Alastair Darling's decision to make the new top rate for earners over £150,000 to 50 pence, rather than 45 pence, and to introduce it in April 2010 means that the Labour government will now be bringing in a progressive shift of the taxation system.
So it turns out that Fabian gradualism does get there in the end: having kept open the debate about progressive taxation over the last decade. It was the Fabian Tax Commission report back in 2000, led by my predecessor Michael Jacobs, recommended a 50p rate on earnings over £100,000. That influenced the government's strategy for increased health spending back in 2002, though shifting the argument about the top end has taken longer.
I also advocated dropping the income tax pledge from the manifesto for the 2005 election, arguing that Labour needed to break the taboo on discussing tax at the very top.
Will the Conservative Party support the new top rate? My instinctive prediction at the time of the initial annoucement was that they would try to do so quietly, because the vocal opposition of some does not reflect the opinions of Conservative voters, a majority of whom back tax fairness at the top end.
So I hope we don't have much more of this "death of New Labour" nonsense. It was clear, before the current recession, that there were strong majorities across voters for all social classes, income groups and political parties for higher taxation at the very top. And the recession has strengthened support for those principles.