Liam Byrne, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, has said that if Labour wins the election, there will be no tax increases. This is a straight lie, of course, and everyone should say that. It’s what they said last time. They said they would not raise income tax rates, and then did so. Brown actually said at one stage – and sent his spin doctors out to back him with a meaningless gibberish of false statistics – that he had reduced taxes.
The Institute for Fiscal Studies has already said that Labour cannot deliver this. They say that there will have to be tax rises or even deeper spending cuts than those already trailed, or both. City experts are already spelling out the scale of tax rises Labour will have to impose simply to keep its current spending proposals.
In fact Brown has taken Britain from being one of the low tax countries of the EU to one of its highest, from being an attractive place to do business to being one which businesses are deserting. He has corrupted the honesty of the system by his use of stealth taxes which people do not realize they are paying. Of course Labour will raise taxes. It is what they do. They favour government spending because they can control and direct it, rather than have us spending on ourselves in ways they can neither predict not control.
One can readily imagine Brown trying to brazen it out, "and that is why I have allocated an additional £427m of resources to secure the reduction of 21,000 taxes, directed at the most needy elements of society…"
Fortunately the false promise of no Labour tax increases , the latest of many, is unlikely to be put to the test. Parties which do not expect to be elected have few restraints on the glib promises they can make.