The Money Shot: ‘In real terms’

Ahh... smells like money
"From police spending to social care, lots of things are getting a boost ‘in real terms’"
  • | by Derri Dunn

Were you on the edge of your seat last Wednesday lunchtime as George Osborne reeled off his latest public finance dealings in the Autumn Statement and spending review?

We of course assume you were, but just in case you missed the big event, we’ll save you the trouble of catching up by running down the budgeting buzzwords that piqued our interest.

‘In real terms’

This one was a repeat offender. From police spending to social care, to the resource budget for science, lots of things are getting a boost ‘in real terms’.

Some things were also set to fall ‘in real terms’ – hello, spending by government departments.

In all, seven items received this three-word qualifier, which sort of makes us wonder what’s happening with them ‘in actual fact’.

‘Permanent pothole fund’

Apparently Britain now has a permanent pothole fund.

As someone who cycles 12 miles to work, the Money Shot is somewhat surprised that any new funding’s needed, as there’s definitely no small number of permanent potholes embellishing our route already.

‘Tampon tax’

George adopted the street lingo for the controversial EU 5% rate of VAT on sanitary products, while in the same breath telling us that although Brussels is currently forcing our government to charge it, he’ll be handing it back to women’s charities.

So basically the majority of adult women in the UK are being forced to make a charitable donation to causes that have been pre-determined for them, while men are exempt.

Well that seems fair then.

News in brief

Most of Osborne’s headline grabbers centred around affordable housing, including more starter homes, the removal of restrictions on shared ownership schemes and bigger Help to Buy equity loans for Londoners. Most of the press coverage of these policies centred around cynicism over whether it’d make a jot of difference.

Ozzie also backtracked completely on tax credit cuts. Lots of people gloated.

Today’s Black Friday – gird your financial loins.

This week on Covered

Find out how to bag a bargain car this Christmas.

Count down the December highlights with our cheeky A to Z of Christmas – all the way from advent to, err… Zulu.

Make a new year’s travel resolution that you’ll definitely want to keep.

Money Shot letters


I cannot thank you enough for the kind tip-off about 'the Pound Land’ you featured in last week’s tome.

Your expose piqued my interest, so I had my man drive me to this establishment’s sliding doors in my local town. What wonder!

I’m astonished that J2O Glitterberry candies aren’t filling silver side bowls in every manor house this side of Winchester and I’ve given my harpist indefinite leave since sampling the delights of Alisha’s Attic, Space and Tatu. I’ll be following their musical ascendance and anticipating future hits with a sense of pure thrill.

For me, as I imagine for most of us, attending a palace of consumer delight such as ‘the Pound Land’ isn’t a matter of economy – please do share any other hidden shopping gems of this ilk with your devoted readers.

Yours most sincerely

Lord Hendon of Evesham

Join us next week for another bean-counting salvo of the Money Shot and until then, send us your letters.