Magazine article The Spectator

The Tax Monster Opens a Bleary Eye and Its Jaws Will Surely Follow

Magazine article The Spectator

The Tax Monster Opens a Bleary Eye and Its Jaws Will Surely Follow

Article excerpt

Tax is back. In fact, like death, the old monster never goes away, but it has been known to lie down and adopt a pacified expression which we may be rash enough to accept at its face value. Then we move into range, and then its jaws open. So now. The Budget brought us Gordon Brown's new model National Insurance, the tax that dare not speak its name. The Prime Minister took to musing on the need for better public services and, with that, the need to pay for them. Peter Hain, one of his reshuffled ministers, complained that hard-working middle-class families paid income tax at the top rate and thought that the rich ought to pay instead. This brought a clatter of official disavowals. Raise tax rates? Us? We don't mind taxing pensions, or fiddling with the income tax allowances and letting inflation do our dirty work for us, but that's different. …

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