The Wilted Rose

Charting Labour meltdown 2007-2010

The Clown Consensus infects Tory IHT policy

When Ken Clarke was chancellor and Gordon Brown shadowed him, their combined incompetence was referred to as ‘Clown’ (CLarke brOWN) – hat tip: future MP for Gordon Scots and Independent.

Now the Clown Consensus, which is tax the higher earners – though many are entrepreneurs and innovators who create the wealth – and those who inherit a bit of wealth has laid waste to the Conservatives’ Inheritance Tax policy. Clarke says it will be postponed – but the Tories say it is a promise that will be kept.

Matt Sinclair of the TPA, as always, hits the nail on the head:

The problem is that, in sending that signal, the opposition will also send other signals to audiences they don’t intend to reach.  They’ll send the signal that, in Britain’s attempts to wrestle with record public sector deficits, the Government will treat the wealthy as targets.  That will shift the balance between risk and reward for every potential entrepreneur wondering how much they’ll be left with if their business works out.  If entrepreneurs think that the Government will seize too much of the fruits of their success then they might well conclude that starting a new business isn’t worth the risk.  That calculation isn’t just about tax rates right now but about a perception of whether our political culture values entrepreneurs creating jobs and prosperity more than it does the satisfaction of taking shots at the rich.  The same goes for multinational companies working out where they can invest without their employees incomes being absorbed by high tax rates.

The Conservatives should focus on addressing the priorities of ordinary people, trying to make them better off now and in the future, rather than attacking the rich in a misguided attempt at political positioning.  That could leave us all facing a bleaker future.


The traitor Clarke should resign, because he has created doubt over a key policy – a gift for Labour. He still wishes to lead a party that despises him and much of what he stands for. And, as I said in January when Osborne orchestrated the return of Clarke, he will damage the electoral prospects of the Conservatives. In fact, his latest ‘gaffe’ (and the acceptance of Labour’s 45p proposal) will probably cause the Tories’ poll ratings to nosedive. 


23 March, 2009 - Posted by | politics | , , , , , , , ,

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