Coffee House

Tories vs Labour tax row continues

16 July 2014

3:39 PM

16 July 2014

3:39 PM

Labour has now reviewed the Harriet Harman interview on LBC in which she said ‘I think people on middle incomes should contribute more through their taxes’ and concluded that she wasn’t calling for the squeezed middle to pay more in tax than it currently is. Very few people can honestly say they are able to make crystal clear assertions in every broadcast appearance they make, but Harman, had she had any idea that CCHQ was listening to her interview, hoping for something juicy, could have clarified what she meant by adding ‘than those on low incomes’ to ‘I think people on middle incomes should contribute more through their taxes’ so that the Tories couldn’t suggest that she meant ‘than they currently do at the moment’.

A Labour spokesperson said:

‘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. It is the Tories who have raised tax 24 times, including raising VAT for hard-working families despite promising not to, and cut them for millionaires.’

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Labour will now be hoping that this is the end of the row about Harriet Harman wanting to raise taxes, as even though this quote did not mean what Cameron argued it did, every time they are forced to deny that they want to raise taxes on middle earners, the suspicion in voters’ minds that this is exactly what Labour does want to do lingers a little longer.

And the Tories are hoping that it heralds lots of broadcast debate about whether Labour does want to raise taxes. They’re certainly keen to keep it going, with this poster (or infographic, as the Tories prefer it) appearing on Twitter already.

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UPDATE, 16:45pm: Harman is keen to keep this row going. She has written to the Prime Minister to complain about his comments:

Dear Prime Minister,

You claimed at Prime Minister’s Questions today that “yesterday Labour announced – in an important announcement – that it is now their policy to put up taxes on middle income people”. This is not true. It is a lie.

In fact, as you surely know, since your own party circulated a transcript later, I had made a straightforward defence of our system of progressive taxation – the idea that people on higher incomes should – and do – pay more in tax overall than people on lower incomes. The full quote is here:

“But I would say Henry one of the things that I would argue that might, should probably make a really big difference to you is having a really good health service. Because you don’t want to have to pay for health insurance. You don’t want to have to pay to go pr    ivate to get really good healthcare system. And I think that is not just for working class people it’s for middle class people as well. And the same with education, you know, really good school system that helps people from lower income families and middle income families as well so I think that actually the idea that there are some things that help people on low incomes and other that help people on middle incomes. Yes I think people on middle incomes should contribute more through their taxes. But actually they need those public services like the transport system.”

Harriet Harman, LBC, 14 July 2014

It is utterly clear that this is not a call for higher taxes, but a defence of a system which has previously commanded wide support, in which people on middle incomes contribute more than people on lower incomes.

While the principle of progressive taxation has been undermined in recent years, by your Government’s decision to raise VAT and to cut the top rate of tax for the highest earners, even you had not seriously questioned it until today.

Our politics, and the quality of public debate, requires that all participants, however much they may disagree, take part in good faith.

Yours sincerely,

Harriet Harman MP

Deputy Leader of the Labour Party


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Show comments
  • McRobbie

    “Yes I think people on middle incomes should contribute more through their taxes.”
    and the NUJ trained and affiliated ex minister of schools Jacqui Smith thinks Cameron lied when he said HH had said “Yes I think people on middle incomes should contribute more through their taxes.”…..That’s leftie thinking..you speak the truth but you lie because you’re not a leftie. The interpretation that labour will increase taxes is certainly what I took from HH’s statement as will most rational voters…its labour we are talking about, that’s what they do.

    • Andy

      That is exactly what the silly woman said. She did not qualify the statement either before that sentence nor after.

  • evad666

    Can we have public declarations on all MPs tax affairs? How many are using tax avoidance schemes no matter how “legal”?

    • Andy

      You mean like the Miliband family and its tax avoidance ?

      • starfish

        And margaret hodge

        • Andy

          Now don’t mention rampant child abuse in care homes run by Islington Council when she was leader.

    • Inverted Meniscus

      Do you have an ISA laddie? Because if you do, you are employing a tax avoidance scheme. Will you be publishing your tax returns anytime soon?

  • Daidragon

    She said middle income people should pay more tax than low income people. This clumsy attempt to decontextualise is laughable. Cameron thinks he can rerun the 92 election. The man is an idiot.

    • Shazza

      Well hopefully you will join your friends in the Valleys, David the Dragon, crying into your beer when the result in 2015 reflects that of ’92.

    • HJ777

      Actually, she didn’t say that. She said that the middle classes should pay more tax (period, as the Americans say). Whether she meant more tax THAN someone else is another issue is a perfectly reasonable point to argue – but it’s not what she said.

      What is against her is the fact that she included no qualification – and it is her party that is always complaining that not enough is being spent on the things she mentioned are funded by taxes, so it is not unreasonable to suppose that she might be in favour of higher taxes.

    • Andy

      No she didn’t. Nowhere in what she said did she make that qualification. It is quite clear what she said: ‘Yes I think people on middle incomes should contribute more through their taxes’.

  • starfish

    You’d think that such a consummate politician (al least in her super-inflated opinion of herself) would be rather more careful what she said
    Now we know why McDoom did not give her anything important to do
    And she dares to run crying to Dave saying you misquoted me – when her entire career has been built on innuendo, half-truths and mealy-mouthed vitriol
    Bless
    And yet again Miliband looks hopeless
    Someone should call the RSPCA – surely something should be done about the savage beatings he is taking every week

    • Inverted Meniscus

      What the a royal Society for the prevention of cruelty to socialist nutters.

      • Shazza

        Why such magnitude to someone who won’t address her PIE connections truthfully? Surely even the RSPCSN would balk at her admission!

  • HJ777

    Somewhat disingenuous from Harriet Harman – I believe she voted in favour of the budget when Gordon Brown doubled the 10p tax rate and didn’t raise personal allowances to compensate.

    For the record, the low paid spend a higher proportion of their income on housing, food and domestic fuel than most and hence weren’t affected as much by the VAT rise (and yes, I know that the figures on tax for those with the lowest incomes don’t reflect this but that is because many of those on low incomes are quite rich but are living off capital)

  • Tony_E

    I’m reminded of a quote from Damien McBride referring to Mrs Dromey’s accusation that Brown was sexist and did not give her the DPM job because of it.

    He said that Brown categorised people into two groups, those who were smart, and those who were useless. He only promoted the former.

    I’m no fan of Brown, but even a broken watch is right twice a day.

    • Inverted Meniscus

      Even though he was definitely one of the latter!

  • Flintshire Ian

    **** Off Hattie

    • Inverted Meniscus

      Top comment.

  • Ron Todd

    What would the posh rich lot on the labour front bench consider to be a ‘middle income’ ?

    • Stu

      Oh at least 110k a year darling that’s the least us Labour champagne luvvies need.

      The dear leader Kim Jong Mil needs 5 times that amount just maintain his servants. But of course as not a millionaire he feels your pain.

  • Nkaplan

    Harman is of course right that Cameron has completely (and deliberately) distorted what she said – perhaps she will learn a valuable lesson….

    As for her conclusion : “Our politics, and the quality of public debate, requires that all participants, however much they may disagree, take part in good faith” – it is hard to know whether to laugh or cry at such outrageous, self-righteous hypocrisy from the deputy leader of a party that specialises in arguing against their opponents in bad faith and little else. Bedroom tax? The few not the many? Helping their friends in the city? Balancing the budget on the backs of the poor? – these are just a few of the more mild slurs that the Labour party regularly hurl at their political opponents.

    • HJ777

      Actually, Cameron hasn’t distorted what she said – he just took it literally.

      She can argue that it wasn’t what she MEANT, but it was what she said.

  • RavenRandom

    Ha ha. Protests too much… gotcha.

  • http://batman-news.com The Commentator

    Of course Labour are going to increase taxes for the average earner, hardly a revelation! But the voters need to know what the Tories have done with spending as well. Such as doubling the national debt in five years, retaining a huge deficit with a massive gap between earnings and government spending, out of control borrowing: around £14 million per hour at the moment. If you want fiscal responsibility choose another party. UKIP would be a good choice.

    • HookesLaw

      Borrowing is not out of control. Nor is spending. The govt inherited a massive deficit 160 billion in its first year. In fact the govt have trod a difficult path well, controlling spending and preserving jobs against a background of world economic crisis. It elected not the throttle the economy to pursue a doctrinaire pledge. Jobs have risen, unemployment is falling.
      UKIP would be an appalling choice.

      • Tony_E

        Unfortunately, even though I am likely to vote to try to keep the present lot, there’s no way to hide the fact that borrowing is still too high.
        ‘Out of control’ is maybe too emotive, but the amount of growth we will need to reverse the deficit at the current rate of spending demand makes the idea of both a balanced budget and debt repayment (and eventual debt freedom) beyond the realms of fantasy.

        Something will need to radically change. The welfare state is unaffordable in its current form. No radical change is coming, as the electorate won’t wear it.

        The two issues – Debt/Deficit and Welfare – are now unavoidable. As soon as we stop expanding and inflating, the roof will surely fall in.

        • HookesLaw

          Projections say we will be in surplus in 2018. The govt have plans for further cuts.
          http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-25617844
          ‘A further £25bn spending cuts – much of it from the welfare budget –
          will be needed after the next election, Chancellor George Osborne has
          warned.’

          Like it or not you cannot say the Tories are not being up front and honest.
          What is Labour’s alternative if any?

          • Alexsandr

            well they are 4 years late cutting DfID to zero

          • McRobbie

            To lie ! what else to cover their non existent strategy.

          • Tony_E

            I’m rather concerned that we won’t get to 2018 in the current projected line. It would only take a slight economic shock to cause real divergence from that path.

            The next shock might be from China, which has some brewing problems. Also we still have risk elements from the southern EU states and France. CDS is still out there, as is potential defaults. The property market is is starting to bubble, based largely on foreign cash influx (some from China which is about to be stopped under Chinese Law).

            So while I don’t accuse the tories of lying over that projection, I thin it’s optimistic to think it will be met without at least some more bumps on the road.

    • DWWolds

      To understand why the debt has increased under the present government see the comment above on accruals.

  • HookesLaw

    It’s a tough world politics. Labour perform the same tricks.
    I know its an unedifying though but at its next meeting the shadow cabinet should be lining up to kick dear Harriet up the backside.

  • Colonel Mustard

    Tories need to attack Labour aggressively and keep on attacking. They need to dissect and publicise every lie, every contradiction, every hypocrisy. They need to highlight and ridicule the nonsense spouted by Labour’s barmiest politicians.

    Keep on Harmon. She is Labour’s Achilles heel and the country despises her. Highlight the contradiction of her bombastic feminist guff on equality and her manslave Dromey being parachuted into a safe seat with an all-woman shortlist.

    Give them no respite. Attack. Attack. Attack.

    • telemachus

      attack Labour aggressively and keep on attacking

      Give them no respite. Attack. Attack. Attack.

      “Yes, we’ve made progress, but let’s not kid ourselves. There’s a way to go before we can return to government. There’s a lot we need to do in this party of ours. Our base is too narrow and so, occasionally, are our sympathies, You know what some people call us: the nasty party,”

      • Colonel Mustard

        “…attack Labour aggressively and keep on attacking

        Give them no respite. Attack. Attack. Attack.”

        I agree with you. I’m pleased you have finally seen the light about what a really nasty party Labour is!

      • Inverted Meniscus

        Quite right. Labour is the party of lies, lying and liars.

      • David B

        Tele how many years have Labour misrepresented the conservatives

        Alistar Campbell made a carear of it!

        Burnham screams privatisation everytime he says “Tory” and “NHS” in the same sentence.

        Live by the miss quote die by the miss quote.

        Trouble for you is everyone knows Labour always increase tax when in government, but this time Harmon has let it slip’

  • HookesLaw

    ‘share this graphic today’ …. well done Speccy.

    Will Ed reshuffle ‘toxic’ Harman?

    • Alexsandr

      who would he put in her place?
      her paedophile apologist and useless husband?

      • HookesLaw

        Once again you expound sound reasons for voting to keep Labour out of power.

    • Kitty MLB

      You mean in the same way they reshuffled bonkers and
      toxic Balls.

  • Peter Stroud

    If Cameron was wrong to suggest that Harman was in favour of higher taxes for middle earners: why was she nodding approvingly when he implied that this was the case?

    • telemachus

      Because as a statement of fact, which is all the Harman quote was, it is true that middle earners pay more tax than the poor
      *
      And indeed more than Osborne’s friends

      • RavenRandom

        You know you post more when Labour have inadvertently told the truth. Therefore you must believe Labour will put taxes up, so you come on here to lie.

      • Colonel Mustard

        “Our politics, and the quality of public debate, requires that all participants, however much they may disagree, take part in good faith.”

        Harriet Harman MP
        Deputy Leader of the Labour Party

        A classic example of Labour’s “Do as we say, not as we do” approach to politics. They will happily lie and misrepresent anything to gain political advantage but it is suddenly terribly unfair when they get a taste of their own medicine. Was their recent video nasty an example of taking part in good faith?

        • wycombewanderer

          For decades the bastards have been dining out by quoting thatchers ‘no such thing as society’ out of context.

          Let the bastards rot in the filth they’ve created.

      • David B

        Thanks to Brown and Balls who deliberately raised thresholds at a slower rate than wage growth, catching more people in the tax system.

  • Alexsandr

    If course a possible labour government in 2015 will raise taxes and increase borrowing to increase state spending. Anyone who thinks otherwise is naive.

    • HookesLaw

      Well the alternative to raising taxes is to increase borrowing which will be just as disastrous for the country.

      • Alexsandr

        now you show yourself to be a true socialist.
        a proper little c conservative would, of course, cut spending.

        • HookesLaw

          I am replying to your point about Labour and suggesting what they would do. If you care to engage a bit of English comprehension (after all it is only 2 lines) you will read that I say it ‘will be just as disastrous’.
          How you conclude I am in favour of increased borrowing thus baffles me.

      • http://batman-news.com The Commentator

        Is that increase above the billions the Tories have borrowed? With no conceivable hope of us being able to pay our creditors a Greek-style default is only a few years away.

        • HookesLaw

          Default is not a few years away. The govt have got its spending under control and is preparing further cuts, all as explained in the autumn statement and the budget. Its credit rating is good and the IMF are complimantary.
          My point was about Labour’s propensity to borrow.

          • Andy

            All Governments ‘borrow’. That’s the trouble. None of the bastards seem capable of balancing the books. They will need to fun a substantial surplus for a generation and more to undo the damage wrought by the Fascists on the States finances. Fat chance of that.

            • HJ777

              There is nothing wrong with a government borrowing – provided the rate of borrowing is matched by the growth in GDP. That way, the debt stays stable as a percentage of GDP.

              The problem is when governments borrow more (as a percentage of GDP) per annum than the economy is growing.

              So if government borrowing is 1% of GDP and the economy is growing at 2% per annum, the debt will be falling as a percentage of GDP and therefore will be becoming relatively cheaper to finance.

              We don’t need to run a surplus to repair our finances – we just need to reduce the deficit below the rate of GDP growth. A surplus would do it even faster, of course.

              • Andy

                What you say is true, but the basic problem is that the debt to GDP ratio has rocketed because of the stupidity of the last government. In principle there is nothing wrong in the State borrowing, but not to pay the housekeeping, which is what is happening now. In 2002, following the Tories plans it hit 37.1%: it is now over 90%. Personally I believe we do need a balanced budget and for preference a surplus to begin to repair the damage that idiot Brown did to the States finances.

                • HJ777

                  I agree, although the debt:GDP ratio would fall reasonably rapidly with a balanced budget and 3% annual GDP growth.

                  It won’t be easy to run a surplus in the early days of debt ratio reduction because of the cost of servicing the debt that has already been run up, but it should become gradually easier over time as the burden of debt servicing reduces compared to revenues.

                • arnoldo87

                  “In 2002, following the Tories plans it hit 37.1%”

                  Or you might have said:-

                  “In 2002, after 5 years of New Labour government, despite the rest of the world suffering a recession that Britain avoided, the debt ratio fell below 30%”

                  Doesn’t quite carry the same message, though, does it?

                • Andy

                  But we know that the idiot Brown followed Tory spending plans for the first two years. In 1999-2000, following those plans, total public spending to GDP was 36.3%, the lowest figure since 1957-58. In 2010-11 it hit 48.1% which clearly shows how extravagant Brown was.

                • arnoldo87

                  Not sure where you get your figures from Andy, but this is the second time this morning that you’ve got your numbers wrong. 36.3% was definitely NOT the lowest figure since 1957/8, but it was lower than anything the Major government achieved.
                  And the 2010 number, as you well know, was after the banking crisis, which originated in the USA and tipped the whole world into recession.
                  The debt (and deficit) numbers leading up to that crisis were still better than anything the Major government achieved.

                • HJ777

                  But not better (or anywhere near) what was achieved prior to the early 90s recession, where the debt was 20-something percent of GDP and we were running a healthy surplus.

                  It is disingenuous to compare the debt level immediately after one recession with levels immediately prior to another. You need to compare the same points in the cycle.

                • arnoldo87

                  Yes – maybe what should be compared is the entire record of the Tories over 18 years compared with the Labour record over 13 years.
                  Maybe you could do the numbers and let us know the answer?

                • HJ777

                  It very much depends on HOW you compare.

                  A straight comparison of average debt levels tells us very little. If we had two parties alternating in power at equal time intervals and one always steadily doubled the debt and the other always steadily halved it, then the average debt under the two governments would be equal – but there would be very little doubt over which was more fiscally responsible.

                  The debt will be much higher under this government than under the last Labour one because Labour left a record deficit, a fast-growing debt and an economy in a very poor state, whereas the last Labour government inherited a modest deficit which had been falling for some years and a level of debt that had already stabilised.

                • arnoldo87

                  I agree that it does depend on how you compare. Your scenario of doubling and halving is technically correct, but nothing like that has happened in reality. Both Labour and the Tories decreased the deficit to start with and then ramped it up again. Much the same thing happened with the debt.

                  To take your statements one by one. I don’t think you can judge this government on the debt and deficit figures, because, as you say, they were left with a unique situation of record deficit, fast growing debt and an economy in a very poor state. And I have to say that they have managed as well as anyone could, with the possible exception of not pushing hard enough on helping SME’s in the first two years.

                  Secondly the last Labour government really did not inherit a “modest” deficit. The figure in 1997 was 3.4% of GDP , a number that was not exceeded until the economic crisis. The figures from 1992 were abysmal and read:- 3.7%,7.4%,7.6%,6.1%4.6% and 3.4%.
                  The debt had not “stabilised” at all, but had climbed from 26% of GDP in 1991 to 42.1% in 1997, again a figure not seen again until the banking crisis.

                  What about some overall figures then?
                  On debt the Tories, during their 18 year term averaged 38.6% of GDP, and Labour, up until the crisis, a figure of 34.4%. Even if you add in the two post crisis years it is still only 37% – lower than the Tories.
                  On deficit, the Tories averaged 3.3% of GDP, and Labour 1.03% up to the crisis. If you add in the last two years after the crisis this number goes up to 2.67%. Again a superior number to the Tories.

                  Now, if we argued that there is a “lag” after one government where their performance affects the incoming government, then the figures do change.
                  Adding a two year lag, we get:
                  Tories: Debt – 37.9% Deficit – 2.65%
                  Labour up to the crisis: Debt – 33.4% Deficit – 1.23%
                  Labour up to 2010 + 2 years : Debt – 41.8% Deficit – 2.67%

                  So the message here is that ONLY if you take Labour’s full term of 13 years and include a two year lag effect,(which means that four years of the bad figures caused by the crisis are included) do Labour’s numbers go worse than the Tories, but even then not massively.

                • HJ777

                  The last Labour government inherited a deficit that, as your figures show, was rapidly falling after a recession. Note the peak during the recession – much lower than under Labour, partly due to the fact that we started from a position of surplus in the boom, whereas Labour were running a deficit during a boom.

                  And yes, the debt as a percentage of GDP had stabilised by 1997. I didn’t say it hadn’t risen before 1997, I said it had stabilised by then – which it had.

                  Two year lag? Do you really think that the deficit left by Labour should be attributed to the current government after just two years? Really?

                • arnoldo87

                  A disappointing reply, HJ. Your argument only holds water if you believe that the 2008 crisis was caused entirely by Labour’s spending before then , and that sub-prime and the banking crisis had nothing to do with it.

                  Do you think it really is credible to believe that?

                  And if a two year lag is insufficient, it can only mean that the disastrous economic performance of John Major’s government in the mid 1990’s was the fault of…….Margaret Thatcher.

                • HJ777

                  Disappointing for you because it exposes the paucity of your argument.

                  I never said that, and my argument doesn’t rely on the whole recession being Labour’s fault. But Labour wanted the credit for the growth before that…

                  Labour ran a sizeable deficit at the height of a boom, ignored asset price inflation and landed us with the biggest deficit of any major economy. Those are facts.

                  Actually, the performance of Major’s government when it comes to economic growth was pretty decent – as Brown grudgingly acknowledged when the was presented with ‘spectacularly good figures’ when he came to office. Lawson, rather than Margaret Thatcher, was, in large part, to blame for the late 80s boom, but again there were other factors outside the UK. At least the public finances were operated in a counter-cyclical way, restraining the size of the boom through running a surplus, rather than cyclically, adding to its size, as Brown did.

                • Inverted Meniscus

                  Oh he doesn’t do honesty.

                • Andy

                  ‘The size of the state, measured by public spending as a share of national income, is shown in Figure
                  2.1. Since the Second World War, total public spending (the sum of current spending and public
                  sector net investment) has fluctuated between 36.0% and 49.6% of national income – the low being
                  achieved in 1957−58 and the high in 1975−76. The current government inherited a level of 39.9%
                  in 1996−97, from which it subsequently fell to 36.3% in 1999−2000, the lowest level since
                  1957−58. Since then public spending has increased, reaching 47.9% of national income in 2009−10.
                  Under current government projections, public spending is set to increase further to 48.1% of
                  national income in 2010−11 – the highest level of spending since 1982−83.’

                  Source: http://www.ifs.org.uk/bns/bn92.pdf

                  If you disagree with these figures, which you do, kindly post what you think these numbers are and give the source.

                • arnoldo87

                  Andy,
                  Of course those figures are correct. I was thrown by your initially talking about debt to GDP ratio and then changing it to public spending to GDP ratio – so apologies for that.
                  However, if you study figure 2.1 it is clear that the performance of New Labour on even this measure is better than the Major or Thatcher governments overall up to the economic crisis.
                  So my overall argument still holds. Labour have generally outperformed the Tories on economic competence.

                • Inverted Meniscus

                  Yes but a structural deficit of £168 billion and a 7.4% contraction of the economy does. Especially when instead of repaying debt when you are running surpluses, you spend the money and some. That is why the b*****ds were thrown from office in 2010. Cue the “it was all the fault of the wicked Americans and nothing to do with Labour” bollux.

        • DWWolds

          Borrowing has increased under the present government because of the legacy of the deficit left behind by Labour. Unfortunately, that debt will continue to increase until the deficit is reduced to zero. If you do not understand that you should buy a book on basic accountancy and look up “accruals”.

      • Stu

        Actually Hooky I think there is a third alternative. Maybe the clowns who claim to govern us should just spend less of our money.

        • HookesLaw

          Yes I agree – I don’t want to edit my comment because I am happy with it – I was pointing out labour’s alternative to taxes which is borrowing.

          But you give me the opportunity to point out that the govt have been cutting spending. Despite the rhetoric it has not particularly front loaded cuts but the opposite. It has been careful not to strangle the economy, it has underpinned it through the crisis in the Eurozone and we see the benefits of its policies in the rise in jobs and the fall in unemployment and the continued low level of interest rates.

        • Holly

          YAY! you.
          Glad someone else worked that out, and mentioned it.
          Under a Conservative majority that IS exactly what will happen.

      • DWWolds

        With there is a distinct possibility that it would not be an “alternative”. In fact, it is more likely to be both increasing taxes and more borrowing.

      • Dougie

        One alternative is to increase borrowing. Another is to reduce spending to what we can actually afford.

  • BigAl

    Vote Labour, pay more taxes. You get what you vote for….

    • Mike Barnes

      Tax rises are coming whoever wins the election according to Jeremy Warner in The Telegraph.

      There’s a 100billion annual deficit, Tories have promised to protect NHS spending, education, pensioner benefits etc. How on earth are they going to close the deficit without tax rises? Answers on a postcard to George Osborne please.

      • HookesLaw

        A word to the wise – don’t take a blind bit of notice of anything Warner says.
        The OBR project the deficit to fall steadily and to be in surplus by 2018.

        • Mike Barnes

          Oh yeah, like those forecasts in 2010 that said the deficit would be almost gone by now.

          Those are always accurate.

          • HookesLaw

            The govt were wise at the time of the Eurozone crisis to support the economy and not put doctrinaire dogma before realism. We see the benefits of that now.
            If you have problems take them up with the OBR. But I doubt you can frame a rational argument.

          • Dougie

            The OBR didn’t exist in 2010.

          • HJ777

            Economic forecasting is a bit of a mug’s game, but just as they overestimated growth (and hence tax revenues) previously, there is a pretty good chance that they are underestimating them now, as growth has taken off quite fast recently.

            So we don’t know, but it’s not fair to imply that their forecasting is inherently worse than anyone else’s.

      • HJ777

        I’m not sure he’s correct. If you hold spending broadly steady but the economy grows, the deficit will come down.

        • Alexsandr

          or they could simply stop spraying money around and get a grip on spending. Some chance

          • HJ777

            I was making a purely technical point.

    • HJ777

      The problem is that you don’t really get tax rises under Labour – you get extra spending funded by a credit boom and borrowing, so everyone thinks they are getting a free lunch.

      The higher taxes come later, often once Labour have gone.

  • 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.

    *

    ” It is deeply dishonest of David Cameron to suggest otherwise”
    *
    I knew that Cameron was bent on aping Farage

    • Thatcherite Lee

      You’re like that bogey you just can’t get out of your nose.

    • Inverted Meniscus

      Labour the party of lies, lying, liars, mediocrity and failure has been exposed by its stupidest member. Did she really need to ask why she wasn’t made deputy PM? Fascist Labour describing anybody as “deeply dishonest” is hilarious after Blair and Brown.

    • JB_1966

      And despite your repetition the whole country know that, first, Labour are the most untruthful party we have and, second, that they will raise taxes. Only people who are net beneficiaries of government largesse will benefit from a Labour government and Harman was making quite clear to them who will be footing their bills.

      • david trant

        The Conservatives secretly agreed plans for a “massive” increase in
        value-added tax from 8 to 15 per cent almost a year before the 1979
        general election, party papers from the period, seen by the Independent,
        show.

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        The charge that the Tories would double VAT on taking office
        was levelled during the election campaign by the Prime Minister, James
        Callaghan, and other leading Labour figures. It was denied both by
        Margaret Thatcher, the leader of the Opposition, and byGeoffrey Howe,
        the shadow Chancellor, in a campaign in which the impact on prices of
        the Conservative’s declared plans to switch from direct to indirect
        taxation played a significant part.

        Sir Geoffrey (now Lord Howe) declared: “We have absolutely
        no intention of doubling VAT.” The allegation was depicted as one of
        Labour’s “dirty dozen” lies in a Conservative press release.

        But papers marked “secret” and circulated in numbered copies
        only show that proposals for a “massive” hike in VAT to 15 per cent or
        even 17.5 were canvassed in February 1978 by Lord Cockfield, a member of
        Sir Geoffrey’s economic team.

        • Colonel Mustard

          So what the Tories allegedly planned to do in 1979, THIRTY-FIVE YEARS AGO, is relevant to what Labour are planning to do if they slither back into power how exactly?

        • HookesLaw

          The Tories cut income taxes. First to 30% and 60% and then to 25% and 40%

          Should we be upset that people who bought Rolls Royces paid more tax?

          And please spare us your Adds from Google.

          • Alexsandr

            the 40% threashold has been steadily getting more and more people as its value is decreased by inflation. Osbourne was wrong not to increase it last budget. He will pay for that error next year.

    • Colonel Mustard

      “Harriet Harman was clearly talking about the tax system as it is now where people on lower incomes pay less tax.”

      Really? But we have a Coalition government that you keep saying is hurting the poor. Is this finally an indirect admission of your LIES?

    • Kitty MLB

      Huge porkies again, dear telemachus.Labour just want what
      someone else has earned as usual..the people who are not
      wealthy or poor. Milipede’ squeezed middle. Harriet must go!

      • Alexsandr

        no. keep the hypocritical old hag on the shadow benches to remind us all how toxic all Labour are, mostly tainted by the Blair/Brown years.

    • http://batman-news.com The Commentator

      People on low incomes pay no tax. People on middle incomes pay high tax, so people on low incomes pay no tax. The Labour party call this social justice: I call it theft.

      • Alexsandr

        people on £113/week pay tax. thats when the NI tax kicks in.

    • HJ777

      Something puzzles me though.

      When Harriet Harman was in power she supported Gordon Brown when he failed to raise personal tax allowances in line with earnings, increased NI contributions and when he doubled the 10p tax rate – all of which hit the lower paid.

      Yet this government hasn’t done any of those things and has, indeed, substantially raised tax allowances to help the low paid.

      • Inverted Meniscus

        Oh dear HJ you have made the classic mistake of telling the truth and expecting a sensible response from a socialist nutter par excellence. Actually, I suspect you know full well that Tele will fall silent when faced with incontrovertible facts but it serves to remind people that he is a socialist nutter.

    • Andy

      Liar. The evil woman said what she said – ‘I think people on middle incomes should contribute more through their taxes’. Nowhere did she qualify the comment.

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