Friday, September 05, 2008
The Laddie IS For Turning
Following on from the government's astonishing climbdown over a one off fuel payment to poorer people, I wondered how long it would take me to compile a list of the Top Ten Gordon Brown U Turns. Here goes...
1. 10p Tax
2. No hospital visits to victims by knife crime criminals
3. Reclassification of cannabis
4. Raising Inheritance Tax threshholds
5. Building on the green belt - eco towns
6. One off fuel rebate
7. Non Doms
8. Super Casinos
9. Rescue package for pensioners who lost pensions when their company went bankrupt
10. Not attending the Olympic opening ceremony
It took all of three minutes to come up with that little list. I am sure there are plenty more to add to it. Each one adds to the impression of a listless, directionless government.
I am still at a loss to understand this U Turn on the fuel payments. Did they really think the energy companies would agree to pay for it. What we have got is government by gimmick. They announce things before they have fully thought them through. Gordon Brown explains the climbdown on the fuel payment by saying that he's not interested in short term gimmicks. Perhaps he could explain the cut in stamp duty then because there isn't a single person in the housing sector who thinks it will have any effect at all. Indeed, the Treasury could have told him so, because they tried it in 1992 under Norman Lamont - and it did nothing to revive the housing market.