The 2012 Budget is now only three weeks away but discussions of what George Osborne might or might not do have already started to creep into newspapers, magazines and television discussions.
Bruce Anderson has given two alternative speeches an airing on his Conservative blog which make for interesting reading.
We've just had the largest tax take for a January in the last four years and it is crucial that the receipts are not wasted. One of the big criticisms of the Brown years was that money was squandered during the good years, this return resulted in increased borrowing and we know how that all ended. The current Government are borrowing at ever increasing levels, of course like any debt the interest element increases day on day but what they can't be seen to be doing is simply adding to that debt by trying to win friends and influence people. The result of that will be that Cameron comes to be known as the leader of the Continuity Labour party in wider circles than the blogs of disaffected Conservative followers.
Capital Gains Tax is an area which some right wingers have an almost pathalogical dislike of and it divides more than any other tax, you only have to look at the comments below the article. The most obvious thing about CGT, as I have pointed out before, is that it doesn't arise if you don't make a gain, obvious I know, and surely the Government (whichever colour they are) should be looking at relief for investment not relief for disinvestment.
One of the comments that rings true with me is the, " I've talked to five small business owners this week and not one thinks that regulation or red tape is a discouragement to job creation," post. This is so true, excessive legislation is the enemy of the idelogical 'right' and yet the only time in nearly thirty five years that I have heard it mentioned in relation to jobs was when amendments to the working time directives came in 2000, the original directive having come into legilsation in 1993. Businesss don't consider paperwork or rules when taking somebody on, in fact as I discovered yet again last week during a two hour meeting with a client in Southampton sometimes thay don't even consider the cost!
I'd go with Version One, the second option makes no sense from a purely economical perspective but politicians do keep banging on about hearts and minds so who knows?