Thursday, October 08, 2009

Blast From The Past

Can you name the year?

Election looming - check

Unpopular, unelected Prime Minister taking the country into recession - check

Opposition ahead in the polls for 3 years leading up to the election - check

Just had a war with Iraq - check

Impending tax rate of 50% for the highest earners - check. (*)

That's right, 1992. Government returned to power against the odds, five more years, ker-ching. A lot of disappointed people.

A couple of 2009 Tory policies caught my eye - no stamp duty for first time buyers up to a purchase value of £250,000 and no inheritance tax up to a property value of £1,000,000. One thing about the Tories, they always look after their own people - which is why they love high interest rates, because this is good for people with lots of cash in the bank. After all, how many first time buyers spending a quarter of a million pounds, or their parents in a million pound house, or their grandparents with thousands of pounds squirrelled away are going to vote anything other than Tory? Fortunately for them, most of the rest of us seem to have forgotten how much the Tories fucked the economy between 1979 and 1997. For any of you youngsters who don't remember - on 16 September 1992 the newly-returned Tory government raised interest rates from the current 12% to 15% to try and stop currency traders raping the pound. They failed, and in the meantime, my take-home salary no longer covered my mortgage payment. I'm going to look into transferring to a fixed rate mortgage myself, if such things still exist.

(Nitpicker's corner: In 1992, the Labour opposition proposed a 50% tax rate on people earning over £40,000: in 2009, the Conservative opposition announced they would not repeal Labour's proposed increase of tax to 50% on incomes over £150,000)

(References: 1992 election, Gulf War, Labour Conference 1991, Labour Party Manifesto 1992, Black Wednesday)

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