The Telegraph reports today that repenting sinner, Denis Healey, Labour Chancellor during the economic crisis of the 1970s when the top-rate of tax was 83 per cent and the IMF were called in, does not believe that Gordon Brown’s 45% tax rate due in 2011 will work. He says:
… what I learned as Chancellor were that the rich can nearly always find ways of avoiding tax that are legal, and in any case the amount raised is very small. And it does encourage people to leave the country.
He even thinks that the public sector is bloated. The quote below puts him roughly in the same place as the Taxpayers’ Alliance and I:
We’ve got far too many people working in the public sector. There’s probably twice as many people working in the public sector as is necessary.
Apparently Healey lives in the Sussex village of Alfriston. This really is an amazing old-world place with a village green. I don’t suppose the place is full of New Labour types, or even the old sort. Retired majors and the suchlike, yes. I guess Healey has moved to the right as he got older like the rest of us – shame he didn’t get there rather sooner. My Dad always respected Healey because he was a beachmaster at Anzio. He also came out of the war on the left but his journey to the right was rather quicker than Healey’s. Funnily enough Healey ended his army days as a major.