Gimmick government

4th May 2001 at 01:00
Sunday Times

TONY Blair and Gordon Brown unveiled a package of giveaway measures last week designed to win votes and rally Labour's core supporters. Its ideas for baby bonds and poor people's savings were not presented as egalitarian moves, of course. That would have frightened middle Britain. Instead, Mr Blair talked about making Britain more meritocratic and extending power, wealth and opportunity "to the many,not just the few". At the same time, ministers promise a fundamental shift in welfare provision to make individuals more responsible for their own well-being. On the face of it, who could object? Closer inspection, however, reveals a different picture. The new baby and savings package penalises success and smacks of the sort of social engineering new Labour is supposed to have dumped.

Leader, April 29

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