Let's just have a look back at some of the ways in which the monocular mentalist has 'helped' us all, shall we?
Taxing dividend payments: Before 1997, dividends issued by UK companies and paid to pension funds were tax-free. Not any more, decided Brown. Pension funds holding the cash that we all plan to use for our retirement have lost around £100 billion over the last 12 years. Now that's a stealth tax.
Tax credits: Millions of low-income families have had to pay back the Treasury after receiving too much money in tax credits, putting them under huge financial and emotional strain. Meanwhile, 40 per cent of workers and families who deserved tax credits left billions of pounds unclaimed in the 2008-09 tax year for fear of being chased for the cash later on.
The £10,000 corporation tax threshold: In 2002, Gordon Brown introduced a new tax regime to help small businesses. He announced a new zero per cent rate of corporation tax on profits below £10,000. It was designed to boost the ability of small businesses to grow and prosper. It didn't quite work out this way. It became advantageous for sole traders such as taxi drivers or plumbers to turn themselves into limited companies to take advantage of the new rules. A Treasury Minister later commented that "the Government did not realise how many people would engage in abusive tax avoidance", despite the fact that it was "blindingly obvious" to tax experts "within 5 seconds" of the budget announcement that this would happen.
Abolition of the 10p tax rate: Accountants calculated that the scrapping of the 10 per cent tax rate, coupled with the increase in the proportion of tax credits withdrawn from higher earners, would leave 1.8 million workers earning between £6,500 and £15,000 paying an effective tax rate of up to 70 per cent.
50 per cent tax rate: Robert Chote, director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, has said the tax hike which heralded the end the new Labour may actually end up losing the Government money. "If you look at what happened when higher rates were last changed in the 1980s, that might lead you to suggest that such a move might actually lose you revenue, rather than gain it, as people actually declare less income for tax," he said.
Cutting VAT: "It would be funny if it wasn’t so serious," said a tax accountant when asked about the Brown-Darling brainwave to cut VAT by 2.5 percentage points. As a nation of shoppers, rather than shopkeepers, a chopped down sales tax sounds like a good idea, providing a vital boost to hard-pressed families at a time of financial hardship. There were two problems. It costs £12.5 billion a year and it has made little discernable difference to those hard-pressed families because it is shopkeepers, rather than shoppers, who have pocketed much of the benefit.
And, of course, the grand finale, the piece of resistance:
Selling our gold: In May 1999 Gordon Brown had a plan to sell some gold. There were two problems with this, which concerned his economic advisers deeply. The price of gold had slumped after a decade of stagnation, but was likely to increase in the proceeding years. Added to this, the announcement of a major sell-off would - duh! - drive the price down further. Never mind, said Broon. Experts believe that the poorly timed decision to flog our national treasure has cost us all around £3 billion.
And that little lot is just a selection, picked from a much, much longer list of gaffes. For fuck's sake.
We might get rid of him - please? - soon, but the hangover will take years to get over.