Remembering the impact of newly-elected Thatcher
ONE advantage of getting older is that I've lived through events that political commentators like to write about.
Take for instance the impact of Margaret Thatcher on first being elected, in May, 1979.
Now one highly-regarded analyst claimed that she helped conquer inflation. That though is not how I remember things.
I recall inflation had bottomed at just over 7 per cent the previous year, and was at the time of her election standing at around 10 per cent , helped upwards by inflation-beating pay rises and the oil crisis caused by the collapse of the Shah of Iran.
CAR KEYS AND REMOTES "FREE REMOTE KEY FOB BATTERY" 01482 423414 ...View details
FOR ALL YOUR CAR KEY NEEDS CALL US NOW ON
SNAPPED KEYS, LOST KEYS, KEYS LOCKED IN VEHICLES,
WE ALSO REPAIR 90% OF ALL REMOTES AND KEYS, NO FIX NO CHARGE.
Terms: Terms: FREE REMOTE KEY FOB BATTERY ONE PER CUSTOMER
Contact: 01482 423414
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
Logic would thus decree that you wouldn't want a Budget that boosted inflation.
Yet Thatcher was determined to proceed with her Income Tax cuts, which in Geoffrey Howe's first Budget saw the basic rate fall from 33p to 30p, and the highest rate from 83 per cent to 60 per cent .
This though was paid for by raising VAT to 15 per cent ,and increasing other indirect taxes.
As a result, inflation rose by an extra 4.5 per cent , on its way to peaking at 21.9 per cent . Meanwhile, unemployment was also on the rise, from 1.5 million to over 3 million.
If it weren't for first the defection of Labour MPs to join the SDP, followed by the victory in the Falklands, the outcome of any General Election in either 1983 or 1984 would have produced a very different result.
As it was the Tories won a landslide in 1983, despite getting a reduced poll share as compared to 1979.
Tim Mickleburgh, Boulevard Avenue, Grimsby.