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PMQs: David Cameron jumps on Harriet Harman’s ‘tax bombshell’

16 July 2014

1:42 PM

16 July 2014

1:42 PM

David Cameron cut his political teeth on the 1992 election campaign. He has long told colleagues that he think 2015 will be a very similar election to 1992. Today he seized on what the Tories see as this cycle’s Labour ‘tax bombshell’. He gleefully read out this quote from Harriet Harman:

‘I think people on middle incomes should contribute more through their taxes’.

Now, the quote in context is far less damaging than it initially appears. Harman appears to be defending progressive taxation as a concept rather than proposing any new taxes. But Ed Miliband appeared blindsided by the quote and the result was Cameron strolling through the session.


I suspect the problem for Labour will be that this quote sets a hare running, that interviewers now start asking Labour to rule out any tax rises on anyone earning less than £150,000 a year. Fundamentally, I think Labour will have to have a clear line on which taxes it won’t raise by the campaign. For, as today showed, the Tories are itching to suggest that Labour’s plans require a big hike in taxation on the middle class. ​

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  • andyrwebman

    We should all make labour pay for having Harriet Harman in their front bench. This vile misandryst woman has done much damage to freedom of speech – imagine if she gets a cabinet post, deputy prime minister? Aaargh!!

    I urge everybody to post as many snappy snippets on their Facebook pages for people to share. For example,

    Imagine a large picture of Harman with the caption
    “This is Harriet Harman.
    It’s thanks to her that you have to watch what you say at work in case it “offends” anyone
    She has consistently condemned Fathers who were peacefully protesting for the right to see their children, whilst praising women’s rights activist known for their violent tactics.
    She is instrumental in trying to implement quota based systems for women, as opposed to meritocracy.

    So, would any male or lover of free speech still intending to vote labour please stand next to the Turkeys who are voting for Christmas?”

  • swatnan

    Dave will jump on anything even though it has no substance; he’s already begun the election campaign when the GE isn’t even declared yet. Disgraceful.

  • Jacques Strap

    ugly slag

  • Lady Magdalene

    I think we all know that under Labour we will pay more taxes.
    What we didn’t know was that Cameron’s brand of LibCONs would load taxes on the middle classes as well.

  • Gizzard Puke

    That’s true.

  • Gizzard Puke

    Aye Liebour are known for their love of higher taxation.

    • telemachus

      Of the rich

      • McRobbie

        As labour aim is to ensure mediocrity for all so then the term “rich” will apply to anyone not on benefits. Lefties are all about jealousy and greed and restriction.

        • telemachus

          An altruistic desire to better society for the majority
          Not jealousy

          • Jacques Strap

            you carry on believing that

      • Inverted Meniscus

        Of everybody you idiot. The rich now pay far more in tax both proportionately and and volume than they did under Fascist Labour.

      • David B

        Define rich, because Brown (with Balls at his side) raised income tax on people earning under £20k a year with the abolition of the 10p tax rate. Are they “Rich” under your defination?

  • Colonel Mustard

    For a magazine that said a very loud ‘No’ to censorship of the press the comments section of Douglas Murray’s Israel thread is an absolute disgrace.

    Profoundly disappointing and sobering that you should facilitate extremists trying to shut down debate.

    • Hexhamgeezer

      They love self-censorship of the press but
      a much more robust restraining of the punters.

    • Shazza

      I have posted about this on the Telegraph Blogs and on Harry’s Place specifically mentioning that the anti-Israel comments have not been deleted. I noticed that one specifically nasty one has been after I drew attention to it.
      Censorship is alive and well at the Spectator.

      • telemachus

        Interesting is it not that a debate about Arabs or Muslims pro or contra can be no holds barred unless it relates to the Bible Lands

  • ButcombeMan

    Labour just do not “get” how, high direct taxes, affect output and effort.

    Although I have almost unlimited work available, I have concluded that with my tax at even & only 40%, it is not worth my effort.

    • IainRMuir

      Hit the nail on the head there.

    • telemachus

      At 45% I not only know that the fruits of our labour benefit the country as a whole but also by direct tax contributions ensure better health and education
      I look forward to next May when I will be happier about the fair use of my tax fruits

      • jack

        Do you pledge to pay at a higher rate of tax voluntarily if Labour were to lose at the next GE?

        • telemachus

          Do not be stupid
          Unilateral declarations are ridiculous
          Further Labour will not lose

          • jack

            You seem to unilaterally make “stupid” comments, so why not put your money where your mouth is?

            • Inverted Meniscus

              Because he doesn’t have any money. He is a benefit scrounging Labour Troll and fantasist.

              • DWWolds

                Judging by the amount of time he spends posting on here he doesn’t have time to do any meaningful work.

              • Jacques Strap


      • Inverted Meniscus

        Nice fantasy but nobody as stupid as you pays tax full stop.

      • ButcombeMan

        45% is ridiculous

      • andyrwebman

        It’s not just fair use, it’s competent use. I know Labour are capable of p**sing billions up the wall with no noticeable achievement.

        Education has had huge amounts of money invested, yet we still have to import skills from abroad. Meanwhile teachers write the essays for spoon fed pupils.

        Money wasted on an unworkable paradigm.

    • MalcolmRedfellow

      Well, BS40Man (and that’s the quantity of it, too) what I don’t ‘get’ is how high indirect taxes (who put VAT up to 20%?), weak productivity indicators, and chronic low pay cannot but affect output, effort, and general well-being.

      Unless, of course, the “long-term economic plan” is a low pay economy with ever-widening social and economic divisions.

      • Inverted Meniscus

        Take it up with the b****rd who bequeathed us all a £168 billion structural deficit and a 7.4% contraction of the economy. Brown is the name madness was his game.

      • ButcombeMan

        Direct taxes have much more perverse effects than indirect.

        Indirect taxes in the UK, given our zero rating, are to a large extent optional.

        20% VAT is too high but it does have one benefit, it catches a lot of the spend of high spending, international high rollers in the London area. people who otherwise make very little contribution.

        It is a sad fact of life that after “The Big Brown Mess” everyone was going to get hit.

        The real potential problem is that Balls seems to have learned nothing. He needs to be moved from anything to do with business or economic management.

        He is the millstone that can single handedly sink Labour.

        • Jacques Strap

          London needs its own tax rates, direct and indirect.

          • ButcombeMan

            If only it was that simple.

            Every time we complicate our tax rates we create exploitable anomalies.

            The one tax tax that COULD be adjusted easily by post code (and which Osborne is mismanaging) is Stamp duty Land Tax.

    • andyrwebman

      Yep. If you get a £1000 bonus, it suddenly looks a lot less enticing after tax – and that’s at a relatively low rate.

  • BigAl

    If Labour gets elected, the majority of those in work will pay more in taxes. This has always been the case so why should we expect anything different next time?

    • HookesLaw

      Don’t forget NI

    • telemachus

      Bilge and balderdash
      What we saw today is a wilful attempt by the Prime Minister to smear the Opposition by taking an innocent comment totally out of context
      This is worse
      Far worse
      Than his fortnight ago misapplication of NHS statistics
      We are seeing the moral decline of the Tories
      Almost but not quite as bad as the degeneration of UKIP into racism
      In some ways I am pleased because it tells us that those decent Brits who retain some moral scruples can only vote one way next May

      • Nkaplan

        Oh the irony – to complain rightly about quoting people out of context in order to vilify them, and then to vilify UKIP as racist on the basis of similar distortions!

      • Inverted Meniscus

        From the scumbag who distorts and misrepresents every word of UKIP or Conservative policy and screaming “waaaaycist” at every opportunity. Nice bit of irony Laddie, I am sure Gordon Brown would be proud of your amorality.

      • Bo Williams

        Harriet Harman wants to raise taxes on the middle-classes, that is what most Labour politicians want to do, it is why they entered politics. There are not enough people earning over £150k to pay for everything. The mask slipped.

        • telemachus

          “The Labour Party wants to cut taxes for middle and low earners. Harriet Harman was clearly talking about the tax system as it is now where people on lower incomes pay less tax. It is deeply dishonest of David Cameron to suggest otherwise”

          • davidofkent

            I think you can stop writing that now. The damage is done and the Conservatives have a wonderful soundbite to field every few days during the election campaign. I must say that it’s quite amusing when a Labour supporter accuses a Conservative Prime Minister of being dishonest.

          • iviv44

            Reading Harman’s iips during PMQs, she clearly believes in increasing taxes for middle earners. Hence, presumably, you having to put your last post in quotes — this might be the quote from the Labour Press Office but it clearly isn’t what Harman believes.

      • A Free Man

        Serious question. Do you genuinely believe the stuff you come out with?

        • Wessex Man

          Of course this slimy lying piece of communist s**** doesn’t you all give it air to breath by responding – don’t bother it will soon wither.

          • eclair

            Trouble is is such fun poking at him! Shame the result really is truly horrible…shameful too.

      • Smithersjones2013

        Stop frothing Teletubby we all know there will be large tax hikes by Labour for anyone earning above average earnings and they’ ll probably screw the working classes as well.

        • Kitty MLB

          They have already done that to the working classes. Those who telemachus and others now
          call the under class.

      • Kitty MLB

        Waffling wasp! We know what Harriet meant.
        Labour wish to continue where they left off, taking money from those who are not poor enough to need
        help from the goverment and not rich enough so
        that it doesn’t matter.