Gordon Brown's 10p U-turn is unravelling. Over at CentreRight, Simon Chapman has the latest.
It's clear that the Government handled the 10p row very badly. Through his tax on lower income Britons, Gordon Brown - as David Gauke MP has written - trashed his reputation as a champion of the poor and as a master strategist.
The Conservatives can only be pleased with current events but they have fallen short in one crucial respect. The 10p row was an opportunity to present the party as a champion of hard working, lower income workers. Lord Forsyth - followed by today's Sun and Telegraph - urged the party to focus on raising the threshold for paying income tax. A reluctance to do so has meant the party has missed an opportunity to do the right thing and add a key group of voters to the conservative coalition. By 63% to 28% the insiders that make up PoliticsHome.com's daily index do not believe that the Conservatives have emerged from the 10p tax row with a stronger connection with lower income voters. That's a pity.
As the Conservative Party looks ahead it can do no better than to pick up more of the ideas from Iain Duncan Smith's Centre for Social Justice. The CSJ has been monitoring the party leaders' pick up of its ideas. Gordon Brown has adopted 16 ideas so far. David Cameron has adopted 27.
A national programme of relationship education. The SJPG’s proposals did not promote marriage at the expense of single parents but included many measures intended to support people in all types of families, for example by better integrating them into the communities of which they are a part. Relationship education has proven to reduce divorce and break-ups among couples. To help couples fulfil their aspiration to have healthy relationships that go the distance, the SJPG proposed the roll out relationship education across the nation recommending a national relationship and parenting education ‘invitation’ scheme for couples and parents at key life stages.
Pilot localisation of welfare to work provision to local consortia. Chris Grayling’s green paper in January showed that the party has accepted most of the SJPG’s welfare-to-work proposals. However they have not adopted the proposal to facilitate innovation in the welfare system by piloting the devolution of decision-making, funding and contracting of welfare-to-work services to local employment consortia.