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The distant sound of money.

At the Conservative Party conference a policy is announced. It is duly parroted by media outlets. An important question is left unasked.

But first, the policy: tax relief on inherited pensions, previously tacked at 55% and now to move into line with income tax. It’s an inoffensive enough policy, as Conservative policies go, not one of the more odious ones specifically designed to help out rich people ones (though, be under no illusions, it most definitely will help out a bunch of rich people), a few will benefit. It also has the handy characteristic of being easily labelled by tabloids as “Death Tax” as in “Osborne scraps Death Tax”. Which is point two, the due parroting: tabloids say Death Tax, BBC report tabloids saying Death Tax, people think whew, glad we’ve got rid of that Death Tax, good times all round. It’s a more of a mouthful to say “Osborne unpins fixed rate of 55% on inherited pensions to normalise them with income tax”. No, Death tax it is.

And now we come to the unasked question. But first, a bald statistic. In 2008-9 the number of people forced to visit food banks for three days emergency food stood at 25,899. In 2013-14 that number had risen to 913,138. That’s an increase of 3425%. So the question is this, against this backdrop of increasing desperate poverty, where nearly a million need free handouts of food, is that all you’ve got? Is that the best you can fucking do? Jesus wept.


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