I have long been arguing for Labour to stop using the regressive taxes such as national insurance and VAT to get their pound of flesh especially from the poor and deal with progressive taxes. Well today Alistair Darling did that but what has he done. It is another example of Dooh Nibor* taxation like the doubling of the 10% tax rate. It may not be as bad but it is another move in that direction. The personal allowance has not gone up from £6,475, this at a time when the Chancellor capped all public sector pay to a 1% increase, inflation is running at about 3%.
Pensions have been removed from index linking and now so has the personal tax allowance. The worse off are going to suffer more yet again. Yes they may well get a pay rise bit more of it is taxable and therefore their tax burden increases once again. Add on to this the fuel increase 3% in stages. I can see the bus fares increasing in stages at each increase and yet again by a higher percentage than the actual add on to the costs.
Under the Lib Dems the income tax personal allowance would rise to £10,000 pounds. The poor would be better off not worse as Labour have left them in this final budget before the general election. Yes it is costed Jeff counter balanced with making the tax system fairer, closing far more loopholes that Darling did earlier but as you say Labour have launched an attack on the poor.
As for the increase tax on cider, as David Heath has just said in the commons, it takes year to grow a harvest capable of producing cider. The sudden increase may well affect the artisan ciders rather than the high alcohol mass produced drinks that are a source of binge drinking. Heath suggested a production volume exception or a alcohol level to incur the 10% increase as alternatives rather than the flat rate suggested. But hey, flat rates are the Labour way.
* Robin Hood in reverse taking from the poor etc.