Episode 10 – It’s a budget special! We look at the implications of Osborne’s mess, pay whatever the opposite of a tribute is to Iain Duncan Smith and Tiernan talks with David Powell from the New Economics Foundation about the budget’s effect on the environment. Plus an official budget calculator, sort of, and more Partly Big Society!
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INTRO LINE –
BUDGET CALCULATOR PART 1
Hello. Welcome to the official government budget 2016 calculator. Question 1: Are you a multi millionaire?
Oh well. Hahahahahahahahahaha
Hello and welcome to the Partly Political Broadcast. I’m Tiernan Douieb despite what the haters say. I don’t know about you, but I’ve been glued to the TV all week, which is partly due to an accident with some glue but mostly because, wait, you hear that? Yeah, that’s the sound of it all blowing up in heeeeee-rrreeee! Parliament has actually been exciting for once, with more dramas than an episode of a soap opera, but in this show all the characters are pretty hateable with no obvious leads. In the last few days George Osborne delivered a terrible budget, Universal Cretin Iain Duncan Smith finally realised he wasn’t fit for work and resigned and Labour almost had something to say about all of it. Almost.
So I’m not gonna fill this bit with waffle as usual, because this is a jam-packed episode, mostly due an accident with some jam, but also because there’s all those things to talk about, plus this week’s Partly Big Society and a great interview with David Powell from the New Economics Foundation on why this budget is bad for the planet as well as people. So tons of prime LOLs there.
So let’s start with, well whatever the opposite of a tribute is:
IAIN DUNCAN SMITH
On Friday Iain Duncan Smith resigned from his cabinet post as Secretary of State for Work and Pensions in what I’m sure history will describe as the only good cut the DWP have ever made. Apparently he left over the further proposed cuts to disability benefits, which after he spent six years making cuts to disability benefits, feels like if Donald Trump resigned because someone suggested putting barbed wire on top of his proposed wall. Or if Coldplay resigned because someone suggested they make their songs even less interesting. Or if Adele resigned because someone suggested she name her next album after whatever her age is. Or if Kim Kardashian resigned from whatever it is she actually does because someone suggested she does even less. Or if…you get the idea. It seems far more likely that Iain Duncan Smith actually resigned due to his stance on the EU clashing with that of the Prime Minister’s meaning he might be booted out at a later date anyway, or even more likely he resigned due to losing a court battle to suppress a release of documents that show just how badly his Universal Credit scheme has failed. The scheme was meant to be extended to 12 million claimants by next year & currently only 200,000 have joined which is not only missing the target but aiming the wrong way & instead shooting yourself in the foot. It’s also costing about £10bn more than it was originally proposed and suddenly you see why Iain Duncan Smith has decided it was a more attractive proposition to tell the world he’d had the sort of change of heart that usually requires an operation first.
I refuse to believe that he’s now suddenly a hero of those in need but in resigning Dunco-Donut has done one good thing. That’s crash the government around him. Who knew Iain Duncan Smith would be the one who’s disappearance would ruin a party? Firstly the proposed PIP cuts have been dropped as it’s not great PR if even Welfare Nosferatu says they’re too harsh whether he believes it or not. He also stated that Cameron and Osborne only care about people that vote for them and neglect others, which to be fair, was pretty obvious but again, nice to hear it confirmed. Like if John Travolta, Simon Cowell or Tom Cruise ever opened up, we’d all know he didn’t need to, but there’s a sense of satisfaction that he did. It must now be pretty clear to even the most dedicated Tory voters, that austerity really is a farcical ideology rather than a working plan, especially if you can use to give tax cuts to those with money while debilitating others. It’s almost as though George Osborne spent his childhood reading Robin Hood backwards.
David Cameron said in his official response to Iain’s resignation that he contributed an ‘enormous amount’ to the work of the government, which I think meant that now 4000 people on welfare have died as a result of his work, that’s a little bit more cash they don’t have to spend anymore. Well that’s a bit harsh. He didn’t just contribute that. In fact, wait, what’s the opposite of contribute? I’ll just do air quotes. Iain Duncan Smith ‘contributed’ a lot to how the government work. So here we go:
Iain Duncan Smith with your face like an evil demon who’s accidentally possessed a big toe. Like a wronged egg. Like a, well, a really, really horrible bastard’s face here are your worstest ever moments.
IDS future jobs chart –
On top of that figures suggest 90 people a month are dying after being incorrectly declared fit for work, youth unemployment is extremely high and his real first name is George. I did ask Twitter what sort of job he should go to next and top of the bill was a Dementor with 104% of the votes, followed by Nazi Scientist at 93% and a workhouse master at 76%. In a true tribute, I made those figures up but I do believe in them so I’m sure he’ll find a suitable replacement career soon.
His replacement Stephen Crabb is already doing him justice having previously exclaiming that people can become ex-gay, which sounds like a great superhero film, but I don’t think that’s what he meant. Crabb announced in the Commons that they’ve scrapped the PIP cuts and have no further plans to make welfare savings beyond the ones they’ve legislated for. Which sounds great except that the Conservatives have already said this doesn’t mean they won’t make further welfare cuts, they just haven’t planned to. Also there are tons more welfare cuts still to come through including the scrapped tax credits cut which is now part of Universal Credit. So unfortunately, unlike many of his policies or credibility, Iain Duncan Smith’s legacy continues to work.
INTERVIEW PART 1:
Budgets are, on the whole, extremely boring things. A dead eyed man with the crappest red lunch box you’ve ever seen, reads a ton of numbers and 12 months later things are still awful but now you can’t afford to buy wine to drown your sorrows about anymore. This year’s budget was spectacularly rubbish though and not just because they still haven’t made the little red case light up when you open it like in Pulp Fiction. Instead George Osborne’s workings out seem to make as much sense as spending the entire UK GDP on a giant duck who can fly us out of debt, though at least in that scenario you can see the bill coming a mile away. DO YOU SEE WHAT I DID THERE? Sorry.
To sum it up quickly and only slightly painfully, Osborne spent much of the budget shifting around company tax payments so that the money from that will come in a little bit earlier, brining in some funds. Sadly this also means the money won’t be there later when we might really need it, which is the sort of borrowing from the future even Doctor Who wouldn’t piss about with. Two out of three of Osborne’s previous targets have failed. The proposed tax credits cut means he breached his pledge for a welfare spending cap. Then his second target of borrowing falling for every year of parliament also failed, and not just because Dave still hasn’t returned his DVD copy of Babe: Pig In The City yet. Now the Office for Budget Responsibility have predicted a deterioration in growth forecasts over the next five years, which not only means I’ll never get to 5’6” but also that Osborne is likely to miss his third target of a £10bn surplus on public finances by 2020. That could also lead to even lower wages, and living standards too. So that’s three failed targets. If he worked in a phone shop he’d currently be forced to stand outside dressed in a mascots costume desperately assuring people that Blackberries aren’t just for twats. Oh and he cut tax for those with most money while trying to make further cuts in support for disabled people.
That last bit has thankfully been cancelled but that now means there’s a £4bn funding hole that can’t be filled. See? The giant duck idea really doesn’t seem that bad now does it?
But still despite all this, Osborne piled on the nonsense rhetoric at this year’s Spring budget, as we’ve come to expect. Once again Osborne went on about how we are the builders, which can only refer to how there seems to be more work needed than we were promised and it’s a lot more money than originally estimated. He kept saying how all of this was so Britain can live within its means, failing to say that the current government are the most means. Then of course all the stuff about how fast the economy’s growing followed by how many cuts need to be made as though human beings can’t string incoherent thought together to realize that the former now means there’s no reason for the latter.
The other phrase George Osborne kept saying was that this budget was for the next generation, by which I can only assume means he hates young people. Especially as they’ll be the ones that bare the brunt of many of the environmental problems caused by several parts of last Wednesday’s announcements. Sure it’s great that they can pay less for tampons and can stay amused by the GIF of Jamie Oliver dancing like a tit about the sugar tax as the world burns around them. But really the few good bits pale in comparison to the fact that being the ‘greenest government ever’ just seems to have been in regards to how much money their friends are pocketing through good business rates. Though I suppose it’s also very beneficial of George Osborne as lizards do thrive in warmer climates.
Anyway, to explain exactly what the environmental implications of the budget are, I spoke to David Powell at the New Economics Foundation, a think tank that promotes social, economic and environmental justice. Which sounds nice. Usually the words ‘think tank’ makes me imagine a lot of brains floating about in a cistern, but the NEF are a really great independent organization who I think, make a lot of sense. Here’s David to prove exactly that:
1.) Do you think, as George Osborne said, that this was a budget for the next generation?
2.) Should fuel duty remain frozen? What about the need for people to be able to afford to get to work? Or is freezing fuel duty delaying investment in renewable energy instead?
3.) Taxes for oil and gas have also been halved. What should the government be focusing on instead?
4.) £700m was announced for flood defence schemes. Will this be enough to tackle the constantly repeating problem of flooding in England in years to come?
6) Back in 2010 David Cameron said he would be leader of the ‘greenest government ever’, is he anywhere near making that vow? – Solar subsides have been cut, many green targets have been missed.
7) I recently read the IEEP (Institute For European Environmental Policy) report on the environmental implications of a Brexit. They think, depending on the type of deal, that a full Brexit could leave the UK in a very vulnerable position with environmental legislation. Do you think that’s the case? Should this affect how people vote?
8) Back to the budget. Is the Sugar Tax a smart move to tackle obesity or is it once again punishing people when it should be taking up the sugar increase with food companies?
9) IFS said that sugary drink tax operates same way the EU alcohol duty tax works which means really sugary drinks are actually taxed less than weaker ones. How does that work? And why is this just a tax on sugary drinks and not chocolate, cereal etc other food that contain high levels of sugar?
Nil desperandum – de-carbonising
10) Last question. A silly one: I’ve asked our listeners to tell me what they think is really inside George Osborne’s red briefcase. Have you any ideas?
BUDGET CALCULATOR PART 2
Welcome to the official budget 2016 calculator. What do you like to drink?
Fizzy orange or coca-cola.
That is unhealthy and so will be more expensive. To lower costs, have you tried drinking beer? Or oil?
But isn’t that worse for me?
So that’s the environment part of the budget. But what about the rest of it? And how does it affect you? Well never fear because I am completely unqualified in any area of expertise about it, which is why I’ve taken it upon myself to explain all you need to know.
In Education all schools are to be turned into academies by 2022. Which is great because before that schools were only turned into academies because they were failing, but now due to despotic ideology it’s been decided that all schools that aren’t privately owned by trust funds are failing. What makes this even more scary is that some academies are doing ok, almost half of academies run by the biggest chain Academies Enterprise Trust have been rated ‘less than good’ by Ofsted. They also say that pupils do ‘particularly badly’ in those schools. If you heard last week’s show you’ll know that schools are railroaded into going with certain trusts by the Department of Education and that means, by 2022, all kids could well be doing ‘particularly badly’ wherever they are. Which I suppose, in a way, creates some sense of equality across the board.
In the economy the government aim to create a million jobs by 2020 and employment is up by 20,000. Which is great but self employment is part of that and the average self employed wage is pretty low. As a self employed person I can wholly confirm that. And my boss is a dick too. Also zero hours jobs have risen by over 100k in the last 12 months to 801k so these jobs are about as secure as making sure you’re safe from a hurricane by hiding in a cardboard box.
Inflation forecast 0.7% for 2016, 1.6% 2017 which is great news for balloons.
In personal tax the 40% tax threshold rises to £45k from £42,385 which means that if you earn more money you can pay even less towards the the country you live in. Meanwhile corporation tax will fall to 17% which will be 22 percentage points lower than the US by 2020. Osborne also stated that anti-tax avoidance will raise £12bn by 2020, but it seems more like his method of dealing with tax avoiders is by giving them less tax to pay in the first place. It’s like saying ‘hmm we have a huge knife crime problem, let’s just make certain ways of stabbing people legal to fix it!’
Tax free personal allowance £11k to £11.5k in 2017 which Osborne says will take £1.3m taken out of tax altogether, except for VAT, council tax, National Insurance, car tax, and stamp duty assuming if you’re on an £11.5k salary you can ever buy a house which is unlikely. Unless you want a cardboard box for that hurricane which is seeming like a greater and greater plan.
People who save maximum of £4k towards a home deposit or retirement get a £1k top up every year until they turn 50. Even though that means unless you’re somewhere near 50 in the first place, you still won’t be able to afford a home by the time you get there due to rising costs. And you probably won’t retire for another 30 years either by then, if you don’t die on the zero hours job you’re being overworked at.
There is a new savings scheme for low paid workers which equals £1200 over four years, but the Money Advice Service is to be abolished which means many of those low paid workers won’t have anyone to advise them how to get that savings scheme in the first place.
Commercial stamp duty has fallen across the board which means if you’re a young person who can’t afford to buy a house, it may help get you on the ladder if you don’t mind unsecuring your wifi and saying your living room is a Bluetooth business. I don’t know what that means, but no one really does so you should be fine.
Tolls on the Severn Bridge are to be halved. Considering its free to drive from Wales to England, I think that means now you can demand to get £2.15 for doing so.
Beer, cider, spirits are frozen which is bad if you don’t like those horrible slush cocktails.
It looks like the 5% VAT on Tampons will be removed which is great. It’s only there as they are classed as a ‘non essential luxury item’, which is the opposite of true, unless like me, you’re a man who buys them as tiny bath floats for my synchronized swimming team of gerbils. So a good motion for women and Sir Fluffington’s side fishtail position.
Libor funds will be spent on children’s hospital services which is also good though it does sort of feel like everytime children’s hospital services are in need we’re gonna have to rally round bankers persuading them to start being fraudulent again ‘for the children’.
So ultimately if you’re a big corporation without kids who hates wine, tax, the planet but loves tampons and going to Wales, then congrats, you’re the big winner. If you’re not, well, 2020 isn’t that far away…..
Oh and of course there’s the sugar tax. George Osborne said: ‘I am not prepared to look back at my time here in this parliament doing this job, and say to my children’s generation, ‘I’m sorry, we knew there was a problem with sugary drinks, we knew it caused disease, but we ducked the difficult decisions and we did nothing.’ Which is funny as that’s what he’ll have to say about climate change, the housing crisis, the job crisis, the destruction of the NHS and every other problem that they’ll be facing. But still sugary drinks have been dealt with. If a liquid has sugar in it, it’ll cost you more than one that doesn’t. As a type one diabetic I do worry that this means if I have high blood sugars, will I get taxed more? Hmmm.
Coca-Cola have already rallied against this saying that the tax on sugary drinks will not reduce obesity. Sure, Coca-Cola, and apparently bears aren’t catholic. But you do sort of wonder if this tax is a good thing. Especially when it was championed by village idiot Jamie Oliver, who says things like ‘easy cheesy’ without irony and once said he didn’t understand ‘modern poverty’ leaving out how he also doesn’t get logic, bees or how to tie his shoelaces either. I just can’t help but wonder if rather than adding 25p to sugary drinks, we should just stick his stupid grinning face on all cans of Fanta to put people off in the first place?
Anyway, with a lot more insight into this, here’s David again.
INTERVIEW PART 2:
Thanks to David for some actual insight into the budget. You can check out the New Economics website at neweconomics.org and on their Twitter @NEF. They have a more full response to the budget on there that’s very worth checking out. You can also follow David at his own Twitter account @powellds so go do that.
I also asked followers of the @parpolbro account what they thought might actually be in George Osborne’s little red briefcase and I got some very funny replies.
@gabundy – Gareth – a small thermos flask of beans and sausages, a banana and his teddy bear. I can tell by his grin.
I always imagine he’d have that same grin if he was eating a cake or bludgeoning a puppy to death.
@EleanorMorton – a copy of ‘Each Peach Pear Plum’.
Which I’m guessing he reads regularly to remind himself of Cinderalla’s workfare situation and how that worked out for her.
@JonnyMounsor – Davy Jones beating heart. Jeremy Corbyn’s poppy. Limited edition Looney Tunes Pogs that came free in Wotsits.
@Nuncio2 – Simon Spooner – ‘How to be decent’ it’s his little read book.
READ! LIKE RED! Brilliant.
@wolfiesmiffed – A piece of paper with “7×8=56” written on it in crayon.
@thesamwat – the notorious Cameron/pig picture, along with BoJo for future use.
@COvenden_Photo A pigs head? Is he into that too? Would it fit? The head, in the case, I mean.
@Madi_ML – loads of tampons as a treat for his missus.
@knox_o – too disturbing to consider, but maybe his little red briefs?
@midlands_lion – A list of people who are getting no help from the budget. It reads, the poor, junior doctors, the disabled. Written in swan blood.
@daniel_woodrow – The liquefied souls of puppies, lambs and kittens, which he has to drink from hourly to delay his inevitable descent to Hades.
@fowkc – An enchanted portrait of himself that captures all his happiness, warmth and empathy. He can never look upon it.
@arighttwitt – his auxiliary skin
Uroboros Messiah – his spine
Alex Grace – his last halcrux
BUDGET CALCULATOR PART 3
Welcome to the official budget 2016 calculator. Are you disabled?
Hah hah hah hah hah hah
But I thought you cancelled the PIP cuts?
Yes we have. Hah hah hah hah hah
Oh and in this week’s show I’ve forgotten to mention Labour, which is a shame. Especially as they’ve actually said some things about the budget that were good, including demanding George Osborne step down and Corbyn said a nice line about how it’s funny that Osborne blames the last government because he was the last government. But just like Jeremy Corbyn completely didn’t mention Iain Duncan Smith’s resignation when questioning Cameron in the Commons on Monday, I’m not going to forgot to mention Labour and will come back to it at some point in several weeks time when it’s all irrelevant. I do sometimes wonder if Jeremy Corbyn is operating on a Derren Brown type level whereby he doesn’t mention the one thing we think he should, instead making us all think about it. That has to be it. Right? Right?
PARTLY BIG SOCIETY – SUNDERLAND LOLLIPOPS
Firstly a huge thanks to Jayne Mortimer and Daniel Barrett who sent me pictures of the party gifts they sent to Hampshire council after last week’s Partly Big Society please. They both sent excellently written letters too and I’ve posted pictures up on our Facebook and Twitter page if you want to take a look. I’ll try and set up a Partly Big Society page on the website soon too. If you haven’t taken part, there is still time so take a listen to last week’s show and get sending crappy party gifts when you can.
This week is an easy one and requires no postage. Sunderland council are threatening to cut funding for all the lollipop men and women in the area. I don’t mean people with massive heads and tiny skinny bodies. No I mean the incredibly useful road safety people who help supervise children to safety cross the street on the way to and from school. The council papers say that the cut will affect the most vulnerable group, child pedestrians. Yet they still seem keen to do it. So this week let’s get Partly Big Society working and if you could all follow @sunderlandlolly on Twitter and if you check their feed, there’s a link to a petition to stop those cuts. Get on the case people and those large headed skinny people can continue to help kids avoid road accidents.
And that’s it for this week’s show. Thanks again for listening and if you do enjoy please do let us know via our Twitter @parpolbro, or ParPolBro on facebook, or even email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Better yet, give us a review on iTunes and say something nice. Like ‘plinth’ which is always nice to say.
As parliament takes a break for Easter I might take next week off too, mainly because I need to write a whole new stand-up show for the lovely Machnylleth festival end of April and I still haven’t done that yet. However if something important happens I may be swayed to release something. Otherwise we’ll be back in two weeks and in the meantime check out Andrew Maxwell’s radio 4 show ‘The Late Agenda’ on the iPlayer as it’s really very good and all about populism.
This week’s show was brought to you by some numbers that were due in November but I’ve brought them forward, and a giant duck.
BUDGET CALCULATOR PART 4
Welcome to the official budget calculator 2016. How old are you?
This is a budget for the next generation. May we suggest you prepare yourself by watching such films as High Rise, Akira, 1984, Battle Royale, Mad Max Fury Road, Minority Report, The Hunger Games, A Clockwork Orange, Wall-E.
Yes. Have you seen our environmental policies? And that EVA is sooooo cute.