Two major heist tunnels were dug and then hidden by those behind yesterday’s Budget. One gives the HMRC carte blanche to extract “owed” monies from personal bank accounts; the other abolishes all the pension safety rules in favour of giving private pensioners the freedom to take the entire pot to cash….and then lose it when the next bank failure demands a bailin.
Quite a lot of people spotted a Scud flying under the radar in George Osborne’s Budget leech sorry speech yesterday. Last year, I posted several times about Troika fanatics putting pension theft onto the table during “negotiations” with the Samaras Coalition…and floating the idea of going direct to the providers – without bothering to inconvenience the pensioners with needless anxieties about it.
It looks like Osborne was taking copious notes during his stay at Davos last month. Hidden in 5-point flyshit at the rear of the official Budget document is this gem: ‘“The Government will modernise and strengthen HMRC’s debt collection powers to recover financial assets from the bank accounts of debtors who owe over £1,000 of tax.”
Words like wedge, thin and end come to mind. Bear in mind that – in many such cases – the amount allegedly owed will be no more than an HMRC opinion. And we all know how often their opinion is wrong….spookily, almost always in their favour. Note also that there is no reference at all to tax cheats both corporate and personal who evade millions….merely a figure starting at £1,000. It truly is laughable.
But rather more important here is the principle of the Revenue having automatic access to a private individual’s bank account. This would be bad enough on its own were it not for another clause most observers missed. Under new proposed drawdown rules, savers will not only be able to take a quarter of their pension as a tax-free lump sum, they will have a choice of three further options: taking it ALL as cash, subject to ordinary rates of income tax; buying an annuity; or leaving the fund invested in the stock market and making unlimited withdrawals as required. The ability to take the whole pension as one lump of income would mean someone with a £100,000 pension could take £25,000 tax-free and then withdraw the remaining £75,000 to spend or invest as they saw fit.
And it would, of course, mean that under a bank-failure bail-in, that person would be seen as a creditor. So, with the precedent set by the HMRC and the rape of Cyprus, um, well – a nod’s as good as a wink to a blind horse.
It beggars belief that the Chancellor of the Exchequer was able to steamroller this complete change of direction through, without being forced by law to make the clause clear to all concerned. Every single Parliamentary convention and financial law would make such behaviour in the private sector a criminal offence.
Consider this example: an upcoming retiree of limited means with a small private pension finds himself with a wife whose chronic illness has been means-tested and found to be unfundable by the NHS. So Mr Retiree grabs the Osborne carrot enthusiastically, and begins to search private hospitals for ways to ensure his spouse is comfortable. But the following week, RBS collapses, his account is frozen – and he loses the lot.
Don’t tell me that Georgie-Porgie and the other sociopaths in the Treasury and at the HMRC haven’t thought this one through. (If they haven’t, why introduce it now?)
I will continue to repeat the following assertion, and I care not a jot if those walking around with their eyes and ears shut think it to be melodramatic paranoia. We are witnessing a hidden but accelerating coup here. Having sold the family silver in the 1980s and let loose unregulated bankers on the world, the political class is now burning the furniture in order to keep the tramp steamer heading for any port in a storm.
The next step will be to rip the shirts from our backs, followed by the underwear. This will reduce economic consumption to near zero…as it has in Greece, Spain and Italy. But these lunatics don’t care: they just want enough munneee to buy gated glitz bricks, gold, arable land and rare earth materials before everything goes flushing down to the sewer.
Only then, floating along in the sewer with the other turds, will they feel at ease….and safe.