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Monday, August 18, 2008


Steve Reed

Stephen's right. Proposals to tell people how their money's being spent are routinely attacked as 'spin' by Labour's opponents (who of course have a vested interest in people not finding out!). If people are going to feel that the taxes they pay are being well spent, we need to tell them what the money's being spent on. Signs of the kind Stephen's talking about are a great idea for helping with that. Not getting this right feeds the cynicism that our political opponents thrive on.


I'm not sure I agree about the invisibility of signage, showing where our money has been spent. The Heritage Lottery Fund Logo seems to be everywhere, and a good thing too.

Or am I just the sort of person who happens to visit such attractions more than average?

David Walker

Good points, Stephen, but it goes deeper than better labelling of the benefits of collective provision through the tax system.
1. It means telling a coherent story about taxation being not the "burden" characterised by neoliberals and all who sail with them (many Progressives included) but a mechanism for expanding opportunity and for giving joing membership of society fiscal expression
2 it means joining up government and rejecting those localists (and third sector advocates) who preach a sort of fragmentation...and leaves the public perplexed about what exactly government does with the proceeds of taxation. Messages need to be clear, not obfuscated by signs pointing to ostensibly separate bodies.

We'd agree that, eg Sure Start, depends very much on local effort and buy in. But it wouldn't happen without the resources collected and channelled by government towards the neediest people and areas. Government deserves the credit, but only if it stops being ashamed of collective provision.


I'm a sport coach for the FA, my funding has been hit so hard I've had to stop coaching and finish, the reason cut backs in funding the reason the building of the games in the UK in 2012 to pay for this Labour has cut back massively.

I doubt many people in sport will be running around praising Labour.

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