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Hear hear. I fear by ruling out substantial tax relief and pledging to match spending plans DC isn't going to be able to back up his criticisms with beef. Voters will come back to the Tories when the redistributive ways of Brown are shown to have failed to create a more just society, not when we are seen as "acceptable" to the Latte Liberati.

Spot on Andrew.

And the "idiots " still say Gordon Brown has been a fantastic Chancellor.Tax credits were designed to lessen the headline tax take and reduce the welfare total not to help the poor.Pity that his opposition is ineffectual.

tax credits are a disaster.

If a couple with a child earns £5k/year each, then if one of them works more hours to get an extra £1k, they will actually only receive an extra £430, an effective tax rate of 57%.

The result of this is that people decide it's not worth working for an effective rate of as little as £2/hr, and reduce the hours they work. So the economy is shrunk by the governments handouts.

I am sure you could find higher marginal tax rates than 57% - like the worst of socialism from the 70s, but here now.

I've always been against tax credits, it simply adds an extra layer of administration into our already complicated tax system. We should scrap the system and raise the threshold at which you start paying tax, it would also be beneficial to all tiers of society that way.

This country once had a remarkably flexible and simple benefit able to be applied quickly - it was called Income Support.

Anything that is easy and simple frustrates Gordo Brown who would just love to have a camera on every wall and everyone asking his permission before they leave their homes each day

This has nothing to do with "tax relief", aka "Tory plans to cut taxes to benefit their wealthy friends, will they say now which hospitals they would close down?"

It's only to do with Gordon Brown's idea that additional help with the costs of raising children should be targetted, not universal. It's turned into a shambles because it's too complex and the Inland Revenue is too incompetent.

It would have been better to simply increase the universal child benefit, and then claw back up to 40% of it from high earning families through normal income tax, but that is not the Gordon Brown way of going about things.

That may be true Denis but Brown wants to stop universal benefits and intends to Means-Test the State Pension as in Australia

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