'Clickety Click Chancellor' Hits His 66th Stealth Tax

Daily Mail (London), March 20, 2004 | Go to article overview

'Clickety Click Chancellor' Hits His 66th Stealth Tax


Byline: DAVID HUGHES

GORDON Brown was branded the 'clickety click' Chancellor by the Tories yesterday as the number of stealth taxes introduced by Labour hit 66.

His shadow Oliver Letwin turned bingo caller to highlight the scale of Mr Brown's undercover moves to rake in revenue.

He said Wednesday's Budget saw six new stealth taxes to go with the 60 already introduced by Mr Brown since 1997.

While Mr Brown has kept Labour's manifesto pledge not to raise either the standard or top rates of income tax, he has devised scores of alternative revenue-raising schemes.

'Two days on, a close look at the Budget details reveals that Gordon Brown is the clickety-click Chancellor,' declared Mr Letwin.

'From the man who has already brought us 60 stealth tax increases, we now have numbers 61 to 66.' He went on: 'The hard truth is that the Chancellor has increased tax by [pounds sterling]5,000 a household in Britain since 1997, and his Budget has put us on course for more tax increases after the next election.' The Budget measures identified by Mr Letwin as new stealth taxes were: The removal of incentives for small, owner-managed businesses to turn themselves into corporations. They were initially introduced by Mr Brown, but he decided to reverse them because of concerns that they were being abused as a method of tax- avoidance. …

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