Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Flaky fightback from Labourlist

Labourlist is fighting back against the Tory campaign slamming Gordon Brown’s so-called “death tax” – but their efforts look flaky.

In this piece Alex Smith claims the Tory poster is a bad move because it’s “nasty, macabre and wrong”.

The only one of those three adjectives which is significant, of course, is the final one. After all, if there is such a tax then people won’t be fussed how the poster attacking it looks.

As proof Smith writes: “Andy Burnham denied that this is Labour's policy at all hours before the slapdash poster campaign launched, remarking ‘I'm not currently considering that as a lead option for reform’.”

But this is a misrepresentation of what the Health Secretary said.

The quote is from a Guardian report of a Labour press conference at which Burnham was questioned about the death tax story, published in the same newspaper.



Burnham first claimed the Guardian story was inaccurate, when asked how, he replied: “The Guardian suggests a £20,000 flat levy. I'm not currently considering that as a lead option for reform.”

So it is not that Burnham isn’t considering the tax at all, as Smith’s piece would suggest, but that Burnham is not considering a £20,000 flat rate as a ‘lead option’.

That leaves the implicit indication that he is considering it, albeit not as a lead option. Indeed, it suggests that he also is considering other mechanisms, a variable rate or a different flat rate for example.

To confirm this, Burnham then denies the Government currently favours the tax but adds that it is “considering its options”.

The left would do better to hear what Burnham is saying and accept that if we want a National Care Service it means drastic measures to pay for it.

1 comment:

Oldrightie said...

National Care Service it means drastic measures to pay for it.

We used to have a National Care Service. It was known as families. For electoral and social engineering gain your Labour pals broke it.

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