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The Ten Pence Tax Band Abolition: The Labour Party’s Poll Tax?

Gordon Brown at last moved to recognise the furore in the Party and more importantly in the Country over the shocking decision to abolish the 10p rate of tax, which Brown himself introduced to help the poorest in Society, by saying that “I get it” about why people feel so angry and betrayed.


The Poll Tax was Thatcher’s unashamed gambit to redistribute wealth from the poor to the better off which is classic Tory philosophy and an exposition of exactly what they stand for.


Unfortunately for her she failed to recognise that the British people as a whole didn’t share her twisted selfish view that, “there is no such thing as Society”, and she was booted out as soon as the Cabinet and MPs realised that this would lose them the next Election.


It proved that the Tories have a very low view of the average person in the Street and that they imagine that voters sole concern is how much dosh they can receive from whoever is in power. That’s their default setting. People are out for what they can get and screw everyone else.


The Poll Tax proved that if the British people perceive a blatant injustice, then they simply won’t put up with it. Period.


And this seems to be the zeitgeist regarding the abolition of the ten pence band.


It is what it is; taking money off the poor to pay for a tax cut to benefit the Middle Class.


There is no other way of describing the measure which sees the basic rate cut to 20p, raised thresholds for the 40p band and all paid for by taking a total of £700 million out of the pockets of the poorest.


What happened at the time Gordon and his team were drawing up the 2007 Budget?


Was it a case of bad advice from the Civil Service regarding how many people would be affected and by how much?


Was it a case of delaying it for a year in order that any gale of protest would blow itself out?


Or was it a case of, “Well these people will never vote Tory, if they vote at all, so bugger ‘em?”


Dawn Primarilo is saying it’s too late to change course. What she means is that we can act as guarantors for Northern Wreck and the other irresponsible lenders that Gordon encouraged to act in such a crazy way, but we can’t find the money to right this wrong.


The sad truth is that the country is skint, largely due to poor stewardship form Brown whilst he was at the Treasury.


He had the enormous good luck to inherit a stable and growing economy from Ken Clarke, further record growth and receipts from tax and whilst the Tories did this at the expense of the poor and had no interest in Social Justice, Brown went spending mad and we all cheered him to the rafters.


Clarke himself pointed out that such a splurge was unsustainable, and we booed him out of court, but it looks like he was right all along, and in his leadership bid he suggested that Public Spending be reigned in to 40% of GDP in order to prevent a massive deficit and to make sure we were in good shape when the next icy blast came along.


I don’t really understand economics, but it seems to me that Gordon winged it, and we went along with it because of the Social Justice benefits without realising what the consequences really were.


Brown’s luck ran out, and now he is making the poor carry the can.


I get the impression that he never takes advice and panics when it goes wrong by doing a runner from the Public eye, fine when you are Chancellor but not now.


Gordon is threatening the backbenchers by making it a confidence issue, a tactic that makes John Major seem positively statesman like. They will fall into place because turkeys don’t vote for Christmas and they know that not even the Tories could mess this up if there were to be an Election.



 But this is a defining moment. We have lost our reputation for economic competency, and even worse we have shat on our own voters from a great height and sold the principles of the Party down the river.


About dermotrathbone

Writer and co author "Through Red Lenses". Activist Unite the Union, Save Our NHS Hull. Fan of Yorkshire County Cricket Club, Hull FC, Munster and Ireland Rugby. Views are mine alone and may not reflect the organisations concerned.


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