Dear Chief Secretary to the Treasury,
I'm afraid to tell you there's no money left.
Signed, Liam Byrne

(Outgoing Labour Chief Secretary to the Treasury. May 2010)

Thursday, 13 May 2010


Great I get a Tory Government and my Income is still taxed at 50% and if I sell my holiday home, any of my funds or my business the gain gets taxed at 50% too . Oh and I'd better not die as my kids inheritance will taxed to the max as well. And now VAT is going to 20%.

So much for the party of lower taxes. I was better off before last Thursday!
So says commenter THX1138.

This person may be 'real' or not, may be 'troll' or not, but let's take this statement at face value - because that's what they seem to be hoping.

It indicates an ostrich-like quality of ignoring, and failing to accept or understand, the cataclysmic economic legacy left by the outgoing government. In short, it is delusional.

Mrs R believes that, had Labour been re-elected, their redistributive policies would have continued, and escalated. Holiday homes, whether a one-bedroom flat or a luxury dwelling, would have been targetted as being unfair - after all, how could anybody reasonably have have two homes whilst some are homeless, or living in single room B&B? Would holiday homes, perhaps, have become illegal?

As for income? The direct and indirect take from earned income would have continued rising and rising, with documentation becoming ever more complex and long-winded, so much so that it would be barely comprehensible to the layman. The ability to reclaim a few quid in 'credits' would have become an even worse administrative nightmare - deliberately - so that the main beneficiaries would have been those tasked with administering the process, who earn minimum wage.

Inheritance tax would have remained, set at £300k which barely covers the price of either a small terraced house or a semi in many parts of the country - hardly the realms of the super-rich.

Added to IHT would have been the flat-rate death surcharge of £20k - charged on every single estate - claimed to be to fund elderly care, whether or not it had been needed.

THX1138's financial nest egg, or whatever they might choose to call it, would have been well and truly scrambled.

And those were only the plans we knew about.

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