Tory allies in the battle of ideas

There was a flurry of comment on the Tories’ putative plan to abolish stamp duty on shares last week. It was reported that the idea is based on a Bow Group pamphlet due out last Monday. A week later, the Bow Group have belatedly put up the document on their website.

And no wonder they kept it quiet. Perhaps there is more to come, but the report currently consists of barely more than a single hurriedly written page, citing as evidence one five year old quote from the Chairman of the London Stock Exchange and one back-of-envelope calculation (sum raised by stamp duty = £4bn; £4bn capitalised at 5% interest = £80bn) and, well, that’s it. It is signed simply “The Bow Group” and is replete with spelling and formatting errors.

The Daily had been eagerly awaiting an assessment of this tax cut’s effect on wealth distribution, but it seems we will have to wait.

Talking of redistribution of wealth, another right-wing think-tank, the Centre for Policy Studies, also issued a report yesterday, claiming that the Government was redistributing wealth from the poor to the rich. This is a nonsense that is superbly rebutted over at Freemania, so we won’t go in to the details.

But is just worth reiterating that Labour has consistently redistributed from rich to poor, and in these difficult times we can recommend to comrades a quick look at the graphs on page 7 of this analysis and page 5 of this briefing, both from the IFS.

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