" Some u- turns are just common sense". So concluded the Sunday Times excoriating Editorial on the charity tax. The Sunday papers were full of the continuing story; it now cannot be long before common sense does prevail.
I have a feeling that now the PM is back he will move to get a grip on this . I suspect this week will now prove crucial. And there is a sensible way forward so let's hope we can move quickly to sort this unnecessary row.
The Charities Aid Foundation have published a survey which shows the Government don't have the support of their own MPs.
The scale of Conservative and Liberal Democrat backbench discontent at the Government’s proposed cap on tax relief for charitable donations is revealed in the poll published today.
Almost two thirds of Government backbenchers surveyed during the Easter recess say that tax relief on charitable donations should be exempt from the proposed cap announced in the Budget and that the Government should review its proposal.
Sixty five per cent of Conservative and Liberal Democrat MPs surveyed agreed that “tax relief on charitable donations should be exempt from the proposed cap”.
Sixty eight per cent of the backbenchers surveyed agreed that “The Government should review its proposal to apply this cap on tax relief for charitable donations”.
The ComRes survey, also showed that 93 per cent of Government backbenchers surveyed agreed that the Government “should do all it can to use the tax system to encourage charitable donations from wealthy donors.
Amusingly I got a chance to beard Ken Clarke on this on Friday. A good friend of my sister Lucy had a spare ticket for Any Questions, that brilliant BBC Radio4 programme that is a treasure of the airwaves from when it first broadcast some 60 years ago. I thought it would be good to go as practice for when I appear on the show myself.
And obviously I could hardly not ask a question! On the tax cap. And they picked me but although I only used my name I was outed by Edward Stourton who revelled in revealing my true identity and assured Ken it was not a stitch up!
And Sunday was a day of rememberence for my great aunt Marjorie, now in her hundreth year. Her cousin Harry Barrow was one of the many who drowned on the foundering of SS Titanic, one hundred years ago , aged just 35.
Most satisfactory indeed!
Just a couple of questions, Stephen:
1. How come it was you who asked that question? Did you tell them who you were or did Ed or Harriet Harman 'out' you?
2. How long have you known and worked with Harriet Harman - and did you chat with her before the show?
3. How 'satisfactory, did she think it was that you gave her the opportunity to bash the government, before bashing them yourself at the end of the question?
4. Are you sure it wasn't a 'stitch-up'? After all, the tradition is that the panel don't know the questions before they are asked.
“And obviously I could hardly not ask a question.”
So that’s how it works! You turn up at the BBC as arranged, meet your mates and agree that you should ask a question that many ‘ordinary’ folk in the audience might have liked to. But sadly they do not enjoy your privileged position, don’t have your BBC-assisted sharp elbows – nor share your sense of entitlement – so the audience must look mutely on as a member of the left-wing media elite gets to grandstand in front of them.
Which is what socialism is all about, obviously.
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