50p

I see reports today that George Osborne is looking at taking Boris Johnson’s advice and cutting the 50p rate of income tax. Labour, on the other hand are looking at lowering the ceiling at which that rate becomes payable; that is ******* typical of its new generation and shows the direction in which the country would head under Milipede. I am old enough to remember the bad old days when the likes of Harold Wilson and Jim Callaghan confiscated up to 93% of the earnings of some of their fellow citizens and laughed about it in Parliament. An element of  their natural support may have approved of taxing the rich ‘until the pips squeak’ as Denis Healey denies saying but did, but that attitude was instrumental in driving Labour out of office for almost twenty years. Today we look down on Greece, Ireland and  Portugal because they have to ask the IMF to shore up their failed economies, yet under Harold and Jim, those dinosaurs, thirty-five years ago, the same thing happened to the UK. Tony Blair was smart enough to understand that in an entrepreneurial society a high taxation regime  is, in the final analysis, destructive; from what I’m reading of his successors, they’re on the way to forgetting that.

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