So, there I was, 45 minutes ago, insisting that politicians simply do things for political reasons, not economic ones.
Politicians are interested in political solutions because they are politicians. They’ll do whatever it is that they think will get them re-elected, that will appease some power base.
Any connection between what they do and an economic solution is entirely coincidental.
Now I see Gordon Brown\’s latest plan.
MORE than 7m families who receive child benefit are to be given a one-off payment of £150 to help meet soaring fuel bills under plans being drawn up by Gordon Brown.
Hmmm, there\’s an awful lot of people out there who get child benefit (you get it for having a kid, not because you need it) who don\’t need help with paying their fuel bills. So why is it being done in this expensive manner?
The plan to extend the scheme to 7.5m families with children is recognition of mounting public discontent with rising household energy costs. It also highlights Brown’s desperate need for a bold announcement to silence Labour critics plotting to oust him from No 10.
Until now it had been expected that extra financial assistance would be targeted at pensioners, the low-paid and people on benefits who suffer from “fuel poverty”, defined as when more than 10% of household income is used to heat the home.
However, Brown is determined that middle-class families – whose votes will determine the outcome of the next general election – should also gain from any new handouts.
Hmm, do something, do anything, to show that a politician is indeed doing something. And do it in the manner which buys the maximum number of votes.
Getting politicians to do things on rational economic grounds really is just like trying to get Mittens to play fetch, isn\’t it?