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A Labour spokesman said: “These are back-of-the-cigarette-packet plans which would result in massive cuts in public services.”

Hilarious stuff!

Another gem from George - no wonder Labour are so afraid of him. Where are all their trolls tonight?

They've obviously had their internet cut off because they've run out of money to pay the bills with.

Cut out the deadwood, then he can do more than hint.

A good start, but I'm sure there's massive scope for cutting government spending by chopping RDAs, scrapping EMA, abolishing DfID, withholding our subs to the EU, ending the TV licence, scrapping the Equality and Human Rights Commission (and other similar bodies), reducing MPs' pay and allowances, reducing the number of MPs, Lords, MSPs, AMs, subletting government buildings, ending final salary pensions for new public sector workers, a 10% pay cut for all civil servants earning over £60,000, cutting government advertising etc etc....

I didn't think it would take long before Labour were telling people the plans would mean tipping old ladies out of wheelchairs, selling hospitals, sacking teachers, performing NHS operations without anaesthetic, turning the thermostats down in old folks' homes, halving the police force and 50 students to a primary school class.

Can we ridicule these Labour attacks instead of getting so defensive?

I give this 2 out of 3.
I object to even more help for pensioners.
It's the young who need help most.
They are the ones who will pay for the ageing population.
The young will pay off Brown's borrowings in addition to massive student debts.
The baby boomers and Gen X had it easy. No priority tax cuts for them!

Cleethorpes - Just claim Labour are lying in their rebuttals.

Labour's failures - Labour's lies - Labour's recession.

Let's just follow the advice of The Adam Smith Institute and increase the basic allowance to £12k and take 7 million out of the taxation system altogether.

That would take us into the 50s in the polls and revive the working class Tory vote.

We should be concentrating ALL the fiscal firepower on making employment more economic, for both employers and employees. That means taking the poorly paid private sector workers out of income tax and preferably out of both employer and employee NI too.

This is the ONLY way we can minimise the rise in unemployment that the downturn is producing.

Scrap NHS compter,(dosn't work anyway).
Scrap ID cards.
just these 2 will save £30bn

Scrap TV Licence,BBC 1&2 radio 1-5 payed by Governmet.

Put adverts on BBC-IPLAYER,BBC NEWS,should have adverts,however here'e the trick if you are in the UK,you can 'PRESS RED' and get it without,only avialable in UK,this will pay for itself,and mean we are not subsidising other countries,with our tax payer news,also it would be less politically biased,if it had to find at least in part private money.

In today's Sunday Telegraph, we have 5 Church of England Bishops attacking government policy as "scandalous" and "morally suspect". The Bishop of Manchester accused Labour of being “beguiled by money” and “morally corrupt”. The Bishop of Hulme said they were “morally suspect” and the Bishop of Durham said they had reneged on their promises. The Rt Rev Nigel McCulloch, the Bishop of Manchester, condemned Labour for encouraging people to get further into debt. “The Government has acted scandalously. This is not just an economic issue, but a moral one. It’s about what we value,” he said.

In the same issue, David Cameron has accused Gordon Brown of leading Britain to the “brink of bankruptcy”.

George Osborne meanwhile has indicated in an interview for today's Sunday Times,“Now I reflect on how similar things are – a bankrupt country on the verge of becoming the sick man of Europe again, with high unemployment”, and he poses a moral question himself when he says “There is a moral argument.” “Is it fair to burden future generations with the higher taxes and debts that you are not prepared to shoulder yourself?” He also compares Brown's VAT cut to "sins of the fathers".

Undoubtedly, there is a moral question being raised by many intelligent thinkers in our society, as to whether a return to borrowing and an economy run on credit, bailouts for some but not for all, and an upholding of the delusion of credit, is moral when you consider many people who may have saved to provide income are feeling a worsening effect as a result of Brown's plan that people faced with threat of repossession, job loss and bankruptcy should simply borrow us out of a recession.

If the Conservative Party wants to tackle the moral question and gain the initiative on our economy, then the message given by George Osborne has to be make clearer the distinction between Labour and Tory policies. It's fine to "hint" at tax cuts, and it's fine to state the moral suspicions he feels, but he should be saying why and also saying how it will change under a Conservative Government if he wants to win the hearts and minds of people up and down the country.

The first point I'd make is whether poverty could not be better addressed simply by removing low paid from a tax burden altogether by increasing the starting point and returning to the interim 10% tax band for low income earners. Plainly, the recent reduction of tax for middle earners from 22% to 20% was also unaffordable so it should be reversed too. Tax loopholes should be closed whilst also levying a slightly higher level of tax to top earners.

Residential house purchases should require deposits of no less than 10% as well as a period of savings of between 3 and 6 months which establish a buyers ability to meet mortgage payments. Stamp Duty should not be incumbent upon the buyer but should instead be placed on the seller, as what amounts to a 'purchase tax' on a home rather than a 'sales tax' on a profitable gain is morally repugnant and is also bad economics when trying to lift families into their first home. That tax should be 5% and would effectively be an increase in revenue and also less of a bureaucratic job to collect than the present system of tapered charges which presently require mostly people on low incomes gaining their first home to have to save just to hand over to the government.

The other question I'd pose to George Osborne is for him to consider the moral aspects of allowing residential homes to be bought up by speculators which fabricate the value of a property in order to acquire a mortgage, simply to inflate the value and dampen availability of housing stocks which in turn makes it more difficult for a couple starting out to buy a home. Personally, I think speculation in this market should be outlawed or at least made less lucrative by imposing a requirement of a minimum deposit of between 30% and 50% on BTL buyers along with a higher level of interest which would help to support the lenders ability to meet the needs of mortgages for residential buyers. A BTL is after all 'commercial lending', and does not fall under residential lending.

If George Osborne adopted these changes, then he'd be giving a clear message that the Conservative Party intended to lift people out of poverty, make it easier for people to own their own homes, strengthen banking, and bring about an end to Brown's policies which irrefutably lack any moral virtue, and have thus far led to a divided and broken Britain whilst he has attempted to give us a belief that more debt is the solution to our problems and that the continuation of a society built on greed is "good".

He should also get a list of cuts into the public domain which people can identify with and which they'll likely support. Things such as many have written about, ID Cards, EU Rebate, Quangos, etc., and he should give a figure of savings which he can show will be used to meet the needs of existing services not new one's dreamt up by a Labour Party which seeks to immorally impose the costs on our future generations !

Osborne is beginning to talk like a conservative now.

He - and all tories - must stress that all vital services will be ringfenced to forestall the likes of the Labour spokesman quoted above.

ipod generation (2226) has a point. It is the young who are going to pay most for Labour's excesses.

George Washington at 23.14 makes a crucial point:

"Let's just follow the advice of The Adam Smith Institute and increase the basic allowance to £12k and take 7 million out of the taxation system altogether.

That would take us into the 50s in the polls and revive the working class Tory vote".

Apart from the electoral advantage accruing from such an action is the moral imperative to do something positive for the less well off in our society, which Labour has singularly failed to do.

This would cost a great deal and might have to be phased in over one parliament but it would be partially offset by savings in benefits and cutting down on costly administration.

Raising the income tax threshold to, say the equivalent earnings of a 40-hour week on the minumum wage would send the message that we're for low taxes and for directing help at people at the lower end of the income scale. It also rewards those who work. We could scrap tax credits and save on all the administration, errors and overpayments. The savings could be rolled up into new tax cuts.

We also need to get our shots in first on Labour's accusations of "CUTS!":

"we're going to cut taxes for hard pressed people by cutting back on some of the unecessary things poiticians spend your money on. This means there'll be no hospitals closed down, teachers sacked or nurses put on 90-hour weeks, as Labour will probably try to claim, but it will mean politicians spending less of your money on spin doctors, perks and pet projects"

'Ring fencing' public services is good thinking. However to use Labour's own language I'd like to see Tory policy call our ring fencing "Blue Lines".

Unlike Labour's Red "Lies" however, our Blue Lines shan't be disappearing before the ink is dry!

"Osborne is beginning to talk like a conservative now. "

Is he? All I hear him say is that they would try to avoid the NI increase. What Osbone has said doesn't seem to be part of any real economic political thinking. It would appear to be another IHT rabbit plucked out of the hat and waved in front of peoples noses to get a few headlines. It isn't a narrative of any sort that will give people hope to take us out of the mess we are in and towards a new economic objective as a country and people. All it is is a little bit of this and a little bit of that, all amounting to a lot of nothing, when people are really looking for someone to give them fresh hope and new objectives

Let's stop referring to tax rates of 20% and 40%. We should add NI when discussing these. Pensioners do not pay NI on their pensions and investment income, but employees and the self-employed do. Labour is proposing an effective top rate of tax of 45% plus 1.5% NI. At incomes of £100K and £150K, the top marginal rate will rise to 61.5%. These rates may seem high, but will impact doctors, senior school heads and potentially those who have large bonuses or redundancy in one year.

We should be radical and seek to merge income tax and NI. We should be looking for reductions in employers NI, a payroll tax. The whole system also needs simplifying with simple thresholds and flat rates of tax. It may take some time to get there, but why not set out the philosophy as to how taxes should be levied.

"Scrap ID cards."

Yes Ruichard. That's Conservative policy already, and rightly so.

I should say Richard.

Early next year we will have access to the Civil Service to discuss our proposals in confidence with them. Until then, we cannot really have any firm idea of the way money is being spent, just general impressions.

I am absolutely convinced that a determined approach, focussed on the delivery of services to the people, not increasing the size of Ministers' and Departmental Heads' little empires, will yield a substantial overall reduction in public spending. However, it takes time to find these savings and to impliment them, once in Government, without creating short-term "losers" which can be used against us by Labour in opposition.

Give Osborne credit, he has identified areas to be looked at and indicated a direction of travel. Next year, with the books open, we should start to get more meat. Once in power, those changes will yield results in year 3 or 4 or even 5, not before. Be patient!

GT said: "We should be radical and seek to merge income tax and NI"

Agreed, but after an election not before it.

It would be an electoral gift to Labour who would say that the tories were planning to raise income tax from 20% to 42% and there is no way you would get the message over that 42% was just the 20% + Ee's and Er's and that it is what you pay now. Labour would just trumpet the 22% tax increase. Remember, spinning is one of the two things they are any good at.

rugfish, "blue lines", or even "clear blue lines" around protected frontline services, is a brilliant narrative device for what will be a very important concept. I hope our Treasury team is reading.

Just to say that the tax cuts look good.

But Rugfish's blue line ring-fencing of public sector jobs is genius.

"I hope our Treasury team is reading".

I hope so too, Graeme, but it does raise a question: do either CCHQ or shadow ministers actually listen to anything we suggest?

Among all the dross and vituperation, there is a lot of good common sense based one wide experience but I often feel that what we have to offer goes nowhere.

Thanks for the pat on my blue back peeps.
I hasten to add the distinct provocative argument raised when Labour disparaged our blue lines, would be "Where have your red lines disappeared to" ?

Blue Line ring fencing of public services is like a blue rag to Brown's red b_ll5h!t ! lolol

George Osborne is all tactics - there's no Conservative strategy on the economy. Let's hope he reads Rugfish's comments, although I somehow doubt that he will. I believe that his education has let him down - thinking about numbers hurts his brain.

George Osborne isn't telling the truth. There isn't any money for tax cuts. All money we can save should be used to cut borrowing.

I dream of massive cuts in Public Non-Services.

I dont care about tax cuts at this stage, spending cuts are essential though.

Restore pensions by reversing Brown'sremoval of dividend tax relief, ditto PEPS.This would give a boost to the stockmarket which would have many benefits.

ipod generation (2226):

The young should consider it an honour, a privelige and a duty to take care of the elderly, where they need it.

If they are well off and doing fine, sure, they don't need assistance. But there are plenty who are struggling and it is absolutely our duty to pay more to support them.

Traditionally, your parents take care of you when you're young, and you take care of them when they are older. On today's national level it plays out the same way on a wider scale. Or it should. Maybe I sound old-fashioned, but we could do with remembering those tried and tested values.

"Responsibility" is a Conservative value. "Me me me" is the value other parties try to paint us with. Let's try not live up to their slurs.

There should be a three year real terms freeze in public expenditure. ID Cards , pointless IT schemes , RDA's and the New Deal need to be ended as can overseas aid for rich nations that do not need it. Job Seekers Allowance & Incapacity Benefit can be replaced with one sort of payment designed to slash economic inactivity while Housing Benefit needs to stop being a gravy train for greedy landlords. Tax credits can be axed for the wealthy , civil service recruitment can be frozen and procurement costs lowered thanks to greater usage of market forces while private funds ought to be used to revive the transport system meaning less public subsidy is needed. With QUANGO's they can be told that either they cut their budgets by 20% overall within three years or they lose public funding and EU contributions need to be with held until their accounts can be signed off. The state pension age can be raised in stages to 68 while that should be the retirement age for public sector workers as well.

The proceeds of the public spending freeze should for the first two years fund a lower PSBR & extra monies for the reserves. In year three some of the public spending economies should go on cutting taxes and the rest on further lowering the budget deficit.

We need a balanced budget as high debt interest payments mean future generations will pay vast taxes unless present day excess is curtailed. Taxes are high and that is doing enormous harm - so the waste ridden state sector that delivers little in proportion to the funds expended can take the strain of reducing the economically damaging budget deficit. We must avoid a run on the £ and higher long term interest rates. A bigger contingency reserve might allow further tax cuts if needed by the economy in a few years time and it looks prudent which the Square Mile will love after Brown's feckless fiscal calamity.

People might spend and business might invest if they have confidence in a government producing a stable low tax economy for the longer term. People will not spend or invest if the national debt rises to fund a pointless VAT reduction when any little savings will be eaten up by an NI hike.

My three year public spending freeze is the right prescription - no doubt at all ! Savage public spending cuts to balance the books paved the way for low taxes & prosperity in Eire that lasted a good long while - how about the same in the UK ?

Special arrangements for pensioners savings is plain silly. Just how, even with an army of civil servants, could government ensure that the monies IN a particular pensioner's savings account belonged to said pensioner? Much more sensible to remove a lot of people from tax altogether by raising the starting point. Half-baked unimplentable ideas, that use vast numbers of public officials, are Brown's forte. I do not expect them from the Conservatives.

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