Monday, November 24, 2008

Gordon's Most Audacious Bit of Spin Yet

This afternoon we will find out how the Government plans to spin itself out of the financial mess it has got itself into. A clue comes in this morning's Sun, where George Pascoe-Watson writes of the planned new 45p top rate...

"The squeeze on the rich is aimed at avoiding any tax rises for the rest of the population."

So that's how they hope to get away with it - pretend that a good old fashioned bit of envy politics will persuade ordinary earners that their taxes won't go up. Amazing.

This has nothing to do with economics - it has all to do with creating an Aunt Sally which they imagine will create difficulties for the Tories. Another example of Brown trying to play politics with a crisis he has been in large part responsible for.

The 45p rate will earn the Exchequer a maximum of £2 billion, although even the IFS reckon it could be way lower than that. So assuming a tax cutting package of £16 billion, how is the £14 bn shortfall going to be made up?

Because if they have been specific about the 45p figure, they will presumably be as specific for the rest of us. Don't bet on it.

And I so look forward to an explanation of why, when the government was predicting a PSBR of £30 billion, they are now quadrupling it to £120 bn, giving Britain one of the highest rates of borrowing in the developed world.

But remember that we are best placed of all our competitors to withstand the downturn. That must be true because Gordon Brown tells us so.


Mulligan said...

The 45p rate will almost certainly cost the taxpayer money , rather than earning £2 billion. Anyone with access to a half decent accountant will tell you why....

Since Brown and Darling know this full well not hard to see the real motivation is nothing more than trying to feed on , on this topic severely misplaced, class envy.

Brummie Alice said...

As a piece of spin I'm not sure it compares favourably to Boris Johnson in the Guardian who has managed to dress up massive cuts to important communities as a 'new approach' to high brow culture.

Man in a Shed said...

Brown and Labour are strangers to honesty and the truth. Since without accurate information democracy cannot function they are also anti-democratic. Since the economy is being destroyed by their debt fuel vanity and buying of elections with their client sector they must hate our country.

I think its time to consider that Brown's Labour party are really traitors hell bent on destroying our country for their own perverted socialist utopia to follow.

Old BE said...

The rise will only increase the taxes of people who are between 150,000 and those who can afford to avoid tax. The only real gains will be made by accountants because their services will suddenly seem better value. The losers will be those who work for "SMEs".

Classic envy politics. Why bother with what works when you can have what sounds good?

Dave H said...

"Audacious bit of spin"?

Don't call a spade a spatha or spathē.

Remember George Orwell's rules for language: use the short everyday English equivalent.

In this case it would be Lying or Lies.

Please use these words when describing Gordon Brown, otherwise you let him get away with it.

kenny murphy said...

The Conservatives were supporting Labour's spending previously. So it's quite incredible spin of quite epic proportions that Cameron is now trying to position themselves as the 'Putting money away for a rainy day' party.

Oh really? So just what spending did they previously oppose? And therefore what sum would they have put aside for this rainy day?

not an economist said...

Its a bit dissapointing that, at a time like this, the govt seems more concerned about scoring political ponts over the tories rather than coming up with sound, workable solutions to the predicament they have landed us in. Its almost as if their only intention is to stay in power. Bugger doing anything worthwhile while they are in power, just stay in office for as long as possible.

Tony said...

Brown is electioneering instead of trying to mitigate the effects of the recession. Do not let anyone forget this.

While people wait to see how the government will help them, Gordon Brown is too busy working out how to help his election chances. It is a disgrace.

Stop Common Purpose said...

This is an act of staggering stupidity.

Anonymous said...

Brummie Alice

Boris is not getting any more money from the govt who are happy to give those billions to Africa because Brown and Alexander think that those important
communities in Africa deserve better than us the hapless British citizens from whom Brown squeezed those billions out forthe last 11 years.

Which planet are you in? Lord Adonis the unelected know-all champagne drinking Blairite rplefused the 1.2 billions or so for the tube modernisation project whih is a cut to services as ordinary Londones take the tube.

Which 'important communities' you refer to? The ones tht got away with un accounted millions from the LDA under Red Ken? One of the members of the 'important communities'has fled the country and lives abroad having taken thousands of Red Ken's LDA money
for improvement of the 'important communities' which in this case is herself!

Anonymous said...

Whatever happened to purdah?

Whilst today is not the official budget, it is a budget in all but name. It's a disgrace that there have been so many leaks.

This government will stop at nothing to try and save their own skins.

Newmania said...

I have kept Dominic Lawson`s article on the ‘Politcs of Envy ‘tucked in my pocket since he predicted an outbreak of exactly that back in April. These are his answers to the question , should the rich be taxed more .

1- Institute for Fiscal Studies Investigation warned that ratcheting up income taxes on those earning more than £100,000 would be counterproductive in the fight to relieve poverty through fiscal means.( Or repay debt )

2 The IFS calculated that the Government would maximise the revenue it collects from those earning over £100,000 by imposing a marginal rate – the additional tax paid on each pound of increased income – of 55.6 per cent. This, however, is perilously close to the current marginal rate of 53 per cent charged when income tax, national insurance contributions and indirect taxes are all included.

3 - Institute for Fiscal Studies if there is to be any further redistribution of income to the least well off, it will have to come not from the relatively tiny number of people at the very pinnacle, but from the vast numbers of people who are in the top half.

That last sentence, the “vast numbers in the top half “should start the warning sirens. This move has a two fold purpose. Firstly to portray the Conservatives as the Party only of the rich and secondly begin a fudge slither and lie process whereby this electoral signal is used to justify stealth taxes on ordinary families after the GE . It not pay for fiscal stimulus but chiefly boom years over spend .

Old BE said...

What happened to the "tough long term decisions"? Tough long term decisions would be to hold spending down, repay debt, cut taxes when the finances allow it. Neither deficit spending and soaking the rich are long term anythings.

Letters From A Tory said...

I very much agree that this is a political stimulus package and not an economic one.

VAT and income tax are completely the wrong levers to use to save us.

Trumpeter Lanfried said...

A prediction: Darling will leave the 45p tax rate to the last sentence of his PBR. Then how the Labour benches will cheer!

Just as they cheered when he knocked 2p off income tax.

Until they read the small print.

Lord Elvis of Paisley said...

Two bits of news from today's Metro caught my eye;

£200M wasted on botched IT plans

90% of hospitals failing on hygiene

Good to see the taxes we are already paying are being used wisely.

Elby the Beserk said...

Can't someone just shoot him? Please.

Elby the Beserk said...


Oh dear. Never mind. The conservative promise was, of course, based on the original PSB sums for the future. We now know those to be a total crock of shit. The conservatives do. And now you do.

There. Quite simple really.

Colin said...

You know what Iain, I really think you guys in the Tory party just don't get it.

There's no point in howling in the wind at the injustice of it all. Nobody in the real UK really cares that Dave and George and their chums are outraged that brown is lying or that he won't answer questions or that they think the so called fiscal stimulus is a cynical electioneering ploy and that it won't work.

The big problem for the Tories right now is that they have no conduit big enough or broad enough for whatever message they want to get across. The content of the message is irrelevant right now, because nobody is receiving it. Dave and George might be transmitting 5 by 5, but very few of the people they desperately need to get that message across to are just not receiving it.

The Tories need to find new and if need be alternative information conduits. I listened to the today program this morning. The 08:10 slot was a labour love in. There was an MP and two virtual labour party spokesmen in Peston and Robinson. No Tory, no Lib Dem, no attempt at objectivity, no chance of any form of alternative take on the PBR leaks at all. As a result, brown and co have had a clear run today.

This will only get worse in the run up to an election or indeed if the fiscal stimulus looks to have run into the buffers; as the much touted bank bail out seems to have done.

I genuinely think the Tories need urgent help, not so much with policy, but with communicating it to a broad, receptive audience. People out there really, really want to hate brown and labour, they just need some reasons they can understand to enable them to focus that hate.

Anonymous said...

As Elby says ... the conservative policies were based on govt projections, they do not have access to treasury figures. As long as the govt were predicting growth it seems sensible cautious policy to promise to share that growth.

Will Darling mention unemployment? What will be his predictions ? What will he say, if anything, about how many jobs this package will save.

The reality is that Darling and Brown are only interested in saving 2 jobs.

Catosays said...

If this pair of liars had any sense at all, they'd cut Fuel Duty by 10p. That simple cut would help everyone and particularly big business.

I've said before, if you ain't got the dough, then don't borrow. Pull your belt in and cut your spending.
Seems like common sense to me!

Jess The Dog said...

This is a class war red herring. Why not set the 45p threshold at £100K or even £75K to actually raise some money worth chasing? Perhaps because Brown would then be hitting the wealthy end of the public sector market?

Twig said...

Colin, November 24, 2008 10:31 AM

Agreed, but why don't the Tories fight back and expose the BBC for what is has become?

Do you remember Gordon Brown wrong-footing the Tories in his last budget by lowering the basic rate of tax (without drawing attention to the dropping of the 10p band). And did you notice how the BBC have never replayed the occasion with the Labour benches cheering away while Tony Blair bathed in the reflected glory of Gordon Brown the magician.

Compare and contrast with the number of re-runs of John Redwood miming the Welsh national anthem.

If the Tories publicly exposed the BBC as Labour's taxpayer funded propaganda arm they would score a fatal blow against the left. The question is, do they want to?

David Lindsay said...

You could put up the top rate to ninety-nine pence in the pound, for all the difference that it would make. They wouldn’t pay it then, because they don’t pay it now. Yes, there are people who pay top rate tax. But they are not on £150,000.

Close the loopholes, raise the threshold and, if possible, cut the rate. Not just for the top band, but for income tax as a whole.

They’d move abroad? Well, since they are not paying anything anyway, so what? And in any case, no, they wouldn’t. Precisely two cities on earth offer the lifestyle that they want, and one of them is in a country with a much less indulgent attitude towards tax-dodgers (see another of today’s posts for more on what that great country is really like). Of those who are not British, many would not be let into that country, and have been refused entry to it in the past. And those who are British have no more desire than most other people to live in a foreign country, just because it would be living in a foreign country.

Close the loopholes, raise the threshold and, if possible, cut the rate. Not just for the top band, but for income tax as a whole.

CMQ said...

Twig: @ November 24, 2008 2:13 PM

I agree with you and the point is they have to find a different way to get the message across. They'll get no help from the bbc, in fact the bbc will get more and more hostile as time goes on.

What they need are new channels to distribute their message. You can tell by the open contempt in the form of blog and forum posts by large numbers of web users, particularly on the bbc and other regime friendly organs, that they are not on side with the labour narrative - yet.

This justified contempt and skepticism needs to be catered for with an alternative narrative and that alternative narrative needs to be distributed effectively. No political party in the UK has so far successfully exploited the web as a weapon of rebuttal or a conduit for communication. It can't be left to lone bloggers and fringe outfits, there needs to be a well organised movement to take the initiative.

Yak40 said...

So Labour trots out the politics of envy yet again, how unimaginative of them.

However the truly sad thing is that in today's UK there's still millions who are all for it.

Dino Fancellu said...

Twig said...

CMQ @November 24, 2008 3:28 PM
...they have to find a different way to get the message across. They'll get no help from the bbc, in fact the bbc will get more and more hostile...

The Tory leader should just stand up in the House of Commons and demand an independent inquiry into the politicization of the BBC?
And they should bang on about it until they get it firmly on the agenda, and the other political parties which the BBC constantly try to discredit should demand more access to the airwaves to get their own messages across, otherwise what is the point of a public service broadcaster?