Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The return of the state?

The political editor of The Independent titles his column “Voters revolt over taxes” (Tuesday, 23 December) in a comment about a poll sponsored by his journal. Voters are turning their back, for the first time in more than a decade, on Labour’s promise to spend more on public services because of the prolonged economic downturn, he writes.

The survey suggests a huge conservative majority would result in the next general election, would the tax issue become the key dividing line between the two main parties. It highlights a crucial change in the public mood since the 2001 and 2005 elections, when voters preferred Labour’s public services promises to Tory’s tax cutting one.

At a time when Germans too prove reluctant to increase public expenditure too much, could it be that the alleged “return of the state thesis” is no more than an idiosyncratic French fantasy?

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