Two stories came out over the weekend, one was how one political party would crack down harder on long term benefits claimants whereas the other party wants to limit how much tax free money you can hold in an ISA. Now which policy goes with which party?
Twenty or so years ago the answer would have been a simple, all you had to do was look at the colour of the rosettes. But nowadays, as people will have quickly worked out, things have changed.
The party that wants to crack down on long term benefits claimants and slash the benefits bill further is Labour.
While the party that is 'worried' about the number of ISA millionaires and wants to cap the amount that can be held tax free is the Conservative Party.
The new shadow work and pensions secretary, Rachel Reeves, said that it was a 'myth' that labour was soft on benefits costs and that her party would be 'tougher' than the Conservatives on the issue. If you don't take the job you don't get the benefits she said.
But this is all talk of course to try and look tough. At the end of the day any government in the UK will make sure there are as few homeless and starving on the streets as possible, it's bad for party publicity. But it always has to be funded by the taxpayer via government or charity.
Then the party that likes to think of itself as promoting saving and getting people to look after themselves seem to be looking at ways of dipping into those tax free ISA accounts in the search of easy money for the treasury. Why bother hunting down hidden accounts in tax havens when the taxman and banks hold extremely detailed records of who has ISAs, how much is in them and where the money is held? Simple choice for any government really. Sends a very stark, 'spend now don't save or we'll have it off you' message to the people doesn't it?
It seems that there are not really that many ISA millionaires but there are a significant number of those with more than £100,000 squirrelled away. So a cap of £100,000 would make the income on any amount more than that taxable – Yee-Hah thinks the government, more money to throw about on our projects.
There really isn't that much difference between the main parties these days is there – talk tough while screwing ordinary voters seems par for the course.