Monday, October 01, 2007

Bad math

The fightback starts here, so says Little Lord Daveyboy.

Indeed.

First to the barricades are the 6% who currently pay inheritance tax. Well, they would be if they weren't inconveniently dead and thus unable to vote (*different rules may apply in Northern Ireland). Yes, if the Tories win, the top 5% or so of estates can look forward to exemption from IHT under the new £1 million pound limit. I don't know about you, but I find it hard to find much sympathy for kids collecting on their parents' hard work. I'm more bothered by the kids whose parents' life expectancy is shortened by living in poverty and who can't expect to be left £1,000, let alone a million.

Homebuyers get an exemption on their stamp duty up to £250,000 - which won't buy much in the Home Counties and the Tories' policies on building new houses anywhere else (in short, they're opposed to it) means that there isn't an awful lot to buy.

All of the giveaways total some £3.5 billion, but this will be revenue neutral, so that the shortfall in public spending (to support those useless things like hospitals and schools) will be made up by taxing the super-rich who are non-domiciled in the UK for tax reasons. There are 150,000 non-doms, of whom around 114,000 are reckoned to be rich enough to qualify for this special tax payment to stop taxation on their foreign income. The Treasury reckon that there are only around 14,000 people for whom this payment actually makes financial sense, which could reduce the tax take still further. Above all, remember that these are the people with the nous and the resources to avoid the best tax lawyers in the business. If they can avoid paying £25,000 to the government of any hue, they will.

In the end, Gideon has promised to steal from the rich to give to the only-rather-well-off (while shafting those unfit to work just for the hell of it). While that may appeal to the core Tory vote, I can't see it grabbing the vote of the average man or woman in Birmingham. Especially not when you explain that all that investment in their local school or that nice new hospital may have to go so the upper middle class don't get stung for tax when their parents pop off.

Meanwhile, The Devil's Kitchen slices n'dices a Tory presentation, highlighting some factual inaccuracies - or lies, as I prefer to call them. Kerron Cross reminds us that the Tories really are lodged firmly in the 1980s with their Pacman-alike game. Iain Dale, predictably, rates Gideon's speech highly. I thought it was pretty poorly-delivered, to be honest (and there are a number of Labour figures who need to put in some practice as well) and wowing a Tory conference by promising tax cuts is about as challenging as impressing monkeys with a card trick.

Actually, the best speech I've seen so far was William Hague yesterday - once the socialist gremlins had been expelled from the sound system. If he would consider a return to the top job, then I think Gordon would be nervous, but Dave is just too lightweight to pose a threat.

1 comment:

Praguetory said...

The Tories look streets ahead of your lot.