Gordon Brown on Wednesday made what the British media and opposition parties widely judged to be the most humiliating and embarrassing policy change of his short career as Prime Minister: a climbdown over concessions to those made worse off by his scrapping of the lowest, 10 pence income tax rate.
The Friday night take-away, Saturday shopping spree and summer get-away are in line for the chop, as consumers become increasingly nervous over looming recession. Almost nine out of 10 Britons say they will cut spending on non-essential items to cushion themselves against impending economic downturn, according to a poll of 1,000 people for Web site Fool.co.uk.
Few people are more on the pensions money than Scottish Life’s Steve Bee. And he has some strong views in his latest “BeeHive” post following publication of our exclusive story on the soaring costs of setting up “personal accounts” — the government’s brainchild aimed at solving a looming pensions crisis.
The dust has settled on Alistair Darling’s first Budget and consumers have been given little reason for celebration. The Chancellor, though announcing various measures designed to increase housing affordability, has done nothing to help the masses.