The raising of the upper tax band for the richest 1% will levy a paltry amount of money and may actually cause revenue to fall, as these types will now feel justified in finding more imaginative ways to avoid paying tax at all.
This is Darling’s fig leaf when he next stands in front of the PLP, or any other Party meetings appealing to the old prejudices, as this has to be the most underwhelming Budget of recent times.
Where is the NEW money? It seems to me that this statement was just a series of re hashed policy announcements jotted down on the back of a fag packet allied to a series of tinkering which don’t actually deliver much.
Darling seems on the one hand terrified to upset Daily Mail Land (he could have done something with National Insurance at the top end), but on the other he indulged in grandstanding to the Left with the un enforceable hike on the top few earners who will now take that money overseas.
Then there are these idiotic, nebulous catch all statements such as £750m investment fund to provide financial support to emerging technologies, £435m extra support for energy efficiency measures for homes, businesses and public places and £405m new funding for low-carbon technology projects.
All fantastic sums of money on worthy causes, but where is the detail, how will we know what has been done and measure it’s success? Hot air if you ask me.
If he wants to stimulate the economy then abolish tax credits and instead raise child benefit and take millions at the bottom end out of the system by upping the allowances.
The savings to the Treasury from the abolition of the incredibly inefficient and bureaucratic tax credit system allied to the scrapping of Trident and ID cards would balance this outlay.
We needed to be truly, and accountably radical. We needed to seen to be actually delivering now. We needed to expose the Tories.
I fear we have done none of these things and this fiddling whilst Rome burns may cost us the Election.