Blairites and Brownites think John McDonnell is too right wing
The shadow chancellor is supporting Philip Hammond's 'tax cuts for the rich'.
According to Angela Rayner, the chancellor “delivered a tax windfall to the richest households in Britain in his set-piece Budget yesterday”.
Tweeting during the Budget yesterday, Emily Thornberry stated: “There we are — tax cuts for the rich and they are coming earlier”.
The Resolution Foundation today confirmed that the wealthiest 10 per cent benefit the most from the income tax changes announced by Philip Hammond.
So why is John McDonnell now endorsing that tax cut?
The shadow chancellor told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “We will support the tax cuts at the moment on the basis that it will inject some demand into the economy. But we put forward in the general election a fairer taxation system so that does mean that we will be asking the top 5 per cent to pay a bit more in income tax and we will be rolling back many of the corporation tax cuts that have taken place."
Addressing the press gallery in Westminster this afternoon, the shadow chancellor stuck to the position which was in Labour’s 2017 manifesto. He tried to spin Labour’s support for the cuts as an Ed Miliband-esque gesture of support for the squeezed middle: "We're not going to take funding away from people, some of these are middle earners – we're talking about headteachers and people like that who've had a rough time.”
The Labour backlash has been led by one-time uber-Blairite Andy Burnham. “I can’t see how tax cuts for the wealthiest can be the top priority when our police are so stretched and there are people dying on British streets for want of a roof over their head,” he wrote in the Times.
Former top Brownite Yvette Cooper pointed out that the tax cut would help people on £125k a year. "I cannot support it," she added.
And David Lammy, who was a minister under both Blair and Brown, declared that “we should not be supporting tax cuts that disproportionately help the wealthy”.
In other words, Blairites and Brownites think McDonnell is being too right wing. How times change…