It seems like Philip Hammond is the man with the hardest job in the land, trying desperately to find the pennies and pounds to keep our country churning.
The problem is, when the person on top has no idea about business, spending or saving and as such makes uninformed promises, it leaves the people below with the task of picking up the pieces, to keep the faith amongst the good citizens alive.
So, here we are. Theresa has made a promise to increase spending on the NHS by over £20bn a year in England alone, leaving spreadsheet Phil with the nasty job of crunching the numbers and delivering the unwelcomed news that there will be a rise in taxes to cover the costs.
In a speech he delivered yesterday, Hammond was basically forced to explain that there will be UK tax rises rather than borrowing, in order to shoulder the burden of the extra NHS spending. Which, without all the pomp, means people in the UK will have to carry the cost.
The fact remains, it was only last week that Theresa was waffling on about a ‘Brexit Dividend’ which could be used to pay for part of the NHS spending, yet a pre-release of Hammonds speech has no sight of any such dividend.
If the money man doesn’t include the ‘Brexit Dividend’ as a funding source, then it’s pretty crystal clear that this so called ‘Brexit Dividend’ is another fantasy, dreamt up by Theresa, to convince herself and the people that Brexit is a good idea. Well, it’s not. And these fantasies are actually lies upon lies upon lies.
We’ve got the top economists in the UK saying, there is without a doubt, no ‘dividend’ and leaving the EU costs the economy much more than staying in the EU.
To spell it out, Theresa is trying to gloss over how fucked up the economy is. So, congratulations to all the Brexiteers out there who have just lumbered their children and grandchildren with massive and unnecessary bill, because ultimately, a strong and stealthy economy wouldn’t need an increase in taxes...
Conservatives Manifesto 2017 (Conservatives.com)
... The very taxes which Theresa pledged in her 2017 manifesto she had a firm intention of reducing.
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(This piece was originally published on the Pimlico Plumbers blog.)