I understand the difficulty normally loyal backbench Labour MPs are now in: I am
not standing to be your Labour MP to go to Westminster and then habitually vote
against a Labour Government. So in no way do I underestimate the dilemma loyal
Labour backbenchers face - and the distaste voting down our own government
leaves them with - it's the same for me.But the government is wrong on this and
if it refuses to back down or rectify its mistake - as they have said they will
not, I can see no purpose, merit or honour in being a Labour MP if that role is
to make life harder for the least affluent, the pensioners and the part-time
workers of Putney.
Not to worry Stuart, you're not likely to get the chance. He wrote this before the climbdown by Gordon Brown. I wonder how he feels now that the climbdown is unravelling as not so much a climbdown but a canine's breakfast.
Let's be clear. There was only one way to climb down and that was to reverse the abolition of the 10p rate. That's the only way every single person could be guaranteed they would not lose out. This mish mash of
Tinkering with the minimum wage will be paid for by employers. Increasing the winter fuel allowance will benefit many who pay no tax at all, at the cost of those who do.
Grant Thornton point out today that the abolition of the 10p rate was done to enable the government to reduce the basic rate of income tax from 22p to 20p. Grant Thornton's Francesca Lagerburg says: "You have to ask whether it is possible for the Chancellor to fully compensate every individual negatively affected by the abolition of the 10 rate? The answer is probably no, bevause with the money from the abolition of the 10 rate already spent, it will be difficult to find £7 billion from elsewhere in the Treasury's coffers to give back to low earners."
That's just simple common sense and simple maths. I wonder if the Chancellor gets it. It seems not. Stuart King must be proud of him.