Monday, June 03, 2013

Balls' bankruptcy of economic ideas

The trailering by Ed Balls and the Labour Party of the concrete measures to handle the nation's grave economic crisis their party largely caused, spread around Twitter last evening, was completely absurd.

According to the BBC, the one concrete move to halt payment of the winter fuel allowance to wealthy pensioners will save considerably less than one  billion pounds. Ridiculous enough, albeit to my mind a significant first step against universal benefits, which is much to be welcomed, where then is Labour's embracing of universal means testing?

This winter, living in France as I do, the EU suddenly made me eligible as a UK pensioner to receive the UK fuel allowance. I wasn't going to claim, but on reading that the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne was claiming as Parliamentary expenses the central heating costs on a farmhouse he owned somewhere or other, I decided so to do and a payment was duly made.

The thought occurs that as I am a non-taxpayer in the UK, could not wealthy UK residents escape to the EU, pay their taxes there and thereby defy this sudden new levy?

Is this yet another example of a purely cosmetic tax adjustment, made entirely for show and doing nothing to address the real grave issues faced by the economy of the country?

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