I've just about picked my jaw up off the floor after watching the news. The Beeb's Nick Robinson has revealed that the Government is suggesting a new top rate of tax of 45% on incomes over £150,000, to kick in after the next election. Just when you thought the news had started getting back to normal too. A few initial thoughts...
1. It surely won't raise that much money. There just aren't that many people earning £150k and up. As such it will run the risk of coming across as a bit of a populist stunt.
2. It's probably going to be portrayed as the death of New Labour and/or the revival of Old Labour.
3. Precisely because it's on such high incomes it's going to be hard to paint it as a tax on aspiration, as the Tories would no doubt like to. Not great for them to say that they will reverse it if they get in either.
4. It's going to hit many of the people that the punters blame for the financial crisis.
5. It's going to hugely popular on the Left, and amongst disenchanted ex-Labour voters. It's difficult to argue that there's no difference between the parties now.
6. I can't believe Brown would allow this if he didn't expect something similar to happen in other countries.
7. It still might not make any difference to our polling. Just being realistic, like.