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It's not entirely clear whether or not the Tories are.

This was a despicable Sheriff of Nottingham budget from Brown, bribing the middle classes and the City at the expense of the poor.

But it makes no sense politically, because the tax on gas guzzlers, will be seen as disproportionately important and a personal affront by those middle classes - even though in financial terms it's almost irrelevant.

There's something of the klutz about Brown. He seems to take a rather smug pride in his canny Scottish nous, but in fact he's politically naive and socially inept. He more or less understands neo-liberal financial theory, and knows how to give it a bit of a populist gloss. But I suspect he doesn't understand politics at all.

I wouldn't be surprised if he calls a snap election on the basis of the ineffable wonderfulness of this budget, and then gets his arse kicked out of the stadium by the Tories.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2007 at 05:47:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If Cameron's actions match his words, -- a big if, in my opinion, but that may be largely the result of Cameron using a ton of Bush's pseudo-centrist talking points from 2000 (which makes me suspicious) -- I think the Tories might well qualify as being more liberal than Labour, at this point.  The parties seem to have come to an informal consensus on the government's total tax take at about 40% of national income.  How they get to that 40% is the big question, followed by the question of how they spend it.

I quite agree on this budget being a Sheriff of Nottingham one.  I have no problem with raising the threshold a bit on the top bracket, but raising taxes on people earning less than £16k -- I think £16k is the break-even point, if I remember the BBC report -- to pay for it is disgusting, and you're right in saying that it wreaks of vote-buying with the middle- and upper-class workers.  Why not raise the threshold, cut the baseline, but add a fourth bracket at (say) £60-80k of 45-50%?  If he wants to throw a bone to the middle class, great, but don't pull it out of the back of the poor.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2007 at 09:43:24 AM EST
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