Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Taxes: What Goes Down Will Go Up

In quite the reverse to those magnificent men in their flying machines, that self proclaimed custodian of the world's economic future Gordon Brown has said that while taxes will be cut next week expect them to rise again after. David Cameron in response did come out with the rather good line:
"Tax cuts should be for life, not just for Christmas."

For it does seem that despite calls from the Lib Dems to make the tax cuts permanent and real to the lower paid through restructuring the system making it fairer and closing loopholes for the wealthy, this is a short-term cash bribe. It may well be the sort of cash bribe that previous chancellors have sought to offer just before a general election, whether real or phantom. Indeed while welcoming the tax cut Nick Clegg the Liberal Democrat leader added:
"The right thing to borrow for is not short-term cash bribes but long-term
capital investment in infrastructure the country needs anyway."

Worryingly the Tory's Shadow Business Secretary Alan Duncan said of the twinkled toed wannabe he is shadowing:
"He [Peter Mandelson] has fessed up to what Gordon Brown is not
prepared to admit, that unfunded tax cons now will leave taxpayers with a
cripplingly expensive bill later."

So not just will the tax cut be short-lived we'll be faced with even bigger bills to come. Thank you Gordon for encumbering us with increasing debt, and the bill for it, rather than looking at a sustainable and realistic restructuring of the debt and payment methods.


James said...

So.. you're worried that their tax cuts would leave us with "even bigger bills to come", whereas the Liberal tax cuts wouldn't, in some mysterious way?

Take the Alan Duncan quote, replace "Gordon Brown" with "Nick Clegg" and I think you'll find it still makes sense.

Stephen Glenn said...

Actually James seeing as the Lib Dem cut in the basic rate of tax is aligned with an overhaul of the tax system and also looking at where public expenditure is spent, yes.

Our tax cuts have been branded permanent and beneficial to the people who need them most for that reason.

James said...

Could you give more substance, please, on the nature of that overhaul and that look?

Also, cutting the basic rate doesn't seem like it gets to the people who need it most: surely the return of the 10p rate would make more sense?

Finally, you're proposing a new income tax in Scotland, alongside another cut there. It's all very confusing, and I think the people the pollsters are talking to have noticed..

Stuart Winton said...

Problem with Nick Clegg's aim to increase public spending on infrastructure spending is that it won't take effect quick enough to stimulate the economy in the way currently required.

As regards future tax rises, of course current debt will have to be repaid in future, but the question is whether it's a good idea to borrow now in terms of the economy in the long-term.

If I need to borrow money to buy food/pay the rent then it's probably short-term idea to do so, even if in the long-term I'll have to repay the borrowings.

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