Thursday, November 18, 2004

Taxing Questions

Top marks to Roy Hattersley for pointing out that the various policies floated so far have a price tag of almost £14 billion attached.

The Tories plan to cut tax, but promise to maintain investment in services.

Remember the Tory conference? Remember Michael Howard asking the voters to trust him and the party? Remember the speech that promised everything but firm policies?

Well, the policy 'aspirations' keep coming, although the headlines seem to promise more than you actually get. An example was the headline last week promising that the Tories would raise tax thresholds. Aside from the fact that this would only benefit higher earners, it wasn't even a policy. This was in a policy paper which carries the health warning

The presence of a particular option in the consultation paper does not constitute any guarantee or promise that it will form any part of any Conservative budget.

And the plans for the Tories to offset the cost of having a nanny, part of their childcare package is actually part of

proposals now being examined by the Shadow Cabinet

So, not exactly a policy yet then.

The Tories are desperate to appeal to the upper middle class voters who have abandoned them over the past few years. That's why all their policy proposals are tilted in that direction (that word proposal is VERY important - there's no guarantee that they will ever be genuine policy).

  • Tax breaks for nannies
  • Public money for private education
  • Public money for private healthcare
  • Tax cuts for the high earners

All of these benefit those middle earners. The ordinary family can't afford private education or healthcare or nannies and dream of earning enough to pay 40% tax rates. There is nothing in these proposals for most people - don't be conned.

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