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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Comprehensive Spin

As James Graham points out it is not so much that Labour stole its tax policies from the Tories as that they both ripped off their ideas from the Liberal Democrats:

Which party was the first in this Parliament to call for an increase in the IHT threshold?

The Liberal Democrats

Which party was the first to call for replacing air passenger duty with a tax on planes?

The Liberal Democrats

On behalf of Labour, Peter Hain, says about the Comprehensive Spending Review that, “This is a good deal for Wales... "; Welsh Finance Minister Andrew Davies believes that the settlement is "particularly tough"; however Adam Price MP, speaking for Plaid Cymru tells us that this announcement is “the worst since the days of William Hague." Even the coalition partners cannot agree what the impact on Welsh public services will be.

Even more intriquing is that nobody seems to know the exact bill for all the pledges in 'One Wales', never mind whether the cash is available. On Radio Wales just now Andrew Davies could not tell the interviewer what the total cost of his government's programme is nor the price tag on crucial elements of it. It does not exactly engender much confidence that the Labour Plaid Welsh Government knows what it is doing.
We all make too much of this supposed stealing another party's policies. There is rarely anything completely new that has not been suggested by some party. And a policy statement is significant only when its proposer has a real prospect of implementing it. As far as Inheritance Tax is concerned, I would prefer the Chancellor to have stolen our policy, rather than 'spun' that his minor tinkering was in any way comparative.
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