Today Alistair Darling will announce that Labour have finally seen the benefits of low taxation.
Or has he? The BBC is currently reporting an expected temporary reduction in VAT to 15%, along with the introduction of a new higher rate tax band and the postponement of various other changes. In other words, we’re increasing taxes, not immediately, but it’s coming.
And it’s questionable who will benefit from the reduction in VAT. Any reduction in tax is not to be scoffed at, but if you take a low income household and consider where their income goes, much of it is spent on VAT exempt goods. The weekly food shop – mostly VAT free. Children’s clothes – VAT free. Fuel bills -already at a lower VAT rate.
Of course, they’ll save a few quid on their Christmas shopping, but I suspect that’s small consolation when the parents fear for their jobs as we head into recession.
Is there another way? Well, there was a good article in today’s Telegraph that points out that Conservative controlled councils are about the only places you see efficient, well-run and affordable government nowadays.