Thursday, July 24, 2008

"Policy by panic"

It was only when I was gifted a subscription to 'Private Eye' for my 50th birthday that I became an avid reader and fan. What have I been missing all these years?!

This week's first page had an item that caught my eye:

"The last-minute shambles surrounding publication of the long-awaited [xxxx] last week was another example of Gordon Brown's unique style of policy-by-panic."
"Despite the complexity of the [xxxx] and despite the [xxxx] being many months in the preparation, a final draft of the 81-page document was still doing the rounds only 24 hours before it was due to be launched."
"Insiders suggest that changes relating to the plans to [xxxx] were inserted at the 11th hour, with experts being given all of 90 minutes to respond."

"As one might expect from policy made by rabbots in headlights, the plan was a hotchpotch."

This being a blog about tax issues you would be forgiven for assuming that the above relates to the publication last year of the residence and domicile review, the income shifting proposals or perhaps related to the 10% tax band debacle.

The point is that it all resonated with me as if it were about one of the above. It could so easily have been. In fact the article refers to the Government's Youth Crime Action Plan.

I'm prepared to accept that one bad experience isn't necessarily evidence of something going wrong unless it is corroborated by a repeat experience or evdience from a secondary source.

So what does my reaction to the above story tell us about the tax system?

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