Peter Hoskin

Darling contra Brown, Part 573

Darling contra Brown, Part 573
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Ok, so tomorrow's Pre-Budget Report is shaping up to be a horrendously political affair.  But, rest assured, it could have been so much worse.  In what is, by now, a familiar Budget-time story, Alistair Darling is fighting the good fight against some of Brown's most inharmonious fiscal brainwaves.  According to Rachel Sylvester's column today, here are just some of the measures that the Chancellor has resisted:

-- A long-term windfall tax on bankers' bonuses (Darling favours a temporary, one-year tax).

-- A call to lower the 50p tax threshold from £150,000 to £100,000.

-- A reversal of the plan to make it easier for couples to pool their inheritance tax allowances.

-- A, ahem, "more optimistic picture of the British economy".

Against the backdrop of our debt crisis, Darling's victories can seem kinda minor – but the next government will be grateful for them nonetheless.  If there's perhaps one unifying feature of the "suggestions" coming out of Number Ten, it's that they would worry, even more, the kind of investors we need to get our economy motoring again.  Darling's incompliance could just spare us – and the public finances – the worst of that.  

All in all, it gives you hope that the Chancellor won't introduce the 60 percent tax band which Polly Toynbee recommends in her column today...