How long does it take for the 10 penny to drop with Labour MPs

Gordon Brown Budget speech to the House of Commons in March 2007 headlined on the reduction of income tax from 22p to 20p. At the despatch box, he explicitly failed to mention the withdrawal of the 10p rate, for obvious reasons. However, the text of the Finance Bill, which was published at the same time, laid out these plans and the change made newspaper headlines in subsequent days for the apparent sleight of hand. Indeed, today's Daily Telegraph has a "I told you so article" here

The introduction of these changes has only recently taken place, prompting a backbench uprising amongst Labour MPs who are expressing concern about the disproportionate effect on low paid workers.

So here's my question [which many others are also asking] - why has it taken so long for these MPs to spot the impact of this change when it was clearly outlined 12 months ago and widely reported?

Were they negligent in scrutinising the contents of the Finance Bill and hence failed to spot it? If so, do they have similar problems with other legislation that they nod through? Or were they previously too concerned about raising the issue for fear of Ministerial reprisals? Or is it only when constituents start kicking their MP that they begin to care?

posted by John Wilson @ 5:51 PM Permanent Link newsvine reddit


At 10:01 AM, Blogger Hawkeye said...

Actually I think the real answer is that most MPs have had their snouts so deep in the trough they did not spot the obvious initially. Now their constituents are kicking them because they are being hurt by the 10 p change and because they have heard that the MPs have been more than diligent in using public funds for their own benefits. They therefore need to be seen to be doing something to help others, not least to take some of the pressure off their own snouting activities. While they are at it could they not look at tax cuts for all and a sensible rebudget that does not involve invading other countries (an expensive hobby in today's world).


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