BBC BLOGS - See Also
« Previous | Main | Next »

Daily View: Tax policies

Clare Spencer | 09:00 UK time, Tuesday, 1 December 2009

tax formAnticipating Labour's pre-budget report next week; commentators are comparing Liberal Democrat and Tory tax proposals.

Polly Toynbee in the Guardian says Cameron's plans for marriage tax allowance, abolishing the 50p tax and raising inheritance tax allowance seem only to benefit his rich friends:

"Taken together, never in the history of postwar taxation will so many citizens be obliged to pay so much to so few."

The Guardian editorial takes exception to the revelation that Tory candidate Zac Goldsmith is non-domiciled in the UK for tax purposes:

"This is not, as the Conservatives say, a minor and private matter. It exposes an obvious hypocrisy: that while the party preaches austerity, in practice that may mean austerity for everyone other than the rich."

While the Guardian favours the Lib Dems' tax policies to the Tories', the Times leader column calls Vince Cable's proposed income tax cuts unrealistic and irresponsible. However, it does commend him on supporting property tax:

"These proposals have the whiff of the seminar room about them. Property taxes are electorally difficult. Tax cuts are practically impossible. That is not necessarily the criticism it sounds. The role of the third party is not to pretend that it is preparing for government. It is to make the other parties think."

Although David Prosser at the Independent welcomes the changes in the mansion tax policy, he thinks the new proposals are inconsistent:

"The latest proposal still flies in the face of one of the Lib Dems' touchstone ideals, that taxes should reflect people's ability to pay. To add insult to injury, the level at which the Lib Dems have waved that touchstone goodbye has been set arbitrarily for political reasons."

The Independent leader column is more sympathetic towards the Lib Dems, slapping their wrists for changing their so-called mansion tax proposal so soon after it was announced, but congratulating them for egging on the government to be more progressive:

"Mr Clegg's plans are in distinct contrast with those of the Conservatives, who have unwisely made a cut in inheritance tax their main priority. They also challenge the current government to be bolder. In particular the increases in capital gains tax would provide an overdue rebalancing of tax between income and capital gains distorted by Labour's anxiety to foster investment."

Alex Massie at the Spectator says the Lib Dems' tax policy is a "healthier" option than the Tories':

"Whatever one thinks of the inheritance tax brouhaha or the 50p rate for the super-wealthy and no matter how counter-productive one thinks those notions may be, the fact remains that Tory policy, in the case of the former, and Tory preferences, in the case of the latter, impact a tiny number of people."

Also at the Spectator James Forsyth says the Lib Dems' proposal not to tax income until after £10,000 is a sellable policy - something the Tories are missing:

"At the moment, the Tories have a bunch of smaller policies -- abolishing HIPS, freezing council tax, only millionaires paying inheritance tax -- that by all acounts go down well on the doorstep. But they lack a big policy that defines the party to voters."

Links in full

Polly Toynbee | Guardian | Cameron's gifts to the non-dom classes may turn toxic
Guardian | Conservatives and tax: One rule for the rich
Times | The Burden of Tax
David Prosser | Independent | Lib Dem plan to hit the fat cats backfires
Independent | A progressive challenge
Alex Massie | Spectator | What if the Lib Dems are right?
James Forsyth | Spectator | The Tories need a more positive message

More from this blog...

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.