Coffee House

Budget 2014: Has Osborne come up with a silver bullet for dealing with Ukip?

19 March 2014

3:21 PM

19 March 2014

3:21 PM

The Budget today contained a host of measures that’ll benefit the silver savers; those in, or coming up to, retirement. From January next month, pensioners will be able to buy pension bonds that offer a 2.8 per cent interest rate for a one year bond and a 4 per cent annual rate for a three year bond. This is far better than the rate available on the high street and will cost the government £170 million in 2015-16. It should assuage the pain, and anger, that many pensioners have felt at the government’s deliberate policy of keeping interest rates as low as possible.

Considering that defections from the Tories to Ukip have been particularly high among the over 60s, one has to imagine that this will have an electoral impact. Indeed, I understand that Osborne has had the 2014 marked down as the time to do a Budget for savers since 2011.

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The cleverness of Osborne’s scheme is that these bonds, the abolition of the 10p savings rate and the increase in the ISA amounts are all paid for by enabling pensioners to take out as much as they want from their own pension pots. So, Osborne has brought forward tax revenue from decades hence to now to pay for all this.

These reforms are, as Fraser argues, sound supply-side measures. But the attention heaped on the silver savers in this Budget shows how the old benefit from the fact that they vote in far higher numbers than the rest of the population. ​

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Show comments
  • andagain

    So, Osborne has brought forward tax revenue from decades hence to now to pay for all this.

    A measure Gordon Brown would be proud of.

    It should be popular.

  • Rillian

    Its quite a simple decision on who to vote for. If you think the old parties have done a good job and have earned their contracts being renewed, then vote for them.

    Just remember the wars Labour brought us, the lies the Libs brought us and well, the Cons have still to finish their lap of incompetency.

  • gerontius

    “Has Osborne come up with a silver bullet for dealing with Ukip?”

    The question strikes me as absurd. You guys in the westminster bubble thing must be crazy if you think that a two bit budget might conceivably influence the way I vote. I mean, there is ” A bit out of touch” and then there is “Hey man – you’re really away with the fairies”
    I haven’t even bothered to read the budget details, as I know that what Osborne gives with one hand he will take back with the other.
    I’ll continue to vote “none of the above” as in UKIP.

    Thanks all the same.

  • global city

    this idiot narrative has been doing the rounds with the MSM micro thinkers all day….. it is utterly riddled with core contradictions.

    Remember, yesterday the new UKIP voter was a simpering blue collar oldie who was skint and bitter…. now they are the new middle class who have saved for their pensions (responsible people) and will benefit from all these middle class goodies!

    Next week… UKIP voters feeling bitter because indigenous people getting the jobs Ukippers had moved to the country to do!

  • Two Bob

    Where were the tighter immigration controls then?

    Oh wait you cant do that in a budget.

    So much for winning over UKIP supporters.

    Dont think we have forgotten this very important subject Osborne. We are not easily bribed.

  • Mynydd

    Pension Bond at 2.8% is only just above the present 2.0% inflation big deal. What if inflation rises to say 3% as some are forecasting? What happens when the bank rate rises by the end of the year as some are forecasting?. Which ever way you look at it, the bond no way makes up for the lost savings under Mr Cameron/Osborne’s 0.5% interest rate.

    • the viceroy’s gin

      Yes. The Fed continued on with its QE deceleration today, so clearly interest
      rates will be rising soon. Boy George may be just looking for some
      marketeering buzz before that rise. Look at it this way, if he had to
      go out on the market and sell all that government debt, rather than printing
      his own cash to buy it, he’d soon be paying a lot more than 2.8%. And
      as you say, if inflation accelerates, the 2.8% is going to look cheap,
      when Wiemar conditions really kick in.

  • terence patrick hewett

    It is Osborne who is Nosferatu The Vampire: not UKIP. And we have a silver bullet for him waiting.

  • Denis_Cooper

    There won’t be many people who can put £15000 into an ISA each and every year; some others, a few, will find it useful if they come into some extra money one year from an exceptional source, say a legacy, and can shelter more of it from tax straight away; some others again, a few, will have used their £3000 a year cash limit each year and still have some extra cash saved outside any tax shelter that they can move into an ISA; but I think the greatest benefit for the greatest number of people will be the increased scope for putting money in well below the new annual limit, taking some of it out for a short term purpose, and then putting it back in without being told that they are exceeding the limit. But he could given those people that increased flexibility just by changing the rules so that the annual limit would be on net rather than gross deposits, which is how it should have been from the start.

    • Makroon

      I wouldn’t worry too much Denis, if Red ‘n Balls manage to stunt their way back to power, no doubt they will immediately impose a (say) £100k “lifetime” limit on ISAS. The muttering about “ISA millionaires” started in the Labour rags many moons ago.

  • James Allen

    Just a shame I’m only 32 really….

    • Wessex Man

      look forward to all those years you can put all that money away in!

  • southerner

    “Has Osborne come up with a silver bullet for dealing with Ukip?”

    No.

    • Cyril Sneer

      Indeed, I think the writer of this article doesn’t fully understand why people are voting UKIP.

  • Chris Bond

    This isn’t adding up.
    The pension bond is limited to only £10,000 and only 1 million of them will be made, how does that “assuage” anyone who’s been r*ped on their £100,000 + annuity by QE?
    And how has he “raised” the ISA limit when he’s merely merge cash and inv ISA into one with a limit of £15,000? Cash and inv together was £5,760 and £11,520 last year, which totals £17,280, which is overall £280 more, so its gone DOWN.
    And allowing saver to take the money now, means he taxes it now.

    ITS A PENSION RAID FOR GOD SAKE.

    • Kitty MLB

      Do go away Mr Bond you are talking out of your backside,
      and I think you have confused chancellors excellent budget with
      Mr Brown- silly man.

    • MirthaTidville

      Not sure about a pensions raid, but the thought of this as a `Silver Bullet` is laughable. The pensioners bonds firstly dont start for a year, they don`t say if they will pay monthly interest, which is what people need to live off. I suspect they will not. Although the rates are, I admit, attractive they are restricted to just £10,000 and only to people over 65!!…Hmm smoke and mirrors indeed. Anyways, nothing to worry UKIP, thats for sure

  • Tony_E

    This might be the warm up routine for next year. Will the Lib Dems really be part of the process in the next budget? Will the coalition even be visibly functional?

    National Insurance (especially the employers contribution part, a massive brake on job creation), is there to be reformed if the economy is growing strongly enough.

    Osborne could do almost nothing but that – reform N.I. and challenge the Lib Dems to vote that change down along with the further (probably already planned) rises in the 0% income band.

    There has to be a solid dividing line drawn between the big state Labour and Lib Dem philosophy, and a truly Liberal economic small ‘c’ conservative one. N.I. could be the right line to draw in the sand.

  • cargill55

    The pension change is huge but is mainly effective April 2015 and oNly starts to deal with the pensions and savings catastrophe since 2010 so it is not a silver bullet.

    • Chris Bond

      It deals with nothing. It’s a raid on the pension pot.

      • cargill55

        Of course it’s not. It frees up the pension pot as cash with only a marginal tax rate a lot better than buying a taxable and bad value annuity.

  • Wessex Man

    Tomorrow, just you wait and see, will be another day and all the smokescreens will be pulled back and it will be the usual Tory bilge.

    After the Euro Elections Ukip’s domestic policies will be coming out and it’ll be goodbye David, goodbut George.

    • HookesLaw

      Hello Ed.

      • Wessex Man

        oh Hooky, you could so clearly do better than that a few months ago, I suggest you go and lay down ina nice dark quiet warm room for a while.

    • Kitty MLB

      I am more closer politically to UKIP then I could ever be the Cameroons,
      just a grass root Tory floating around unrepresented, abused and ignored.
      The issue I have, is the fact my Kipper friends tell me at Con Home the fact
      that UKIP are still a party in progress, growing, even lovely Nigel has
      said this. So therefore, the issues are what do we do now. The country
      will not wait, the EU will lead us to destruction, the economy is gradually
      on the mend and the menace of Labour are waiting to pounce.

      • HookesLaw

        The EU will not lead us to destruction. I’m sure it needs reform and certainly the Eurozone will indeed draw its members into closer political and economic union. We will have to work out how best to stay on the fringes of that.
        Leaving the EU and joining the EEA like Norway will not make any material difference to us. And based on this the loony nutjob right will hand power to Europhile Labour.
        The EU will not go away and we will have to accommodate it even if not in it. To offer to leave it completely – to be outside its tariff wall and lose all the associated inward investment as well as other trade is economic lunacy.
        UKIP do not talk economics – they only talk racism these days.

        • English_Woman

          Not good enough. Reform will take too long and we still have a plethora of unelected Eurocrats in charge. I am purely concerned with democracy. If we had remained a sovereign nation and instead devolved power down to the lowest levels as they do in Switzerland’s cantons, we would not be in the mess we are in now.

        • Tony_E

          Why do you do it Hookes? You behave like a common troll, a foolish thing to do if you actually want to be taken at all seriously.

          Calling UKIP supporters ‘Racists’ is ridiculous – just at the time when many backbench Conservative MPs are calling for the same reductions in unskilled labour migration that UKIP campaign for.

          As for economics, you might want to consider the position yourself and find a cogent argument to hitch your wagon to.

        • Kitty MLB

          The EU does not want to reform and any smidgeon of a reform will take a very long time, and when they do eventually
          reform which will ultimately mean southern countries leaving
          and a smaller block of countries under Germanic control.
          How the devil will we be able to leave then.
          Yet I am aware it will be more difficult with us trading with the rest of the world, with the EU as our competition, and we will
          still have to pay the EU, but those are not reasons for not leaving. We were once a force in the world.
          UKIP are not about racism, yet I have to say they must stop this
          LibLabCon silliness and concentrate on their own party.

        • Two Bob

          You talk racism. You are the only talking about it.

        • Wessex Man

          oh Hooky, you are now descending to depths of the red tops, I used to find you to be quick witted and sane but now, well!

      • Rallan

        Yes, UKIP is a party in progress. It is being shaped by its members and supporters. Why not join up and be a part of it? We’re already making a difference, and the bigger we get the more effective we’ll become.

        You can see the deluded “Britain can substantially reform the EU, UKIP are just racist loonies” argument that the mainstream spout (see HookesLaw below). Everyone knows that there is no possibility of substantial EU reform on British terms, and the definition of racisim is now so broad that it covers anyone concerned about uncontrolled mass immigration. Even simple patriotism is demonised.

        We have to fight these blatant lies, and stand up for Britain and real democracy. UKIP is the first political party I’ve joined, and I’m proud to be a member.

      • Wessex Man

        well what you do is vote UKip in May and again in 2015, we are most certainly a growing party, growing courtesy of our friends in the north, south, West and East of all former poltical colours, of all ages and all working life experiences in all industries and practises, whereas the Lab/Tory/Lib/dums don’t!

        Labour are not going to pounce, they won’t even achieve the level of seats they had in 2010.

        Ignore doomsayers like poor old Hooky who travels in the fond belief that Cameron or Osborne know what they’re doing.

  • Kitty MLB

    Has George Osborne palled a rabbit out of a hat and shot UKIP’s Fox,
    Too early to tell.
    As a couple of people have already said, UKIP, well the name is on the tin,
    they rightly want us out, and for England to become Great Britain again,
    for us to take control of our own dynasty and remove ourselves from the EU
    dictatorship.
    Yet Labour winning next year will stop all that, pensioners many of them
    comfortable Conservatives will be impressed by the changes and utterly deplore
    what has happened to the Conservative party, as well as some others will
    see this as a step in the right direction, especially with things improving.
    Yet,They saw a Conservative chancellor flanked with loathsome Lib Dems-
    Grass Roots utterly deplore them.

    • HookesLaw

      ‘for England to become Great Britain again,’ ??
      Is that a slip? Certainly UKIP are basically an English Nationalsit party, skin heads dressed up in sharp suits. I’m surprised Salmond is not funding Saint Nigel’s travelling expenses.

      • Kitty MLB

        Its utterly unrecognisable that you and I belong to the same party,
        I tend to avoid Cameroons, do not exchange posts with them, unforgivable cretins ( some of them) yet I ignore them
        mainly because of the personal abuse they throw at UKIP
        which is not my party, yet you know the more you unfairly attack something the more others will defend them.
        Since when did everything become so personal and not about policies.

        • Wessex Man

          unfortunately for you and the Tory party, of which I was once a loyal member, the image of the Tory party displayed to the unbiased is that of Hooky and his ilk.

      • English_Woman

        May I just say “HookesLaw”, that it was “Nationalism” that enabled us to win wars. There’s nothing wrong with being loyal to your country. After all, doesn’t the EU demand loyalty to their flag and anthem?

        • Kitty MLB

          You make a very thought provoking point.
          Its also loyalty to your country which makes you wish to fight wars for her. Heaven Forfend, if we had a war, can we trust
          some of our present incumbents who hate this country, our culture and values to fight for us.

          • English_Woman

            It is something else that would not have happened had we been a Swiss type of democracy. Any major decision taken on behalf of “the people” should be done in consultation with “the people” and not decided by unelected civil servants in Whitehall or the EU.

          • Wessex Man

            the way things are going in the Ukraine after the EU tried bribing them to join, that war could be on our doorsteps a lot quicker than you think!

        • Makroon

          So, you don’t know the difference between “Nationalism” and patriotism ?

          • the viceroy’s gin

            …what would you socialist Camerluvvies know about either?

      • Two Bob

        You support the Green party right?

      • global city

        You live in a really strange little world… you are also quite clearly a suckhole. Your party ‘loyalty’ is embarrassing. You’re a grown up for God’s sake!

      • Wessex Man

        oh you are a wicked man Hooky!

  • WatTylersGhost

    UKIP has no MP’s yet has a huge impact on the budget. If the budget is all about maths, how does this add up?
    Ah yes, when you start to smell the Tory’s brown trousers, it starts to make sense.

    Love Britain vote UKIP.

    • tjamesjones

      Almost right – Love Ed vote UKIP.

      • James Allen

        Yawn

        • Wessex Man

          are you tired? didn’t you getyour little afternoon nap?

    • Chris Bond

      Trying adding up the fact that the overall ISA limit is down £280, The pension bonds are limited to £10,000 each (How is that of concern to people with annuities of far higher amounts), and the Chancellor has basically destroyed the annuities industry in the UK and raided the pension pot to fund the bankrupt country.
      Gordon Brown couldn’t have come up with a more damaging budget.

  • Makroon

    UKIP is all about immigration ‘n the EU. They have nothing worthwhile to say about the economy. Do they even have a policy on pensions ?

    • HookesLaw

      UKIP are all about foreigners full stop. And world war 2. They have a nostalgia for rickets and typhoid fever.

      • Two Bob

        Do you even have a job in the real world? I suspect not. Just **** off you horirble little worm.

      • Wessex Man

        Oh dear, it gets worse by the comment, you are clearly very rattled, emotional and sweaty. You know we’ve beaten you on al the points we raise about the EU, so resort to this type of bile, sad.

      • Cyril Sneer

        Immigration has been a top topic for a long time now and you like your peers may disregard it and scream racist at anyone who does not subscribe to insane open borders but you can’t expect people to not be listened to consistently about key topics such as immigration and keep voting for the same old gobshites. Hence the rise of UKIP.

  • English_Woman

    UKIP are primarily an ANTI-EU party and all the tea in China will not make up for the loss of liberty we are suffering at the hands of this European dictatorship. You think “silver” savers are morons? They, more than the rest of the population remember what life was like before we had a million rules and regulations thrust upon us.

    • Colonel Mustard

      Welcome.

      • English_Woman

        Thank you. I haven’t commented on here for a while. Nice to have a civilised debate with one and all.

    • AB

      Are you quite sure about that? I thought UKIP were working very hard to show that they weren’t a one-trick pony forever banging on about the EU.

      • rtj1211

        They are, because they don’t want to be stuffed like the Libdems were for having a silly policy to attract votes thinking they would never have to implement something different in coalition.

        It says something that they think there is a possibility that they could be in government and therefore they must prepare a manifesto with the realistic prospect of doing precisely that.

      • English_Woman

        I am not a member of UKIP but I do support their aim for sovereignty. Like them, I realise that most of our regulations & laws now come from Brussels. That one trick-pony has a huge wagon of directives to burn!

        • HookesLaw

          And even out of the EU all our trade regulations would be tied to common standards based on the EU because we trade with them and all other countries the EU agree trade standards with.
          Its rubbish to say all our ‘laws’ are set by the EU. We have just had a budget which has nothing to do with the EU.
          The ECHR has nothing to do with the EU.

          • Tony_E

            No they wouldn’t – only the trade done with the rest of Europe would conform to those standards. Whether other countries had agreements to the EU would have no impact on the agreements they had with us.

            Most of our trade will eventually be with the outside world, not a slowly collapsing trade block with sclerotic regulatory burdens.

          • English_Woman

            You’re missing the point.

            1) If most of our laws are made outside the EU. What is the point of the EU? It’s a customs union which is becoming increasingly protectionist, which is not what “free trade” is all about.

            2) Many of our laws come from other organisations like the UN. The UN and all its related quango’s are also taxpayer funded, unelected and undemocratic.

            I, for one, am not happy being “governed” by people who cannot be removed from their positions or have immunity from criminal activities.

            • Colonel Mustard

              A breath of fresh air. Please keep commenting. Your straightforward viewpoint is much needed here but watch out for Labour’s trolls. They are no doubt busy being briefed on their post-budget scripts but usually infest this place.

          • saffrin

            If the EU want to regulate themselves out of free trade why would we care when we have the rest of the World to do business with?
            You are most confused if you think Brussels will have any say on anything once we’ve left.

            • Alexsandr

              hooky, bless him seems to think the default position is we would be like Norway and remain in the single market. Of course whether we would remain in the single market is a decision to take when we leave the EU. But I dont see the point of not leaving the single market. its most of what is wrong with the EU.

          • global city

            only on goods we would sell to the EU. The US does not have to adjust their whole regulatory system in order to gain access to the EU… what a stupid statement.

            How powerful do you think the EU is? It has turned Europe into a declining shithole.

            • Wessex Man

              by golly you were lucky to get that one past the censors!

          • Wessex Man

            Is your nose growing Hooky?

        • MalcolmRedfellow

          Dangerous word, “sovereignty”. It translates differently for the UK, for Scotland, for the Crimea…

          As far as I can see from the OED, the earliest uses in this context refer to “the Soveraignty of Alsace” [1715], “many petty Sovereignties in the Neighbourhood of Canada” [1749] and “The United States, with thirty governors, for thirty independent sovereignties” [Cobden in 1849]. See what I mean?

          • English_Woman

            Call it what you like. Self governing? Power to the people? I want a say in how my taxes are spent. I want a say in how much I think MP’s are worth or whether the council tax has been wasted. I want the ability to have somebody sacked and put in prison if they are found breaking the rules we have agreed upon, not disappearing for a year and then suddenly reappearing back in some prime government seat with a fat pension waiting at my expense.

            I don’t want my money disappearing down a bottomless pit with no accountability and no say in where its going. At the moment, what we have is the complete opposite. I’m not even allowed to with-hold payment if I disagree to pay their “protection” money. How is that anything resembling fair or democratic? The EU is even worse, they can’t even balance the books and then have the cheek to ask for more money, when it is sorely needed here to support our overburdened socialist system.

            • Colonel Mustard

              Redfellow is a red fellow well served by his avatar. When it comes to sovereignty the reds think they should define it and bestow it and no-one else. Any suggested sovereignty that challenges their pecking order is “dangerous”. Any sovereignty that they impose is for our own good.

              Thus has England suffered.

      • Wessex Man

        Just as you are working very hard to try and blacken our name, we are still banging on about the EU as well as governance of this country.

    • Tony_E

      Lots of us remember what it was like before the EU rather screwed everything up with a rafts of regulation and corruption.

      However, it doesn’t add up that all ‘silver savers’ would naturally vote UKIP even if they agreed with the basic premise. If we get a Labour government in 2015, do you think that will get us closer to the Brexit? Besides that, do you think that the economy would be in a strong enough position in 2020 for even a UKIP majority government to lead us out of the EU?

      The EU is a mess, I won’t dispute that at all, and a mess I would like to be free of. But I’m not sure that voting UKIP, certainly not in 2015, will help us get free of it in the longer term.

      • English_Woman

        I just worry that we’ll be in an even bigger mess when the whole socialist construct explodes. Things are getting worse by the day and the amount of suffering “Le Projet” is causing is just horrendous. I just wish the whole ruddy lot of them would stop lining their pockets with our money and admit failure. Most of the inter-country co-operation can be done without the expensive middlemen who sit day after day, thinking up new ways to make life more unbearable for the lot of us.

      • Conway

        Well if people are put off voting UKIP, the odds of Labour being returned are greater. We need people to vote UKIP to get UKIP. The Lib Dems are tainted by having got into bed with the Tories and most of their vote will go to Labour. The Conservatives are alienating their core vote to the extent that a vote for them is, effectively, splitting the UKIP vote.

    • Kitty MLB

      Yes we need to be free of the EU and we need to be free from
      the EU Pavlov dogs, the wretched Limp Dums.
      The Conservatives are the only one, out of the three main parties who contain a smidgeon
      of anti-EU backbenchers, as well as being a legitimate political party.
      UKIP are impressive, and support England, but still are a growing party,
      and England needs dealing with to day

      • English_Woman

        You’re probably right, although I don’t trust Cameron one little bit, he’s Libdim in Tory clothing. However, UKIP have their place in politics. The Anti-EU movement would not have come this far without them.

      • global city

        I think that UKIP and eurosceptics should be looking at 2020, for the election AND the referendum. Any earlier and the establishment will con their way to an ‘In’ vote. People need to be really exposed to the huge impact that the EU has before they will vote to get out. A Labour government would betray their sycophancy to the project if elected…and the tories would utterly betray any anti-EU crap they may spout to win next year.

        Either way the horrific position we are actually in needs to become glaringly obvious to even the thickest and least interested person in the country.

    • colliemum

      Well said indeed!
      “Silver” savers and indeed “silver” citizens are not morons – they know full well that this bribe from the ever so generous government is only a small bit of what that government has taken out of their wallets first.
      Unlike a lot of non-silver citizens, we’re actually pretty good at basic arithmetic!

      • English_Woman

        I’m not retired yet, I’m a young 55… but when I do retire, I hope the patronising “silver” label has been dropped. It’s just as annoying as that droning phrase “hardworking people”.

        • colliemum

          Couldn’t agree more – I despise these facile labels.

          Personally, I despise the label “Silver” anything because my bl**dy hair doesn’t co-operate, and I was so looking forward to terrorising my family and neighbourhood with wild silver locks while brandishing a stick …
          😉

          • global city

            It betrays the fact that our political class see everyone as one group of ‘them’ or other….but not one of their own.

  • Tony_E

    Won’t help the Cons much. The UKIP vote is largely ‘anti’ – so therefore they will still be anti the ‘main three’.

    It will not help that the move will be spun as a cynical attempt to pull back UKIP defectors.

    • AB

      No, it is far from cynical, it is an attempt to show the difference between “down with that sort of thing” UKIP policies and Tories who can deliver concrete policies which benefit real people. No whining about immigrants or nasty bureaucrats in Brussels that makes you feel better in the face of a world you don’t like much, just stuff that means you get to live better right now.

      • Tony_E

        I agree – it’s generally a good budget, and the pension measures are a good liberalisation of a market that has been rigged against the consumer for years.

        Raising the tax threshold is good too, as is the fact that he has not lowered the threshold at which the 40% rate kicks in to claw back that loss to the treasury.

        But we still have to see a reduction in public spending, a fall in general taxation and a massive change of culture in the civil service with respect to waste and outdated practices.

      • rtj1211

        Funnily enough, the SNP got elected in Scotland not primarily because the Scots were obsessed with independence, but because they thought the Labour policies for Scotland were crap and the SNPs would be better (I”m not commenting on whether they were right or not there).

        Because in their manifesto, they had a cast-iron commitment to holding an independence referendum, when they won an overall majority they were morally obligated to hold one.

        I wouldn’t judge UKIP until they produce their manifesto for 2015 if I were you.

        It may be crap, it may be very good. Time will tell.

      • Wessex Man

        “I have a dream a fantasy
        to help me through reality
        And my destination makes it worth the while
        Pushing through the darkness still a nother mlie
        I believe in Angels
        Something good in everything I see
        I believe in Angels
        When I know the time is right for me
        I’ll cross the Stream, I have a dream
        I’ll cross the Stream I have a dream.”

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