Front page headline from Thursday , April 23rd 2009. Article by James Chapman, Political Editor.
From the article:
Alistair Darling has gambled Britain’s future on a 1970s-style tax raid against the rich and a wildly-optimistic forecast of economic recovery.
The Chancellor drove a stake through the heart of New Labour yesterday by stinging top earners with a new 50p tax rate.
Experts said the move – resisted for a decade by Tony Blair – was largely symbolic and could even lose the Treasury money by prompting an exodus of the rich. It was the big shock in a nakedly political Budget which will mean unprecedented levels of borrowing and led David Cameron to dismiss Gordon Brown as the ‘clapped-out’ leader of a ‘government of the living dead’. While Mr Darling plans to slow the growth in public spending, he still is refusing to make cuts.
The decision to ‘soak the rich’ shattered Labour’s election manifesto pledge not to raise income tax and appeared chiefly designed to wrongfoot the Conservatives.