Douglas Carswell, Tory MP for Clacton has stated that it is civil servants rather than elected ministers that are dominating government policy. He has written on his blog:
What do the so-called ‘pasty tax,’ ‘granny tax,’ child benefit cliff edge and the reduction in tax breaks for charitable giving all have in common? They were all in the budget, right? Yes. But they have something else in common, too.
According to an ex-Treasury special adviser I’ve been speaking to, these measures were precisely the kind of perennial proposals that top Treasury officials would put in front of ministers – and ministers would then veto. Until now.
Most people are aware of the fact that the bureaucratic machine controls most policy by controlling what information is available to the ministers in charge. The laughable thing about this situation is that the notion of ‘pasty tax’ and ‘granny tax’ has always been vetoed until now.
It is only this Government can’t see how ridiculous and unfair these taxes are; now we have the evidence that no other chancellor would have dreamed of introducing these taxes, either through morality or the perceived unpopularity they would be greeted with.
I have said it before and now this underlines the fact that George Osborne doesn’t understand economics. Oh how the civil service must be pissing themselves laughing.