase VAT to 20%

  • Comment number 44.

    We should not really have a budget, a lot of the tax changes coming in from April have already been announced, and other taxes should go up in line with inflation.
    Silly to have one so close to the election, better to delay it until start of June when the new government is in. The Tories will definitely introduce another budget, and I suspect Labour will too, as they can not afford politically to have the budget the country needs tomorrow as it would lose them too much votes.
    Labour may try and clobber the people who wouldn't vote for them as nothing to lose by doing this, particularly if it plays well with their key supporters.

  • Comment number 45.

    "15. At 2:34pm on 23 Mar 2010, Baildon wrote:
    Cutting public sector pensions by 1/3
    Cutting public sector pay by 1/3
    Cutting public sector employment by 1/3

    Deficit problem solved. No real affect
    on the rest of the economy."

    No real effect?!

    How about police open to bribes? Roads falling apart? Teachers quitting for better paid jobs to be replaced by incompetents, yielding an ineducated workforce?

    The public sector might not contribute directly to wealth creation, and I don't doubt there are a number of unneeded administrative jobs that can go, but to think state employees are dispensible for economic growth is silly.

  • Comment number 46.

    Since the government expects GDP at 3% for the next year, then planning a budget is significant. Programmes like education should come first. Science and technology are a good subject. The UK will prosper in business only with a 21st century approach.

  • Comment number 47.

    Tax the banks not the people; reduce petrol tax and duties; delay the increase in national insurance; freeze the council tax at the current rate; increase old age pensions by 5%; bring back our soldiers from Afghanistan; introduce an interest rate on deposit accounts to at least match the rate of inflation; reduce all public sector salaries of more than £21k per annum by 5% and maintain a maximum public sector salary of no more than £150k per annum; eliminate regional development agencies; reduce the number of MPs to not more than 400.

  • Comment number 48.

    I would like a removal of tax breaks for Buy to Let which do not really seem fair when dividends on pensions are taxed.

  • Comment number 49.

    Whilst I'm optimistic about economic recovery the Chancellor has to act to prevent another similar recession in the near future.

    The first thing he should do is consider allowing councils to collect full council tax from second and third homes. This should allow the local authorities to offset the inevitable reductions in the central government support grant that they recieve in the coming years. In the short term it may help reduce the numbers made reduntant (redundancy costs a lot) and could help keeping the council tax rises under control in the longer term.

    He should also look at possibly increasing the penalties for tax evasion and change the law about being domiciled. The USA requires its citizens to pay US tax on all their global income (above a certain threshold) if they wish to remain US citizens - we could adopt a similar measure to get rid of this whole non-domiciled debacle. If those currently using non-dom status then wish to renounce their citizenship of the UK I will gladly collect their passports on their way out of the country.

    Another area that is a potential revenue goldmine for the chancellor is the area of buy-to-let landlords. Currently they get significant tax relief on their portfolios. My previous landlord owned 28 properties and paid less tax on that estate than I do in employment through clever use of expenses, tax relief and expanding ('investing in') his portfolio. I wonder what would happen if the tax relief was removed - would rent go up? I doubt it because many landlords are already squeezing tennants out of every penny they can afford. We may see a number of less profitable houses put onto the market which could help those struggling to get onto the housing ladder.

    The so-called Robin Hood tax seems like a good idea and could generate a lot of income in the medium to long term, however without international agreement how would we prevent all the financial transactions being facilitated off-shore? Most institutions aren't likely to miss 5p from every £1,000 transaction but on principle some may choose to avoid the tax - the UK has to remain competetive since financial services are a huge part of our economy.

    The Chancellor should also raise the income tax threshold to £10,000 for everyone in the country and change the basic income tax rate to offset this in such a way that people earning the median wage or less are no worse off. This would have the effect of removing taxation from the vast majority of people on minimum wage and put an end to the ridiculous system of 'working tax credits'. If a person is earning money, being taxed on it and then being given that tax back why are we even taxing them at all? It seems to be a system for creating a beauracracy that needs staffing, and that's something the nation can't afford given the circumstances.

    I'd like to see the Chancellor give some consideration to making all benefits except maybe pension and disability benefit subject to annual review. A large number of the fraudulent claims have been perpetrated over a number of years amassing tens of thousands of pounds that are repaid at a paltry £2.50 a week meaning that some people will never repay their debt. Annual recertification would require the claimant to re-apply with their current conditions and remove the defence currently used in court that their change of circumstances 'slipped their mind'. Thus the Proceeds of Crime Act could be used to seize assets to repay the debt if they are proved to have been guilty of fraud by misrepresentation. It's not much but it could encourage some of those who have been comfortable living off the rest of us to go out and get a job.

    The last thing I can think of that I would like would be for the chancellor not to hit alcohol, tobacco and petrol too hard. I admit my concern over alcohol is self serving and don't care that much about tobacco. However with inflation running at around 3% the country can't afford petrol to increase massively and it would be extremely unfair to ask the Bank of England to explain why inflation crept up when one of the main drivers is the cost of tranporting our goods.

  • Comment number 50.

    Having watched this government WASTE so much money and as we are in such massive debt, there is little that can be given away, although I expect the real truth won't be made until the next election, whichever party gets in power.

    Time we stopped trying to run the world like some empirical power, get out of both Iraq and Afghanistan, stop giving money to Third World countries (more than 50% is stolen long before it gets to the people it was intended for) and concentrate on the people of THIS country for once.

    If not, then it will all get worse and the country will eventually collapse under a mountain of debt.

  • Comment number 51.

    "To start with, I'd like Darling to stand up and admit that he and Brown have destroyed the economy of this country and apologise that our children will suffer the consequences for the next 15 years +."

    What about all of the other developed countries that have been equally or even more badly affected by the recent recession (i.e. just about all of them except China!) - how come they were affected if they weren't being run by Darling or Brown? How come USA was affected when it was being run by one of the most right wing Presidents in living memory? No sign of New Labour there.

    What Brown did was exactly what everyone at the time wanted him to do - he didn't let the banks fail because doing so would have meant millions losing everything.

    What has basically happened over the past 30 years or so is that the whole world was suckered into Thatcherite/Reganite unfettered capitalism. When that works, then you make loads of money, when it fails, you lose loads of money. Its like playing roulette - all that has basically happened over the past 2 years or so is that the wheel stopped spinning in everyone's favour.

    People like you were not whinging and complaining when everyone was making money, but what you cannot seem to understand is that when you live by the sword you die by the sword too - like all gamblers, sooner or later you will lose your shirt, and thats basically what happened.

    And whilst New Labour sadly went along with that style of economics, they most certainly were not the originators. Ironically, the only way that the Labour party could get back into power was to change their strategy and adopt Thatcherite economics, so that people like you, now berating them for doing so, would vote for them.

    But you're brainwashed by the media mind control machine - thats what really runs this country - that is what really decides who is elected and what stance they take. And the fact that you cannot see that just makes me believe that we really have no future at all when the majority of the population are brainwashed sheep.

  • Comment number 52.

    "28. At 3:17pm on 23 Mar 2010, Caroline wrote:

    Well, I'd like to see an end to Robin Hood taxes. I don't personally pay higher rate tax, but the fact is such schemes drive rich people out of the country - taking their earning power with them.

    We need them to stay and to buy British goods and services and employ other people in this country, spreading the wealth."

    Well I'd like the rich to stay too. It's great watching them avoid paying taxes, corrupting politicians, outsourcing jobs, buying up all the housing, crashing the economy (over and over again - what fun!), and generally behave with a patriotism and social conscience we should all aspire to.

  • Comment number 53.

    17. At 2:35pm on 23 Mar 2010, Peter wrote:
    Free Cheese for all

    Any cheese in particular or all cheeses - what about imported cheeses? Would these be free too?

  • Comment number 54.

    Wait for it. " It is only right that those with the biggest shoulders should pay a fairer contribution". Problem is , he means anyone earning slightly more than average. Most people on £30 - 50k are not rich but work their socks off to do a bit better than the average. NuLabour treates such people with disdain; no tax breaks, no means tested benefits, have to pay to get your kids through college, etc etc . I'd like to see a 'fair budget' which gives a break to those millions already paying through the nose for the largesse and financial incompetance of this government. PS A friend of a friend, single mother aged 19 with two children by two different fathers has just walked in to a Council-provided flat. Has never had a job. Doesn't exactly encourage responsibility does it? Why should I have to pay for her on top of my own family?

  • Comment number 55.

    £5billion in foreign aid, so I have been told. This should be stopped immediately as all it does is encourage population increases, hence leading to more aid in the future and also loss of natural habitat. Apparently we give hundreds of millions in aid to India. There are 1 billion Indians and 1,400 tigers. Makes you think eh?

  • Comment number 56.

    An immediate 200% minimum increase in the basic state pension, but with those who have contributed the most in national insurance getting more, pro rata. Those who earn more pay more, so it works both ways.

    The immediate nationalisation of all banks and building society's which will then pay, tax free a minimum of 7.5% interest on savings.

  • Comment number 57.

    Oooooooh.....how about in an ideal world......

    Abandon entirely the current tax system in the UK for individuals - income tax, NI, stamp duty, everything. They are all the same thing with NuLabour spin names.

    Replace it with a sliding scale tax on earned income only with the rates being set by an independent body.

    Any incoming Governement then has to live within this amount. Finite income (no blank cheques from the tax payer) and finite expenditure (time to prioritise whats important).

    Then the faster they reduce the deficit the quicker they'll have more money to play with.

    Think they'll go for it? I doubt it......

  • Comment number 58.

    .. a tax on sterling transfers overseas.
    .....abolishing all tax relief on salary forfeit schemes whereby top paid workers can exchange salary for pension pot building.

  • Comment number 59.

    Once, just once, I would like Alister Darling to speak in PLAIN ENGLISH and say something that we can UNDERSTAND.

    This man speaks a language I have never heard before, sounds like English, uses English words, but is completely incomprehensible.

  • Comment number 60.

    Two words...

    COMMON SENSE

    However, it will be one to buy votes, thinly disguised under the veil of: "Things aren't as bad as they were", followed by us getting a good kicking next year.


    How about simplifying the tax system so that it can be understood by anybody of reasonable intelligence. I work with an ex-tax inspector and the stories they have to tell of the complications and vagaries of the system are almost un-believable.

    A simple tax system would save the nation a fortune, companies a fortune and mean that the tax payers would need to pay less tax.

  • Comment number 61.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 62.

    Terminal 6, followed by new new wembley and Millenium Dome 2! well while were at it, lets just go nuts! high speed train from coventry to leicester!

  • Comment number 63.

    The Chancellor's priority must obviously be the health of the real economy, and that means getting back to reasonably full employment.

    There should be no cuts, except in overseas expenditure, for example, embassy staff and troops stationed abroad.

    Tax increases should be limited to those which will not seriously reduce demand.

    Taxes designed to tap hoarded wealth, which is not invested productively, could be introduced. For example a tax on estates which do not generate an income proportionate to their value. The price of land and some property is artificially high because it is used to store underused capital.

    A land value tax could be introduced and used to finance local government instead of Council Tax and central government grants.

  • Comment number 64.

    Nothing. This goverment won't be in power within six weeks so the budget is utterly pointless.

  • Comment number 65.

    I expect the usual 10p on a packet of cigarettes, 1p on a pint etc but I really hope this budget goes easy on the drivers.
    With the cost of petrol through the roof and the ever increasing road tax hike (unless you can afford a newer car) its becoming very expensive. I live 40 miles from my place of work and unfortunately I could not afford a new car during the scrapage scheme.
    Also as a full time worker I would love to see benefits reduced and the minimum wage increased to encourage the lazy back to work.

  • Comment number 66.

    I want to see value for money in the tax that we pay.
    I want to see fair taxation - 'from everyone according to their means' - and an end to social engineering by taxation.
    I want to see core services like education, health & social care maintained, and trivial political 'initiatives' eliminated from our spending.

    But what I really, really want is to see a proper balance sheet that says 'we expect to raise £x from this tax and £y from that one, and we intend to spend £a on this service and £b on that one."

    This isn't a 'budget' in the normal meaning of the word, it's pure political propaganda. Always has been. Give me the balance sheet and then I'll know if we are getting value for our tax money or not.

    I feel an FOI request coming on...

  • Comment number 67.

    'Cutting public sector pensions by 1/3
    Cutting public sector pay by 1/3
    Cutting public sector employment by 1/3

    Deficit problem solved. No real affect
    on the rest of the economy.'

    I think if you cut a huge number of public sector workers' pay by a third, they would be well bellow minimum wage. It's the managers and chief executives' pay that needs to be looked at. The gap between those and the rest of the public sector is astronomical and unjustifiable.

    However, I think the comments advocating the legalisation and taxation of cannabis are spot on and make complete sense but unfortunately this won't happen because the hysterical 'anti-this and anti-that and anti-anything we don't take or understand ourselves' lobby are far too powerful and drugs policy isn't based on rational arguments but knee-jerk, hysterical reactions.

  • Comment number 68.

    One of the most unfair taxes is council tax, unfair because it's based on property values and they have no bearing on your ability to pay. A fair way of collecting council tax would be to levy a fixed amount for each adult per household say £300 per annum (not too dissimilar to pole tax)and any additional amount collected from your gross earnings as per your end of year tax return. That way would be fair as it would then be collected on you ability to pay. We are in the age of computers, so it would be an easy task to add all the necessary data required to employment details which could then be assessed and any additional council tax due cal;culated based on your previous years earnings. I suspect either this government are'nt bright enough to think the obvious or won't install a fair system because they and their buddies would be the big losers. Most people don't object to change as long as it is fair and at the moment it's grossly unfair to pensioners, single people who live on their own, poor families and I'm talking of those who don't work through no fault of their own or are on low earnings. Example of unfairness - A widow living in a house considered by the council as large for council tax purposes, that house is her home, it's not practical when your old to up sticks and start again (downsize) she shouldn't be penalised by her local council because her husband has died. We must be the only country in Europe that does that and it needs to be stopped. So that's my budget request overhaul the council tax system.

  • Comment number 69.

    I expect a budget full of bribes targetted at specific groups of voters who have been identified by the party machinery as critical to getting a few of those seats back that are currently lost beyond help...

  • Comment number 70.

    I would just like to stop paying VAT on Fuel Duty and any other taxes on tax.

  • Comment number 71.

    A slip of paper which reads 'I advise the House that I resign'.

    If NuLabour tax the rich much more there will a mass exodus and they will take their much needed money with them - just as happened back in the 1960's.

    Labour seem intent on cutting off their nose to spite their face. As ever they represent the politics of envy in all its ugliness. I am a working class person who wants her country back to what it used to be before this back stabbing culture took over.

    Is there a leader free of the stench of sleaze and greed? - if so he/she should now stand up and be counted.

    Back to the budget - more money for NHS, Police, Schools and the Forces. A promise to cut the benifits bill drastically and an end to countless quangos and committees which cost us millions. Get rid of nuclear arms and use the money eleswhere - we could never use them anyway for fear of retalliation. Reduce immigration numbers with urgency - the truth is we cannot afford them.

  • Comment number 72.

    Remember that there are tax increases already in the pipeline: the personal allowance has been frozen and there are NI increases on the way (it's about time that they stopped pretending that NI isn't just another tax).

  • Comment number 73.

    I'd like to see him stop paying people to have more and more children. Our transport systems are at capacity, unemployment is at 2.5m and will shoot up after the election, people are fighting each other for school places, so many people now have degrees that they are almost worthless and we're becoming very dependent on energy imported from Russia. In light of all this, the last thing we need is even more people. Stop child benefits and associated allowances for all babies born after 1 year from now. If people want children, they have to save up.

  • Comment number 74.

    Comment No 11 puts across a very good case, which would be really funny if it weren't all to common under Labour's Britain.

  • Comment number 75.

    What should be in the budget red box?

    How about a suitcase nuclear device that was developed by the Soviets and USA during the cold war...seems the only way to genuinely start afresh.

    Though saying that they will probably survive due to thick skins and brass necks etc. along with cockroaches, but the cockroaches would sieze power in such an event, far more intelligent you see.

    The budget speech should be broadcast on CBBC instead of Jackanory as it will be some splendid tale of how the UK is now a land of sunshine and lollipops with plenty for all but is threatened by some sinister blue fire spitting dragon heading towards them that will cast a state of permenant darkness upon them with only gruel for sustinance.

    The only real question I have is from another such Jackanory story and it is if Pinnochio has come alive and become a real boy yet or is he still being operated by by his puppetmaster.

    If is the latter then it will be nothing short of pure fiction, but, and it is a very remote but, the former has sprung alive there may be just a thin sliver of reality shining through between the smoke and mirrors of the conjouring trick.

  • Comment number 76.

    Well done Captain Jameson comment number 29.

    You have written exactly what I feel. MP's stash away enough cash during their working life not to have to worry about a thing once they 'retire'. The likes of you and me spend every day of our lives until we die dipping our hands into our pockets. They even want to tax what we had hoped to leave to our children.

  • Comment number 77.

    Small cuts all round and tax rises. What else do you do when you are £800 billion in debt?

  • Comment number 78.

    Its a difficult decision because if you slash public spending you will just create more and more unemployment and its self defeating because the government will be responsible for unemployment benefit instead of collecting taxes.Its very hard for the existing unemployed despite what has been reported as the only jobs are part time and very low paid if you can even find one.The VAT route could be fairer especially on high price items and a gradual introduction to VAT on food to avoid inflation getting out of control.A policy of retirement without replacement could slim down the civil service and a much bigger stick waved at the banks to make them comply with lending to small business instead of making excuses.

  • Comment number 79.

    Labours resignation.

  • Comment number 80.

    Whatever is in the budget, you can bet it will cost us more money. By "us" I mean the average British taxpayer. The well heeled banker types will, no doubt, not feel a thing.

  • Comment number 81.

    It may not pay off the deficit but I'd be happier seeing an extra £1.5billion going to the exchequer instead of going to criminal gangs to spend on guns, gangs and people trafficking.

    Add in the savings from the Police, courts and prisons as well as the savings made from people gaining legal and taxable employment in the production, packaging and retailing as well as the business taxes that would be applied to companies growing and distributing Cannabis and we'd be looking at a net gain of over £3billion a year to the UK economy.'

    The only problem is it would cost you £3 billion a year to treat all the people suffering from cannaboid psychosis. Try telling a family which has been ripped apart by cannabis that it is a harmless drug.


  • Comment number 82.

    Reading the crass, semi-literate comments here, perhaps the self-styled experts aren't doing too bad a job.

    This forum is little more than legal graffiti today.

  • Comment number 83.

    The cuts will come.....(public sector workers beware).
    Tax rises are inevitable also.

  • Comment number 84.

    "To start with, I'd like Darling to stand up and admit that he and Brown have destroyed the economy of this country and apologise that our children will suffer the consequences for the next 15 years +."

    What about all of the other developed countries that have been equally or even more badly affected by the recent recession (i.e. just about all of them except China!) - how come they were affected if they weren't being run by Darling or Brown? How come USA was affected when it was being run by one of the most right wing Presidents in living memory? No sign of New Labour there.


    Why is it the recession has affected Britain worse than anywhere else in the developed world? At 2 per cent The US growth rate is 20 times that of Britain. Labour have borrowed £1.2 trillion to pay for their social engineering experiments.There will be no prosperity for most hard working people in this country EVER again because of the damage Labour they have done to us. We face cuts and tax rises for the rest of our lives. When Labour came to power the economy was in surplus. Look at the figures. Look at the mess they have made of this country.

  • Comment number 85.

    No further immigration would stop any increase in the current benefits bill. Current benefit entitlement should be investigated more (if there were enough staff to do so). I expect there would be some savings after that if 'real' entitlement were looked at - things like £1m homes allocated, or being able to run expensive cars etc on benefits. My pension is £70 per week (no other pension) and I'm not entitled to any top up whatsoever. Why? Obviously, because I have some savings (earning 0.5% pa) after a lifetime of working.

  • Comment number 86.

    Regulations create incentives to find new ways around them.

    Many voters lost their confidence in the our MP's a long time ago, yet I remained hopeful.

    Now the latest scandals are the final nail in the coffin and I feel all tainted MP's in ANY of these scandals should be barred from standing again as an example how we expect our MP's to behave.

    The sooner all these discredited MP's go or fail to be re-elected, the sooner we can rebuild our democracy with a root and branch reform in a new Parliament.

  • Comment number 87.

    I'd like to see a bit of honesty and plain speaking in the budget, instead of the weasel-words and obfuscation we're all used to.

  • Comment number 88.

    I would like to see petrol complete re-taxed on % (lower than now) basis instead of the rigmarole every budget time, the same with cigarettes and alcohol and the increase of true luxury's big cars, fancy houses, high end food just ask MP's and bankers what their buying basically.

  • Comment number 89.

    "Cuts in the following EVERY THING, To pay the greedy bankers bonus"

  • Comment number 90.

    The Government accept's the Lib Dem's proposal for a cross party "council for economic stability" to plan cuts in the budget deficit.

    Its time for all the parties to work together for the public good and not for their own political benefit.

    Vince Cable to relace Alastair Darling as Chancellor.

  • Comment number 91.

    Darling should announce that he is stopping all payments to the European Union.

  • Comment number 92.

    @11 Jaz77. You said. As an English male working full time no dependants, I expect to get done over in favor of some lazy teen parent with several little "accidents". Both my fiancé and me work full time (as in 8am to 7pm, not public servant hours) and have not been able purchase a house. The next door neighbor took great delight in telling us how proud she was of her daughter, who now has her own house and the ripe old age of 17. And her effort to get this house?? Failing to keep her underwear on.
    I agree 100% mate....

  • Comment number 93.

    It should start with an apology for incompetance, preferably followed by a resignation.

  • Comment number 94.

    Some honesty for a change.

  • Comment number 95.

    A budget this close to a general election will be a complete waste of time. None of the 'promises' made will be kept (nothing new there though), any changes will either be swiftly undone or magnified tenfold as soon as the dust has settled.

  • Comment number 96.

    What should be in the Budget?

    A fulsome apology for complete economic incompetence since May 1997, ruining the robust economy built at great social cost by the Tories, knackering final salary pension schemes, driving the country to the brink of financial ruin....

    Followed by a desperate plea to the Tories to come and fix it. They may have been involved in the expenses scandal, but at least did it with style (duck houses and moats), unlike the Labour approach of satellite porn and plasma tellies.

  • Comment number 97.

    #84 - America suffered because the President was an imbecile.

  • Comment number 98.

    I pay income tax for education, healthcare and a police force. If these are going to be cut, I expect my tax burdon to be cut. I do not pat tax to fight illegal oil wars, feather politicians nests, pay bankers bonuses or hire layer upon layer of busybodies to poke their noses into every aspect of my life.

    What do I really expect? more taxes for less services, but has this is just before the election, whoever gets in will rapidly ramp up the taxes and ramp down the services even faster, once the election is over and its five years before another.

  • Comment number 99.

    Why don't we just kick the chair out from under them and have done with it, and let them pass away in misery never to darken our country again. Roll on the General Election.

  • Comment number 100.

    How about cuts in the areas people want to see them like support for the workshy and freeloaders instead of the areas that actually do some good or support the taxpaying community but of couse homeowners and taxpayer aren't Labours core voters and so are of no consequence.
    Maybe one day the boot will be on the other foot and then hear them cry foul

 

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