The Great Debate UK
– Neil Collins is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own –
Election first, manifesto afterwards. While there may be a Conservative prime minister in Downing Street, quite a few among the millions who voted for David Cameron will have a shock when they see the price they are paying for his pact with the more left-leaning Liberal Democrats.
Nobody seriously expected the current 18 percent rate for capital gains tax to last. But the plan to raise it to “rates similar or close to those applied to income” could imply a top rate of 50 percent. The question now is whether it will apply from the date of the emergency budget, promised for 50 days hence, or only from next year.
The Conservatives’ crowd-pleasing pledge to raise the threshold for inheritance tax to a million pounds had already been downgraded to an aspiration. Now that’s gone, at least for this parliament. Meanwhile, “unacceptable bonuses” in banking are to be subjected to “robust action”.
– The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own. –
Crisis, what crisis? That could be motto for the election manifestos published by Britain’s main political parties this week. Neither Labour nor the Conservatives addressed the country’s fiscal crisis head-on.