Monday, May 09, 2005

The state of fiscal conservatism in Britain

Steyn on the British election results:

Here's another observation: economic conservatism isn't enough for a conservative party. It may have been in the late Seventies when nothing worked and everyone was on strike. But, though it pains a low-tax nut like me, my sense of modern Britain is that it doesn't think of itself as over-taxed. Besides, many tax rates - VAT, for example - are beyond the jurisdiction of Westminster to reduce: the issue is not stealth taxes so much as stealth Euro centralism. It's true that many Britons seem to have less ready cash than other folks, but again that's not primarily a tax issue: the British spend more on accommodation and mortgages than their equivalents in other lands because the principal economic activity in the United Kingdom is selling undistinguished terraced houses back and forth to each other for ever moreabsurd six-figure sums. A ha'penny off income tax isn't going to change that.

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