Wednesday, 3 May 2017
Fun with Numbers
Yesterday was a bad day for Diane Abbott as she floundered on Nick Ferrari’s LBC radio show, making up figures on the hoof and generally revealing that she had been sent out to bat without the necessary equipment, to wit; numeracy, a grasp of basic economics and a rudimentary intuition of the right time to fake your own death, live on air. Honestly, all she had to do was gasp, clutch at her left arm and slump in the chair. It would have been less embarrassing. Or, you know she could have used that legendary parliamentary prowess and just refused to be drawn; the technique she uses every time with Andrew Neil.
Fortunately, a day is a long time in politics and today a Labour spokesperson, a completely different person, came out to clarify the situation. Dana Abbottson said in an interview on the world service in the early hours of this morning that the pledge to employ an extra 10,000 police officers would, in fact, be self-financing. “You see, it’s all very simple. Yes, we have to pay them up front, but if we tax their salary at 25%, after four months we get it all back. Then we can spend it again and
buy recruit more.”
When pressed that A) you would have still paid out four times what you took back and B) that it all came out of general taxation anyway and that C) Nobody paid by the state is a contributor to the public purse regardless, Ms Abbotson (not, we stress, Ms Abbott) adjusted her wig, glared at the presenter and said in her very best Margaret Thatcher tribute voice “Andwew, I’m sure I don’t have to explain basic economics to yououou...” She then excused herself on the grounds of having just suffered a cerebral aneurism brought on by cruel Tory cutbacks to the NHS and hastily left the studio.
Seeking to put the incident behind them an email was later received from Labour’s Level 1 Key Skills Unit explaining that ‘Dana’ had been misunderestimated and quoted out of context and that, of course, the Labour Party’s policies were fully costed. The proposals are, in fact, to bring in a universal 100% tax rate, rising to 150% for high earners. This, the e-briefing note elaborated, would promote a fairer society by removing any incentive to pursue inequality and actually put the exchequer back into profit.
It went on to outline Labour’s other popular policies to supply every household with free meals-on-wheels, put a policeman on every lawn, provide lawns for those who went without and increase participation in future elections by ensuring every child was registered at birth for a postal vote. Climate change would be arrested by making it illegal to engage in ‘hate weather’ and education standards would be brought in line with inflation, which would be pegged at 5% thus ensuring a year-on-year increase in GDP of thirty-several.
Labour's fully costed budget plan...
A researcher for The Daily Politics telephoned the Labour Party’s Victoria Square head office for a comment. They are still waiting...