Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Who's Lost Under Labour?

Actually it's more like £10 grand so far

A couple of interesting news items this morning highlighting some of the groups who've lost particularly heavily under Labour (given that all taxpayers have lost to a greater or lesser extent).

1. The South

A new analysis of Council Tax increases since 1997 underlines the way the South has been slammed to pay for Labour's councils up North.

True the correlation isn't perfect, but it is striking that when you draw a line from the Wash to the Severn, all bar one of lowest rise councils are North of it, and all of the highest rise councils are South.

Of course, this is just part of the regional discrimination picture only too familiar to BOM readers, with the Greater South East (GSE) losing getting on for 10% of its income subsidising the North, Scotland, Wales, and N Ireland (eg see this blog).

The South, and the Greater South East in particular, has been a big loser under Labour.

2. Motorists

Against Gordon Brown's insistence that prices have only risen by 18% since 1997 (on his preferred CPI measure to Feb 2008), in the real world most of us inhabit, prices have been shooting up. The Telegraph highlights the 56% increase in the cost of running a family car, remembering of course, that tax accounts for around two-thirds of fuel costs. Here's the DT summary:

(We blogged some other price increases here. As a marker, in 1997 the average price of a standard white sliced loaf was 53p: today it's around £1, a virtual doubling).

3. Hard-working couples

Labour has shovelled large amounts of cash towards unemployed people with children. It's been funded by taking money away from employed people, especially those with no children. Here's the definitive analysis produced by the Institute for Fiscal Studies:

So an unemployed couple with children has gained well over 10%. And the incentive to make a career out of lone parenthood has been significantly increased, by a whopping 15%.

It's been funded by taking an extra 5% from earning couples with no children, and an extra 3% from earning couples who juggle both jobs and kids. The very groups who drive the economy and pay their own way.

Come April 2010 we should all take a moment to tot up how much our own families have lost.

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