Dear George and Danny,
Apologies for being a bit late in the day with this but what with the World Cup and a trip to Queen’s to see the big guys fall, sport came ahead of my attempts to help you cut public spending.
However, as luck would have it, and as I am always on the look out for ideas, one came to me whilst I was enjoying a bit of hospitality in between the Murray defeat and the Nadal defeat. I bumped into a billionaire – you know how it is George – and as I hoovered in information about how this particular billionaire gave money to this cause and that, carefully putting down markers for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research, I had one of those once in a lifetime brainwaves that only comes when you have a new coalition government casting round desperately for ideas.
It is so so simple and I think the logic will appeal to both of you.
You see, you’ve asked the public to tell you what they want you to cut. You’re hoping that will soften them up so that they don’t go too crazy when you break DC’s pledge not to hit frontline services.
But let us now take this involvement of the public to another stage – and ask them for more money. No, not tax, but donations!
Part of the new Clamberon vision appears to be public services run as and in some cases by charities, so let us extend that spirit to government itself.
Ah, you say, but people feel taxed enough already, and will feel even more so when you put up VAT in the Budget, trotting out our old friend OTIB, (the oldest trick in the book,) aka BWTTB (books worse than thought bullshit). But even if they do feel highly taxed, many continue to give more of their hard-earned cash away. I do my bit for various causes. I’m sure you do. And my billionaire lunch partner certainly does.
Then think how much Ashcroft gave to one of your parties, or tot up how much Danny’s boys in the Lords gave to his, (I am not suggesting a link, far from it) and ask yourself if we couldn’t persuade them to chuck a few more million the Treasury’s way.
I’ve often wondered what would happen if, when doing my tax returns, I decided actually because I support schools and hospitals and all the other things that government has to provide, I should add on a few quid.
The need was never as urgent as you guys now tell us it is, so I never got round to it.
But if you think the idea has merit, I will happily send a few bob your way.
Maybe you could add a ‘WAITT’ box (we’re all in this together) on the tax return. Every little helps. The man from Tesco said that. And look how well he did.
*** Buy Prelude to Power here at Amazon.
*** Buy The Blair Years and raise cash for Labour http://www.alastaircampbell.org/bookshop.php.