Posted by: secretperson | May 27, 2008

Left Wing Tax Cuts

Labour’s Denis MacShane writes today in the Telegraph that Gordon Brown should support tax cuts (starting with the lowest paid) and pay for it by cutting public spending. I couldn’t agree more.

He says

Modern socialists should worship neither the state nor the market – the individual human being should be at the centre of our concerns.

and

Labour should not be frightened of being a party that leaves more money in the pockets of hard-working individuals, starting with those at the lower end of the income scale. A Labour government that got serious about weaning its bureaucracy and clients off dependency on the citizen’s money would find itself popular again.

In fact, quite bizarrely, I agree with almost everything he says. The only change I would make is that he should be saying it to David Cameron (who we all know will be next Prime Minister, barring a miracle). These are policies that most Tories support, and if someone like MacShane can make a left-wing argument for them, there are the swing votes Cameron needs on top of his core vote.

His makes the case for tax cuts well, but the politics seems confused. He also says:

Labour should break free from Cameronomics

when most people on the right think Cameron and Osborne stick too rigidly to Brownonomics. While Brown seems to have stolen come ideas (inheritance tax for one) it is his tax and spend that has set the politico-economic agenda, with Cameron following. It is the right who want these measures, they have been hinted at by the Tories, but not spelt out, in an effort to keep the centre ground. If MacShane thinks there is any chance of Gordon Brown adopting these measures, he is mistaken. They are not even on the radar.

Still, it is always nice to see that tax cuts and a smaller state are winning supporters. The government can start with stopping the fuel duty escalator.

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