Wednesday, March 24, 2010

It was a Giveaway Budget for Getaway MPs

Little attention has so far been focused on the main beneficiaries of the pre-election Budget. I've identified 8 measures that will evidently help MPs who lose their seats, as many are bound to do following the expenses scandal.

Many ex MPs will struggle to get 'proper' jobs and will instead tout themselves as consultants or 'cabs for hire'. The rest will have to try start new small businesses.
  1. Remember the Chancellor talked about doing "more to combat financial exclusion, through a guarantee that everyone can have a basic bank account"? [Even MPs who have become pariahs]
  2. And we were told that "Budget 2010 also announces a package of measures to help people make the transition back to work" [Departing MPs will need as much help as anyone]. One of these measures will ensure "the eligibility of the Working Tax Credit to people aged 60+ if they work at least 16 hours a week, rather than 30 as currently." [Of particular value to ex MPs who can't get that much work]
  3. What about "ensuring that the supply of lending to the economy supports the recovery [of MPs after they stand down/lose their seats]"? Of the new money that Lloyds and RBS must lend, "£41 billion of this total being lent to small businesses [many to be run by ex MPs].
  4. There's to be a 'small business credit adjudicator' to help "ensure that small businesses [run by MPs] are treated fairly when applying to their bank for finance. [Who'd want to lend to them otherwise?]
  5. The Budget announced "an increase in the threshold of the Annual Investment Allowance to £100,000 for qualifying expenditure incurred from April 2010." [Should be very useful for ex MP's kitting out their new offices as the old limit of £50k would not have been enough given their past experience of and preference for expensive taxpayer funded items].
  6. Another measure that will help ex MPs is the the small business rate relief whereby "eligible small businesses occupying properties with rateable values up to £6,000 will pay no business rates for one year from October 2010."
  7. Older MPs will be pleased to note that they may be allowed to continue working outside the House beyond the "default retirement age" of 65 as "the Government intends shortly to launch a formal consultation on reforms to the Default Retirement Age."
  8. The Chancellor said he was "relocating civil servants from expensive London offices to elsewhere in the country." What he didn't say but may have been thinking was that this should be another way to help MPs who lose their seats. It will be much easier for them to do their lobbying locally.
I could go on.
The one Budget announcement that is so evidently NOT intended to benefit departing MPs is the "two-year stamp duty land tax relief for first-time buyers for residential property purchases up to £250,000". Everyone knows most ex MPs would be at least third-time buyers given they already have two homes!

What did I miss? Which other measures may have been selected, designed or intended to benefit the MPs who lose their seats or who are not standing in the General Election?

1 comment:

  1. To be honest, the stamp duty adjustment is really a token nod to the audience - another exercise in trying to convince voters to stick with NL for another term.

    I think possibly likewise on the cider tax - although with different motives (good way to generate some revenue, while looking like you're tackling a so-called "problem" which you really don't want to tackle through other more valid means). :)