Distinctly uncomfortable interview with the Chancellor on the radio this morning. For a man with no 'Plan B', he rather suddenly announced that the bank tax was being brought forward with no notice - a good thing, but smells of panic.
It was also announced that the privatisation of the Search and Rescue service is being cancelled. Not because giving such activity to companies searching for 'efficiencies' (i.e. more profit) is a bad idea - which it is - but because the bidding consortia cheated. Imagine my surprise…
Dame Elizabeth Hoodless of Community Service Volunteers yesterday said the Big Society is actually killing volunteering. Finally, there's a letter in the papers from all the big charities pointing out that the NHS reforms are gibberish. There's clearly no intelligence driving the Tories' activities: merely ruthless ideology.
On the other hand: that £800m from the banks is just a distraction. According to this very interesting article, Osborne's about to make major financial institutions with overseas activities exempt from tax, while allowing them to claim money back for the expense of running overseas operations! This is theft.