Tax hypocrisy

Speaking on the BBC’s The Andrew Marr Show, former Labour Party leader Lord Kinnock called for higher taxes – “The broadest backs bear the heaviest burden…we should have a top rate of 50 per cent, the unerring policy of the Labour Party.”

But for 12 out of the 13 years of Labour rule, the party was proud to have carried forward a 40 per cent rate: lower than under the Liberal/Conservative pact (45 per cent plus 2 per cent national insurance).

As for Lord Kinnock himself, while in the European Commission, he and his family earned a tax-light (if not untaxed) total of £775,000 in wages for Lady Kinnock, and £1.85 million for her husband, adding up to £2,625,000; allowances for Lady Kinnock’s staff and office costs of £2.9m; a £64,564 “entertainment allowance” for Lord Kinnock; a total of five publicly funded pensions, worth £4.4m, allowing them to retire on £183,000 a year; and a housing allowance that allowed them both to claim accommodation costs although, as a married couple, they lived in the same house in the Belgian capital between 1995 and 2004.

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There should be a Nobel Prize for hypocrisy, for in this matter Britain has a strong contender!

Peter Smaill