I understand that page two of The People suggests that the great tax-riser Gordon Brown is about to announce a 2% cut in the basic rate of income tax. It may be a rubbish story but would be yet another example of the fashion for political cross-dressing.
The hint was certainly in Jeff Randall’s Friday column in The Telegraph:
"Grant Thornton, the financial advisers, calculate that corporation tax is expected to account for 11.4 per cent of all Exchequer receipts in 2006-07, compared with 8.2 per cent three years ago. In a CBI poll of 100 executives, tax was a significant factor for the 20 per cent of companies that had shifted operations abroad. You don’t have to go far to escape Britain’s corporate rate of 30 per cent: in Ireland, it is just 12.5 per cent. Here’s the punch-line. Grant Thorton believes the situation is now so serious that, to reposition himself as business-friendly, before moving into Number 10, Brown could signal a cut in corporation tax in next week’s Pre-Budget Report. "It’s on the radar," Grant Thornton told me. Oh, the irony. Brown, who has crushed us with billions of extra tax, ends up taking the initiative as a tax cutter. Business applauds, election is won, leaving desperate Dave and gentle George as the high priests of high taxes, wondering where it all went wrong."