Yesterday saw the budget and Labour’s last throw of the dice to try and re-establish some credibility for their mishandling of the economy.
There was nothing unexpected in the budget, and the widely tipped increase to the threshold for Stamp Duty for first time buyers to £250,000, was announced to a flurry of papers being waved in the Commons chamber.
I suppose the real question is how many people will this help? How many people pay £250,000 for their first home?
I suspect that this will help very few people, and those people will hardly be the most in need of help. Where was the help for people waiting on the housing queue for years? The 20,000+ people waiting for a Council or housing association property are to get no extra help whatsoever.
What most people didn’t realise was that there was a hidden tax increase in the budget.
While the Lib Dems are proposing a raising of the personal tax allowance to £10,000, (a tax cut of £700 for most taxpayers), Labour froze the personal allowance, which in real terms is a tax rise for ALL taxpayers.
To make matters worse this disproportionately affects the lowest paid taxpayers – those people who would be helped the most by our plans to raise the tax-free limit to £10,000.