Simon Carr:

The Sketch: Not many laughs in this Budget, apart from pasties

Share

In a series of sharp but civilised exchanges, Andrew Tyrie probed the Chancellor about the security of the Budget detail.

In a series of sharp but uncivilised exchanges John "Mad Dog" Mann probed the Chancellor's "morally repugnant" avoidance of Capital Gains Tax on his flipped second home.

As to the leaks: "I am in some sense as angry as you," the Chancellor said. Was that in the sense of not being angry at all? Or in the way of being very much angrier at those f****** Liberal D**c****s who'd splashed his work across the media? John Thurso was chuckling away comfortably, and the Permanent Secretary obviously knew enough of the guilty not to order a leak inquiry. "I took a very dim view of it," he said, of leaking in the 1980s. "You're not now," Andrew Love told him comic finality.

Sir Nicholas KCB, deserves a good kicking round the room for the way he talked over Labour's Teresa Pearce. Ms Pearce nonetheless established as a fact that any Laffer effects of reducing the 50p rate to 45p are solely a judgement of the Chancellor without the imprimateur of HMRC.

We also had a development of the incentives argument between Pat McFadyen and the Chancellor. Cutting poor people's income makes them work harder, but to make rich people work harder you cut their taxes. It's a good point, but rebutted if not refuted by Osborne's belief that this tax cut will produce higher revenues. Though why, as Stewart Hosie asked, the rich will pay 45p rather than, as at present, nothing, is a point that needs clarifying.

Enough of these unprovable assertions. John Mann demanded to know of the Chancellor the last time he'd ordered a Gregg's pasty. And if it was a vattable pasty. Because if it was hot, it was vattable and if cold it was VAT free. What about if it was warm? Its tax status "depended on the ambient temperature" and "to fill in their VAT returns they'll have to consult the Met Office." There aren't many laughs in the Budget but that was one.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager

£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This full service social media ...

Recruitment Genius: Data Analyst - Online Marketing

£24000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...

Austen Lloyd: Senior Residential Conveyancer

Very Competitive: Austen Lloyd: Senior Conveyancer - South West We are see...

Austen Lloyd: Residential / Commercial Property Solicitor

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: DORSET MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...

Day In a Page

Read Next
RIP Voicemail?  

Voicemail has got me out of some tight corners, so let's not abandon it

Simon Kelner
A sculpture illustrating the WW1 Christmas Truce football match in Liverpool  

It's been 100 years since the Christmas Truce, but football is still changing the world

Jim Murphy and Dan Jarvis
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there