James Forsyth

The politics of distraction

The politics of distraction
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If everyone concentrates on the actual numbers in the PBR then it will be a disaster for Labour. So, instead Labour will try and distract us all with small but eye-catching measures — a new rate of inheritance tax for estates worth more than £5 million, that kind of thing. The aim will be to move the debate from the grim reality of the country’s fiscal situation to Labour’s dividing lines.

There will be a lot of pressure on Cameron and Osborne to denounce Labour’s soak the rich measures. But the most important thing for them to do is to get the debate back to the state of the public finances and that is inevitably going to involve side-stepping the arguments that Brown wants to pick.