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Death race 2008

May 16, 2008, 04:04 AM
Authors : Daniel
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Post date : May 16, 2008, 04:04 AM
Richard Mannion's article in the latest issue of Taxation ends with a blackly humorous line (at least, I took it to be that): 'The UK tax system is far too important for politicians to mess around with'.
It's true - but you try telling 'em that.
In fact, it's recently come to seem that the tax system is naught but a game of motoring chicken: two carloads of MPs head for a gorge at high speed. First one to brake loses. The winners get to plunge to their doom.
(There are only two cars because, let's face it, the Lib Dems are behind the wheel of a Toyota Prius and not really in the race.)
With the recent 10p tax band debacle, the Government put on a turbo-powered spurt. Although its speed levelled out with a dangerous shudder as the Treasury announced an increase to the personal allowance.
This gave the Opposition the chance to immediately make up some ground - and George Osborne attempted to do so by way of his reaction to the Chancellor's statement on Wednesday.
Mr Osborne's foot was firmly on the accelerator as he foppishly and ineffectually blustered about the Government's 'humiliating' and 'cynical' move. His failure to offer any alternative was a smooth shift into top gear.
The Tories are still way behind Labour in the rush to oblivion, but one imagines they'll catch up sooner rather than later. Their ideas for tax reform show they have the nerve to get into the car - but can they keep their eyes on the road?
'The sort of thinking coming from the main opposition parties sounds eminently sensible, and I will be waiting to remind them of their proposals if they come into power,' writes Richard.
I just hope they can hear him over the roar of the engines.

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