Conservative Diary

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If Cameron does not change course his government will face opposition on TWO fronts

We know that the public sector unions - supported by the Left in general - will attack the next Tory government.  Employing the power of the internet, in particular, they will target the Tory government nationally and Tory MPs locally as the axe falls on "vital" public services.

15346611We get a warning this morning - from The Daily Mail - that Cameron might also face a rebellion from the Right and from already over-taxed middle classes.

This is the Mail's leading article from today's edition:

"Mr Cameron, seeking to justify his position, says: 'If you're going to have a programme of some austerity... everyone has to share in that.' But those on middle incomes have already taken their fair share of pain, thanks to Labour policies which have benefited mainly the very wealthy and - at the opposite end of society - the indolent, whose access to benefits and other state handouts has never been greater.  Those in between have been ravaged by stealth tax upon stealth tax, and squeezed until the pips squeaked.  In seeking to soak families who already pay more than enough into a profligate Treasury, Mr Cameron is, once again, displaying a desperation not to be considered 'nasty' by the Guardianistas. But here's a reminder for him: the middle-classes have votes, too." 

ConHome has accepted that there might be a need for some time-limited tax rises but, like The Mail, we believe that the Tories must get much more serious about spending restraint first.  I worry that the NHS is being allowed to carry on as if there is no age of austerity. I worry that frontbenchers in charge of major spending briefs tell me that they have had no serious discussions with the part-time Shadow Treasury team about cutting their budgets. I worry that we don't have a growth agenda and that any chances of growth will be flattened by allowing Labour to impose its 50% tax rate (even though it may not raise any money).

I certainly wouldn't want to be a councillor seeking re-election in 2011 or Boris seeking re-election in 2012 if the Tories have not done everything they can to minimise tax rises.  Norwich North showed that other parties are on the rise.  We must deny them opportunities to rise further.

Tim Montgomerie


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