Monday, 13 February 2017

Tory duplicity: 3 letters

As "about £17bn of tax rises are planned" by 2020, so that the tax share of GDP will be "above 37%  of national income for the first time since 1986-7", it is worth remembering that in that particular tax year, higher earners paid between 40% and 60% income tax (Tax burden "will hit highest level for 30 years",08/02/17). In fact, in those days of progressive tax, unsurprisingly it had been Thatcher who had reduced the top level to 60%, from 83%.
    The chancellor would do well to remember that, instead of planning "large giveaways in the form of a higher income tax personal allowance" at the higher rate, it is possible, both to tax fairly, and to accept that the Laffer Curve was a right-wing invention to justify low taxes on the wealthy.
    At a time when the NHS, the care system, schools and prisons are in desperate need of proper funding, it is immoral to consider cuts, when the rich get off so lightly.

What is it with the memories of Tory politicians? Last week George Osborne was suddenly worrying about the state of schools in the north, forgetting that his austerity programme`s cuts had intensified poverty in the area, increased the gap in spending per pupil between schools in the north and south, and frozen teachers` pay (Osborne seeks action on brain drain from the north,03/02/17).
Now we have Ken Clarke explaining the Brexit vote with the anger felt because of "London and the south-east having a booming economy", with "nothing happening" in the cities of the north, generously adding that "some blame" lay with Conservative governments (Ken Clarke: referendum a result of UK`s failure in tackling equality,06/02/17). Admittedly, Crossrail was given the green light in 2007 by a Labour administration, but since then, Britain`s inequality has been compounded by Tory decisions on HS2, the Heathrow runway, the western section of Crossrail, and in all probability, a ridiculous Garden bridge. Last year the Institute for Public Policy Research released figures showing that the Department for Transport will spend just £280 per person in the north, over the next four years, compared to £1870 per person in London.

Tories are responsible for so many of the country`s current problems, it beggars belief that two of their leading lights appear oblivious to the fact!

I noticed with despair that the Labour amendment to the EU Bill, which was "designed to stop the UK becoming a post-Brexit anti-tax haven", was defeated by 336 votes to 289 (Amendments: How the MPs voted, 09/02/17). Isn`t the idea of Britain becoming even more of a tax haven, where the rich can squirrel away their abundance of assets from the prying eyes of the taxman, contrary to the speech May gave at Downing Street, on becoming prime minister? "When it comes to taxes, we`ll prioritise not the wealthy", she said then, just another example of how Tory rhetoric cannot be trusted.
    At a time when the NHS, schools, the care system and prisons are all in urgent need of more funding, it is disgraceful to see Tory MPs acting so duplicitously.

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