A blog by Luke Akehurst about politics, elections, and the Labour Party - With subtitles for the Hard of Left. Just for the record: all the views expressed here are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent the positions of any organisations I am a member of.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

For the want of a horseshoe...

The Guardian calculates that to achieve Frank Field's objective that the abolition of the 10p tax rate would not come into force "until the chancellor of the exchequer lays before parliament a statement that, in his opinion, measures have been taken to ensure that no person is worse off by reason of the person's income not being sufficient to secure that the effect of the abolition of the starting rate is offset by the reduction of the basic rate" would only cost £700 million.

£700 million is small change in terms of Government budgeting. It's the running costs of a couple of small London borough councils or the construction cost of a single new hospital.

But to the people whose incomes are affected, who are already struggling to make ends meet, it would make a big difference.

The cost of not compensating them is also one that would be paid reputationally by the PM in terms of loss of the moral authority he rightly holds as a campaigner and combatter against poverty at home and abroad, and one that would be paid politically by Labour as a Party in terms of lost trust not just amongst the people affected, but also amongst better-off voters who support Labour because of our redistributive values.

£700m isn't a lot to find somewhere down the side of a proverbial sofa in HM Treasury to make life a bit easier for people earning less than £18,000 a year, and it isn't a lot to find to restore people's faith that the Government's decisions are guided by an explicitly Labour moral compass.


Anonymous Jo-ann said...

Luke, I couldn't agree with you more. It is time for our Labour Ministers to hold their hands up and say 'we got it wrong'. In the grand scheme of things £700m is absolutely nothing!!!!

2:21 pm, April 22, 2008

Anonymous jeremiah horrocks said...

I know where the £700m can be found: Get it back off thieving slags like Karen Matthews. There are too many feckless layabouts sponging off the state, taking money off hard-working men and women like you and me.

It is obscene that the workers should be subsidising the idle in this way.

2:44 pm, April 22, 2008

Anonymous jdc said...

Agreed. The Government has just taken £50bn from people like me (debt-averse, primarily, or bank-sceptic) and given it to people who are unlike me (spendthrifts, and holders of banking shares) albeit allegedly temporarily.

It therefore seems absurd to take a further £700m from people who are similar to me in the way above, but poorer, and give it to people who may or may not be like me in the way above, but are well off.

8:51 pm, April 22, 2008


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