Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Class War Won't Win the Election

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Class War Won't Win the Election

Article excerpt

AS THE detail of the Budget sinks in, many commentators are seeing this week as "the end of New Labour".

Certainly the jaw-dropping public debts forecast by the Chancellor mark the beginning of a different political era. Whatever Alistair Darling's emphasis on "efficiency cuts", there can be no doubt that the collapse of the public finances will require both deep cuts in frontline services and tax rises after the next election. That and the new tax squeeze on high earners are not in themselves proof of a return to class warfare.

More significant in that respect may be the proposals for new equality legislation from Labour's deputy leader, Harriet Harman.

Ms Harman is set to unveil proposals for new laws designed to cut class inequalities. Public authorities would have a duty to reduce social disadvantage. She has suggested, for example, that education authorities would be obliged to encourage poorer parents to apply to good schools, and that health authorities would have to target more money at the poor. …

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