Friday, 16 March 2012

What I'd like to see in the budget...


Over three years, Bradford Council will reduce it's cost to the taxpayer by around £100 million representing about a 25% reduction (although, dear reader, you should note that it is only around an 8% cut to the Council's £1.3 billion budget). There have been some negative effects on front-line services but these are mostly the result of political choice - our Labour leaders, faced with a slower rate of savings from reducing bureaucracy, made service cuts rather than use reserves.

Central government should set itself the same target over the same time period - a reduction of around £170 billion. I'm not going to set out precise details - that's what that Jeremy Hayward chap is for - merely that, if local councils can successfully reduce spending to this degree, I am absolutely sure central government can do the same.

And half those savings should go straight into tax cuts - raising the point at which income tax starts to minimum wage rates, abolishing the 50p rate of tax, reducing duty on beer, scrapping the tax on holidays and set in train a radical simplification of the entire tax system.

Won't happen...but wouldn't it be nice?


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