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

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

Recruitment Genius: Experienced Bookkeeper - German Speaking - Part Time

£23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This firm of accountants based ...

Recruitment Genius: Operations Manager

£30000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are a financial services c...

Ashdown Group: Field Service Engineer

£30000 - £32000 per annum + car allowance and on call: Ashdown Group: A succes...

Recruitment Genius: Sales & Marketing Co-Ordinator

£15000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Well established small company ...

Day In a Page

Read Next
A woman runs down the street  

Should wolf-whistling be reported to the Police? If you're Poppy Smart, then yes

Jane Merrick
 

Voices in Danger: How can we prevent journalists from being sexually assaulted in conflict zones?

Heather Blake
Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence