Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Advice for the shadow chancellor

Some advice, as we approach the 2015 election, for the shadow chancellor.

         Stop paying £50000  to fund your policy researcher! That`s not far off twice the national average earnings, and hardly good value. As policies have amounted to restoring the 50% income tax rate for very high earners (rocket science?), restoring old ideas like 10p rates (scrapped by Brown in 2008) and a mansion tax (Lib Dem idea) it seems some "researchers" must be taking someone for a ride. Not even one or two progressive ideas? No increased rates for high earners of the £80-149k variety, nothing radical like a sliding scale of taxes going up to 60%, a level even tolerated by Thatcher?
         Stop cosying up to the duplicitous Osborne; we do not want to see you on television on the same sofa joking with the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the man who has  enforced poverty on millions of people, mostly the least advantaged, and used the excuse that it was necessary because of the economic crisis caused by the spending of the last Labour government. Any association with Osborne makes a lie of Miliband`s claim that his party is different from the Tories. Do you want to lose even more votes to Ukip?
         On that subject, isn`t it time for some serious "Farage limitation" before the Euro elections? You`ll be forced into some pledges to win back lost voters if Ukip gains a landslide victory, so why not make some now, before voting for Farage becomes a habit too hard to break. Disillusioned Labour voters need to know you`re on their side, so some new ideas on how the wealthy should pay their share would be welcome, like the £80-149,000 brigade having an increase in their income tax.
        Don`t you and Miliband be so afraid of being branded as "socialists" by the Tories and their media friends; sadly, we know you`re not, but lots of Labour voters would like some support for things like the retention of nationalisation of the East Coast line, and even RBS, if the country`s ever going to have one decent bank to use.
       Housing is not a strong point either. Yes you`ve committed the next Labour government to building thousands of homes, but why is it you never mention social housing, and capping the private rents many have to pay to profiteering landlords. A tax on their unearned income would not go amiss; neither would an inspection authority to check on the suitability of overcrowded and damp homes currently being rented out at extortionate rates. 
        Be more specific on what you will do about tax avoidance. Why haven`t we heard you singing the praises of the Fair Tax Mark? Remember how FDR used the Blue Eagle to encourage responsible capitalism? He was always being accused by the right-wing press of being too radical, but at least he gave them some reasons to do so.Thought of increasing VAT hugely to advertise online if Google and the rest don`t pay taxes? Should financial companies be legally allowed to advise companies on tax "efficiency", and be paid with a percentage of the amount of tax avoided? Such advice should be deemed illegal, as it is clearly against the spirit of the law.
        Why haven`t you taken the New Deal example further and suggested a Fair Pay Mark too, for companies paying a living wage and restricting bosses` pay to levels which cannot be described as obscene. Even Cable thinks £1million is enough for anybody, so why not you? Do you think perhaps you`ve got a little too close to the financial institutions of the City for comfort? Why not offer a reduced rate of corporation tax for companies qualifying for a Fair Pay Mark?
       A bankers` bonus tax is a great idea, the higher the better, but please don`t use it to explain every expenditure proposal. Too easy for you to be ridiculed by the Tories, so other taxes needed as well. Go for a bank levy as well, and think how popular a Tobin (Robin Hood) Tax would be; they owe us trillions!
       Don`t believe businessmen and CEOs who claim they have to pay salaries and bonuses of lottery-win stature because of fear of "death spirals", and of losing the "best people" to rival companies and other countries; there is no evidence that this happens, call their bluff and let them leave their homes, family and social lives in London! As if they would!
      Stop allowing private schools to pretend to be charities as it`s a complete sham, and you know it. All private school fees should be subject to VAT, and it`s a disgrace neither you or your colleagues have the bottle to say so.
       Don`t allow yourselves to be bullied by the "Blairight-wing" factions; they`ve done the party enough damage . Remember the effects of Mandelson being "intensely relaxed about people getting filthy rich"? Times and attitudes have changed, and the rich have a lot to answer for. When you or Miliband propose something radical, opinion polls show an increase in your support; the same happened when you raised the "cost-of-living" crisis, so keep up the pressure with the "cost-of inequality" crisis. We are reliably informed by the Equality Trust think-tank that the gap between rich and poor now costs the country £39bn annually.How ridiculous is this, and what is your answer? A wealth tax would be most people`s preference, to reduce the gap at a stroke, with the money earmarked for the poorer sections of society. Get the message across that it is better for the economy if the poor receive more, as they spend a greater proportion of what they have, and thereby create jobs, whereas the rich hoard or squirrel away theirs in tax havens. The poor pay tax!
     Do you agree with the 1% pay rise which in effect is another pay cut for public sector workers? You probably expect them to vote for you so shouldn`t you show them some support in return? Workers in state education and the NHS, social workers, carers, classroom assistants and the rest are generally doing a wonderful job, so its your duty as shadow chancellor, and upholder of Labour values, to praise and support them.
    Think of saving money? How many billions to be spent on outdated Trident? On HS2, should London take priority, aren`t transport improvements needed more urgently north of Birmingham?
  If you put fairness first, and remember the last Labour government didn`t cause the crash, but also that they were too close to the City, and failed to regulate sufficiently, you should be able to develop policies to win over some of the "suppering classes", and more importantly, most of the people! You won`t get many opportunities to be Chancellor so don`t waste it. As LBJ nearly said,"What the hell`s the point of being Chancellor of the Exchequer if it`s not to make a difference?"

No comments:

Post a Comment