Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Having A Teletubby Moment

One of the other joys of the new technology is that, if you've missed the morning's business, they repeat it again for you at lunchtime! Mind you, quite why I'd want to be subjected to even more of Theo Butt Philip than I already volunteer for is beyond me... (only kidding, and Theo, hear hear!)

I'm glad at any rate that my own view on the matter of LVT was aired in the hall (yes we should have it, but it should be national, not local). But then, given the way LVT has been treated by the party generally, buried away in ALTER and forced to fight from there, we shouldn't be surprised that they decide to fight for the headline policy rather than burrowing into the less-storied overall policy.

Nevertheless, the way LVT is campaigned for does turn me off, even though I generally agree with the idea. Above all, I hate the insistence that it must be an either/or decision, the insistence that income tax is something that is uniformly bad. The aim of this tax paper was the shifting of the marginal tax rates towards the rich and I fail to see how you do that if the only tool you have to work only affects a proportion of someone's economic activity and not all of it.

We need both taxes in a system that deals holistically (that word again!) with the needs and aims of local and national government. Vince's speech hit the nail right on the head and I'm delighted that we've once again demonstrated that we are the party with considered and fair tax proposals.

Meanwhile, I fear I will miss the live debate on the Poverty paper, so if anyone at Conference is reading, all I'll say is, vote to value young people's work, vote Option B!


James Graham said...

A couple of years ago, ALTER was going out of its way to avoid it being either/or. Tony Vickers has repeatedly gone on the record that he supports the localisation of income tax. While I might also allow local authorities - if they wished - to add their own precept, absolutely LVT ought to be a national tax. Without it, we have no hope of sorting out things like Barnett.

The problem is, opponents of LVT constantly shut down the debate. They're the ones arguing that it boils down to a question of priorites, LIT trumps LVT. On this point I think they are completely mad and if that is how they choose to shape the debate, you can't be surprised that their opponents seek to argue the opposite line.

Auberius said...

I suspect this is one of those times where I'm at a disadvantage for not having been around a couple of years ago.

The line that gets to me is the whole, "a tax on work, a tax on enterprise" thing. There's some truth to it, but it suggests a wholesale switch the other way and that doesn't seem practical to me. But I agree, the debate does seem to get shut down before it reaches the floor and that does force hands.

Joe Otten said...

I had a little chat with the ALTER people at their stall, and have decided that I am against "Economic Reform" as they see it.

Might have to set up an ALTAER or something.