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Green taxes to fill black hole

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Robert Peston | 16:45 UK time, Tuesday, 11 March 2008

The story of this year’s Budget will, I think, be new and higher green taxes to fill a potential black hole in the public finances.

Or to put it another way, the Treasury badly needs to raise money.

So the imposition of assorted green taxes – on gas-guzzling cars and flying – will not be matched by cuts in other taxes.

The chancellor's red Budget boxThere, I think, is where any political row will ignite, because the Tories claim they would wholly offset any green levies with reductions in other taxes, so as not to increase the overall burden of taxation through environmental initiatives.

And although there may be many who will applaud the taxing of environmental bads, there will be plenty of others who will see the new taxes as disingenuous.

But what are the strains on the government’s finances that the green taxes are supposed to ease?

Well they stem from last summer’s pricking of the bubble in debt markets, which has taken its toll on property and share prices and will prompt a consequential fall in projected tax revenues from transactions in shares and property.

In the pre-Budget report of 9 October, the Treasury had expected stamp-duty proceeds to rise 5% to £15.8bn in 2008/9 and the contribution from capital gains tax to increase by 13% to £5.4bn.

Both of those forecasts look absurdly optimistic, even allowing for the incremental revenues that should flow from the controversial reform of CGT.

The FTSE All Share index has, for example, fallen 14% from the level that was built into the Treasury’s audited assumptions of last autumn.

That decrease automatically reduces the Treasury’s revenue projections.

Also, the level of housing sales is running 14% below where it was a year ago.

And although there are regional variations (the Scottish market is still pretty buoyant, for example), house prices are beginning to fall.

Lower share prices, lower house prices, and fewer transactions: collectively they would reduce the take from stamp and CGT by many billions of pounds.

And it gets worse, because the outlook for corporation tax isn’t brilliant either.

There is likely to be a fall of between 5% and 10% in profits reported by British companies in the coming year, according to City analysts.

That should mean they’ll pay less tax.

However there is a credit-crunch skew to this corporate slowdown: the prospects are gloomiest for our big banks, which, as it happens, pay a massively disproportionate amount of all corporation tax.

So on the revenue-raising side of things, the prospects could be at their least benign since Labour took office in 1997.

And that’s on the assumption there’s simply a modest economic slowdown this year, and that we avoid a sharp rise in unemployment or a recession.

In other words, and to state the bloomin’ obvious, if the government is to avoid humiliating cuts in its public-spending plans, the Treasury has to find additional revenues. Taxes will have to be increased.

Which is why Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling are presumably counting their lucky stars for global warming.

Comments   Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 06:06 PM on 11 Mar 2008,
  • Rob Welch wrote:

There is of course no such thing as a "green" tax - this is simply taxing normal life in places where they think they can get away with it. If "gas guzzlers" were completely removed from the new car market it would take 25 years or so for them to vanish from the roads and the difference is CO2 is virtually nil - so putting a levy on is the taxation equivalent of asking if you've stopped beating your wife yet. The only sensible response to the threat of global warming is major infrastructural change - for example mandating that 25% of all office workers have to be working from home within 3 years. The British tax payer is getting a very poor deal with successive governments flushing vast amounts of cash down the toilet in the form of pointless wars,ridiculous "reforms", and hopeless schemes like PFI and PPP. Oh and did you see last week that the average waiting time for a hospital appointment has gone up?

  • 2.
  • At 07:46 PM on 11 Mar 2008,
  • stanilic wrote:

The fact that the Chancellor needs to raise taxes in an economic situation where no taxes should be raised at all, is a sure statement of the failure of this government.

That the government will use the evidence of global warming to justify raising taxes on road fuel and large cars is a sure statement of the duplicity of this government.

I also expect they will go for a double whammy of higher taxes on alcohol because of supposed `binge' drinking. This will be a sure statement of the hypocrisy of this government.

This government has lived fat on the bogus prosperity of the credit boom. Now that illusion has disappeared we are left wondering how long it will be before the government goes the same way. Will they still be there when the money runs out?

  • 3.
  • At 08:17 PM on 11 Mar 2008,
  • Matt wrote:

And it'll probably be the reason why everyone votes conservative at the next general election.

  • 4.
  • At 09:04 PM on 11 Mar 2008,
  • Ian Harris wrote:

It is clear, if the post is true, that Alistair Darling is going to try one of the oldest and shabbiest tricks in the book by trying to bury bad news on the economy with a claim to be going green.

There is a big hole in the figures and he needs to do something to distract us. The only problem is he can't blame the guy who was there before him as he is now his boss.

Hopefully people will see through this as a cynical ploy. Trying to claim to save the environment is just a base scam from New Labour to cover up their mistakes.

The mismanagement of the economy over the past few years with Northern Rock, massive amounts shoved into both education and the NHS with little apparent positive results and two unpopular wars that seem to be pulling in more and more troops and money are just the beginning of it all.

An impending recession allied to a soon to be freefalling housing market and rising inflation will all show up the so called prudent Prime Minister and his acolytes as the fools they are.

  • 5.
  • At 11:56 PM on 11 Mar 2008,
  • Mark wrote:


If the big banks pay a 'massively disproportionate amount of corporation tax', why have you been trying so hard in the last 6 months to sully their reputations & damage their prospects?

What is your motivation? It cannot be the well being of the country.

  • 6.
  • At 01:25 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Yummy Carol Kirkwood wrote:

"No more tax and spend"? Don't make me laugh!

"No more boom and bust"? Well we've had the massive boom (in public spending) - guess what comes next?

Labour ("New" or otherwise): plus ca change...

  • 7.
  • At 02:00 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Paul wrote:

I wonder if he'll bring back window tax but with the new twist of only levying it on empty properties. With all the empty new build flats out there he could make a killing!

It would also make people sell properties rather than hold out for better times resulting in better supply/demand and reducing the need for more new builds. Should keep the estate agents happy too. Sorted!

  • 8.
  • At 03:43 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Kristinn wrote:

It's going a bit wrong for the government. The economy dives, tax revenues dive and the government dives for global-warming related green taxes. This comes just as the statistics show the planet potentially cooled last year by 0.5 degrees. The scientists are at a loss to explain this outcome, as it does not fit with the results produced by their climate models

  • 9.
  • At 06:25 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Martin Montague wrote:

Green taxes is just a lie to raise more and more money from a failing econony. Since this government came to power I can tell you what green taxing has done to me.

1.My rubbish stinks in a bin getting collected half as often and I pay 25% more for it. They only recycle what makes them the most money.
2. The cost of heating my house has doubled because it is oil fired and the taxes have increased.
3. Every time I even get in my car I am financially raped in the name of being green.
4. When I drive my car I am sick of getting tickets for being 3MPH over the limit in the name of safety from fixed cameras that are nothing more than tax points.
5. I am fed up with paying as much as I earn in parking to the council with car parks that just charge a fortune.
6. The average person in this country is running out of credit to pay for all this stuff and running out of patience!!.

I am sick of it, If we lived in france there would have been revolt by now but we all just seem to put up with it.

  • 10.
  • At 08:49 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Dave Balkwill wrote:

No doubt Brown's puppet will (if speculation is to be believed) announce that the 2p/litre fuel duty levy will be postponed until September due to oil price rises. By my reckoning the price at the pumps has gone up by at least 15p a litre since the last levy, meaning the exchequer is already coining in an extra 3p/litre in VAT on the differential between last years' price and now. If Darling plays on the fact that he is doing us all a big favour over the levy issue when he is at the despatch box he should be shot down in flames.

  • 11.
  • At 08:53 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • steven goodban wrote:

Had the chancellor not been so hasty to sell off the gold reserves when he did we would be £9 billion better off. Money that we desperately need now. How the Government have squandered our assets. The obsession with taxing and finding new initiatives to spend it on, which invariably cost more than originally thought, is also coming home to roast..
Why didn't prudence save for a rainy day??

  • 12.
  • At 09:25 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Salmondwinsagain wrote:

Will pigs fly????? - call them red, blue, or green, a tax is a Tax, and this lot are the absolute masters of it - roll on the next General Election so that those who have ruined UK PLC can be booted out - what a DISASTROUS 10 years.

  • 13.
  • At 10:05 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Sebg wrote:

Let us look at a normal week:-


1) Get up to go to work, take 50 minutes to travel 4.5 miles in my car due to the deficient road infrastructure in this country. The government actually invests less than 10% of funds generated by road tax and duty on petrol back into the road infrastructure. A better road network would reduce travel times and show a drastic fall-off in impact to the environment, but that means spending money of course, not taxing Joe Public... Don't be silly!
2) My wife drops off the kids at nursery because we have to bring two incomes into the house due to multiple direct and indirect taxes already in existance (income, duty, VAT, capital gains, inheritance, etc etc etc etc etc)
3) I work in the engineering industry, which means that I must put in at least 11 hour days due to the massive shortage of technically skilled people within the sector, due to massive numbers taking expat packages and emigrating to countries where the government doesn't squeeze every last drop out of you before hammering you into the ground and then stealing your pension benefits.
4) My wife picks the kids up from nursery and pays the monthly cost, which is in excess of £1200 for two kids. Where are the government funded nurseries and childcare options so often promised and never delivered? Even having the ability to use it for just one day per week would massively reduce our childcare bill.
5) Go home via the supermarket and spend £100 on the weekly shop, the same shop 2 years ago cost less than £80...
6) Walk past the wheelie bin on my way into the house, and it stinks because it hasn't been emptied for almost two weeks. It is full to the brim with all of the perishable waste that can't be recycled. I think I see the tail of a rat as it scurries away from the bottom of the bin, but it is dark because it is so late, and I think that I must be hallucinating after another 50 minute drive back, giving a 14 hour day including travel time.
7) Miss my kids' bedtime again because I am too late.


1) Same as above, but when I get home and go to pick up the wheelie bin, it hasn't been emptied because the lid wasn't fully closed and had 0.5 cm gap which due to health and safety rules means that the bin man won't touch it. What do I do with a full bin of rotting waste for a further two weeks?


1) Same as Monday, but this time my wife has to leave work to take the kids to the doctors because they have both been very unwell at nursery. She calls to make an appointment and is told that the next available slot is almost two weeks away, unless she doesn't mind waiting for a couple of hours in the surgery waiting room for a cancellation... She has no choice...


1) The light at the end of the tunnel as the week is almost over. I hear on the news how the government has lost a disc with all of my family's details on it, including home address and bank account numbers, which means that the paltry savings that it has taken us years to scrape together are now under threat. Apparently this will all be a lot better if we all have to carry identity cards around with us and allow the government to keep ALL of our details on a huge national database with over 200,000 users having access to all of that sensitive info... Of course it will...


1) The end of the week, fantastic! There is a crash on the dual carriageway on the way to work, which means a 4 hour journey into work, which means I won't get away until 10pm that night... Apparently a man with a history of driving and drink driving offences has caused his fourth crash in four years, and each time has not had his license taken away from him, or been sent to prison as the law dictates... Congratulations to the government for again getting it wrong again. But they are worried about the prison system overcrowding... and prefer a gentle slap on the hand as opposed to the proper sentencing procedure as defined by constiutional and case law. No wonder offenders constantly reoffend when there is no deterent. Eventually get home at 11pm.


1) Wake up in the morning, open the mail, and amongst the dozens of junk mail, that you cannot stop receiving (how many rainforests could be saved by passing a law that allows you to delist yourself from these mailing lists and makes it illegal for companies to send there garbage to you! But again that means cost to the government, not increased tax), is a letter from HM Inland Revenue. Apparently, I have been undercharged for the last 4 years on my income tax and I must pay £7000 by Monday afternoon or I will be charged interest and risk court and imprisonment! Our plans to take the kids to the science museum are no longer viable as I must scrape together all the funding that I can.


1) After frantic phone calls yesterday, and numerous attempts at securing a loan for at least part of the amount, I have been told that lending criteria has been changed, and I will not be able to secure a loan, even though I have a perfect credit rating. The credit crunch has stopped banks lending money to each other, especially higher risk individuals. I run a credit check online to see why I may be classed as high risk, and see that I have a bad rating with HM Inland Revenue over a £7000 outstanding tax bill!!!!!
2) My father calls, my mum was out shopping with her friend yesterday, was pushed to the ground and had her handbag stolen by a group of 4 men in their early thirties, none of which were speaking English. Apparently the police know of a gang of assylum seekers operating in the area, preying on elderly ladies. They know who they are, know where they live, but cannot touch them as they do not have enough evidence to support their deportation. Apparently elderly women who have lived in and contributed to this society for decades are infirm as witnesses and cannot be relied upon. It also transpires that two of the suspects have been refused assylum in the UK, but can stay here for another year, living off the taxpayer as they appeal the decision...

The joys of this government... and now, due to bad financial foresight and planning, Joe Public is about to be hit with even more taxes disguised as 'green' to bail out the incompetence of 'new' Labour... Disgusted and shocked...

  • 14.
  • At 10:09 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Martin wrote:

Gordon Brown is a very clever politician. But he will be viewed as the worst chancellor in the history of this country.

Gordon Brown knows that it is the economy that influences peoples votes (Conservitives "Black Wednesday"). So over the years he has allowed all this personal debt to accumilate along with high public borrowing, to create this illusion of prosperity.

1997 to 2007 should be known as "The Binge Era". (The borrowing Binge and the drinking Binge).

The party alas, is over, the Hangover era is just beginning.

Hopefully the next general election will see high turn out and an end to this dreadful administration.

  • 15.
  • At 10:13 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Scamp wrote:

When this penchant for green taxes was first introduced Gordo promised that the money raised would be used to fund R&D in new clean technologies.

He lied. This has not happened. In fact it would seem to most involved in the energy sector that the Treasury would much prefer that every other country developed the technology we need so that we can just buy what we want from them.

The City of course doesn't help either. US investors put $2bn into clean tech start-ups last year. The UK invested about three shillings and sixpence except of course when it came to Carbon Trading where City types make handsome commissions out of a mechanism that achieves absolutely nothing in terms of either reducing global emissions or supporting UK clean tech entrepreneurs. But then that's par for the course for the City.

  • 16.
  • At 10:27 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • tonyw wrote:

Labour fundamentally believe they know best how to spend OUR money, so its always been tax and spend. Unfortunately when we have this combined with possible the most incompetent government ever then it spells disaster.

Oil and gas production has peaked and will relentlessly decline. Whilst we need to quickly reduce our dependence on oil these taxes will just be seen as another grab on our money. What is needed is for a ban rather than just taxes which don't matter to those with their snouts in the trough or celebrity friends who are rich enough not to care about a few pence.

We need to:
Ban sales of new cars over 300 g/km with a three month period with a long term stated plan to reduce this further each year. Say 250 by the following year, then 200 the next and so on.
Impose a 55mph/90kmh speed limit.
Electrify all rail – do not order new diesel engines.
Stop expansion of airports and roads with immediate effect.
Simplify planning permission for renewable generators and encourage renewable generators.
For all new building ensure they are fully self sufficient for heating, e.g. insulated to German “PassivHaus” standards.
Apply a tax on electrical devices over their working life that is equal to the cost of offsetting the electricity/CO2 down to the level of A+ or A performing devices. This will encourage people to buy A class devices since now people often tend to just look at the initial price and others who have no interest in the running costs just the up-front costs e.g. landlords, builders.
Make all consumer goods have a 20 year life span and built to be easily repaired not thrown away.

  • 17.
  • At 11:35 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Steven Turner wrote:

If they were green taxes the revenue would be spent on green investment. It takes 50kw to produce 1 kilo of hydrogen from water. If we invested all this "green" money in windmills we could probably have enough hydrogen to produce methane (using the Sabatier reaction or Fischer-Tropsch process)in large enough quantities to provide the fuel for our gas powered electric generation plants. Even our residential gas could be sourced from this, so I don't think that this is a green government, rather a lying incompetent bunch of thieves.

  • 18.
  • At 11:54 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • tonyw wrote:

A bit more:-)
Brown would claim to be Swampy's brother if he thought it would buy him any extra votes so don't listen to what he or his darling say, see what they do.

Revenues in four key alternative energy sectors - biofuels, wind power, fuel cells and solar photovoltaics - will more than triple to $254.5 billion by 2017, market research company Clean Edge has claimed.

We need to be heavily involved in this otherwise we will just have to import it all. Our oil production is worth something like 2.5 billion a month so as it runs out our trade deficit will be another 2.5 billion a month out. This is without taking account of gas imports. We are up the creek.

  • 19.
  • At 11:58 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • p.kelly wrote:

Few quick points:
1. Is Mr Peston a Global Warming(man-made) believer? Has he got the faith? Thought it was de rigeur now to up the quota of 'Climate Change' parroting in comparison to 'Global Warming'? Hard to maintain the latter in light of coldest ever 2007 southern hemisphere winter and record snowfalls in North America and China 2008.

2. CO2 and its taxing apparatus is completely bogus. For instance, the Govt. are about to hit gas guzzlers(>225gCO2/km?) again in the budget. Yet the boss of Bentley, Herr Pfaegen, was able to declare last week at the Geneva motor show that Bentley would achieve sub 120gCO2/km by 2012, for its 6.75litre powered cars by use of the 'wheel-to-well' method. This ia a ruse whereby if biofuels(eg. E85) are used in the engine the manufacturer can claim the reduced CO2 emission from the fuel creation as part of the vehicle's emissions to overall sink the emission figure from north of 400g to sub 120g per kilometre. It's all nonsense. Biofuels, E85, ethanol etc. are a con. They have lower octane numbers(energy density)compared to petrol/diesel, so more has to be used for the same performance, and worst of all the dash for corn production for ethanol production has rocketed the price of basic cereals and all products downstream like pigmeat.

3. Has Mr Preston considered that a gas-guzzling green tax of say £1000 excise duty, proposed for the budget, could just be the last straw for the sale of Jaguar and Land Rover? Tata was supposed to confirm the purchase from Ford last week at Geneva, but it's all gone very quiet. Tata may well be reconsidering the acquisition with £5+ gallon fuel and now £1000 purchase tax, which would apply to all Jag/LR products. There's still around 20,000 people employed directly by Jag/LR plus as many again conservatively in the supply chain.

  • 20.
  • At 12:42 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Tim wrote:

Even without Green Taxes, the writing is on the wall about the price of unsustainable fuel and transport and has been for a long, long time. There are a lot of people complaining about the cost of driving to work here. How about taking some responsibility for your own decisions? I chose to live near my work and I cycle. No, it is not luck, I did it at my last job, 100 miles away when I lived there. Fuel tax and prices - I chose a life where they do not affect me. Perhaps those who resent green taxes on fuels should start to make structural changes in their lives. It's a pity that most contributors seem to naiively believe a Conservative administration is all they need to solve their transport problems. Do they really think that they will all be able to consume fuel and pollute without cost, just because a slightly different bunch of short-termist incompetents "run" the country for a while?

What about the pre-budget? In the last year I have had a drive by council tax band change, forced off my managed service company, targeted by the IR35 legislation and then for income splitting, this sold to the public under the pretence of "targeting the PRIVATE EQUITY BOSSES"
This government is all about take take take and waste waste waste.

  • 22.
  • At 01:11 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • AMK wrote:

Why do people assume that extra charges to gas guzzlers will somehow solve the environmental crisis? It is primarily too small a problem relative to aircraft, trucks, buses. The message you also send out is, 'please, don't be too successful'. wealthy people do not buy gas guzzling cars. They buy premium branded cars. The fact is, pressure needs to be placed on automakers to sell green, efficient cars. If a gas guzzling Range Rover was standing in a showroom adjacent to an identical performing/looking/feeling environmentally friendly Range Rover, almost everyone would buy the greener model, hands down.

The same goes for aircraft travel, and buses and so forth. There needs to be a solid effort made to create a genuine solution and replacement for fossil fuels. Because at the end of the day, if you can afford a Range Rover, you can afford the fuel consumption. And £2,000 tacked on to the price of a £60,000 vehicle is really not much of a deterant. Same goes for the daft London congestion charge.

  • 23.
  • At 01:44 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Pastymuncher wrote:

"Mr Darling said an extra £2bn will be spent on troops in the frontline, including £900m on military equipment."

So that's where the green tax goes..

  • 24.
  • At 01:49 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Soapbox wrote:

What a wonderful world we live in. The only interest in the planet and green issues by UK govt is to hijack it to collect taxes. I obviously haven't seen the scientific formula that states that Co2 declines in direct relation to amount of tax paid! Note also in Govt land that we sinners must all be punished by tax for flying and trashing the environment however at the same time building a new runway will have no affect on the CO2. Some new formula relates Co2 to economic growth! Why do we pay increased taxes to BAA and Govt when it is they who want a new runway! These are all new laws of economics and Science to me!

  • 25.
  • At 01:50 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Neil wrote:

Sigh, one thing i would love to know!

I have just come back from Australia where they have just announced that the government has appointed a 'fuel cost' minister. This bloke has been told to reduce the cost of petrol, diesel and other fuels or, at least, keep the cost from going up!

What does our government do? They charge extra under the guise of 'being green'! Do they not see that there is only so much that this country can take, we are not fools and we will crucify the government at the next election!

  • 26.
  • At 01:59 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Peter wrote:

Wot i dont understand is that i have a brother who is only 20 years old and eva since he left school he has neva worked he has always clamed benefits he has to go to the job center to sign on once every two weeks. Now he has got married they clamee together and by doing this has stopped my brother from going to the job center once in every two weeks so he still gets his money this is fastrating for me that i work and pay tax that payes for him . I am 24 years old and have worked since i left school how can the goverment alaw people with no illness or disability get away with this i think in America they let them clame benefits for a max of 6 months then money is stopped why can not the UK do this also i see money going to waste???

  • 27.
  • At 02:13 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • OC wrote:

£26m in the budget to help make homes greener.

A laughably small sum - it shows how seriously the Government take green issues.

  • 28.
  • At 02:16 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • mickworld wrote:

Sebg (# 13)

Re junk mail, contact mps (mail preference services) or tps (telephone) (

They can add your address and phone number to the "do not send junk mail to" database

Takes a few weeks, but I get hardly any now

  • 29.
  • At 02:26 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Nick wrote:

A government dedicated to Green issues would set a timescale for the motor industry to build cars with a minimum mpg of 100 and a comittment to producing drivetrains using alternative power sources. There is not a government in the World that will make unpopular decisions, the retention of power is more important than limiting climate change.

  • 30.
  • At 02:37 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • sarah wrote:


My husband works in the computing industry. He is told where he has to go by a line manager one week to the next. For the next six months he has to travel 150 miles a day. He likes to be responsible for his actions but how can he possibly cycle 150 miles a day. He has looked at trains and 1: a train does not get him there on time 2: it is cheaper to go by car. Maybe we should move like you suggest. After taking our negative equity, moving the settled children from their school etc we will be poorer than we are now but at least abit of the ice will not have melted. Before spouting your waffle please think that not all people are in the position that you are in.

  • 31.
  • At 02:54 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Anonymous wrote:

* Matt wrote: And it'll probably be the reason why everyone votes conservative at the next general election.*

Exactly and you know who will be shouting the loudest about the state things are in 2 weeks after a new government gets in, finger pointing for all they are worth.

This budget has blown binge drinking and large engined cars out of proportion, they want the extra taxes in these area to fill a deficit, but people will stop drinking and driving as much, so they will still be left with a giant hole in their spending! should have stuck £5 on cigarettes at least smokers have a dependency, you can rely on their custom for awhile.

  • 32.
  • At 04:18 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Alistair MacMillan wrote:

How long have the Official Monster Raving Looney party been in charge?

Blair/Brown were going to cut taxes and stealthily increased them year on year and now Dear Darling has told us straight that he will increase the overall tax burden - at least he's honest about it - but that's not why I voted Labour - never again will I make that mistake!

Soon this will be the most expensive place to live in Europe. I'm off to somewhere where the taxes I pay don't go to pay for government mistakes and minister's families.

The figures don't add up - unless we are going to fund another "nationalisation" of a failed business - Labour Party maybe now they can't have their cronies paying them for favours?

Enough! Vote 'em out!

  • 33.
  • At 04:21 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • David Raymond wrote:

The same old stuff from Labour, tax, tax, tax and then tax the middle classes a little bit more!
Hopefully this budget will prove the death-knell of this awful administration.
I work a sixty hour week, have a daughter trying to get through university, I live in the country and can't use public transport (It doesn't exist!). I have never been so poorly off in my life!
I'm also a life long supporter of Labour but after this my allegiance has gone.
This party has ruined this country, thanks Tony and Gordon! Make sure you get your expenses up to date.

  • 34.
  • At 04:27 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Alex wrote:

SebG great post, only a few more years and we can finally get rid of this lot

  • 35.
  • At 04:53 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Ric Eagles wrote:

A friend just emailed me about the Air Car,you can see it on Youtube.Runs on compressed air and is,after some years in devolopment,going into production.Orders are now being taken for delivery by 2010 in USA.Why has this "government" not obtained a licence to manufacture.Perhaps they haven't found a way to tax air.But why not tax when a road licence is renewed???
Or are the car manufacturers blocking this for profit motives and not considering the polution/green issues.

  • 36.
  • At 05:41 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • S Vickers wrote:

"Stamp duty on shared ownership homes will not be required until people own 80% of their home".

Nothing new then for those of us who work hard, pay taxes and insurance promptly but still can't afford to move due to being 'stamped down' by Stamp Duty.

I have had a good rant about this budget on our blog.

I am fed up with the so called green credentials meaning tinkering here and there. Some decisive action really wouldn't be that difficult. Getting every home to use Cavity Wall Insulation, Solar Water Heating, Energy Saving Lightbulbs is easy if they really want to.

The thing is that this is also an investment. The payback of all of these is undeniable. Therefore borrowing to invest is not a problem. I guess the problem is that the benefits wouldn't be realised for a few years and so governments can't see votes in it.

I am not for all green policies but using more efficient technologies is a no brainer!

  • 38.
  • At 07:12 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Ian wrote:

Like most of the poeple who have commented here, I work a long week in a reasonably good job to provide for my family. I also support my partner who is a full time mature student.
We are not frivolous people although we do run two (old) cars and own a three bed semi.
I'd like to take the opportunity to perhaps echo the feelings of others but mostly my own that yet again I feel like I'm being raped of my hard earned by the thieving Labour scoundrels. My car was damaged the other day as I drove over a huge pot hole in the road, I phoned the council: "Not my problem chum". Where exactly is my road tax going?
Apparently I earn too much (not that much I assure you) to qualify for any tax credits or any additional funding for my other half's further education. Maybe I should go part time or better yet go unemployed so that I can scrounge some of my own money back off the state.
But what angers me the most and sickens me to the very core is that the whole "Green Tax" is a load of old tripe. Why take my money? I work for my money. Perhaps it would releave the governmental coffers if Darril and Shaznay (or something similarly frightful) were encouraged a little more vigerously to seek employment (dole reduction?) and discouraged from having 74 children and claiming tax (thats a joke) credit for each and every one.
If I could say one thing to dear old Darling, it would have to be "Please sir, I can't afford for you to take any more of my money".
On second thoughts, I've had enough of this dreary country. Time for me to take my (apparently essential) skills and hot foot it to a more welcoming land. Anyone want to join me?

  • 39.
  • At 07:32 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • peter wrote:

The Chancellors proposed plastic bag tax would be counter productive. People recycle these as bin liners etc. If I have to pay (whether its a tax or not) for a plastic bag I will take my own bag. But it will be a cheap one(costing less than the tax)with no name on it.
The result is, therefore, no reduction of plastic bag use merely a transfer of cost from the shop to the shopper.
If companies have their logos on bags they should issue them free and pick up the tax for the shopper or pay shoppers a decent rate for carrying their advert!
Thus offsetting the tax for the shopper. But once again I cannot see how use of plastic bags would decrease.

  • 40.
  • At 08:14 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Peter wrote:

Has no-one thought about simply adopting the great American alternative to the plastic supermaket bag .... the Brown Paper Bag ? Contrary to what we are asked to believe, there are actually some great practices across the Atlantic and, by the way, this doesn't kill trees; it promotes responsible forestry ! The Chancellor and some retailers are kidding us yet again; their cynical concern is revenue, not our environment. Stop the culture of issuing threats and bans, and offer us positive alternatives for a change. Gordon could even put his name to something useful, for a change: The 'Brown' Bag !

  • 41.
  • At 08:29 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Laurence Edgar wrote:

Buried in today's budget the Chancellor announced the sexist measure of setting up a £12.5 million enterprise capital fund to help WOMEN (only) entrepreneurs.
Men with good (as well as bad) ideas will be turned away because they were born male and are to be discriminated against again!
This is unlawful, as well as unfair. Surely it is in the Country's interest to back the BEST entrepreneurs, not just the female ones.
Because 51% of the voters are female, women pull the political strings but that does not entitle them to act like tyrants and thieves.
Will anyone legally challenge this blatant discrimination perhaps forcing a Judicial Review?

  • 42.
  • At 10:11 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • billy wrote:

Thanks Labour another forgotten budget for the carers in this country i work 80hrs a week 7 days for £89. Thanks though for the £1.35 raise! i'll have to give up my wee dram by the looks of it, according to the BBC calculator i will be £26,30 worse...

  • 43.
  • At 10:39 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Victoria wrote:

Taxing on drink really irritantes me, we have to deal more with the scocial aspects of Briatin to stop binge drinking!
No matter how much you put tax up people will still drink cause its part of our culture sad as it is!

  • 44.
  • At 11:31 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Andy wrote:

Tim says he has chosen a life where fuel tax and prices don't affect him, by living close to where he works. Unfortunately the house price boom has seen to that choice for a whole generation of young people.

I work in south Manchester where a nice house in a nice area where I would like to live is hopelessly out of reach. Instead I have chosen to live nearly 30 miles away and pollute the environment with a long commute.

If I had only been in a position to buy a little earlier - many colleagues saw their own houses rise from under 100k to over 300k in the couple of years before I started work. Unfortunately salaries didn't triple in that period.

  • 45.
  • At 06:35 AM on 13 Mar 2008,
  • Mr White wrote:

Taxing "Gas Guzzlers"... We pay more tax on petrol, car tax and new car price's than many other coutries already, and most of the roads in Britain are a mess. Where does all this tax we are paying go?, we dont see any benefits from it. Why not charge more tax the real contributors of co2???? instead of the average joe, never seem to hear any one in government mention the small percentage that cars really contribute. Taxing on alcohol to stop "binge drinkers"?.... another excuse for more tax rather than tackling the real problem.!

  • 46.
  • At 11:43 AM on 13 Mar 2008,
  • Tom Taylor-Duxbury wrote:

A green tax to a "non believer" is just tax.
No need to try to make me feel good by taxing non existent guilt.
Non existent guilt is based on real science rather than received wisdom. Luckily for me I beat the stupefaction of the masses and can read, analyse and try to understand several pieces of data!
So for us heretics it's just a another day under NuLabour. NuLabour are so certain they know how to spend my (our) money better than I (us) that they can demand even more to invest in the sticking plaster of complexity piled upon complexity.

  • 47.
  • At 12:28 PM on 13 Mar 2008,
  • Phillip Mcgrsagory wrote:

This budget is completely and uttelrly pointless, no NEED!

  • 48.
  • At 03:18 PM on 13 Mar 2008,
  • Warren Wright, Southampton wrote:

The rise in NI banding effectively neutralises the 2p drop in income tax for anybody earning £40000+.

4p on a pint of beer will effectively add 20p at the pub on the average pint due to the way that duty will be higher on drinks containing more than 1.2% alcohol!

Another con trick from a Govt lacking any real ideas. Their time is up - or will be at the next election!

  • 49.
  • At 03:22 PM on 13 Mar 2008,
  • Terry Lunn wrote:

Why is it that your extimates for tax credits, using your budget calculator, are diffrent from, and higher than, those published in, say, the Telegraph?

For example, taking a married man, aged 35, working 37 hours per week, with a non working spouse, with one child under 16, with annual earnings of £10,000.

According to your calculator, the tax credits would be £5610.40; according to the Telegraph, the credits would be £5539.

In other examples, the difference is much greater.

Which is correct? Yours or the Telegraph?

I am doing some research on this matter and would be most grateful for your informative reply.

Thank you.

  • 50.
  • At 03:34 PM on 13 Mar 2008,
  • Yummy Carol Kirkwood wrote:

In terms of the green credentials of yesterday's budget, just how much carbon dioxide do plastic bags release into the atmosphere when they are buried in landfill? Obviously burying plastic bags in landfill is very environmentally unfriendly, but it does not (as far as I can tell) contribute to climate change and that is the massive problem facing this planet for the next few decades or even the whole century.

You can't fool all of the people all of the time, but New Labour have managed to fool a lot of people over the last 10 years, and it seems like they just can't wean themselves off that particular habit.

  • 51.
  • At 04:14 PM on 13 Mar 2008,
  • Terry Lunn wrote:

What a lot of moaning minnies! I have read through all the messages and have failed to find anyone who has anything good to say about the Government.

Whatever people may think about the Government's macro economic policy, at the micro level, it is quite simply a myth (as your budget calculator reveals) that the Government does not give substantial help to a wide range of individuals in varying circumstances.

The tax credits system (yes, I know, it has had serious administrative shortcomings, but it is better, much better, to have this financial help than not to have it) has provided enormous assistance for those with children, with a bias, of course, towards low earners, but benefiting everyone up to earnings exceeding £50,000 per annum.

The system has one or two aberrations - inevitable when the tax and NI bands are being realligned - but, on the whole, nearly everyone, including single people without children, and also including the middle classes, has seen an improvement in their personal finances as a result of this and former budgets.

The Chancellor has been exceedingly generous in his attempts to enhance assistance, even in these difficult times.

I suggest that your other bloggers use the BBC calculator. Half an hour using this tool, testing a variety of parameters, will go a long way to dispelling the outrageous myths perpetrated about this Government.


  • 52.
  • At 12:31 AM on 18 Mar 2008,
  • Yummy Carol Kirkwood wrote:

Talking of (public sector spending) boom and bust:

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