My mother and Richard were driven down from Church Stretton, Shropshire, today for lunch. It seems a very long way to come to such a short time but my mother is 95 and Richard only a couple of years younger, so from 12 to 3 was quite long enough for all of us.. Again we were extremely fortunate with the weather. It was a perfect spring day and the garden was looking particularly lovely although it was not quite warm enough for us to sit out. Richard was characteristically generous and bought me a bottle of Bollinger and for Alice a fine box of chocolates handmade in Church Streeton he did the same last time he came and we begged him not to do it again but how on earth can we stop him?!
Some good news, for a change. Mrs Tebbutt, who was snatched by Somalis from a luxury resort in Kenya after shooting her husband dead, was returned home yesterday, ostensibly after the family raised a substantial ransom. Alice was over the moon and she has felt an affinity this poor woman whom I wrongly suspected would have been murdered herself by now. I’m glad to say I was wrong. No doubt the full account of her ordeal will appear in the national newspapers and this is one occasion where I have no strong feelings against someone cashing in, hopefully, recouping sufficient to pay back the kind people who put up the ransom money.
Talking of money, today was Budget Day when the Chancellor .of The Exchequer spelt out the measures he is taking over the next 12 months or so in order to continue reducing GB.Ltd s indebtedness. Although he took measures to ease the financial burden on the very rich by reducing the top rate of income tax from 50 p in the pound to 45 p and neither one of them neither one of them helped the lower paid by increasing the amount they could earn before they paid tax, but he did nothing for the pensioners. By doing nothing, i.e. leaving the personal allowances untouched, where as other categories were all increased, he has left the pensioners hypothetically around £250 a year worse off which, to some folk, will be significant. Whilst I fully appreciate the reason for a tight budget I am at a loss to know quite why he singled out the pensioners as one of the losers.
Bearing in mind the number of pensioners, most of whom would probably traditionally vote Conservative, he has to be taking a bit of a risk by singling them out. Similarly I think he missed a trick when it came down to tax credits. These will only now be paid by people earning more than £60,000 per annum but he has not addressed the inequity of two people living together where their combined income may well exceed £100,000 but individually neither one of them earns £60,000, which perpetuates the problem that it is always financially beneficial not to get married.
This really has nothing to do with my problem but it amused me when I read it. The point being, have you ever wondered why English is the official language in the EU, why not French or German, after all we are not the most popular member of that particular club? Click here and find out how and why we ended up with English!