Middle-income families and small businesses will receive billions of pounds of tax cuts and benefits in the Chancellor’s Pre-Budget Report within the next two weeks, The Daily Telegraph has learned.Really? Coming so soon after the Glenrothes success, the 11th hour capitulation in the planned PCS strike and the handily-leaked ‘we’re all under threat!’ report at the weekend, it’s beginning to look a little suspicious, to say the least.
Downing Street sources said that Gordon Brown had been convinced of the case for substantial borrowing to fund a programme of tax cuts and to maintain high public spending to revive Britain’s ailing economy.And not for any other reason. Oh, dear me, no…!
Treasury officials have been authorised to cost substantial reductions in tax revenue, including the possibility of a 1p cut in income tax, which would hand £4.2 billion back to taxpayers, and the abolition of stamp duty, which comes with a £6 billion price tag.Can people really be bought by a 1p cut in income tax? I think Brown is gambling that they can…
Less radical but still substantial measures, such as reductions in VAT and fuel duty, are also being considered.