Lynne Featherstone

MP for Hornsey and Wood Green

my blog
Lynne's Parliament and Haringey Diary, established 2003

The Budget

Mayor’s Question Time is cancelled because the Mayor has lost his voice. I might have thought he was simply dodging the rapier sharpness of my questioning if my ex-husband hadn’t seen him the week before in Cannes at some developers’ junket. (Nice work if you can get it!). Apparently he was pretty sick and ill there – so undoubtedly he is really ill.

This gives me an opportunity to work from home and watch the budget at the same time. Very luckily as it turns out because at midday I get a panic call from the Ham & High asking where my column is. Being an organised sort of person – I am horrified to learn that I was meant to have written one by the deadline of two days earlier. Even the Ham & High said they were worried about me and thought something had happened as I am ultra-reliable.

But no – just a mistake. However – by the now extended deadline of 2pm I have written and sent column to said publication. Whew!

Back to the budget. Brown presents it as all good news, but when the analysts get down to it the doubts come in. And thus it comes to pass that the £200 off council tax for pensioners is for one year only and will disappear in the Council Tax re-banding in September. And free bus travel – we already have that in London. The stamp duty higher threshold means very little here either. So – not sure that it’s much of a deal. Faint breeze in a teacup I would say.

Wed 16 March 2005
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