Discussing Clegg’s interview with David Mills of GMTV Sunday earlier, it occurred to us that the following quote has potentially enormous implications:
Nick Clegg: Er, yes, but I mean there are other ideas. For instance there are other ideas, I mean for instance Iâ€™ve also this week been floating ideas for how I think we should introduce a 10% tax on the non-domestic earnings of so-called â€˜non-domsâ€™. In that particular case that raises about Â£1 billion. I would like that to go to alleviate the burden of Council Tax on those in Band A and band B properties, those on the lower rung of the property ladder, if you like. But itâ€™s just an example of where we can be creative in trying to find that extra money in order to fulfil that pledge, and Iâ€™m absolutely confident that we will under my leadership make that fixed pledge by the next general election.
Is this just idle blue skies thinking (which you surely must never do on a TV interview) or a hint that under Clegg the Local Income Tax policy is to be scrapped or at least adapted so that council tax will remain in the picture for the foreseeable future? Because you can’t alleviate the tax for low bands if you are going to scrap the tax altogether.
Is this an unintentional slip, revealing an agenda to move the party away from its existing LIT commitment? He was apparently quoted as saying nice things about site value rating earlier this week although I don’t have chapter and verse. Is a pattern emerging?
Speaking personally, such a shift would be fantastic: despite all the wobbles it could even win my vote (notwithstanding details, etc). Amongst many other party members though it would probably be about as popular as drinking a bucket of cold sick.
This isn’t an issue to be trifled with. If Clegg is thinking along these lines, mere hints will not be good enough. He would have to press it home. It would be a high risk strategy of exactly the kind that so many of us have been calling for him to adopt over the past few weeks.
Dare to do it Nick; you know you want to! 🙂