14 Jan 2015

Balls refuses to detail tax and spending plans


The shadow chancellor Ed Balls has refused to detail proposed spending cuts and tax rises under a future Labour government after George Osborne accused Labour of trying to “perpetrate a grand deceit on the British public” by declining to reveal its deficit reduction plans. Mr Balls has refused to say what tax/spend split the party would adopt and revenue from plans for a bank bonus levy, a “mansion tax” and a rise in corporation tax have nearly all been earmarked to fund additional spending, according to the FT.

Source: Financial Times

A “poke” is an old English word meaning (before the days of online media) a bag or sack (from the same root as the French “poche” meaning “pocket”). In days of yore, unscrupulous farmers coming to the market to sell a suckling piglet would seek to take advantage of gullible would-be purchasers by bringing the pig to market in a bag which remained unopened until the bargain was concluded: whereupon, the vendor would open the bag to find that he had in fact purchased a cat or a dog. He had unwisely bought a “pig in a poke”. Unless, of course, someone had made him aware of the intended deceit by “letting the cat out of the bag”.

But what possible relevance could all that have to this news story?