Saturday, 13 September 2008

Brown restores power to energy companies

Brown's deal with energy companies to roll out energy efficiency to home owners could be cost neutral for them and the government, but not for consumers. Brown has ruled out the ideas of a windfall tax to support struggling people, that would be far too, er... socialist? Surely a windfall tax is the way to pay for this otherwise excellent scheme (as championed by Green councillor Andy Cooper in Kirklees no less).

Perhaps this is a way of balancing the hegemony after it was upset by the Kingsnorth decree this week. The Kingsnorth Six were found not guilty of criminal damage as they had just cause: saving the world for our children's future. Clearly Golden Brown was worried by this appalling affront on big business and has handed them a new money making scheme which allows them to pass even higher bills on the the working classes.

In an equally right lurching move, it looks like the LibDems are vowing to decrease taxes. Personally I'd like to decrease taxation, but only on the poorer people in society and balancing this with more taxation for the rich and for big business.

5 comments:

Robert said...

"In an equally right lurching move, it looks like the LibDems are vowing to decrease taxes. Personally I'd like to decrease taxation, but only on the poorer people in society and balancing this with more taxation for the rich and for big business"

Clegg agrees, sorry Stuart:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7621031.stm
(about two minutes in)

He proposes "taking money from wealthy people who enjoy huge loopholes in the tax system and giving that to low and middle incomes"
What could be more redistributive?

Stuart Jeffery said...

The reality of Clegg's policies are very different to his rhetoric.

Progressive taxation on income is, of course excellent, but when you scratch the surface there are some worryingly regressive taxation policies. Three quick examples:

1. Top up payments for health care - this will penalise those on middle and lower incomes.
2. Tax breaks for people who go to the gym / have regular health checks. Again these are middle class pursuits.
3. Insurance based social care.

Add in their support for PFI, their dedication to economic growth, I could go on... and you get a picture of a party that sits on the economic right of the political spectrum.

Robert said...

You asked me why I was a Lib Dem and not a Green. This is probably the biggest reason why. I disagree with all of the Lib Dem policies you listed but I disagree more with your choice of presentation.

You presented a tax policy as regressive that was actually progressive. If that was a genuine mistake then I apologise and advise you check before making accusations, but if it was made knowingly then it was just a cheap political jibe.

An open and honest debate is essential to the progress of the ideals we share - we know that because we can see the inescapable logic of our arguments. But if we descend to the use of distortion we can never win because that means validating the techniques of our worst political opponents and condemning the whole of our philosophy in the eyes of the public.

This is the argument from Liberalism and why I am a Liberal. I do not pretend the Party of which I am a member is anywhere close to meeting their highest ideals (see Clegg's subtle spin on his State Pension mistake http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7619760.stm#) but at least they aspire to them and perhaps I can help remind a few others of their commitment to honesty, rationality and liberty. This is why I am a Lib Dem.

Robert said...

Fair point, it could be interpreted that way. I was trying to make the
point that tax cuts and cuts in gov't spending are generally right wing
policies. You gave me one of their best policies as an example of
redistribution and I showed you others that were regressive.

I'm sorry that you saw it as a cheap jibe, accepting that all
politicians are guilty of these from time to time it can be very
difficult to draw a line between exposing hypocrisy, holding others to
account and cheap jibes. Whenever I do put these issues (and my
opinions) into the public domain, I do try to ensure there is context.

Robert said...

Sorry for getting on my high horse, Stuart.
To show there are no hard feelings, here is my favourite lefty song which I hope you enjoy just as much as I do:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jjtTGdhgjZY