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This week's opinion: 4 July 2024

01 July 2024 / Andrew Hubbard
Issue: 4943 / Categories: Comment & Analysis
Tax policy debates in rhyming couplets?

Here’s a thought. Would you go to see a musical based on the development of tax policy in the UK over the past 30 years, with leading roles for key figures like Gordon Brown, George Osborne and Rishi Sunak, and even a cameo appearance from Liz Truss?

No, I haven’t lost my marbles. This week I went to see Hamilton. It is, to say the least, not my usual musical fare and while I can’t say I enjoyed all of it I thought it was a great theatrical experience.

What prompted this column was that one scene in the show featured a debate on economic and fiscal policy – in particular, whether taxes raised in individual states should fund expenditure in that state alone or should be put into some sort of national pot. It really was a real surprise to see an intelligent discussion on tax in a blockbuster show – the exchanges on tax in the current election debate came off very poorly in comparison.

It is too late now to do anything about this election – this editorial will hit your desks just before you go to the polls. But perhaps next time round, we should insist on the tax debate being conducted in rhyming couplets set to music – come to think of it I suppose that I could turn my hand to writing a song or two. All that musical training I had in my youth might at last have some purpose!

If you’ve not seen Hamilton then I do recommend it as a theatrical event – though you might want to take ear plugs for the noisiest moments.

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Issue: 4943 / Categories: Comment & Analysis
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