Thursday, October 19, 2006

One man's tax cut is another man's soundbite

Understandably, the present hierarchy of the Conservative party does not want to be drawn on policy, yet. Over the course of the last 3 elections, the Labour Party has quite unashamedly stolen the finest fashions from the Tory wardrobe. The fact that most of these clothes fit badly on many of Blair's fellow travellers becomes apparent from time to time, with the occasional accompaniment of the sound of rending seams. John Prescott in particular clearly couldn't wait to get his kit off; but the trouble was he forgot to put any of the new gear on ...

So all George Osborne had to say when commenting on the Tax Reform Commission was that he would be prudent and not risk affecting mortgage rates. And all Gordon Brown's soulmate and gopher, Ed Balls, could say in response was to try and brazen it out, by avoiding answering the observation that Labour had imposed more than 60 stealth taxes. Instead, he predictably tried to plead what Labour had done for "the family" as many times as he possibly could, despite the shambolic state of the family credit system being pointed out several times by the (R5) interviewer.

I particularly liked one text comment sent on the Labour Treasury spokesman's input:

"Ed? Balls!"

So after months of pestering for a glimpse of a few policies, the BBC website dutifully says: "The Lib Dems say the Tories are in a muddle, while Labour say tax cuts would be financed by cuts in public spending. " [errrm... can we have our licence fee increase, now please?]

Hmmm. How about financing some tax cuts by ditching the BBC tax (aka license fee)? This country is already awash with more media than it's subjects can possible consume, and the need to operate it on a costly broadcast infrastructure no longer exists - strategically or practically.

Why not gift the whole thing to Channel 4 to operate? Given the magic of digital delivery, it is now perfectly possible for those that wanted to, to "buy off" the commercials that would otherwise interrupt and fund it.

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