Feeling let down by yesterday's pre-budget report, I turned to read the verdict of Boris Johnson's new Policy Director Anthony Browne:
"This was the payback Budget: the wealthy of London, or at least its bankers, had caused the economic crisis, and now they would have to pay for it through their pockets."
"Short of introducing a London banker tax, this is as close a direct hit that the Chancellor could get on those who brought the country to its knees. It is overall an Old Labour redistributive budget, yanking up taxes on the rich to help the poor."
Wow. Here was me thinking this was just another piece of New Labour tinkering which would fail to help the poorest. Turns out I was worrying about the wrong people:
"in London this effect is magnified massively: Alistair Darling has done far more to redistribute wealth here than anywhere else. It is redistribution with a capital R."
Better than spelling it with a capital M I suppose. So how about giving us some detail?
"the Chancellor's various measures to increase taxes on the rich - with different tax hikes hitting those on more than £100,000 a year, more than £140,000 a year and more than £150,000 a year - may be hardly felt at all in many parts of Britain, but in London they affect significant numbers....of rich people.
"All those on more than £100,000 a year will be at least £1,000 a year worse off because of the halving of their personal allowances. All those on more than £140,000 a year will be at least £2,000 a year worse off because of the scrapping of their personal allowances. It is almost as though the Budget is the revenge of England on the affluent of Kensington and Chelsea."
You almost sold it to me there Anthony Browne. You almost went and managed it.