Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Quick thought on the 50% rate

The Tories are going to have to jump one way or the other on this. They will have to say officially whether they think it will raise revenue or not. If they say they don't then they should have no problem pledging to scrap it. But if they say they do think it will raise revenue they will both undermine a key Right argument against higher taxes on the rich, and then have to decide whether it is a reasonable policy or not.

I expect them to not pledge to scrap it, but to play down its revenue-raising potential, which is obviously inconsistent. So it's a tricky call for them.


CityUnslicker said...

or they just say who cares about £2billion when we are going to borrow £606 billion and bankrupt the country.

We need either spending cuts or tax rises or both of nearly £100 billion.

Today I don't think either party will do it. The IMF will have to.

Shuggy said...

I don't agree it's a tricky call for them. They'll say something like, "We will when circumstances permit rescind the increase in income tax but we have to put up with it for now, given the mess that Labour has made of the public finances". They are the stupid party but surely the target this government have left for them is as big as a barn door? My hope is people on the left stop deluding themselves and realise that what makes Guardian columnists and pro-Labour bloggers moist doesn't have the same effect on 'ordinary voters'. That the next election is lost is for me beyond doubt. Those who imagine this budget is a vote winner are, in my view, making that most fatal mistake in British politics: mistaking the grassroots for the electorate. We're fucked and that is that.

Tom P said...

don't really disagree, certainly not on our electoral prospects.

I think the 50% rate might be popular with some ordinary voters, judging by the response of non-political family members etc, but in a vague way. It's not the sort of thing that will make people change how they vote. and in that sense it will be drowned out by the view that Labour has knackered the economy.

I wouldn't underestimate the need to chuck a bone to the activists though. I think the next election and is aftermath will demonstrate how hollowed out Labour is as a party on the ground, rather than as a vote-winning machine.

Charlie Marks said...

Here's another slant on it: if the Tories win, it will only be in England. Result? More public support for independence in Scotland and Wales. So it would make sense for Labour to try to build alliances with the nationalists and the liberals at defeating the Tories on the grounds it would break the union - the only union Brown actually cares about...