Thursday, October 11, 2007

Wearing Tories Clothes (NOT): Stay Left Shep Stay Left

Over at the same bloody brilliant Akehurst post the man's mortal enemies in sectarianaria are trotting in to the crease and hoping to shatter Luke's middle stump with their deadly late swing.

But whereas even the dopiest economists in the Tory blogosphere cottoned on to this - sadly for them - NOT being the Great Clothes Robbery, some on the left have yet to catch on.

With a little Economics and a smattering of Mathematics in my education it took me about ten minutes to figure that Darling had not changed the world or stolen Gideon Osborne's albeit dapper-toff-tailored clothes.

Oh! Delete-name-of-comrade, Darling HAS NOT repeat HAS NOT appropriated Tory policy on IHT.

He hasn't in fact changed much at all. Except the perception in the country (among as many as 75% of voters allegedly) that they were going to be killed twice. By death itself. And then by death duties.

Before Darling's speech: Couple with good tax planning £600,000 equity before IHT. Rising to £700,000 under existing plans.

After Darling's speech: Couple without the expense or culture of tax planning £600,000 equity before IHT. Still rising to £700,000 under existing plans.

Before Darling's speech: Widows and widowers and civil partnership survivors would not benefit as above from the allowance.

After Darling's speech: Widows and widowers and civil partnership survivors do in fact benefit from the full allowance.

IHT will now be at more or less the same levels - affecting just 3-4% of estates - as in 1997. Being supposedly indexed that is what is supposed to happen.

Darling has done very little to change anything. It has however become apparent that Gid the Fib Osborne and Memory Man Cam intended for estates with equity of TWO MILLION not just ONE MILLION to escape IHT.

Providing some useful blue water in the 20-month build up to the June 2009 election that one or two bloggers have predicted all along.

Now, socialists can I think mount an argument for more progressive IHT. Not sure it will ever be listened to or that it is electorally prudent. But what Darling and Brown have in fact done is not take the Tory Clothes, on this one at least, but instead taken the Tory Dog Whistle and changed it from "Go Right Shep, Go Right" to "Relax Shep, Stay Left".

If polling shows that instead of 75% of the electorate only say 10-20% now misconstrue the scope of this particularly misunderstood tax that will have been a great day's work for the Chancellor.


Anonymous said...

Totally agree - who will be better off with the Tory IHT Proposals - those couples who with a bit of tax planning can pass on a property worth up to £2m tax free and the offspring of single people i.e. the rich and bastards - nothing ever changes!

Chris Paul said...

It's the rich what gets the pleasure, it's the poor wot gets the blame ...

Stephen Newton said...

It's a question of leadership and who is setting the agenda. The government is responding a Tory agenda and even if they haven't really moved right, they certainly haven't moved left. If we remain on a Tory agenda, nothing will be achieved. We have a similar problem with issues surrounding immigration. These are areas in which Labour doesn't have the balls to stand up for what it apparently believes.

Chris Paul said...

When it comes to left and right movements the overall package has a certain amount of zig zagging.

Letting everyone in on the availability of the avoidance route and adding in widows and widowers including civil partnerships all do seem like small moves to more fairness.

And pointing out that the cash the Tories wanted to give away to rich folk is also demonstrating a difference between the parties.

The other tax news was a bit patchy. Getting the investors who had famously being paying less than their cleaners in is good. Halving the concession on small businesses is half and half. Bringing everyone else down to this level e.g. second homes, share trading gains etc etc may be going rightwards.

Unless they have information that the 40% rate was impacting on numbers of low and middle income people within the left's target constituency? Still not caught up with the small print on that.

On the face of it it seems to help those with multiple properties e.g. for buy to let and that is yet another detriment to those renting and seeking first homes.

If so I don't like that much and really want the govt to tackle this rentier business and restore some control and order to it.

My sense is that the Chancellor and PM in that role quite like housing heat as it is anti-inflationary.

In this post though I am mostly trying to tackle the idea that this was any sort of great giveaway. It was actually a non movement - except in the couple or three ways of making this a little fairer.