Despite statements to the contrary Labour are targeting anyone they see as ‘upper class’ or privileged for tax rises and service reductions next year. In his New Year message to the nation Gordon Brown is expected to take a stand against ‘the privileged few’. It is thought he will also say that he will protect those who reside within that hard to pin down group called ‘middle income earners’.He is also expected to reinforce this by railing against those “who say we must plan for a decade of austerity and unfairness where the majority lose out while the privileged few protect themselves”. A dig at the Tories without naming names.
He will also say the recession is over and unemployment will start falling in 2010.
This all paints a hopeful picture, the sort of picture aimed at getting Labour re-elected.
But the plans in the background go one step further than protecting the masses against the plans of the Tory Toffs. As reported in the Daily Mail today the Fire Service are, under the ‘Equality Bill’ due to become law next year, to target resources toward poor and underprivileged areas. Effectively allocating fire protection where Labour ministers feel it appropriate on the basis of class. The Bill, being pushed hard by Harriet Harman of car and mobile 'phone fame, also requires local authorities to base spending and service delivery on socio-economic disadvantage. The requirements placed on the fire service are in theory justified because the poorer areas tend to have more fires.
This paves the way for a massive move of money and services into poorer areas, despite the lion’s share being paid for by the more wealthy. What is to stop healthcare, schooling and police services to be ‘re-distributed’ on this basis? The better areas may then have to dip into their own pockets for private security firms, doctors and schools etc. But I bet the MPs and Ministers will have any of these costs factored into their expenses system.
The idea of the Equality Bill was to form a single Equality Act for Great Britain, sweeping together all equality legislation so far enacted and moving further on. It covers such things as the gender pay gap, access to further education, disability, gender rights, religious discrimination, racial discrimination, access to health and the pay divide. It is aimed at fighting discrimination in all its forms and help to make equality a reality for everyone.
All very laudable it seems. But a law that is drafted with such socio-economic aims can have only one aim, that of total socialism. But the eventual outcome will be completely different. We will end up with many disenfranchised people footing the bill with nothing in return. It will give the state the right to rob people it deems unworthy of services and tax them progressively more at a whim. Local authorities in rich areas will be starved of public funds. It will foment discontent and, although everyone has a vote and access to their MP and councillor, those in well off areas will find they have an impotent elected representatives. Representatives that wield no power and command no ability to get public money into their area.
Is this what Gordon Brown will refer to as “shared prosperity, with opportunities fairly shared”?
The last time we taxed people and gave them nothing in return, ‘taxation without representation’, we lost a colony.