Smokers and top earners were clear losers in Britain’s budget this year, as the government hiked taxes on cigarettes and the highest incomes.
The year 2008 has been filled with unprecedented events and all-time lows, a financial system overhaul and global turmoil. Could the New Year herald positive re-evaluation and a positive turnaround? And in what has been a year of sleepless nights for many, will a nation steeped in debt start to curb excess?
Rate cuts figured high on the news agenda as banks undertook radical measures to stabilise the economy. Within the space of one week, Britain saw the lowest base rate since the mid-1950s, the ECB took its rate to a two-and-a-half year low, the U.S. Federal Reserve aggressively slashed rates and a 175 point reduction was made by Sweden’s central bank.
You know exactly what the population of Iceland is and can also pronounce the name of its prime minister.
Even the word ‘crisis’ seems to have lost its currency.
Countries pop up for sale on eBay for 99p and get few offers.
Posters on BBC messageboards stop discussing the undulating pitch of Robert Peston’s voice and listen to what he’s actually saying.
The speech bubble on Page 3 of the Sun is given over to discussing the credit crisis.
Financial market updates displace stories about Jade Goody on the tabloid front pages.
Bad news stories from government departments are rushed out day after day and not even the Opposition seems to notice.
Estate agents finally admit house prices have fallen but tell you now is a really great time to buy because the market is stabilising.
People marketing get-rich-quick property seminars don’t get taken seriously any more.
The Chancellor, writing in the Financial Times, says that “now, more than ever, we need new ideas”.
Your primary school-aged children know that credit crunch is not a type of biscuit and that IMF isn’t just a fictional organisation in Mission Impossible.
You go for a while without noticing one estate agent’s mini and then you see a whole bunch of them on the back of a car transporter.
A pensioner on the evening tube train from Canary Wharf gives up her seat to a banker because she reckons he might need it.
The Ivy rings to ask if you’d like a table tonight or any night.
There are no spare trolleys when you turn up at Aldi to do your weekly shop.
Do you have any better suggestions? All contributions welcome – please send in your selection.
It was the last thing diehard Labour activists wanted voters
to see as the spotlight falls on the party in Manchester this
weekend – two of Labour’s best known veterans bickering on
Sunday morning television over whether Prime Minister Gordon
Brown should stay or go.