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Thursday, 10 December 2009

Brown backs Sarkozy on Bankers

On the morning after the bugetary non-event in London, Gordon Brown has grabbed significant publicity with a joint 'editorial' in Murdoch's WALL STREET JOURNAL,in which he and the French President rail about the unacceptable face of international banking. They note that the bankers have been feathering their own nests in massive speculation that does nothing for the 'real economy'.
Brown spent his decade at the Treasury praising the bankers for precisely what he now condemns.
His entire economic strategy - if it may be described by such an elevated term - was based on taxing the banks at a rate that they found tolerable, encouraging mass consumption through borrowing facilitated by the banks, and allowing industry to fade away under the burdens of heavy taxation and increasingly intrusive regulation.
Now he is imposing a one-off tax on the banks, which they can easily afford; while they pay accountants and lawyers to find ways of substituting other means of remuneration for the bonuses that have been banned. The medium to long term increases in taxation that are needed,  because of the bail-out of those very same bankers, will fall on the broad mass of the population: starting with an increase in the second income tax [known as national insurance]. There's nothing else to be taxed!

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