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50 Years Ago: Labour Party Programme for the Year 2000

The idea of encouraging the donkey forward dangling a carrot a short distance in front of his nose an ancient one but even the oldest tricks can changed and Mr. Albu, Labour M.P. for Edmonton, has discovered a startling variation.

Like other Labour M.P.s he has had to realise that the Labour electoral carrot offered to the voters in the recent General Election was not successful in enticing
them to the polling booth for 1,500,000 of former Labour voters this time refused to go in and put their cross. So Mr. Albu, who is a member of the Executive Committee of the Fabian Society, has been thinking up a new programme for Labour. He spoke about it meeting of the Central London Fabian Society June 29. He said:-

"There should be adequate incentives, but property ownership should be reduced by estate duties and a capital gains tax so that by the year 2000 the distribution of inherited wealth would be similar that of taxed income today." (Manchester Guardian,
30 June, '55)

Mr. Albu is not proposing that inequality accumulated wealth be eliminated but only that it should be lessened, so that it would not exceed the smaller, but still very great, difference between the annual income of the rich man and the wages of the poor.
So we progress!

Many years ago the Fabian Society, and later the Labour Party, planned to something "immediately" about this inequality. Now Mr. Albu suggests postponing the completion of half plan until a date 45 years ahead, by which time most the present generation will be dead.

From The Socialist Standard, August 1955