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I'm still a bit worried about the tax plans are properly costed, but they've certainly done the trick in the minds of the electorate.

I'm pretty sure, Letters From A Tory, that Osborne's non-dom plan won't work but I don't really care. The UK state spends £600bn every year. The idea that 1% of that can be spent better or on tax relief is 100% credible. We can easily fund the inheritance tax cut from growth and reductions in waste.

No question it was the tax cut proposals, aided and abetted by party unity and quality closing speech by Cameron. It set us apart, made us look different with something attractive to say.

Hopefully, this will make us a little less terrified about talking about tax cuts in future!

That said, it wasn't just tax cuts in general, but the fact that it was a focussed attack on a tax widely perceived to be unfair and in need of reform. I doubt a commitment to lower income tax by 1p or 2p would have been so applauded (welcome though it would certainly be!). The IHT proposals chimed with millions of people and we reaped the benefit. Thus politically and economically astute. Raspberries all round to those contributors who have maintained that IHT should not be at the front of the tax cutting queue. It's the politics stupid!

And yes, the fact that it was costed and funded helped. In particular the way it was funded. The fact that £3bn is sod all in terms of government expenditure seemed to have little to do with it!

This poll is INCREDIBLY important.
It is vital that the leadership understand that it was the return to REAL CONSERVATISM and the dilution of the green agenda that rescued us from electoral defeat.
It was NOT Cameron's speech (Although it was good).

I can't imagine that Cameron's speech or Osborne's dodgy offsetting made the slightest impact or difference to the public at large.

It's quite simple really; the public are painfully overtaxed and the promise of some much-needed tax relief was a breath of fresh air.

Sorry Wendy, I take a different view. The results of this poll were entirely predictable. The voting tendencies of CH 'grassroots' will always home in on a tax-cut agenda. Regarding the populatity of Osborne, again these figures make sense, and we didn't need a poll to work out that his popularity would recieve a boost. Sorry to be so negative Tim, but I was confused as to what the point of this poll was, it seemed to be asking questions which would provide little insight... until I saw your headline today. It seems to be another effort to get further proposals through to pledge significant tax cuts in our manifesto. I have warned of the real dangers to our electoral prospects this approach will present too often on this site to repeat them all again.

Right, I'm off to Gatwick for a flight to Houston. I'll pick up the (predicatable?) howls of anger at this post in a couple of hours!!

Tax is an issue that everyonecan relate too. People don't resent paying tax, but they do resent paying too much tax and unfair tax. George Osborne should continue to build up his profile as a potential tax cutting chancellor. George should make quite clear that where tax can be cut it will be cut. The public will love the idea of an anti-tax chancellor. George Osbourne has been doing a great job so far as the polls show.

Indeed Oberon! On the eve of the conference, the 29th September, you wrote here that an agenda that includes stamp duty reduction and IHT abolition would be a losing strategy.

Imagine if Osborne had taken your advice and not included these tax cut pledges at conference...

I hope you are planting plenty of trees, or giving money to poor people to offset your single handed destruction of the world's climate. Tut tut. Setting a bad example to the readers...

"Tax-cutting Conservatives will also be emboldened by the results. These results suggest that members will seek further imaginative promises of lower taxation in order to deliver a General Election victory."

Oh dear. Tim Montgomerie learns nothing as usual. If members such as yourself demand more tax cuts and more tax cuts, the party will find itself slipping in the polls once again. It's abalanced ticket that works, not just slavering after tax cuts regardless.

The point of this poll, Oberon, is that the Tory members have perspectives that deserve to be heard.

They are routinely out on the doorstep - meeting real voters.

The Tory grassroots are more diverse - ethnically, geographically and professionally - than the parliamentary party and media class.

They are often dismissed as reactionary but nothing could be further from the truth. As a recent ConservativeHome survey showed, they have a balanced understanding of what is politically important. When they get the chance they choose candidates for top parliamentary seats that fit the diversity agenda. As David Cameron has himself acknowledged, Conservative local councillors were green before the national leadership. Need I go on!?

I return to one main point; may the tories aim to do what Nulab has scandalously failed to do i.e. to improve the lot of people at the bottom of the pile. The able and well-to-do will prosper whatever govrnement is in power, the poor, the homeless, the illiterate etc cannot.
First, let us commit to taking all who earn up to £10,000 (i.e. part-timers, pensioners and the low paid) out of tax (and perhaps benefits) completely. That is fair, it is simple and ought to be affordable, given the amount of waste in the economy at the moment.

David (1015): Who is "slavering" after tax cuts? Resorting to caricaturing your opponents does not help discussion!

Britain is very heavily taxed and much of that tax is wasted. Lower taxes are good for economic growth. I believe that people generally spend their money better than governments. That's why I favour lower taxation.

And as for a balanced agenda - you'll find this site has argued for that since its creation. I recently posted this on the importance of retaining key modernising themes.

I would fully support that policy, David Belchamber, but as much as we may like it, the Conservative leadership would never advocate it. Lets not forget the Forsyth Tax Reform Commission...

Well said Ed. I've never been keen on being labelled as a reactionary fruitcake and neither have the various local party members I work with (of all ages, sexes, classes and demographic groups) who are out in all weathers promoting the cause.

Hopefully the leadership has learned this lesson. Perhaps some contributors to these threads will too...

One thing that I'm quite suprised this poll has to a great extent overlooked is the role played by Gordon Brown himself. As I was at the conference I didn't see until later but John Major's bitter attack on Brown's visit to Iraq scored a bullseye because it was patently true.
Brown's interview with Marr and his press conference the following day also provided us with evidence that he has an inability to tell the truth and is able to tell lies with far less flair and style than Blair was able to.

David and Oberon
Like the Bourbons they have learned nothing and forgotten nothing.

The point, David, is entirely about balance. We had 2 yrs of an exclusively green metrosexual agenda and it was about time there was a bit of balance. The purpose of the green agenda is to decontaminate the Party by showing we care about other things. It is not or shouldn't have been to replace those other things. That is the mistake that the two of you made.

The IHT cut was very cleverly presented and this eased its passage against potential Labour cries of rich man's rewards. However, in retrospect, Umbrella man is obviously right. It didn't matter a damn whether the non dom tax balanced it or not - everyone was just too grateful to be given the tax cut.

Given that Oberon was self evidently wrong about IHT cuts being popular can the Editor mark his contributions with a "failed judgment" health warning for future reference? There is no reason why this site has to follow the rest of the press in being unable to remember past failures.

Tim has hit the nail on its head. It is the grassroots who meet real people at the doorstep and more in tune with the aspirations of Britons at large and it is refreshing to find that the leadership has woken up to it.

I also support what David Belchamber has said re raising the threshold to £10k but would call for caution here. NuLab has created a dependency culture and I am not sure what percentage of the people who may benefit from this would ever vote Tory.

One final point is that it is right for Cameron to focus some of the attention on global warming, the family (linked to crime law and order) and world pverty(curiously linked to immigration and assylum) - coupled with the traditional Conservative policies on Tax, Crime and Europe, we now have a balanced approach - it is the 'Vision' thing.

The leadership deserves credit and our wholehearted support.

Maybe Tim and Sam could create some visual 'Tory Balance' yes/no scales to run alongside the (very dodgy) poll of polls and include the simple question of 'is the current Tory party agenda balanced?' in their monthly poll.

It would be interesting to see skews in these results overlaying poll results and could act as a useful guide to warn the leadership that they are drifting too far in one direction (whether left or right).

Yogi: "...but would call for caution here. NuLab has created a dependency culture and I am not sure what percentage of the people who may benefit from this would ever vote Tory."

So let's do it solely because it's morally the right thing to do.

This undelines that fact that tax is terribly important to people, especially when people see their taxes being squandered on badly concieved, badly run IT projects in the public sector.

I am probably going to get flamed for inaccuracy, however Art Laffer's rule of thumb seemed to point to people accepting around a 35% tax burden, so long as this was not accompanied with additional costly regulation. the nuLab neoTrot project has increased tax, increased regulation and not really delivered any improvement to people's lives. Moreover, it is very unclear in peoples mind's who is actually accountable for what "service" they are recieving.

If we stick to a policy of less burden of state (lower taxes, less regulation) and greater localisation (health education and social services to be controlled, not merely adminstered by local authorities), then people will come back to us.

Brown is so damaged now I think we could probably return to the uber agenda without much danger!

(He wrote provocactively!!!)

"NuLab has created a dependency culture and I am not sure what percentage of the people who may benefit from this would ever vote Tory."

Yogi, very true. This was exactly the thinking behind tax credits in the first place. Labour needed away to suck working people into the dependency culture and tax credits were the answer. Now fewer and fewer people are living independently of the state and more and more are less likely to want to bite the hand that feeds them at election time. This is why tax credits must be abolished by a future Conservative government.

Chad, you are taking my earlier post slightly out of context. In the last survey many respondents wanted extensive tax cuts & greater spending in a number of departments. I replied:

...more money for prisons and the army, no levelling of taxation and tax breaks for married couples and abolish inheritance tax....A wish-list of stuff in other words.

But in this case the proposals were fully costed, therefore I support them, who wouldn't? What I don't support is us putting forward a bunch of tax cuts without a clear explanation of how we will pay for them.

Look, this stance is not because I'm anti-low tax, I'm all for it. But, consider this, one big reason our taxes are so high today is just as much our fault, for making ourselves so unelectable! I recognise the scepticism of the voters with regards our intentions. We cannot therefore expect them to trust us on this issue, we need to get elected first and then earn that trust. Make the improvements and then reap the benefits in lower taxation.

Right, I've got a 10 hour flight to Houston now, plenty of time to ponder this issue some more...or possibly I'll just get puggled on BA wine and wake up bleary-eyed half way across the Atlantic trussed up in my headphone cable wailing for help. That sounds more appealing actually. Happy blogging guys!

Doesn't the "uber" pre-fix suggest fascist tendencies ("uber alles")? Perhaps it reflect sympathy the green fascist agenda of the Nazi Party.

I'm glad that the recent tax discussions have not been met with the normal cry of 'moving to the right'. We have always been the party of lower tax and this is at the heart of our party.

The argument by Labour that high taxes would lead to better public services has been shown as false.

The argument now is to prove that you can reform the public services WITHOUT raising taxes.

Without doubt the electorate wish to pay lower taxes, they also wish to have adequate public services. The party that can 'square the circle' will win the next election.

I firmly believe that Cameron/Osbourne have the intellectual capacity to achieve this.

Two other tax reforms may resonate with the voters. Firstly, raise the personal allowance to end the benefits trap.

Secondly, throw an olive branch to small businesses which are regularly clobbered by this government. Those with a turnover of less than £1,600,000 should be allowed to pay tax on the "cash" basis when receipts actually come in. This figure is the same as is currently used for VAT accounting. It is disgraceful that the state expects payment of tax on the "true and fair" (sic) basis when invoices are issued rather than payment is received.

I fully agree with NorthofWatford that raising the allowance to £10k is morally the right thing to do and also with Tony Makara in abolishing tax credits.

I think Cato might have made the point that if you are going to argue that "poverty" is the level below 2/3 average income, then taxing anyone below this is taxing poverty income. A good one to chuck back at the neoTrots, "But Surely the Chancellor does not advocate taxing poverty wages..."

It does also rather call into quesion what is to be done about the National Insurance Fraud.

Better late than never. We have been crying out for a tax cutting programme and at last the message has sunk in. Boldness pays off and perhaps a similar stance over the EU and-I dare to say it- a statement that we will be Better Off Out could put the party streets ahead and David Cameron into number 10.

Of course, John Redwood had nothing to do with it.

Or rather the more observant of the poll watchers had noticed that in the 'Redwood' week when the BBC went berserk attacking him for making a lurch, Brown's lead was severely dented.

It couldn't have taken a genius to realise after that, that public opinion was at last hunting some relief from Brown's remorseless increases in taxation.

From the looks of this poll, politicos really are deluded. I have yet to hear anyone say 'DC can really deliver a good speech, so I'm going to vote Tory'.

Tapestry, John Redwood always has something interesting to say and John's ability to stand his corner is a lesson to everyone. Its very clear that the BBC don't like having to deal with John, he is not exactly a comfortable interview! The BBC have had their hachets out for John Redwood for a very long time.

We all see what we wish to see: of course.

If you've felt that the leadership was a crypto-socialist bunch who were secretly desperate to raise taxes, you probably saw the Osborne conference speech as a victory for the hectoring of this site.

If you regard the Dave as a second coming, and thrill to his love-bombs without really noticing what he says, then you will regard his conference speech as the most significant event of the decade.

I'm closer to the second than the first, but even I can see that the truth is likely to lie inbetween, and the seachange has also to do with the collapse of the ridiculous Gordon Brown as well as those things we've been up to. That the Dave's decontamination of the brand was vital, not a luxury. That our leadership has never been in favour of raising taxes, so using a drip drip of very carefully costed but relatively minor cuts is a great way of getting the public to know this, without opening ourselves up to 2 years of Labour screaming.

I second/third the proposal from Tony and NorthofWatford. The biggest cuts must always go to taking the poorest out of the tax system altogether. I don't think it's an overstatement to say that it's a moral obscenity to tax people who earn about 10K a year and then drip feed some of their money back to them throw the maw of the tax credit machine. That abhorrent system should be Brown's political epitaph.

Thank you NorthOfWatford at 11.39 ("So let's do it solely because it's morally the right thing to do").
You make my point better than I did but I agree with you, we want a government that is transparently working in the best interests of the nation as a whole.
There seems to be a lot of agreement on this thread that it is morally wrong to tax people who can then only subsist on Gordon's handouts.

Although the tax cuts gave a hook to capture voters imaginations, it was the overall feel of balance and unity that made it all credible. Imagine offers of tax cuts if we hadn't had that balance and unity on display! It would have been a disaster. I had a lot of people say to me that they liked the family and forward-looking feel - both those who liked the tax cuts and those that didn't mention tax cuts, when saying they were warming to the party. Balance, practicality, coherence and direction is the key. Most of all its projecting what we stand for. All that came together in Camerons speech and he looked as though he both cared and had the resilience to be PM. I've had people say - "now I see where your party is coming from" and I've even had absolute rabid anti-Cameroons come to me and say he did well and they've changed their mind. The balance was right, stick to it.

Before Party Conference, we were open to the criticism that we were failing to land punches on the government, and that we lacked policies (especially Conservative policies). The reason for the turn-around is clear. Cameron's Conference speech set out clear, sensible conservative policies, not only on tax, but on immigration, law and order, welfare, and even Europe. And we've started to act like an opposition, and oppose. How do we capitalise on our turnaround? More of the same. Keep at it. Don't let up.

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