Monday, 1 October 2007

George Osborne heads in the right direction

I speak of just one aspect of this story, the idea of a one-off £25k annual sum to the non-domiciled wealthy. I think it is a measured step in the right direction. Not sure about the wisdom of where it may be going, but it is a very clever move electorally. I wonder what the Conservative Home view of this is?

UPDATE: I watched this being attacked (like by a wet sponge) by A Darling, our Chancellor, purely on the basis of it not paying for the inheritance tax cut. Utterly avoided Jon Snow's attempts to get him to explain why they were not doing it. But you could see what the New Labour line on this was going to be - more unfunded promises. It seems rather unfair that NL get to quote "The Treasury" (that non-political body) whilst the Tories have some sweating staffer.

Newsnight was still worse for the Conservatives, confirming how the benefits of the tax cut are just 6% of the richest people, and savaging the "9million benefit from this" line. I can see why there are complaints of BBC bias. But I have never liked inheritance tax cuts. Why not the lower rate of tax instead?

Funny how a story develops. This one, for me, started with "Tories outflank the rest on Tax" and turned into "Tories find money; waste it on tax that only appeals to core vote; get attacked by everyone else; likely to get their good idea nicked since they have now made it acceptable". But I still think Tim Hames is too pessimistic for them. This crew is way more attractive than Howard, IDS or Hague Mk I. Brown is still offputting and surely noone really thinks his leaden announcements over the flood-terrorism-dead-cow summer are signs of reassuring strength. It will be a close to avoid a hung parliament.

UPDATE 2: It seems rich Americans are somewhat more enlightened (to which read: agreeing with me
*) on the subject of inheritance tax. Paid by a small minority of people at the top, repealing it is regressive, and hits the incentive to give money to charity in the will. Which Americans are much better at doing than we are.

*well why shouldn't I act with the self-regarding conceit of a blogger, it seems to be the style

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