We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Asleep at the wheel

British taxpayers it seems, are not very clued up about the upcoming raids on their wallets, according to this article.

A recent survey showed a high number of ordinary investors do not know that dividends paid out on equity ISAs (tax-free plans which are a bit like 401K plans in the US) will be liable for tax from next April. Brilliant. The government launches a tax-free investment scheme to get us folk to save and hey presto! – whacks us for tax a few years’ later!

The background to all this, of course, is the ongoing slow-motion car accident that Gordon Brown’s stewardship of the British economy is beginning to resemble. Brown has enjoyed about four to five years of a relatively muted press, outside of the most partisan ranks, a flourishing economy coming off the back of the 1990s boom and the Tory reforms.

Now it is going horribly pear-shaped. It would of course be grossly unfair to pin all this on the dour-faced Scot, but his reckless jacking up of spending last year, even while stock markets were cratering, has proven a gross folly. His star is waning. My guess is that if PM Tony Blair does fall because of the Iraqi crisis – and I pray he doesn’t – then it is far from certain that Brown will inherit the keys to 10 Downing Street.

But lest I be accused of partisanship (perish that thought), I should add that the Tory Party’s MPs, such as shadow Chancellor Michael Howard, have not exactly raised the decibel count over such matters as the tax on savings or else. The party is still seemingly wedded to the idea that if they mention tax cuts they’ll be accused of letting Granny starve in the streets.

If any Tory party readers off this blog want to correct me on the above, I’d be delighted to see it in the comments section.

2 comments to Asleep at the wheel