2013 Budget, the Bedroom tax, Cyprus and the Ruskies, Energy prices

At what point will our inglorious chancellor finally take responsibility for his decisions and their consequences, rather than continually blame the last government for “getting us into this mess”?  3 years and four budgets into their term of office it is all getting a bit thin.  Who created the global financial meltdown – the Labour party?  Who destroyed our industrial base and decided the UK should, henceforth, be a service driven economy?  Margaret Thatcher et al.  How could anyone in their right minds think an economy based on servicing ever increasing consumption was a good idea?  Look at the countries around the world not (much) affected by the omnishambles.  Mostly they have economies with manufacturing and mineral resources.  Didn’t anyone see that killing off steel, coal, shipbuilding and heavy engineering, and relying on service jobs was flawed?  Didn’t anyone see that service jobs are easily transferred abroad to countries where labour is cheap, where regulaton is non-existant and, frankly, where the populations are more interested in actually providing a service?  Jeez.

Now we, the tax payers, will fund a state underpinning of the mortgage market to “kick start” the housing market.  Doh!  Isn’t over-reliance on a property growth based economy how we got into this in the first place?  Doesn’t anyone remember anything?  A budget for “an aspiration nation” – the admen are at it again.  We want to encourage people into work – where are the f***ing jobs!?  By the way if you rent a house and have a ‘spare’ room you can’t keep it, but the government will help lend you the money to build a spare house if you like.  Presumably the cynical thinking behind that little nutmeg is that if you give people in rented social housing a financial break they will only spend the money on feckless things like food and heat, whereas second home owners will strip the shelves at B&Q, IKEA and Homebase  (on credit) to furnish their aspirational lifestyle.  The government of this pathetic country has lost all moral credibility (oh, sorry, it can’t lose what it never had).

Now, what’s going on in Cyprus (the Greek part)?  The EU tried to bully the Cypriots into plundering the savings of their citizens as a prerequisite to getting a bail out bung.  The Cypriots say “Upas Yourus” and cosy up to the Russians.  Now Cyprus (the Greek part) is already, apparently, heaving with Ruskies.  What do they possibly want that Cyprus has?  Certainly not souvlaki and yogurt.  Well, apart from sunshine, and being a great place to launder money (allegedly), it is strategically placed in the Eastern Mediterranean  – nicely near Israel, Turkey (on the southern flank of NATO), Syria and the Suez canal.  It’s all like poker.  The Cypriots know that Russia doesn’t have a naval base in the area…..and we are pulling our troops back from Akrotiri etc.  Nice big air base going spare?  Conspiracy theorist, moi?

Apparently the energy companies are only making obscene profits because the weather has been bad.  Thats alright then. Lying B***tards.  Throw another manifesto on the fire, that will keep you warm.  Anyhow, the government is now considering scrapping the winter fuel payment to pensioners; no doubt they will target “better off” pensioners first, but that’s the thin edge of the proverbial wedge.  How’s this for an idea: since the energy companies make even more obscene windfall profits in bad weather, why not tax that (levy the windfall) and give that to the pensioners?  Why not make the winter fuel bills discounted for pensioners (a paper exercise) and why not take VAT off domestic energy altogether?