Tax Credits & Welfare: A bite-sized recent history

Osbo yesterday, as a bobby looks on with envy at him showing off his massive crayola box set.
Blair, 1997: we've got some ideas about welfare, thats more than those clowns in the bory's have in any case.

Public, 1997: Let's hear them. 

Public, 2003: we are still waiting; why not raise the threshold in line with inflation?

Brown, 2003: oh right...naw won't do that; I'm gonna take ever increasing piles of your cash and give some back to labour voters in deprived areas who have the time to fill out a convoluted multi-page form stating why you deserve it. I'm also going to increase the budget of HMRC past that of our standing army. I'm sure they'll manage it with the same focus and efficiency they do collecting debts from big business on money owed.

Public, 2003: that sounds like a shit idea. We'll take it.

Brown, May 2010: do you know that increase in tax threshold thing? Let's talk about it...

Public, May 2010: too late. bye now.

Brown, May 2010: awe...

Osbo t'Clown, first budget: right then, under duress from my Lib Dumb colleagues who I'm obliged to listen to due to the coalition agreement, here is some more of your money not being taken away in the first place (or as I used to dub it: "my mate Lord Fondleboys champers fund").

Public: YES! GET IN!

Osbo T'Clown, 2015 GE: YES! GET IN! Lib Dumbs get in the sea with ya!

Lib Dumbs, 2015 GE: Awe...

Public: yeah; Milliband? Really? Urgh...

Osbo, t'Clown, post-2015 GE: BTW public, I'm taking your tax credits. Peace out (2-fingered victory salute follows as he backs in to heavily fortified #11.)

Public: like f**k you are.

Osbo t'Clown: pretty much am, but it's OK I'll be raising your tax threshold to meet less than half the drop, so long as you aren't on minimum wage or unemployed or anything you'll be fine.
Public: like. f**k...

Cameron: 'hm hum...'

Osbo t'Clown: apparently I'm not doing that...for now...
Adam Smith Institute, Oct 2015(and me, pretty much for a decade or longer): why not a negative income tax? That way you can abolish your massively convoluted welfare system, abolish the DWP and recognise true hard work and determination in the tax system while remaining a progressive force for good?

Osbo t'Clown: sounds complicated, and I heard reducing government departments somewhere in there, so naw.

Me: but, but, you could abolish an entire government department: the admin savings alone for the DWP's £170Bn budget would be enough to give everyone a massive tax break; with all benefits folded into a simplified tax system the poorest would get a great deal too, all with fewer wage-takers needed!

Obso t'Clown: yeah. still no.

Me, pretty much continually: cretins, the lot of ye'.