Labour’s Pre-Budgetary Plans

Labour’s Pre-Budgetary Plans or why we can’t trust the Government to get it right

We are doubtless all familiar with the mantra which was, until very recently, one of Gordon Brown’s favourite sayings. This is of course that Labour would invest in spending while the Tories would cut it.

It was not until poll after poll showed that the public firmly supported the Conservative stance on the necessity of cuts that Mr Brown was finally persuaded to drop the nonsensical line. Since this climb down to reality, Mr Brown has lurched to the other verbal extreme, by declaring the necessity of a law to halve the budget deficit in four years (a meaningless gesture which is little more than a waste of Parliamentary time).

But can we trust Labour to do what is best for the country’s financial future? Certainly their actions since the start of the recession would suggest not.

Their VAT cut was ineffective, and did little other than squander billions of pounds. The increase of the higher end tax bracket from 45% to 50% will probably end up losing the Treasury money, as entrepreneurs abandon London for more sympathetic tax regimes (taking with them their investment and talent incidentally) and the government has ring fenced so many areas of public spending that it will be exceedingly difficult for them to keep their fiscal promises.

So what can we expect from Mr Darling in his pre-budget report? Somehow I doubt that New Labour will be prepared to abandon its dogged, statist ideology anytime soon. Instead, from the Chancellor, we should expect pronouncements on ‘efficiency savings’ and the sale of government assets, rather than a fundamental restructuring of the government’s bloated expenditure. If we are lucky we can hope for the abandonment of such nonsensical and expensive projects as ID Cards, but somehow I am sceptical.

This government has consistently failed to deliver what’s best for Britain. What we should be braced for is a series of populist measures which attempt to help the Labour party and its inept leader, rather than aiding Britain and the British people. Be wary of further tax hikes on the wealthy, hand outs to Labour’s base and a lot of subtle ‘Toff’ bashing as well.

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