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Darling's helping hand

Alistair Darling tries to buy off 10p tax rate rebels with ‘help for poor later’ - Times Online

The Chancellor launched the fightback yesterday by promising that he would seek to compensate low-paid workers made worse off by the abolition of the 10p tax rate.

He insisted that there could be no immediate concessions, however, and said that the current “constrained circumstances” limited what he could do for those on low pay.

Tim Worstall - Times Online
to tax the poor so that bureaucrats can give money to the poor is simply ludicrous

Alistair Darling plans unprecedented £50bn bank bailout - Times Online
An unprecedented £50 billion injection to bail out Britain’s ailing banking system could be doubled if it fails to stave off a collapse in the housing market.

Overnight MarketWatch
UK markets

London shares rose more than 1 per cent on Friday to their highest close in seven weeks. Banking and finance stocks led the way as investors warmed up to the concept that a recovery might be in sight.

Among the top banks, Royal Bank of Scotland rose 4.9 per cent on reports it is preparing to launch a 10 billion pound rights issue to shore up its balance sheet. Barclays was up 3.6 per cent and HBOS closed 1.4 per cent higher.

Elsewhere in the sector, Lloyds TSB added 2.4 per cent and Alliance and Leicester picked up 4.5 per cent.


Darling is a dead man walking. Businesses don't like him, the public don't like him, opposition politicians don't like him, and now his own MP's don't like him.

Not the best way to start on a Monday morning.

I missed the first bit. What's the "10p tax" and how does it affect the working class?


Until a couple of weeks ago, the starting rate of income tax was 10%, on the first two grand or so of taxable income.

A year ago, the fellow Brown announced that everyone would start paying tax at the standard rate, which would be reduced slightly to 20%.

The result is that the poorest and youngest workers have had their tax bills effectively doubled to give a little something to the middle class, who still won't feel better off.

The government response to the squealing which has arisen now that the change is on us is No way Jose, indicating that the whole scheme was a hidden tax rise from the start.

My lady's employees on the minimum wage are just beginning to grasp they have been shafted, though I warned them a year ago.

Fortunately, the life of the government is being made miserable by the controversy. It's an ill wind...

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