back to article Brown promises no change to basic tax rate

Prime minister Gordon Brown said there will be no rise in the basic rate of 20 per cent tax should Labour win the election. Brown pledged to stay for a full five years and said the party had chosen an increase in National Insurance in order to protect public services. He claimed the Conservative party had failed to either make …

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Meh

>Prime minister Gordon Brown said there will be no rise in the basic rate of 20 per cent tax should Labour win the election.

Bit of a non-story this one, he's just going to screw you on National Insurance, VAT, fuel and the rest instead.

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Coat

Badger bumming

"He claimed the Conservative party had failed to either make such a pledge or show where the money would come from"

Equally the Con. party hasn't made a pledge not to sodomise badgers. In fact I don't think any of the parties has pledged this yet.

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Stop

"Brown promises...."

And?

We all know that Brown's promises are made of his belly-button fluff and will be casually thrown to the wind when he gets a chance...

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Big Brother

The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

"We all know that Brown's promises are made of his belly-button fluff and will be casually thrown to the wind when he gets a chance..."

Lets be fair about this: Any pre-election promise or manifesto commitment of any kind from any political party can be filed alongside "The cheques in the post" and "I promise I won't come in your mouth" and this election isn't going to be about whether we get (forcibly and non-concensually) f*cked, it's about who by, in which orifice and with how much lubricant...

And as for David Cameron's bright idea...

"The actual organisation of this youth league will be carried out by independent charities and quangos."

Like the Roman Catholic church for instance? I understand the current pontiff knows a thing or two about government sponsored youth organisations and that many Catholic clerics have significant experience of getting young people to perform services for them...

--

JG

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A rise in National Insurance is a rise in Income tax

This is the (simplified) list of places where increasing NI is different to increasing Income Tax:

1) Those who don't work - either rich enough not to make most of your earnings from interest on savings, or if you've already retired. These pay Income tax but not NI.

2) Taxable benefits, like company cars etc are not affected by NI.

3) The very highly-paid who have hit the Upper Earnings Limit for NI are less affected. For example, bankers and the super-rich.

So, this Labour NI increase is pretty much a tax break for the rich. A very odd approach from Labour - they appear to have become what they previously claim to have despised.

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Anonymous Coward

Policy.

That's good. At least we now know that Labour's intentions, should they win the election, are to increase the basic rate of income tax and for Brown to only serve half the term.

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FAIL

"Brown pledged to stay for a full five years"...

...so that's Labour's entire election campaign screwed from the start. Who could possibly want to vote for Labour after hearing Brown make a threat like that?

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Alert

Promises Promises

So we have Gordon Brown promising no tax rises, just like last time when Blair promised to serve a full term and not raise income tax - both promises were subsequently broken. And then we get the Brown promise of a referendum, just like we were promised a referendum on the EU Constitution which was then not followed through on.

The Labour Parties promises under Bliar and "No Boom and Bust" Brown cannot be trusted in any way shape or form. They might as well promise ice cream for everyone, and world domination, it will be just as believable.

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Semantics

GB's promise is exactly the same promise as made by TB = not to increase the basic rate of income tax. They kept this promise in that the basic rate is still 20% but the pair of them increased overall income tax by altering other rates, fiddling with NI and not keeping the tax allowances in line with inflation. If you check, TB never answered the question about increasing income tax directly - he always reverted to the statement about not increasing the basic rate. Watch GB do the same in this election campaign.

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Is that the same Gordon Brown...

... who promised no rise in the basic rate of tax (happily encouraging teh view that this meant no changes to personal tax) and promptly put up NI instead?

... Who abolished the 10% rate of tax and was forced to re-instate it via another route?

... who promised an end to boom and bust but failed to ensure there was sufficiently rigorous financial regulation in place?

... who ignored calls for political reform, along with one T. Blair, from the Lib Dems (amongst others) for 13 years, because it suited them?

Had trouble choosing an icon for this one - WTF, FAIL, new keyboard, hand grenade all admirably suited.

... from the same Labour party that promised reform of the Lords and then got bored half-way through the process?

... from the same Labour party that discussed lowering the voting age to 16, knowing that statisically they had the most to gain from such a move?

Expediency. Oh yes, We've heard of that. And credibility? Hang on, where's that dictionary.

Frankly I'm surprised he can put his face outside his own front door. I've never been a Labour voter, I understand that many core Labour voters will continue to vote for the party, but who can look at all these things and say "yes, I not only believe everything this man says, I also support him personally as a future Prime Minister".

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Boom and Bust

That's unfair. Brown clearly stated he would put and end to Boom and Bust. If you lot happened to assume he meant he was going to remove the bust part, how is that his fault? He has absolutely stuck to his promise. No more boom.

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Boffin

Love logic

Can't argue with Bassey. The assumption was Brown meant ¬(Boom^Bust), whereas he actually meant (¬Boom)^Bust

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Unhappy

Yep, No Income Tax Increase

We will just hike up National Insurance, fuel excise duty, VAT, etc, etc, etc but you will feel good because your "income" isn't getting taxed any more.

Look, it's an election, both parties are going to be promising the moon on a stick and then when they do get into power the excuses will start to roll out.

I seriously think I might vote Lib Dem this time round, I dont want to just spoil my ballot

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Are Labour missing a trick?

Surely El Gordo could sew up the election with a single poster :

David Cameron, he's just like Tony Blair..... but with 20% added smugness.

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FAIL

Desperate vote grabbing...

Now that Gordon Clown realises he's screwed, this is just damage limitation, "promising" stuff that he's got no chance of delivering in the hope that the public will be confused enough to not give him the good kicking he desperately deserves.

Meanwhile "Call me Dave" Cameron is pandering to the Daily Fail reading public by trying to bring back National Service but hoping to con people by putting the word "Citizen" in the middle as if that makes a difference.

A pox on both their houses.

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Dead Vulture

Stop election bu***** on the reg please

I get this everywhere else, I want el reg to keep it IT & funny stuff - please. Or at least election issues that directly effect IT - I really don't think there has been enough reg coverage of this digital economy bill - which is massivly important - really every other article should be about it to raise awareness.

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FAIL

Too late

There's no point saying you'll change politics now, Mr Brown. You have had your chance and you couldn't persuade any of your corrupt ministers to lift a trotter or a snout from the money trough for long enough to do anything at all about the state of things even if you had wanted to. Which perhaps you would have if you hadn't been up to your eyes in the same trough yourself.

You should have acted a long time ago, because it was the right thing to do, not left it so late and then only acted because the newspapers told you to you tired pathetic man trudging through the closing days of a moribund and long-since ideologically bankrupt government.

If only the other side weren't equally contemptible I'd be looking forward to the outcome of this election, but when the change is from being smacked in the left side of your face with a frying pan to being smacked on the right side of your face witha frying pan it's hard to conjure up a lot of enthusiasm.

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WTF?

Patronising

"Then a week spent nearer home, but still not at home, looking after old people - like Michale Caine "

Michael Caine (AKA Sir Maurice Joseph Micklewhite, CBE ) can look after himself quite nicely. He served his country in the Korean War having completed National Service shortly before.

To quote Sir Maurice Joseph Micklewhite, CBE : "I voted for Maggie Thatcher because I thought we needed a change from that long period of socialism; I voted for Tony Blair because we had a great long period of Conservatism".

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My name is ... what?

So why is this ancient but wealthy Los Angeles resident supporting the Tories?

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Anonymous Coward

One word...

...CHANGE !

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Oh, yes and...

No change to the basic rate. Cool. Thanks Gordon. However:-

For all wage earners

Allowances will, again, not be increased in line with inflation (stealth income tax)

For all except the very lowest wage earners

NI will go up (stealth income tax)

For those (quite a lot) earning over £37,400 and being taxed at 40% on pay above that limit

The limit will, again, not be increased in line with inflation (stealth income tax)

For those (relatively few) earning over £100,000 but below £150,000

Allowances will be reduced to, ultimately, 0 (stealth income tax)

For those (even fewer earning over £150,000 and being taxed at 50% on pay above that limit

I'll bet now that this band limit won't go up in line with inflation either (stealth income tax)

Y'see, there's lies, damned lies, and statistics...

...and there's the amazing inability of the UK electorate to understand percentages - 20% of quite a lot is quite a lot, whereas 20% of not a lot is not a lot

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Pants on fire

He said he wouldnt put up income tax last time but I see NI went up 1% and then the top rate went up to 50% and then allowances didnt keep pace with raises. Is it any wonder nobody except the underclass believe him anymore.

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title

How it will be done.

The basic rate of income tax will indeed remain the same. He didn't say the basic rate band would remain the same. It will be reduced to £5000, and there will be a new rate of 30% payable on amounts above the narrowed basic rate band up to the 40% band.

Electorate conned, promise kept.

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Big Brother

The old "*No* rise in basic rate income tax"

The last Conservative administration played this one regularly, using *all* the methods commentards have suggested (fuel duty, NI, employer NI, VAT on fuel etc).

it would seem the apprentice (or Darth Broon as he might be called) has exceeded the master (John Major, Nigel Lawson, Norman Lamont).

There's an old Panorama documentary with Peter Jay made before 1 of the Labor win elections.

(No idea if it's on BBC website or youtube). It makes relevant viewing. Basically *all* political parties know that running a government that give UK citizens what they want is *expensive*. Everybody wants *something* and when you add all the "somethings" up its a pretty big bill.

"We want it *all* and we want it *now* "would be what the mob would cry, if it had a voice.

So the problem is how to get the same people who want it all (but don't want to pay for *anything*) to pay for it?

There is a POV which says people get the politicians they deserve. Opinion polls which have suggested that "Yes we would be OK with a tax increase" turn out to be vote losers when people actually *vote*.

There is *no* such thing as an "accidental" election win in the UK voting system.

A hell of a lot of people have to want that outcome. Think *very* carefully about the outcome you want.

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Do you think that's what really happens?

"A hell of a lot of people have to want that outcome. Think *very* carefully about the outcome you want."

That would be nice if it happened in practice, but what actually happens is a great number of voters never actually read and think about the parties' policies, they either always vote for one party because they *think* they are socially aligned with it or would never vote for a certain party because of some perceived difference in opinion (e.g. "I always vote Labour because I'm working class" or "I always vote Tory because Labour want to take away all of our money and possessions").

OK, I haven't talked to the entire country, but I do encounter people with these views regularly enough to suspect that it's a widespread phenomenon. The problem ultimately is that when someone believes that they "belong" to one party they tend to associate any policy or statement that they agree with with that party and anything they don't agree with to their main rival.

Even if they see or read it for themselves a kind of cognitive dissonance often sets in afterwards because in their mind their guys are good and the other guys are bad.

TBH, you can see it here in the Reg comments, particularly any story about Apple or Microsoft. Whatever the story is about you will find several people for whom every single product the company produces is utter rubbish and only purchased by idiots. You will also find several for whom every product the company produces is brilliant and the best value most innovative thing ever.

Yes we get the politicians we deserve, because when someone makes a mistake, however minor, we try to hound them out of office. That means only the ones who don't really care about public opinion are left i.e. the ones with psychopathic leanings who are only in it for themselves.

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Happy

@chr0m4t1c

"they either always vote for one party because they *think* they are socially aligned with it or would never vote for a certain party because of some perceived difference in opinion (e.g. "I always vote Labour because I'm working class" or "I always vote Tory because Labour want to take away all of our money and possessions")."

This is why some parliamentary seats are called "Safe." Note however that the sense of voter disgust in Glasgow turned a 26000 vote Labor majority into a 4000 SNP.

What I actually meant was that in the UK electoral system the *bulk* of people have to choose the *same* party to gain a majority. Failure to do so splits the opposing vote of a constituency by constituency basis, leaving the incumbent in place. Only a concerted effort with most people agreeing on *who* to vote for will unseat an incumbent and only the same choide across the country will give an overall government change.

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One step too far

Ok, this whole April fools thing is going a bit long don't you think?

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Anonymous Coward

When to pay back

Regardless of who gets in there we will end up paying more, whether via NI, income tax or VAT. The amounts they are claiming to save on waste will never be realised. The real issue is when do we start paying, labour seem to think we have to delay that to preserve the economy and the tories think it is ok to start now.

I can see little signs around me of things improving so I'd believe GB and I'm certainly not taking advice on who to vote for from a a bunch of business poeple with a vested interest.

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Big Brother

national servitude

Hmm, 2 months - curiously thats at least 2 weeks longer than the summer holiday for state schools. Maybe they need the extra time for CRB checks, ID registration, etc

I like the bit where Cameron said he originally planned to make it compulsory (and still might, I'd guess) - just goes to show that control freakery is apolitical.

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