Monday, 10 November 2008

Tax Cuts for Sale

It seems that anyone who aspires to take power at Westminster is now queueing up to offer tax cuts.

The LibDems have already suggested a cut of 2p on the basic rate, paid for by cuts/savings apparently.

The Tories are hinting at a range of targetted measures; VAT holidays, freeze in Council Tax (presumably with substnatial Barnett consequentials for Scotland?), cuts in payroll tax for small business. Again this would be paid for by cuts/savings.

What Labour are thinking is anyone's guess. It seems that they have not learned their lesson on trailing their intentions. Surely if this is really going to be good news, the impact would be bigger if it was just announced in all its glory. My suspicion is that they are attempting to get the biggest PR bang for their buck by drip feeding a range of modest measures.

It is difficult to see what room for maneouvre the Chancellor has. Up to his scalp in debt on our behalf, can he really suggest he extends his borrowing further? On the other hand, what savings can be made in his current spending plans? The last I heard, spending was to be increased Keynesian style to 'kick-start' the economy.

The only answer seems to be to live for the moment, take out a shiny new BoE Corporate Card and spend, spend, spend. You have to admire the sheer brass neck of a Government who claims to want to end the age of irresponsibility while selling our children, their children, their children, their children, ..., and their children down the river. Then again, this is the party that remains in love with PFI and therefore thinks nothing of massive interest payments, as long as it is not them that has to pay them.

I find myself wondering when the media in this country will start to question the actions of this Government instead of just printing their press releases. With a few honourable, but mostly obscure exceptions, we are being extremely poorly served by the lackeys of the Fourth Estate at the moment. Maybe it's just too much like hard work.

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