Peter Hoskin

Unhappy to pay more tax

Unhappy to pay more tax
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Do check out Janet Daley's comment piece in the Telegraph today. On her account, we've reached a political landmark:

“Something has snapped. I feel it in the air just as surely as I did in 1979 when the population of Britain decided, quite suddenly, that it had had enough. There is now - as there was then - an almost palpable anger, a shift of concrete significance in some very fundamental assumptions about how the Government operates, and even what people want from government generally...

...Whatever happened to all those people who used to say that they would be Happy To Pay More Tax? Remember them? They were a notable feature of virtually every opinion poll for a good 10 years.

Mr Brown has, I suspect, been relying heavily on the HTPMT brigade to sustain him through his years as PM just as he believed he could rely on them as Chancellor. Now, 67 per cent of people are telling the pollsters they believe they are paying too much tax. The rest of them are presumably lying, or else they are living on benefits...

...So where does this leave the Conservatives, currently sitting smugly on a decent lead in the polls but still tremulously holding back from any real philosophical break with a dying political consensus? In danger on two fronts: one is that the Brownites in their desperation will jump into the radical territory that should now be the natural ground of the Opposition, and the other is appearing to be as out of touch with popular anger and frustration as the Government, thereby leaving the country in despair of any real solutions...

...if there is a rising tide of public rage and exasperation, you should ride it to victory, and not be complicit with the deception that has provoked it.”

Thoughts, CoffeeHousers?