Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Daley Dozen: Bloggers & the VAT Cut

A slightly different Daley Dozen today. here's a roundup of bloggers who have exposed the VAT cut for what it is - a cynical attempt to persuade people the government is taking action, when in fact the cut will do very little to stimulate economic activity.

1. Dizzy - Cutting VAT may sound good, but what about the real world.
2. John Redwood - It's not fair on the poor.
3. Waendel Journal - What about small business?
4. West Brom Blogger - Is Brown allowed to cut VAT without EU permission?
5. EU Referendum - Explanation of the EU position.
6. Norfolk Blogger - Fantasy to think Playstations will become cheaper.
7. Burning Our Money - Wat Tyler's out to buy a few 60" plasmas.
8. The Village Postmaster - He won't be cutting all his prices.
9. Tory Diary - David Cameron says a VAT cut will add £12 billion to the national debt.
10. Robert Peston - If VAT is cut to 15% it will then have to rise to 22.5% in two years.
11. Donal Blaney - "It will do nothing for me as the owner of a small business".
12. Andrew Allison - There's a better way to give a tax break.

In case you think it is rather partisan of me to just list a dozen blogs which tell you why the VAT cut won't work, let me now give you a dozen from the left giving the opposite point of view...

... taps feet

... whistles

er, sorry I can't. I admit I have failed. I have visited all my usual left wing blog haunts, and not a single one of them has even mentioned the VAT issue today. Tom Harris has been blogging as if it was going out of fashion, but seems to think Doctor Who is more important than the economy going down the swanee. LabourHome has a post on it (if you look hard enough), but rather helpfully it is sceptical of the VAT cut. Liberal Conspiracy has a story about a train ride,
while none of the other blogs I have looked at has written anything new today.

If left of centre bloggers are to be taken as seriously as they take themselves, they really ought to be commenting on a political move of this magnitude. Or am I being unfair?


Letterman said...

Here's an article about Ken Clarke suggesting a VAT cut a few weeks ago:

Administrator said...

I wrote about the VAT cuts but didnt get a mention:

Iain you need to start looking at blogs like mine!

Laurence Boyce said...

I don't understand you guys sometimes. A tax cut is a tax cut. I would welcome a cut in VAT - long overdue since Norman Lamont jacked it up in the first place to get out of poll tax hell. Donal is priceless today. He wants carefully targeted tax cuts - specifically measures to encourage long business lunches!

Iain Dale said...

Laurence, tax custs must be sustainable. This one is not. And it won't even achieve its stated aim of providing a stimulus to GDP.

BJ said...

In case you think it is rather partisan of me to just list a dozen blogs which tell you why the VAT cut won't work, let me now give you a dozen from the left giving the opposite point of view...

As you've included Peston on your list, is this an accusation of right-wing bias against a BBC journalist, Iain?

Colin said...

I'm not an economist, but everywhere I look on the high street there are sales with 20%, 30%, 70%... price reductions. If these kind of pre-Christmas give away tactics are not working, what difference will two and a half percent make. Maybe someone on here could enlighten me.

Also, has brown any idea of the arse ache involved in a vat rate change for a business in the run up to Christmas?

Colin said...

p.s. to my last.

Of course brown has no idea of the arse ache in relation to vat rate change in the run up to Christmas; mainly because, like most of the regime, he's never had a proper job in his life.

Dick the Prick said...

Oooh a train journey at Liberal Conspiracy - quality.

So, they're gonna take marginally less off me to take more back later - am I now a prick legitimately and not just by name?

You really couldn't make it up.

Nich Starling said...

Iain, I am left of centre and I am deeply sceptical about the VAT cut, which is why you listed me in your dozen.

Anonymous said...

Not just Doctor Who, Iain - the 45th anniversary of Doctor Who!

In fact I do plan to say something about the pre-budget report, but rather than end up with egg on my face by blogging on the basis of leaks and speculation, I'll wait until tomorrow.

In the meantime, Iain, I demand to know - who was YOUR favourite Doctor?

Tom Harris

the orange party said...

You are being unfair and I would suggest you are indulging in party political point scoring.

The Orange Party ain't right wing and made its views on the politics of the pre-election budget bribery of the tax cuts quite clear on Friday, a view shared by Peter Oborne on Saturday.

Today was a day of deliberate government leaks to test the water and fine-tune the message strategy before tomorrow's announcement.

Why should we all play the government's game?

Tomorrow is of course another day.

Unity said...

There's an old story you should bear in mind here, Iain...

There were two bulls in a field and the younger of the two noticed that the gate to a nearby field full of cows had been left open.

So, the young bull said to the older bull:

"Look, someone's left the gate open to that field full of cows. Why don't we run over and a have a couple?"

And the old bull, wise with long years of experience, looked at the young bull and said:

"No. We'll walk and have the lot."

Patience, Iain... we'll get to this in due course.

Iain Dale said...

Norfolk Blogger. Oh. I have always considered you to be slightly right of centre. Even though you don't seem to realise it!!

Iain Dale said...

Tom, well since you ask, Jon Pertwee, followed closely by Tom Baker. It's never quite been the same since.

TB for TB's sake said...

Just quote ken clarke

Chris Howell said...

Sundays in the run up for Christmas are very important for retailers these days. I wonder what effect the headlines in the papers have had on retail sales today, particularly on big ticket items...

Mark Wadsworth said...

I'm hard right and I think it is the best type of tax cut (altho' it would be nice to see it matched with spending cuts, of course).

But there again, as a free market economist, I am one of the few who understand the difference between the legal and economic incidence of taxes.