Monday, October 03, 2011

Never knowingly misinformed

Ian Cowie, personal finance editor of the Failygraph tells us that freezing council tax, "as Chancellor George Osborne proposes to do today", will not only save the average family £72 a year but help bring home a fundamental difference between the Coalition Government and its Labour predecessor.

But, actually, this is not the case. Even if we were to concede the propaganda point of this being a "saving", the announcement assumes a 2.5 percent increase in council tax. The average CT in 2010/11 is £1,439. Thus, the "savings" in 2012/13 for 5.7 million households in Band A – the largest of the bands - will be £23.98. Only the 130,000 households in the highest banded properties – H – will "save" £71.97 pence.

And that is why we buy the Failygraph (not) – a paper which truly lives up to its motto … "never knowingly misinformed". They simply do not realise how crap they are. Or perhaps Cowie really believes that the "average family" lives in a Band H house.

Sadly, though, he and his newspaper have missed the opportunity to indulge in a bit of dark humour. With taxation, one is used to the idea of robbing Peter to pay Paul, but this - on the face of it - is robbing Peter to pay Peter.

Then, when one recalls that "Peter" is not being paid anything, but merely "saved" having to pay something extra, this is more like a case of robbing Peter in order not to rob Peter (under a different head). For a government, that is quite creative.