Osborne’s tax and benefit plans

‘The Mail speculates on George Osborne’s pre-election budget, citing Conservative sources who say firm policies include: cutting the welfare bill by £12bn by restricting child benefit to three children for new claimants and extending a freeze on benefit increases; cutting the overall cap on welfare claims to £23,000 per household from £26,000, raising £5bn through a crackdown on tax avoidance and evasion, raising the threshold for the higher rate income tax to £50,000 by the end of the next Parliament, and providing a further increase in the personal tax allowance. The paper adds that Mr Osborne is planning heavy penalties on tax advisers, including the big accounting firms, banks and others that set up and promote tax avoidance scams.

Source: Daily Mail’

“Scams”? Shurely shome mishtake: they must mean “schemes”. And “heavy penalties for promoting them”? That would be a penalty for doing something which is within the law, then. A novel idea: not one which we could wholeheartedly endorse. What next? Points on your licence for not exceeding the speed limit? A prison sentence for not beating your wife?

David Whiscombe


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