Experts have been analysing the recent mini-budget. They have probably worked out that it wasn’t very mini and it also wasn’t a budget.
It was technically a fiscal event. The difference is a budget requires the Office for Budget Responsibility to look at the impact of the measures. A fiscal event simply has people like me looking into it.
So far the best thing about the scrapping of the 45p tax band for people earning over £150,000 is that now the top rate of tax starts just after £50,000, which means I actually stand a chance of being a top rate taxpayer.
How’s that for social climbing?
How are things going to be paid for if the tax-take is dropped? A paranoid person would remember the 1990s and the feeling that taxes were kept low because stealth taxes made up the shortfall.
Governments don’t want to look like they’re taking tax but they don’t mind getting to your money by increasing duties on items they could claim to want to restrict like cigarettes or alcohol.
That’s not the case this time, the planned increase on alcohol was scrapped.
Just when the conspiracy theorist part of me was starting to settle I saw the news story about one police force that has lower speed limit threshold which will trigger a surge in fines.
Previously the force had a tolerance of 10 per cent plus 3 mph.
If you were in a 20mph limit they would only fine drivers doing 25mph.
They have lowered it by 1pm, which has seen a large increase in the number of fines issued.
It’s in the category of “sin taxes”, things that it is morally hard to defend.
Speeding is wrong, so charging people when they are caught doing it is on the side of good. The question remains, why change the tolerance now?
Are speedometers more accurate now?
It doesn’t seem that way. I am always startled by the difference between the reading on my car’s speedometer and the speed reported by the roadside speed traps.
However, it remains the case that if you want to avoid a fine you simply have to avoid speeding.
We should then bring in fines for other annoyances.
£20 for walking slowly with sideways drift so that no one can get by you. £40 for leaving your bagging till after you have scanned and paid for your items. £100 for not indicating when you’re turning left on a roundabout.
If we bring these in we’d pay off the national debt in no time at all and I don’t need to Office for Budget Responsibility to tell me that.