Diane Abbott called it right. According to Paul Waugh on Twitter:
As well they might. But do not be mistaken, although Liberal Democrats with narrow majorities over Labour MPs will be rueing the day they lined up for such a shafting, it is all of us who will be getting fucked.
Royally, in fact. While the Queen struggles to get by on £7.9m, while the banks cough up an estimated £2bn per year in return for the £850bn they were gifted, pensioners, the disabled, the unemployed, those claiming housing benefit, lone parents and pregnant women – fat cats one and all – will be ensuring that Britain’s books are balanced by the time of the Olympics after the one we are still spending billions on.
Whatever else you think of it, it is no-one’s idea of progressive. Nor is the raise in VAT, of which the richest 10% pay one in every 25 pounds of their income and the poorest 10% pay one in every seven pounds. Meanwhile our corporation tax will now fall to a level that, according to the Channel 4 News FactCheck, will make it the fifth lowest in the G20. Hooray for corporations!
Still, at least the cider tax has been reduced. I suggest you lay in a few bottles before the VAT goes up. You will soon be needing the warm glow and sweet balm of oblivion that they can provide, along with this beautiful evocation of Depression-era survival techniques from Tom Waits:
A warning: the last time Conservatives tried cutting public spending in response to a global financial catastrophe, it did not end well. See you on the bread lines.