EXCLUSIVE PHOTO: George Osborne behind the scenes before tonight's debate

 

 …And can I just say:

How can you have “a tax on dead people”, as George Osborne kept on going on about? Yes, you can tax estates. But I’m not worried about my estate being taxed after my death if it pays for decent care in my retirement. Are you?

Why on earth did Osborne quote the salary of the head of Barclays in relation to banks which we, the public, bailed out? Doesn’t he realise that Barclays didn’t receive a penny of public money during the banking crisis?

Staggering – new MPs expenses regime – it's almost like the real world!!!

At long last, what seems to be the final word on the expenses episode, from the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority. Hurrah!

I must say that I think it is absolutely crazy that MPs will still be allowed to employ their spouses – it wouldn’t be allowed in business. The IPSA originally recommended to end spouses working for their partners. Their consultation overwhelmingly supported this. But they caved in after pressure from whingeing MPs. It’s ridiculous and totally inappropriate.

Having said that, I’m delighted that we’ve at last got the final word on the whole sordid mess, and particularly cock-a-hoop that MPs will only be able to rent a one bedroom flat in London – and that with production of receipts. Have a look at the market – the £1450 pcm limit will get an MP a nice flat, IMHO.

Also:

  • There’ll be a computerised expenses system!
  • Production of receipts for everything!
  • No payment for gardening or cleaning!
  • No payment for travel to/from work!
  • £15 limit for an evening meal if working!
  • No first class travel

It’s almost like the real world!

Pass the smelling salts!

Tories – all over the place on the economy

They used say “deficit” every second word. Now George Osbourne is spraying around largesse without a care in the world as to where it will come from: “efficiency savings, darling” he says, waving away enquiries with a limpid hand.

LibDemVoice reports on Saint Vincent’s response to Osbourne’s “schoolboy economics” plus the IFS view:

The Conservatives claim that the spending cuts can, in effect, be rendered painless by efficiency savings that they say their advisers have identified. Whether or not that is true, using the bulk of these spending cuts to finance the NI cut means that they are not available to contribute to the task of reducing government borrowing that the Conservatives have set such store by. Reducing the deficit more quickly than the Government plans to will therefore require even greater cuts to public services spending, or to greater reliance on welfare cuts or tax increases that might be as economically costly as the NI increases they are seeking to mitigate.