They say money money talks. Today however the record rise in shareprices in the nation’s biggest companies graphically illustrates that the pre-budget “gamble” is already paying off. Considering that everyone automatically thought of Gordon Brown when the words “the chancellor” were uttered at the start of Darling’s Treasuary tenure (probably including him) this has demonstrated him to be imaginative and daring. By introducing a higher rate of tax for the super-rich he has signalled a break from the timidity of New Labour and a bold move towards real redistribution. Cutting VAT affects everyone – super-rich or not. I’m looking forward to doing my bit of fiscal stimulous for the economy at the shops as a result. Other measures are listed here including pension increases and plans to encouarge the less the off to save. Even the proposals to hike up tax on people with the most polluting cars (poorere motorists in older vehicles) have been trimmed: a u-turn of sorts.
For anyone who has argued that the main two parties are now like Pepsi and Coke surely the events of the past 24 hours and week demonstrate clear blue water between them. Today has left the Tories looking increasingly out of touch and irrelevant. Their decision to effect a U-turn on sticking to Labour’s spending plans last week shows how the revert to type in slashing the axe of cutbacks when the going gets tough. It was also completely eclipsed by John Sergeant’s exit from “Strictly Come Dancing”, embarassingly for them. The Conservative opinion poll lead was already beginning to look flaky. One wonders how long it will last now.