Gordon Brown was notorious for complicating our already over-complicated tax system, and it seems that his former aide, Ed Miliband, wants to emulate the master. The danger is that Ed Miliband would do so against the backdrop of a vulnerable economy in a very mobile global market place.
His latest idea is to put up corporation tax, arguing that this will “pay” for a freeze in business rates on small firms. In fact, the net burden on business will remain unchanged, so his tinkering would be little help to the small businesses that he allegedly wants to help. There are more devils in Miliband’s detail: the freeze would only apply to those properties with an annual rental value of £50,000 or less. This might be good for small independents; but don't expect it to save the high street because the large retail chains, which are struggling to resist internet competition, are unlikely to benefit.