« The new Conservatives.com | Main | Another pointless mid-conference season poll »


I'd like to see him drop the lunatic idea of trying to raise 3.5bn from non-doms, that was coupled with the IHT cut to make it 'tax neutral'.

This is not to time to scare the wealthy out of Britain.

I suspect he would be best advised to stick to overall strategy rather than a few specific measures - telling us what shape he wants to get the economy into by the end of the first term and how he intends to get there would be more valuable in terms of shoring up our ratings on the economy in difficult times.

Promise no rises in income tax or national insurance as a minimum.

I do not think that G.O. needs to drop the non-dom tax. It would be far more acceptable to all concerned if he would clarify that non-doms should pay a minimum of £30 in taxes per year in the U.K. in order to maintain their status.
This would mean that non-doms who work in the UK and pay their income taxes here are not penalised by having to pay an additional £30k, along side those who evade paying any taxes.
Most working non-doms would be happy with this compromise.

I do hope Osborne does not put more pressure on the rich non doms that are leaving Britain in their droves.
Osborne might look at the thoughts of Richard Murphy of Tax Justice Network who wrote a piece which does make sense.He said "where were the auditors in this massive credit crunch please read below"
The people we have to hold to account for the Credit Crunch
It strikes me that there are four key firms behind the credit crunch who have suffered nothing like the exposure they deserve. They are the four largest Accountancy Companies in the World
They audited all the serious players. They have signed off the accounts of all the banks on a going concern basis that have either now gone bust or needed emergency funding.
The provided the offshore mechanisms for many of the off balance sheet deals that allowed sub-prime refinancing to happen.
They audited those offshore structures.
They ensured they fell out of the tax net.
You can be pretty sure they’re auditing most of the hedge funds.
They have been some of the fiercest advocates of the neo-liberal model that has brought the world to its knees.
Why aren’t we holding them liable?
Why aren’t we creating a new model of auditing?
Why aren’t we saying if you want to audit in the UK you can’t have an offshore office?
Why are we still allowing people to audit the structures they create?
Why, oh why haven’t we learned the lessons of previous debacles when they were so obviously there to see. After all, Prem Sikka has recounted them for years.
Auditing and accounting has to be subject to the regulatory reform that must change the world of finance forever if we survive the current mess.

Perhaps he will announce that he intends to use his trust fund to help repair the nation's finances?

..and of course Osborne could pay off the national debt in just a few years if we withdraw from the EU and used the net contribution savings to pay down our debt.

In pure economic terms, EU membership is a luxury the country cannot afford right now.

Can someone remind me why he is the shadow chancellor?

Unfortunately George Osborne suffers from two political handicaps about which he can do nothing- his age, and the somewhat tinny squeak of his voice. These give the impression- however unjustified- of political gaucheness. At a time of such economic turbulence, David Cameron needs to be closely aligned with a political 'greybeard' in the finance ministry, someone with both a track record, and clear signs of gravitas. I would move Osborne to Party Chairman [he is good at attacking Labour], and would make Malcolm Rifkind Shadow Chancellor.

Over the next 12 months, many more floating voters will start to look critically at our Shadow Cabinet, and ask 'are they up to it?'. I would answer 'clearly not' in too many cases. Duncan and Mitchell are two obvious examples, and Theresa May was again limp on Question Time last night.

Why does little Blears have more passion after 11 years of a Labour Government, than Theresa May exhibits after 11 years in opposition ?

These mindless comments from people like 'trustfinder' and 'er..?' are really, really boring. Hopefully Osborne will outline plans on how he will reduce our crippling level of borrowing. This conference is going to be the making I hope of George Osborne.

Whatever is orated, it will be broadly neutral under scrutiny.

There will be nothing fresh, either in tackling the cause and effect of the current financial crisis (and axiomatically preventing repetition) or on the need for reform - reform of the tax system with the dual necessities of social conscience and entrepeneurial encouragement and the attitude and actions of reform then stretching to a complete overhaul of our health and education systems (as IDS, ironically, advocated. Sweden, Germany, France, Spain are light years ahead on all counts - BECAUSE THEY ARE EFFICIENT AND USER DRIVEN "NOT SO NEW LABOUR", NOT DOCTRINALLY ENTRENCHED TO THE GROTESQUE COST AND PAIN OF THE TAXPAYER).

It will, I am afraid, get 7 to 8 out of ten for its presentation and conviction but almost zero for its insubstantial, meaningless content which will in the end turn out to be hollow drivel.

Andrew Carr

But London Tory wasn't Fraser Nelson good last night? He hammered Brown again and again. The smile on Blears face got more forced as the programme went on.

I'd like to see him make a reference to the misquote in Gordon Brown's speech. Something about "how can we trust him with our money when he's willing to lie just to make a point"...

George Osborne has a hard job, he needs to concentrate on the strategic rather than the tactical. His speech last year had to be tactical rather than strategic and he pulled it off. Osborne needs to chart a course for the UK economy to ride out the storm and move into the foothills of recovery. He needs also to set out how he will progressively move human capital from the largely unproductive state sector to the productive private sector.

He also needs to take on Gordon's claims to be a serious man for serious times. There are some serious questions he should ask. If the economy was so strong a few years ago, why is it so weak now? If we were best placed going into the problems, why just one year in are we the worst placed economy in the industrial world? Why was prudence clung to when it was easy but the moment it has become hard has it been abandoned and the government likely to have a larger defecit than any UK government in modern times?

That is one of the naughtiest ConHome articles I have read. Of course, we all agree with it whether Tories or Kippers, but the party leadership doesn't, unless they are so cynical as to be outside the British democratic tradition. Very sadly, I fear that the latter may be correct, they can't be this stupid, which will take us into difficult waters of governmental illegitimacy over the next 20 years.

Yesterday on ConHome there was also a piece about how outrageous it is of the EU to lightly slap the UKIP pressbot.

Something is rotten in the state of Denmark. The party is sheering away from the leadership. We are heading towards a disastrous democratic deficit, where the Conservative Party's leadership electoral rules allied to the first-past-the-post, two party system, fails to generate effective government or any new ideas. Only governmental debt, inflation and a fall in the value of the pound will now do that, but the Conservative Party won't be there to pick up the pieces as it did in '79. We have a problem.

Why does little Blears have more passion after 11 years of a Labour Government, than Theresa May exhibits after 11 years in opposition ?

I thought May did quite well in countering - a lot of the conservatives just seem to sit back in the face of Labour lies but she spoke up and blears is just a relentless badger who doesn't appear to be above telling 2 contradicting lies in the same sentence after pretending to agree with a crititism.

I don't see what the problem is with Osbourne either but from the comments I gather it appears to be personal as there often doesn't seem to be any reasons given when people are suggesting they don't like him, apart from something about a trust fund keeps cropping up - so I guess that's just the leftie trolls.

trustfunder: That joke wasn't funny the first time. It's now just tedious.

Osborne and trust funds are a complete red herring.

During the financial crisis, floating voters want to be reassured by an Alan Greenspan, not an Alan Partridge.

London Tory - Alan Greenspan got us into this mess or at least failed in his responsibility to prevent the bubble.

Non-doms should certainly pay something to reside in the UK - if only because they use our roads and public services, which are paid for by the tax-payer. There are continual rants about 'dole scroungers' taking what they don't 'deserve' on this site: why let non-doms freeload, then?
Raising the basic tax threshold to 10.5k would help a lot of the poorest families, as well as a cut in VAT, a ruthless weeding-out of unnecessary government employees (a 1+ million increase in the pst decade) and departments, opting out of the EU, ID cards and any other ludicrous public expenditure, restoring indexing, a slight hike in the minimum wage and a cut in pay to top staff in the NHS, education etc. Just for starters.

Our case needs to be put much more definately on QT.


A non-dom buying a multi-million pound house will be paying more to the country's tax coffers in stamp duty in one hit than most of us will pay in our entire lives.

That is not freeloading, that's subsidising.

Saying Brown is experienced in dealing with the economy is like saying Harold Shipman is experienced in dealing with elderly patients.

Our policy is simple. The number one priority is TO BALANCE THE BUDGET. Cut spending. Cut borrowing. Modest tax cuts to give a quick stimulus, with an indication that once the budget is balanced more will follow. I don't see what's so hard about that. The following might also be useful:

- No more economic bailouts for failing banks
- No Chapter 11 in Britain
- Public sector recruitment freeze
- No new Final Salary pensions in the Public Sector
- No ID Cards
- Scrap Regional Development Agencies
- JSA to be time-limited
- No public servant to earn more than PM (Reagan idea)
- Bonfire of regulations
- Close down quangoes
- Reduce statutory duties of Local Councils
- Cut MPs' expenses (leading by example)

I'd also add that I personally think we should pull out of Iraq and tell the RAF to drop their unused bombs on the EU parliament on their way back, as we should pull out of that too. (I know lots of you will disagree with none, one or both of those ideas- it's not my intention to start a debate on Iraq or the EU)

I agree with the comment on Europe being too expensive for us. George Osborne must expose the lies that Gordon Brown is still spreading about the National Debt being lower now than in 1997. Also he must look after the Senior Citizens who are potentially our biggest supporters, and who are suffering most from the erosion of our pensions, the abolition of the 10p Tax Band for which we have not been compensated, the high cost of Fuel and Heating etc.,etc.,etc. Lets be strong at Conference, but we do not have to give details now, which will either be copied but the other parties, or ridiculed by them.

One major area where we can improve the lot of the electorate is the way in which the low-paid are treated. I'd love to know how much it cost the government to deliver every pound of Tax Credit, housing benefit, family credit, et al instead of raising the lowest rate of taxable income 3 or 4-fold. I have a strong suspicion that this one measure would firstly, prove tax neutral once the unneeded civil servants and public buildings had been disposed of, and secondly, so lessen the tax burden on the lowest paid that poor families would have the time and energy to sustain their relationships and to bring up their children, reducing the cost to the public even more.

Matt Wright: There is no Tory "case" to put. Stick to Labour's spending plans until 2011. Cut inheritance tax (probably the most useless of any tax cut in terms of increasing incentives). Unspecified tax rises to be offset by unspecified tax cuts i.e. no net tax cuts, provided the economy is growing (which it isn't). Er, that's it.

I find it a bit rich that G Brown is now in the USA, apparently about to lecture them on the need for transparency, oversight and strict control of those who have manoeuvred the world into its present economic and financial mess. This is, presumably, the same G Brown who ratified the EU Treaty in support of the greater centralisation of control by the Brussels set-up whose annual accounts have not been signed off by their auditors for the 14th successive year. This is even more hypocritical than the Archbishops pointing the fingers of one hand at the City while the Chuch Commissioners are reaping the benefits of Hedge Fund operations with the other.
Both Cameron and Osborne will be making crucial speeches at Birmingham and the nation`s future will hinge on their outcome. Failure will compromise the result of the next election so we must hope they both impress the country by some straightforward talking about the problems that face us, as well as the principles on which the battle for the economy will be fought. As circumstances are changing so rapidly, it would be mistaken in my view for detailed policies to be announced now. To do so would be to reduce their flexibility in dealing with any significant future change, thus attracting the inevitable cries of "U turn" if they are in the event forced to do so.

Cleethorpes Rock - You are my Poster of Today! agree with everything you noted, and know a lot of Tories who would fall in behind you.

We should extract ourselves from the Great Game in Afghanistan, too.

" don't see what the problem is with Osbourne either but from the comments I gather it appears to be personal "

Well there is the failure to establish any sort of narrative and critique of Brown's record as Chancellor. A failure to ensure the people know why Brown should share the blame for this financial melt down. A failure to identify the obscene waste that is taking place in the Public sector, so not establishing in the publics mind that they could have the same public services for a lot less tax. A failure to get angry at the taxation system established by Gordon Brown where people on miserably low salaries get taxed to the hilt, and then have to be subsidised by the state with tax credits. And the success people claim for Osborne, like his move on IHT, was, if people scrutinised it, a liability, for by setting it at £1 million it meant most of the tax relief was going to a very small percentage of wealthy people, which is going to be used by Labour and Libdems as stereotyping the Conservatives as the fat cats friend.

Then of course there is the image of Osborne which really doesn’t cut it in the publics mind, which might have been countered if the Conservatives could point to his financial experience, but he doesn’t have that either, neither could you point to his educational understanding of the financial subject, but as a history graduate he doesn’t have that either.

So Osborne doesn’t have the image, he doesn’t have the experience, he doesn’t have the educational understanding of the topic, and his record as Shadow Chancellor has been pretty poor. Exactly what are the plus points of Osborne as Shadow Chancellor ?

I note Osborne is putting out publicity photo’s of him photographed with a scowling serious face, but I think we should look for more than that , don’t you?

Oh, I forgot one. Reduce the overseas aid budget......TO ZERO

Of course. It's costing us billions to remain in these wars. We've got £100bn off balance sheet financing for PFIs that needs to be paid for out of tax receipts in a recession, £20bn going on ID cards, £100bn going into Northern Crock, a huge unfunded Public sector pension liability, we're paying membership subs to an organisation that hasn't had its accounts signed off for 5 years.

What is George Osborne going to say about that?

sorry, should have read 14 years. (I think)

Of course, I forgot about the terrible idea of taxing non-doms, which unlike the IHT cut, will impact incentives: negatively!

"we're paying membership subs to an organisation that hasn't had its accounts signed off for 5 years."

If you mean the EU, it is not 5 but 13 years!

My suspicion is that the McNeill piece in the FT was a preparing the ground article for tax hikes.

Dominic at 09.43:

"It strikes me that there are four key firms behind the credit crunch who have suffered nothing like the exposure they deserve. They are the four largest Accountancy Companies in the World".

Absolutely correct, Dominic.

London Tory at 10.00:

"Unfortunately George Osborne suffers from two political handicaps about which he can do nothing- his age, and the somewhat tinny squeak of his voice".

The other one seems to me to be the lack of the firm grasp of economic detail required for the job. I know Vince Cable has his detractors but, as on QT last night, whenever he is asked a question about the economy he always gives a succinct and authoritative reply. He aims a well aimed jab at Brown as well, but GO all too often attacks Brown very competently but then sheds little light on the economic situation. I hope I am wrong but he doesn't convince me that he is up to this vital job. His speech at the conference might convert me.

As for his voice, I suggested a couple of years ago that he went to a voice coach and I do think that there has been a littly improvement, so maybe he did.

"Why does little Blears have more passion after 11 years of a Labour Government, than Theresa May exhibits after 11 years in opposition?"

I actually thought Theresa was a lot crisper and firmer with Blears than she has been previously. She only missed out in not correcting Blears for claiming for the government the credit for stopping short selling.

"Oh, I forgot one. Reduce the overseas aid budget......TO ZERO"

Yes Aid is just international welfare, and as such it produces the same outcomes of dependency and corruption. So the Conservatives being for Aid means they are promoting welfare. But if the Conservatives would want to take on the whole Aid industry, then they should certainly crticise Gordon Brown giving India £825 million, when they have their own nuclear arms program and space program!

A bit technical but the first thing Osborne should do is reign in the powers that HMRC are being given under Schedule 36 FA 2008. The idea behind this is to give the former Inland Revenue the same sort of rights of access as the former HM Customs. The latter were given their rights historically to act against smuggling, but if enacted they will allow the Revenue to poke around in a company's files and inspect their records at any time, even before a company has submitted a tax return.

The Revenue use this at what they choose to term avoidance, but which the courts have long ago termed not arranging your affairs in the manner which is most beneficial to the Treasury.

The practical effect is that since companies are now required to notify HMRC of any transactions which create a tax advantage - very widely defined and often simply the better of two ways of structuring a transaction - this will give HMRC the ability to immediately badger a company.

This will give the UK a reputation as very business unfriendly.

Here's hoping that he manages to work in a reference to our budget deficit being the fourth worst in the world, behind only Hungary, Egypt and Pakistan - echoing DC's soundbite in replying to the Darling Budget of Mayhem - and to capture the headlines with a practical and humorous illustration of what this means for the average taxpayer.

Perhaps Osborne could be persuaded to take up smoking to deepen his voice?

I agree that his speech is going to be the key one. I'd like concrete proposals on what he thinks should be done now and I don't much mind if again Brown/Darling nick the ideas and implement them straightaway (I doubt that they will though) because it would set us back on the right track and only cost a few Parliamentary debating points which the voting public will not care about.

Re non-doms, doesn't the US already tax non-doms on the entirety of their income? Where are they going to go to find lower tax rates and the business/residential environment they want? Nipping off to the Caymans won't do.

The only way out of this mess is to shrink the size of the State and reduce taxes.
The message should be, what has Labour bought with its doubling of spending and taxes that is worth keeping?
Health Education and Defence (which really needs extra investment) should be sacrosanct but everything else should be up for grabs.
Osborne should read the work that has already been done on Quangoes and provide a list of 100+ that will be closed down.
Would the nation be better paying the Chairman of the White Fish Authority their salary or unemployment benefit? Under his sterling tutelage there are precious few white fish left in the North Sea. Sack him now before he kills the rest.
There will always be special pleading by special interest groups but the public will understand that if its hospitals or the White Fish Authority then it has to be hospitals. In the midst of the worst economic crisis for 70yrs with high taxes and a bloated State, do we really, really need a White Fish Authority - or any of the others. Close them down for the duration of the recession as an emergency measure and review them afterwards to see if we've missed any of them.

With the taxes saved cut corporation tax and raise the income tax threshold as high as possible. Then weigh the votes, 'cause you wont need to count them.

and why shouldn't non doms pay more in taxes, if they live here for a substantial amount of time , they should pay taxes like everyone .

i a conservative capitalist think at the moment , think many wealthy businessman , pay too little in tax in Britain -and this damages the nation's finances.

The only policies that Labour pinch from the Tories are the headline-grabbers that are welcome, but are really scraps in terms of the real 'meat' that is needed.

Cameron's lazy admission that he may have to raise taxes suggests that the Tories have no real plan/idea how to get out of the New Labour mindset and to present policies that will fundamentally change Britain for the better.

It is time to be bold. It is time for the headstrong, not the headlines. It is time for at least one clear and easy to support policy to make a fundamentally positive change to Britain that Labour would never dare to implement.

Cameron and Osborne are yet to break out of their beige 'change of management' approach.

Stephen Hoffman cannot spell or write grammatically and is probably a Labour troll.

Well, Libertarian, I AM at troll in the sense that I am a UKIP supporter and I do not see why the Non-Doms should not pay the same tax as everyone else. Too much of the tax burden in this country is carried by those on low and middle income; in fact I don’t see why anyone with an income of less than £10k should pay any tax at all!

If, however you believe that both taxes and government expenditure are too high the I will agree. This implies that the government should not be involved in many of the things it currently does. I can think of more than a few candidates.

"Cameron's lazy admission that he may have to raise taxes suggests that the Tories have no real plan/idea "

Yes you get the feeling that by copying Labour's spending plans the Conservatives haven't bothered to do the detailed work on taxation, or bothered to develop any political/economic ideological thinking to support their actions if they become the next Government. A political party should want to beat down the door of No10 in their desire to grab the reins of power so they could change the direction of the state to their political agenda, the most critical of which is the economy and taxation. An 'ambition' to just copy the previous administrations spending and taxation shows a woeful lack of desire or knowledge of what to do with the power Cameron's Conservatives seek to attain.

Though not a Conservative Party supporter myself I accept that 'this man who would be chancellor' needs to be taken very seriously.
The spin doctors will influence George Osborne's image (whether he likes it or not!). However, I would recommend he learns presentation style from Vince Cable. Mr Cable exudes calm, knowledge, fairness and experience, virtues that make his occasional broadsides all the more devastating. Young George can't bring experience to the table so I would recommend he highlights from what venerable sources he will take his lead with regard to advice on fiscal policy.
George Osborne can no longer rely on the 'one-off' bright idea e.g. Inheritance Tax. If he criticises the level of spending he needs to state where cuts will be made, and commit to reducing debt by a stated amount. If 'quangos' are to be scrapped he needs to say which and how much savings this will bring. If he is to change Local Government he needs to say how.
Whilst 'detoxifying the brand' and being far away from any general election the Conservative Party enjoyed the luxury of highlighting governement failures without needing to offer any credible alternative. I sense the electorate will not tolerate this for much longer.

"By neutralising the economy as an issue"

If he continues to do this in the middle of the biggest financial crisis in 80 years one cannot consider the party as fit for government. The economy for several years now has clearly been deteriorating rapidly and if the Tories haven’t noticed, well, heaven help us all! I've been going on about here for ages

The blog’s noticed - AT LAST - but has the party? Six months ago they hadn’t!

AAAAARRRRGGGHHHHH! For the umpteenth time (and benefit of Hoff and David_At_home), non-doms do pay EXACTLY THE SAME tax on their UK income as everyone else.

They pay the same council tax, stamp duty etc etc.

What they do not pay tax on is their foreign earnings, which if we did try to tax them on, they would leave, and thus our economy would lose out on the taxes they do pay (stamp duty) and the money they spend into our economy.

That is why we should not be scaring them off!


Wrong again GB£!

You (if you live in the UK and are not a Non-Dom; maybe you are!), I and my wife (who is a foreign national but has lived here for 30 years) would all have to pay taxes on our full earnings, both from within the UK and from abroad, if we are resident in the UK for 6 months or more in any financial year.

Non-Doms, however, have been granted special privileges.

So there is one law for the rich foreigners (e.g. Russian Mafia, football players, assorted celebrities) and another for the rest.

Oh David, I despair of your ignorance.

Oh GB£, I despair at your inability to grasp the facts.

Do you really think you can (legally) avoid paying UK tax just by moving your savings to a foreign bank? Try asking HMRC!

The thing that the Tories really aren't getting across (perhaps because they feel it is obvious) is how much G Brown is the cause of our woes. Most people you speak to still seem to be saying yes but it's a global issue.

I tend to answer that by saying imagine there are 2 people living in the UK and the economy has gone to pot, like now.

One, say Mrs Smith, has spent the last 10 years paying off her outstanding credit cards, saving money, keeping her costs to sensible level despite the boom and not spending like there is no tomorrow. Consequently her outgoings are less than her income even with the difficult circumstances.

Then there is Mr Brown who has spent the 10 years racking up more credit card debt, not making any savings or investments (there was always tomorrow), going on expensive holidays and even selling some family heirlooms to pay for a bigger car. Now things have got bad in the outside world he is struggling to pay his debts and without any savings his outgoings are mounting. He'll probably have to borrow more to refinance over a much longer period.

The external problem is the same but who do you think will get though the downturn better?

At that point people normally say - oh I see what you mean and you can go on to talk about selling gold, growing direct debt, massive pfi hidden debt, huge tax burden etc etc.

This is a message they really need to get across so everyone can understand it and stop saying it's not poor Gordon's fault he is only a victim of world events. NO HE'S NOT!

Who are these fabled non-doms who will flee and what will they be taking with them? Serious question. At the mega rich end, I guess it will be Abramovich types and Saudi Sheiks but the bulk would be bankers and lawyers. I'm not sure what the mega rich add - their ability and interest in investing in businesses here or using British investment banks is probably more to do with those businesses rather than where they happen to be residing. The bankers and lawyers, well they can only move to other places which have banking and legal sectors which are realistic competitors and have more favourable tax regimes. Identify where they will go realistically and the GB£ argument against taxing them even a little on their foreign earnings might have some weight, but you can't just assert that there is a whole class who would be ready willing and able to move domicile and whose departure would harm the economy without a bit more information about the real people and what difference it would make if they happened to domicile themselves as individuals somewhere else.

GB£: "non-doms pay exactly the same tax on their UK income"

Not necessarily. A good example of which I am aware: several ND's with £100m+ net worth hold UK property portfolios. The income would be taxable to you and me. The ND's get around that inconvenience by owning the property in offshore companies and leveraging the vehicle so that with maintenance costs and capital allowances there is no net annual taxable profit in the company. It's a bit more complicated than that because the companies are controlled by offshore trusts, but you get the picture. A large capital gain accumulates in the property and there is a profit in any connected offshore finance company but that is not taxable in the UK. When the company is sold the gain is tax free (non-resident owner), although typically the sale takes place by a sale of the company rather than the property - reducing stamp duty.

Mr Non Dom (living in a big house in Mayfair) then brings his profits into the UK for his personal use either by lending the money to his UK businesses or by buying goods and services paid out of foreign bank accounts, but not by remitting cash to a UK bank account which would give rise to a tax liability, or at least no more than is necessary.

Of course he gets the same protection from the police as you or me.

Simple solution: replace Osborne.

The stench of green-eyed socialist jealousy oozes through some of these comments.

The whole point of the non-doms (in terms of income to UK plc) is this; would the country be economically worse off if they were not here?

The issue is of what the *do* pay not what they do not (for the more aggressive the govt gets the more that will leave and contribute nothing).

"According to tax experts at the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners, non-doms pay £7.16 billion in tax annually. The society has calculated that the departure of the richest would cost Mr Darling more than £2.1 billion."

Don't kid yourself that these non-doms earn so much that they'll just cough up and stay. These increasing attacks on wealth generators (non-dom levy, evil short-sellers etc) is making Britain an increasingly less attractive place for them and places like Geneva etc will benefit.

And remember, Osborne plans to take a lot more from the non-doms than the govt does, so the negative cashflow impact on the country will be even worse.

Very OT. But can we please place a blanket ban on the use of the word uber. There is a perfecttly good English word - "super" and using the German version is just boringly pretentious and soooooo repetitive and cliched.

"The stench of green-eyed socialist jealousy oozes through some of these comments."

If I'm a socialist GB£, then you are from outer space! (you're not, I assume!)

But not being a socialist does not mean I'm happy to see the honest poor paying more tax than the rich.

Or that I am happy to see the young and the inadequate poisoned to suit the convenience of the trendy ““professionals” who like to indulge themselves on cocaine.

Or that I care not about isolated pensioners living in fear on council housing estates (well away from where I live) as their local environment takes on all the characteristics of a third world slum.

Or that I think the views of the readers of the Daily Mail or the Sun (neither of which I read myself) are of no consequence.

Or that I and not concerned when private soldiers serving in Iraq or Afghanistan are paid so little they get less than traffic wardens in Islington and that, if they return home injured, they are placed in open NHS wards where they can be abused by disaffected members of the public.

Or that I am not distressed when, as happened recently, my wife, my daughter and I come across a 16 year old you about to fling himself over a bridge after he had been ejected from the family home shortly after his sixteenth birthday by his mother’s new "partner".

I can't think of a single Tory MP who thinks Osborne is the best choice to be Shadow Chancellor, except presumably Cameron.

I think that NOW is the time that both George Osborne and David Cameron should throw caution to the winds!!!!!!

I hope that they outline strong, innovative policies - regardless of whether Labour pinch them. If they are sufficiently strong and maybe different, the public in general are more likely to notice them, so that if the Cretins do copy them, the public WILL notice.

I DONNOT think that so much should be made of whether 'we' can afford such and such a policy - like cutting taxes, and my reason for saying this is that I would put a lot of money (and I am NOT a gambler!) on Brown and Darling 'stripping the country bare' so-to-speak, if they really think there is not a chance of them getting back into power. OK I know the coffers are empty at the moment, but I am sure they could make an even bigger mess, if they wanted.

So it is time that the conservative leaders really challenged this apology for a government, and the Party Conference this year is the right time!

And by-the-way, apart from Blears rictus, didn't anybody notice how MUCH more supportive of conservatives that the audience appeared to be, on last night's Question Time - I did only manage to watch the last half though.

Maybe what the Party could do is remove the proposed tax on non-Doms and replace it with one on other seemingly undeserving rich, such as those with large trust funds? Now why do I think this might nor find favour with Dave, Gideon and Zac?

Actually what the Conservatives should do if they want real credibility in industry and the City is appoint Michael Fallon as Shadow Chancellor.

One of the necessary conditions for a successful tax system is that it should be seen to be fair. The non-dom system was developed at a time when we had a substantial Empire and income tax rates were generally much lower. Non-doms were exempt from tax on their non-UK income to encourage investment in the empire. That exemption has now been supplanted by the foreign tax credit system for UK persons, but it has now used by foreign nationals resident in the UK for purposes for which the measure was not intended.

To have a tax system which is pretty much unique in giving a special status to a certain class of resident is bound to create resentment. This is not a question of socialism merely a question of fairness. It is an arbitrary distinction as to whether anyone qualifes as a NonDom, and it is just as perverse to give that particular class of person a beneficial treatment as it would be for any other arbitrary class such as Cornishmen, brunettes or Mormons.

My wife, who happens to nave been born in Canada to UK parents, could be a NonDom if she wanted to be. Our three daughters who could claim Canadian citizenship through their mother, and one of them could also claim US citizenship by virtue of being born in the USA and having spent the first 6 weeks of her life there, even though she hasn't been back in the subsequent 22 years. There are millions of people living in the UK who could claim non-dom status if they had the wealth to make it worthwhile having been born overseas. The fact that they won't necessarily do so until they become wealthy means that the non-dom rules are often just a loophole for some peoplle who get lucky.

@Voice of Doom
"There is a perfecttly good English word - "super" and using the German version is just boringly pretentious and soooooo repetitive and cliched."

As a prefix my dictionary says it is a Latin word. As a standalone adjective it is an informal English word.

Let's not get too hyper about it.

Michael Fallon lacks some popularity among colleagues, rather in the same way that David Davis does. But then given that Osborne currently occupies the job that can hardly be said to be a disqualification.

It really is astonshing how someone who has no base in the parlimanetary party occupies this position and lacks qualifications.

The party is being run by the tiniest clique of people anyone can remember.

I give Mr Osborne, free of charge, the content for his speech.

1. "We will go through every rule book and cut it in half; 50% of all regulations will be done away with."

2. "We will stop the pretence that NI and PAYE serve different purposes. We will abolish stamp duty and capital gains tax. Instead we will have a single, easy to administer income tax that starts at £10,000 and applies to all income, whether from savings, capital gains, dividends or pay. Paying tax is painful, but at least we can make it simple and apply universally."

3. "Corporation tax will be reduced to zero. It is absurd that government puts the brakes on enterprise by taking the profits that would be used to fund growth and employment."

Reading through this thread, I see the usual suspects making the usual comments, god it is like ground hog day on this site every time there is an article with the words Osborne or Scotland in it.

Last year Osborne's speech transformed the Conservative Conference with his speech. Before that he became the first Conservative Shadow Chancellor that really rattled the myth of Brown's record at the Treasury. He was also behind the very successful campaign from the start of Cameron's leadership to ignore Blair and undermine the future leader of the Labour party, one Gordon Brown.
Tim lists some of his other achievements in his article.

Tim also notes that his speech this year will the most important one given at the Conference next week. And yet still he is extremely underestimated with silly comments about his family wealth and the childish use of his first name Gideon.

I actually think the way that George Osborne continues to be so underestimated is a major weapon in the Conservative armoury. Reading some of the comments about his youth or voice reminds me of Maggie Thatcher in those early days, looking at his performance last week Newsnight shows that he has addressed the weak point he initially had as a media performer.

Keep it up.

I hope that George Osborne will make it clear to the electorate that we can have no idea of the real magnitude of the mess that we shall surely inherit from 11 years of Gordon Brown's statist meddling.

Therefore he can give no concrete promises, only outline plans (but with concrete plans in the background away from prying Labour eyes).

When we have won the next General Election, I think it would go down well with the world as a whole, and me in particular, if he literally "opens the books" to show the British public just what a mess Brown has made of our economy, reinforcing the fact that between them Blair and Brown have rendered Labour unelectable for generations.

What - No "credit crunch". No "global" financial meltdown.
George Osbourn's silence is deafening. Would he countnance the use of billions of pounds of tax-payers money to prop up the same people that caused the problems in the first place.

No George, the people that caused the problems walked away with and are still salting away £bn's. get them back at their desks, strip them of all personal assets and tell them they ain't leaving the office until they have fixed it.

"Reading some of the comments about his youth or voice reminds me of Maggie Thatcher in those early days,"

Yes, but she had to work her way out of above the grocer's shop not a multi-million pound trust fund with many more multiples of millions in a family fortune and a massive portfolio of property to come.

In the Sky interview with David Cameron, the Leader of the Opposition said that the public is entitled to know who he is.

Surely, people are entitled to know who Osborne is. In the U.S. election, everyone gets to see the candidates' tax returns. Everyone now knows how many apartments McCain owns. Or do certain people find it more embarrassing to reveal these things because his wealth is inherited and makes him massively more wealthy than the people the party is asking to vote for it?

"Why does little Blears have more passion after 11 years of a Labour Government, than Theresa May exhibits after 11 years in opposition ?"
Posted by: London Tory | September 26, 2008 at 10:00

Easy London Tory. Blears, being Labour has got where she is because she went out of her way and, therefore, learned how to communicate with ordinary people. May being Conservative has got where she is communicating with people like herself at places like cocktail parties. Hence at question Time, and almost any political situation, Blears is in her element and May isn't.

Worse, Blears has realised this and has the confidence to spout rubbish with little possibility of being picked up. Also, Blears is aware of the affect of what she says outside Westminster, May &co only seem interested in how the Westminster village sees her, too many Tories have no idea what people think outside the village. When the media don't report the way we see it we winge, Blears and co don't wait, they go for the media - I think the media like being approached by the Blears and don't like the way Mays expect them to do the Tory party work for them. Indeed, I suspect some seemingly awkward interviewers ask questions of Conservative spokesmen based on Labour soundbites in order to get the Consercative to come out fighting and put the facts straight. Mostly then Conservatives just get huffy about media bias.

And it gets worse. Tories who can communicate rattle the party leaders who, on the whole, can't communicate, or see it beneath their dignity. It is reported that Eric Pickles is not loved by the Cameroons because, as a street fighter, he can communicate so people notice him - taking the light off those who think they are important. The party has other street fighters good at communicating but I won't name names because that would wreck their promotion chances.

"Reading through this thread, I see the usual suspects making the usual comments, god it is like ground hog day "

ChrisD its not just the people here who are commenting on the absence of Osborne, newspaper columnists were noting it, last night’s politics show was talking about it, the very fact that opinion polls are suggesting the public trusts Brown and Darling on the economy rather than Cameron and Osborne is an indictment of the failure of the Shadow Treasury team to do their job. Good lord here we are with a once in a centaury economic crisis that has the clunking fists fingers prints all over it, yet Osborne and Co haven't managed, or perhaps bothered, to ensure the public knows where the blame lies.

If Osborne blows this, as he seems to be doing, then really the Conservatives economically are up the creek, for it doesn’t get better than this for a Shadow Chancellor to nail the Government and discredit their economic record.

David Sergeant, I must disagree with you! I think it comes down to personality. Theresa May I remember from the 1980s when she was a London activist just like the rest of us and actually had quite a quiet personality and did not have the glamorous hair and shoes that she has now.... Blears, not surprisingly, I do not know but I suspect that she is much more naturally outgoing in personality and fits naturally to the "street fighting" description! A slightly chippy, working class little Liverpudlian. Nothing wrong with that but very different from a quiet middle class woman from Wimbledon. The cocktail parties you are describe are not always easy milieus to make an impression in - even for someone brought up in the middle classes who is very used to going to them! I suspect chippy, extrovert little Hazel although she probably wasn't used to them took to those cocktail parties like a duck to water!

As for being a "street fighter" impeding chances of promotion.... Well there are plenty of aggressive communicators at the top of the tree - I'd hardly call people like Liam Fox or William Hague shy retiring little violets - would you?

David Sergeant, I agree, you need the likes of Norman Tebbit to go blow for blow with Labour, not allow them to define the issues as they want, not take any crap from them, not allow them to spread half truths, defend the Conservative record, and always have the facts and figures to hand in order to gut the Government over its record.

Unfortunately they doesn't seem to be too many of these people in the Conservative party, with the party overflowing with career politicians, sitting in their safe seats who find it all too much like hard work to get passionate about anything.

"ChrisD its not just the people here who are commenting on the absence of Osborne, newspaper columnists were noting it, last night’s politics show was talking about it, the very fact that opinion polls are suggesting the public trusts Brown and Darling on the economy rather than Cameron and Osborne is an indictment of the failure of the Shadow Treasury team to do their job."

Right Iain, name me how many polls are putting Brown and Darling ahead of Cameron and Osborne in the opinion polls, and vice versa in the last few months?

Also, this is conference season and the normal equal media coverage rules do not apply. It is left to the discretion of the individual news operators how much time they give the other parties during each week of the conference season. In fact, there is a golden rule among the parties that they avoid trying to deflect the limelight away from each others big media week during their conference. Remember Brown's ill timed trip to Iraq and the dishonest announcement he made?
That said, I have seen Osborne on Newsnight talking about the economy and he also had a big interview in the press at the weekend(I think).

"If Osborne blows this" is just typical of the continued slagging off Osborne receives on here. Very unfairly IMHO, because while you whinge, he gets on with it and produces results.

You allude to a lack of passion in our MP's in Parliament, I think it shows your lack of observational skills very neatly.
Osborne is extremely passionate and ambitious, its why he is where is in the Cameron Shadow Cabinet. Think back to where we were at this time in 2005, and start giving a little credit where it is due!

"I'd hardly call people like Liam Fox or William Hague shy retiring little violets - would you?"

As a matter of fact Sally, I would. I have never understood why Fox has a big following. He can string words together when necessary but is hopeless at coming out pitching. I suspect his following is down to his right wing views and this just underscores the idea among Tories that you get noticed by coming out with your political statements rather than finding ways of of getting a party viewpoint noticed. (You can see it on this site, hardly ever does some one suggest a way of pushing the party view, correspondents usually think the only way to stir people is to support simplistic or extreme policies.)

As for Hague, I didn't notice him during the 1997 GE and when leader he regularly came a cropper by either not getting a story over properly or unable, or unwilling, to cope with reponses from Labour, or the Lib/Dems. You don't just put out a press release, you jazz it up, have other colleagues saying more or or less the same at the time and have people standing by to rebut responses - for as long as it takes.

One good point of progress recently I notice a lot of press comments from people "close to Cameron" or "Central Office staff" saying things - this is progress from when only shadow ministers were allowed to say anything, and often didn't.

The trust fund comment may have become tiresome, but there is historic precedence for this. In 1919 Stanley Baldwin donated $600,000--$23.4 million in today's money--to help the nation's fiscal balance after the First World War.

Surely, Osborne might be in the market for a similar gesture after he inherits the sizeable fortune of the 17th Baronet Osborne, Sir. Peter George Osborne (the Baronetcy is an aristocratic line stretching back to the reign of Charles I in 1629), of whom Osborne is the eldest son and heir?

Osborne is plainly a man of the people, as anyone can tell from this TV performance:


Whatever is in Osborne's speech I hope he is sensible enough to avoid the crass populism that characteristics much of the economic 'advice' on this thread.

Adam, which parts do you consider crass and populist?

I've nothing against Osborne. He seems like a nice guy, but he does look very young and certainly isn't very experienced. Does anyone know what he actually did for a living before he became an MP?

If we're on the subject of reshuffles (Cameron may well make one when Brown does in order to put in place his team for the run i to the election), then who for shadow chancellor?

How about Richard Spring? He has an impressive CV in the financial sector before becoming a politician and clearly knows his economic onions. He's also done some pretty good work with the Conservative City Circle and should have a good rapport with the movers and shakers in the financial world. He's also a little bit older and has quite a reassuring tone, whereas Osborne can sound a little squeaky and shrill (can someone give him the number of Thatcher's voice coach?)

@Adam in London
This country needs a new economic policy
We have no manufacturing industry left
The City which is 20% of GDP is going to be crippled for 5 yrs minimum.
We have 100B of extra public debt and 60B of trade deficit this year and for all foreseeable future years on current policies.

This is not a time for steady as she goes.

Do you think you could try and be a little less complacent?


Same comments

Except in your case its a bit less hagiographic.

there'll probably be a reshuffle on the same day as the big speech. Be prepared.

Perhaps Hague will be made Shadow Chancellor?

I think he meant a Brown reshuffle to throw the news off us.

Doubly important for Osborne to say something worth listening to and newsworthy and not to play safe.

If Britain wants to have a good economy (as she did until 1997 and as she did arguably until 2001, after which Brown went berserk -although he had already sabotaged everybody's pensions prior to that date) Britain has to compete.

Pre-1997 money and people moved around the globe occasionally. Now with the internet in full flood and travel so cheap (relative to the past) people and money move at the drop of a hat.

If Britain wants to be a key player in the world financial and other industries she has to offer the companies and the people who run them a good deal, or be bypassed by the world's most talented and creative people.

The cost of living and operating in Britain is already higher than almost anywhere else in the world. If taxes are not made competitive once more, living standards will continue for erode for everyone, as they have done under Brown's incompetent stewardship.

Not only are millions retiring into poverty courtesy of Brown, millions of others are quitting the UK, and moving their businesses out and looking elsewhere to build better lives.

The problem for Osborne is that it is not PC to admit that, despite all the evidence of growing poverty in Britain and worsening standards in almost all aspects of life, economies have to compete. It is seen as almost rude to say that taxes like prices have to be right, and that taxes are just the price people have to pay for living and working in Britain.

If they are too high, people won't come to Britain, and others will go.

When everyone goes shopping for groceries they understand the principle of prices being too high well enough. Currently Britain is losing out, and needs to rediscover the competitive edge that boosted living standards after we quit the ERM in 1992.

Taxes have to be a part of that picture. Generating growth has to come first before the benefits can flow. Business growth and investment are needed again to drive Britain forwards. Lower taxes will raise more funds for the government, as well as making less government support necessary as more and better jobs are created.

Britain needs to rediscover the virtuous circle of faser economic growth which she abandonned under Brown. More jobs, better pensions, lower taxes, happier people choosing to stay in and live in Britain.

Taxes have to be comptetitive if that happy state of affairs is to come about, the young are to get the opportunities they desire, and the old are not to be humiliated by disgusting poverty created by Gordon Brown's stealthily kleptocratic ways.

I am confident that Mr Osborne will deliver an informative and constructive speech at Conference. The 11 million pensioners will want to see some tangible help since Brown,against the best Actuarial advice, stole their hopes for a comfortable retirement back in his first Budget in 1997.Inheritance tax is very important to the majority,not just to the so called 'wealthy'.The lower paid are looking for help too with perhaps the 10% tax band restored.Corporation tax adjusted to encourage investment in these troubled times.Bonus payments are part of some contracts, but there must be a demonstrable clamp down on unfair bonus payments to placate the majority.The frightful hike in energy prices have been untenable;they should be capped and a long term approach implemented.
Just look at the awful state of our country!I am sure the Labour Party (Brown & Darling)will be watching with baited breath for some ideas they can poach. They have become utterly redundant of ideas, have virtually bankrupt the country and are stagnating in their own self pity at having failed to deliver after 11 years in power.Labour have failed to deliver a fairer society.

I am sure Mr Osborne will deliver a properly costed package for change which this country so dearly needs.

//"If Osborne blows this" is just typical of the continued slagging off Osborne receives on here. Very unfairly IMHO, because while you whinge, he gets on with it and produces results.//

ChrisD, to support my argument about the short commings of Osborne my I suggest, if you haven't already, go and listen to Any Questions, for here rather than the Conservatives riding high over economic matters, instead Chris Grayling (no wall flower) was getting beaten up over the issue.


With the World economies in tatters Governments and City boys and Auditors being blamed in the Telegraph and on this blog there seems to be many people advocating the withdrawal from Europe and just become a trading partner. Would George Osborne ever consider our position with Europe?
Being the second largest contributor and throwing our money into a bottomless pit and adhering to every silly little directive which is costing our country a fortune it should be the right time to consider our position.
We have all heard the term charity begins at home this economic situation should be the time to look after Britain PLC. In business who has ever heard the largest company in Britain giving Joe Blogs money to compete against them.
Why should we have to accept millions of people from Europe in our little Island because we are the softest touch in the World?
Why can we not kick out criminals that are not British and so on?
If we want Britain to be a successful and thriving economy we will never achieve this by being run by Europe that have not had the auditors sign off for thirteen years.
Ask any business person that has got any real entrepreneurial sense and most would say get out and enjoy the freedom of being out of this losing strait jacket take control of your own country.
Daniel Hannan raises some very good points below follow link .Would any sane person if they had their time over again want to be in this club called Europe. How rich we would be if we just concentrated on Britain PLC .This terrible World economical dilemma could be the excuse we need to remove the shackles from our down trodden people.
It is laughable a few years ago that an incoming Conservative Council was threatened with fines running into hundreds of thousands of pounds from Europe if they did not accept the outgoing Labour UDP this situation is an every day occurrence now Europe is threatening large fines if Incinerator Plants are not installed within a certain time limit.
Can any body imagine the financial freedom we would have?
If only the Conservative Party if elected had the balls to at least consider this option.
Can anybody put up a financial argument for staying in Europe.

Iain, LOL.
You don't address any of the points some of us have made, and instead tell us that Any Questions backs up your arguments.
Again, I suggest you go and look at the polling data over the last six months to see which party has been leading on the economy.

Though not a Conservative Party supporter myself I accept that 'this man who would be chancellor' needs to be taken very seriously.
The spin doctors will influence George Osborne's image (whether he likes it or not!). However, I would recommend he learns presentation style from Vince Cable. Mr Cable exudes calm, knowledge, fairness and experience, virtues that make his occasional broadsides all the more devastating. Young George can't bring experience to the table so I would recommend he highlights from what venerable sources he will take his lead with regard to advice on fiscal policy.
George Osborne can no longer rely on the 'one-off' bright idea e.g. Inheritance Tax. If he criticises the level of spending he needs to state where cuts will be made, and commit to reducing debt by a stated amount. If 'quangos' are to be scrapped he needs to say which and how much savings this will bring. If he is to change Local "Government he needs to say how.
Whilst 'detoxifying the brand' and being far away from any general election the Conservative Party enjoyed the luxury of highlighting governement failures without needing to offer any credible alternative. I sense the electorate will not tolerate this for much longer."

I sense you are right jedi i feel this too
sorry couldn;t resist it!

When are these public school boy c***s going to f*** **f?

I mean, they might have enjoyed positioning themselves around William, IDS, Michael etc, but the party is not a post-adoloscent play thing for a bunch of priviliged toffs.

Sorry, I forgot to mention that they did this under John Major too.

"Jeeves" has obviously strayed from Labour Home - I suggest he returns there asap!

Lots of suspiciously new people around. Looks like Derek Draper has his troll unit working overtime.

Yes, some of these comments might be genuine concerns, but quite a few of them seem to be obviously fake seeds of discontent.

For the record, Osborne has to deliver tomorrow. However, I'm also resonably confident that he will. The way he is underestimated and ridiculed as a lightweight at a time when we currently have a eyebrowed puppet in No.11 is staggeringly ridiclous.

And yes, I seem to have forgotten how to spell.

Yes David (One of many) "Dolly" Draper's rebuttal unit seems to have swung into action already. And the UKIPpers are going into overdrive - we ought to start a fund so they can get their own website...

Well if that was the most important speech of the conference, we're all doomed.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)



ConHome on Twitter

    follow me on Twitter

    Conservative blogs

    Today's public spending saving

    New on other blogs

    • Receive our daily email
      Enter your details below:

    • Tracker 2
    • Extreme Tracker