Last Friday night, Andy Burnham came to Rugby to speak at the first event being run by the new Warwickshire Fabians. He was much better than I thought he would be, and he’s got a lot of very good ideas. I’m just not sure if I can see him as a Leader though.
As he is currently Health spokesman and his last post in the Labour Government was as Health Secretary, a lot of what he talked about was related to the NHS. Of course, the Tories are making a lot of changes to the NHS while at the same time trying to impose budget restraint, and this means that there’s a lot to talk about. He also outlined his idea for a ‘National Care Service’, to provide free care for the elderly paid for with a 10% tax on your assets.
The tax part may alarm, but his other big idea is to introduce a Land Value Tax which would replace Council Tax, Stamp Duty and Inheritance Tax. If this happened first, then the 10% Care Tax, hypothecated to ensuring that people don’t end up selling their homes just to provide for their own care arrangements, could well be more popular than IHT.