UK News

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Darling’s tax fix wins few plaudits


darling111.jpgThe Daily Mirror is alone among the papers in giving unqualified praise to Chancellor Alistair Darling’s 2.7 billion pound solution to the damaging 10p tax row.

Once critical Labour MPs hailed it as a masterstroke,” the paper said. “Hopefully it signals the start of a concerted fightback by a prime minister who has been on the ropes for months.”

The Daily Mail says the original decision to scrap the starting 10p rate of tax was “A mistake, yes… but fatal? Hardly.” It says Darling and Prime Minister Gordon Brown “deserve credit for choosing the right means to help those who suffered,” by raising the tax threshhold.

But the Chancellor might want to avoid the rest of the dailies, especially the one printed on pink paper. Darling’s tax announcement “ has shattered any residual idea that Mr Brown’s administration can run an orderly fiscal policy,” says the Financial Times.

Dear Chancellor… What would be in your letter to Darling?


darling.jpgLabour might appear to have calmed the storm over the scrapping of the 10 percent income tax rate for now. But new research shows the extent to which Britons are peeved about the level of income tax.

When asked what would be their key requests of Chancellor Alistair Darling, the largest proportion of more than 3,000 people polled for — 31 percent — said they’d like to see a cut in income tax. And, it seems, many Britons feel an obligation to help the less well-heeled: while 12 percent would like to see it reduced for everyone, 19 percent want a cut for less affluent sections of society.

Gordon Brown needs a diversion


Pressure is growing on Gordon Brown to reshuffle his Cabinet after Thursday’s local elections to take some of the sting out of the drubbing his Labour Party is expected to get at the ballot box this week.

Press reports last week suggested Health Secretary Alan Johnson might be in for a promotion. But government sources show no sign that Brown is about to rearrange the decks just yet.

Tuesday’s headlines


mail-pic.jpgHere is a round-up of Tuesday’s headlines:

DAILY MAIL: Father of Four Taken to Court and Fined…Because he Overfilled his Wheelie-Bin by Just Four Inches

Bus driver Gareth Corkhill collected a conviction and a 210 pound fine after he declined to pay a council on-the-spot fine for leaving the lid of his wheelie bin ajar four inches. Story here.

Should the 10p tax rate have been scrapped?


darling1.jpgA possible Commons rebellion by Labour MPs next Monday over the scrapping of the 10p starting tax rate has been averted but the episode has further damaged the standing of Gordon Brown.

In 2007, in his last budget as Chancellor, Brown abolished the 10p rate as he reduced the standard income tax rate to 20 from 22p and reformed National Insurance thresholds. Many backbench government MPs felt that hitting some of the poorest sections of the working population in such a way was an affront to their basic Labour principles.