Friday, May 01, 2009

The Iron Lady's legacy will not rust easily

What did Margaret Thatcher change about Britain? Everything, and 30 years on the UK is still the better for it. Charles Powell - Times Online : Thirty years on from Margaret Thatcher becoming Prime Minister, it is being suggested that we have come to the end of the Thatcher era. Don't believe it. Iron does not rust that easily. There have been reversals of the direction that she set, with the partial nationalisation of banks and the increase in the higher rate of tax to 50 per cent. But the former is first aid to a tottering banking system rather than an ideologically motivated return to public ownership. The Government clearly wants out as soon as possible, recognising that it knows even less about banking than bankers, difficult as that is. We will not see Clause 4 exhumed. The bonus classes largely have themselves to thank for the 50 per cent tax rate. Their excess made them an irresistible target. But the higher rate won't raise significant extra revenue. What it will do is deter effort, so Britain will lose out in tax competition with our market rivals, making it harder to restore the City's leading position in financial markets.

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