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The Darling Bud(get)s of March

Our correspondent writes ...

Budget day approaches and the country waits with baited breath to see how they will be financially punished for New Labour's incessant failures and their propensity to waste public money on bureaucratic empires, toothless quangos, politically-biased think tanks, financially-motivated consultants and hugely-expensive but useless computer systems.

This year (2008) we have a new chancellor - the never-too-successful parliamentarian, Alistair Darling. But hey, lack of success is never a handicap in a New Labour government. If you do not succeed in one job, there is every chance you will be given another cabinet post where you can prove your worth to New Labour by not succeeding again. Just so long as you are a 'yes' man (or woman) and preferably have some Scottish blood in your veins (or at least some credible association with *Scotland like you were educated there), that will do for Gordon Brown.

 * Holidaying in Scotland doesn't count.

In a couple of day's time we will know the worst. Obviously, most changes will revolve around 'green' issues because these days you've just got to be green. Anything that improves the ecology is good for the world and good for the UK. Especially for the UK as it is the perfect excuse to create thousands of extra jobs for busybodies and, most importantly, if it's not green it can be taxed.

So let's try some guesses for Wednesday's budget:

  1. First on the hit list? The motorist! So that will probably mean a special purchase tax on gas guzzlers like 4x4s, people carriers and estate cars. Then there will be more duty on fuels even though existing pump prices are already at record levels.
  2. The consumer will be hit with the usual increases on everything pleasurable - like alcohol and tobacco - but they will also pay extra for everything else they buy that has to be transported on any vehicle using that awful stuff called fuel. No-one in the supply chain will want to absorb increased fuel costs by cutting their profits so muggins will have to pay, as usual.
  3. Next target will be your leisure. If you drive your own car or Winnebago, your holiday will cost more because you need fuel. If you go by rail or coach they also use fuel. If you fly, the bad news is that aeroplanes also use fuel but they may also qualify for additional taxes as they are particularly bad polluters, except when they are trundling politicians around the globe for cultural visits or any other kind of junket. However, the government wants the airline industry to 'make a greater contribution towards its environmental costs' so it will aid the effort by expanding airports. More runways ... more big birds to pollute the planet. Makes sense, eh?

If it doesn't make sense, remember the whole thing is to do with the GREEN lobby. The government want to force us to use environmentally-friendly vehicles. In the old days they used to be called pushbikes or horses but there was still a need for some fuel-driven vehicles, including the ones that emptied the dustbins and cleared up the horse poo.


Off-the-hook will be the companies (like energy suppliers) who rip us off at the slightest excuse, non-doms who earn vast sums of money in the UK without paying any taxes, and useless bureaucrats who don't contribute anything worthwhile through their work efforts but get paid decent salaries to bump up their gold-plated pension schemes. There are also many others ... but you know who they are!

Alistair Darling, MPFor the rest of us, nothing but financial pain. No-one in government ever stops to think how we can possibly fork out all this additional cash when our earnings don't even keep abreast of inflation. We just have to find a way - like cutting out holidays, turning off the heating, and going on a food-free diet.

In the latter case, you will be making a valuable contribution to the environment because no food means no tins or packaging, no plastic carrier bags, and hence much smaller landfill problems. You will be considered green.

Alternatively, if you're a non-smoker, you could start smoking. Heavily! Then you will turn green. If you make sure you're in Parliament Square when this happens, those who represent our national interests will be overjoyed to see so many green faces vomiting recyclable matter all over the forecourt. And don't worry if you're caught. Prisoners aren't affected by budget increases. Their biggest worry is that there may be a reduction in the number of satellite stations they can watch on TV.

And the winner is ...

Yes, you've guessed it ... the government.

After an uninspiring budget speech that had most people yawning, it followed the usual format - give with one hand, take back with the other. With definitely more emphasis on taking than giving.

If it's something you need, like a vehicle, New Labour will tax it. If it's something you enjoy, like a drink or a smoke, New Labour will tax it. If it's something that's not already taxed,  New Labour will try to find a way tax it.

Well you didn't really expect any giveaways in the budget, did you? Any chancellor who won't buy enough dye to do his hair as well as his eyebrows is never going to be generous!

Visitors' Comments

SW, London writes:

Alistair Darling pah! All these modern day crooks should have to shop at Netto, eat pork butts and drink sewage. I want a refund.

"Many men stumble across the truth ... but most manage to pick themselves up and continue as if nothing had happened."

Winston S Churchill

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