Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The 39 Mice on the Stairs

39 Labour rebels, including Linlithgow and Falkirk East MP Michael Connarty, who put their name to a rebel ammendment to the Budget Bill, set for a vote next Monday were subject to a Pied Piper charm offensive yesterday. The ammendment calls for immediate compensation for the approximately 5.3m lower-paid who face higher taxes as a result of the doubling the lowest tax rate to 20p rate instead of 10p.

Mr Darling, that's the Chancellor not a character from Dirty Sexy Money, had a meeting with 50 parliamentary aides and backbenchers concerned about the abolition of the lower rate along with chief whip Geoff Hoon last night. Darling apparently has a very cunning plan (didn't know there was a Baldrick at the Treasury) although Yvette Cooper his deputy denies he even promised this or is able to do anything about it. The two pipers emerged from this latest charming of the mischief of mice as if all was well is Hamlin, I mean Westminster. Mr Darling saying it had been "very useful", Hoon saying when asked if the issue had been sorted said "Of course", always worrying when a chief whip says that about a potential rebellion.

One of the MPs who came out of the meeting Ronnie Campbell MP for Blyth Valley appeared to be swayed saying "It's going to be sorted, no problem, by the end of the financial year." Pity we've only just started the financial year then isn't it?

However, Katy Clark (North Ayrshire and Arran) was not so easily swayed by the paltitudes. "I want to see the government coming forward with proposals", she said," that ensure no one on a low income is worse off with the abolition of the 10p tax rate. I hope it will come forward with further measures this week. We need more detail."

Of course Gordon Brown has done what he always does under times of such split opoinion in his party and extended the review into poverty to include those affected by the abolition of the 10p rate. As the Norfolk Blogger said the other day, "in layman's terms, due to Labour making people earning less than £18K a year poorer, Labour want to investigate why people earning less than £18K a year are poorer." Yes Nich I agree with you that really doesn't need that much investigating.

1 comment:

Norfolk Blogger said...

The old phrase about piss ups in breweries applies strongly to Labour at the moment.

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