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2008-11-23 - 22:45:00 - by AlisonW - Topic: UK-Politics: Labour |

Once upon a time a British Chancellor wouldn't let on what might – or might not – be in his forthcoming Budget. But tomorrow the present Chancellor appears to have lost the habit of purdah and leaked like a sieve on the likely content in his 'pre-Budget statement'.

There is also that corollary of 'What goes up, must come down' in that if there are temporary reductions in VAT, for example, then that means they will go up even further afterwards. I was speaking with a friend of mine who owns and runs a small bookshop earlier today and she was telling me that this reduction – of itself not likely to bring shoppers flocking to the tills because its effect will actually be so small – will cost her substantial money in creating new tax rates within the business accounts along with calculating and publicising the new cost of each item.

The strong rumour that a new higher-income tax rate will be introduced – 45% on earnings of £150,000+ or thereabouts – breaks Labour's election commitment that it wouldn't raise the top rate of tax although, to be strict about it, they aren't amending the current 'higher' rate just adding a new one on top. One which, personally, I'm in favour of.

I was looking at new laptops yesterday in the stores down Tottenham Court Road, London's electronics centre, and am rather glad that I didn't make a purchase then. I'll probably save myself a 'massive' £15 or so by purchasing it on Tuesday instead.



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