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Trust, then.

We lost the last election because we weren't trusted.

Fortunately, it looks like 2010 won't be 2005 all over again, and we'll be starting from a position of at least /some/ hard won trust.

It would be easy to lose it, though, if we're seen to be cavalier, riding roughshod over public services or relapsing back into our 'bad old ways'.

Caution is the watch word. But not too much...

On behalf of all your friends in the Labour party may i congratulate you on this exercise in dog wagging, which has only gone to prove how fundamentally weak and right wing Osborne and Cameron are: given that they are on the verge of caving in.

More power to your elbow! Forward to the fourth term!

I think that this is an important seam to mine, it has to be done carefully. We need to first though prepare public opinion for a lower tax argument by drawing a distinction between necessary public expenditure and purely discretionary expenditure. We need to get people to ask the question on discretionary spending, can we live without it? We need to then show that 'yes, we can' (apologies to the junior senator from illinois). Finally we need to show that when we identify savings we will share that between other spending areas and tax cuts.

We lost the election because we unable to criticise Blair's support of the Iraq war in any meaningful way.

Voters trust and the Iraq war were the elephant in the room and clearly the most critical issue in the 2005 Election. When the histories are written this is what the election will be remembered - as a verdict on the Iraq war.

Unfortunately IDS's disastrous legacy of uncritical and unquestioning support at the time of going to war left both of his successors wrestling with how to correct the party's position.

Even now DC has not found a formula for dealing with this issue.

It is probably the biggest failure of any post war opposition to hold the government to account.

If the thinking within the Labour Party is in any way typical of that displayed by Labour Voter, then the task of winning the General Election will be much, much easier than it should be.

Don't wish to be rude but why are you dignifying Steve Richard's column with such a detailed response? Firstly,entertaining journalist though he is,he's an enemy of the Conservative party and rarely misses a chance to cause trouble for us.
Secondly, Steve Richards works for the Independant .This means hardly anybody will read him so what he thinks or does not think doesn't really matter.
We've had several threads recently which have examined the errors made in the past. Surely it is more constructive to look at what is happening in the present and the future.

It is a matter of putting country ahead of political self interest... only the Tories are expected to do that ( as we did when Lady Thatcher came to power.. yes may be she over did it as some may say) and it is for this reason that health of the economy is of prime concern. I believe in lower and simpler taxes.. but I wouldn't propose a tax cut when clearly economy is not in good shape.... and it does smack of rich unwilling to pay.. the key point is if you 'rein in wasteful spending'... it will lead to prosperity and then one can aim for tax cuts, to 'share the proceeds of reining in wasteful spending'. Tax cut should not come unless we have reined in public spending.... and economy is on path to prosperity.

@Malcolm:

Of course, you're right, but I do think these threads are rather more about looking to the future than you've given them credit.

Our recent defeats, to me, indicate that true cost of not having earned the public's trust to criticize the government on any number of issues, not just spending/tax and Iraq as Rosario mentioned.

Without the public trust, anything we promise will simply be chalked up to so much Tory bluster, and be ignored.

Sorry Malcolm but I do think that this is a forward-looking post. If Steve Richards was the only one who blamed tax cut policies for recent defeats it might not be worth bothering with but he isn't the only one. Many leading Tories think the same.

I will try and make this the last ToryDiary on this issue for a little while though. We have spent a lot of time on the tax/spend debate but it has been a hot topic with national newspapers referencing ConservativeHome on a daily basis.

Editor: You should have picked Mr Richards up on his "campaign for tax and spending cuts" error. Most of us don't want "spending cuts" --- just smaller spending increases.

Ok Mr Editor this is a very important post in its theme but why hang it on articles by Richards and Riddell - both hard-line opponents who have axes of their own to grind (most self-justifying all their own wrong judgments!)

But that trivial point aside the summary above is very worthwhile. I think the salient fact at the moment is that there's been a sea change in the economic climate when- as you write - "Even Labour MPs are admitting that voters are at the limits on tax. " This particularly applies to those Tory voters who drifted to NewLabour with the seductive charms of Tony Blair. They - and especially those with young families - were at the heart of the Thatcher electoral success. The pips HAVE squeaked as far as they are concerned.

They are faced with failing schools but taxed so savagely that can not - as their parents could - make even more sacrifices to go private.

We must stop using Labour's detailed taxation as yardstick and recast all expenditure and tax.

My first real involvement with politics was in trying to shift Attlee's monolithic Socialist government. This had been elected with overwhelming support but the miseries it inflicted made our task easier. We won with the slogan echoing everywhere "Set the people free". Not a bad template I suggest for the present.

"Most of us don't want "spending cuts" --- just smaller spending increases."

Or State spending which actually supplies the services its supposed to, to the people its supposed to, and does it efficiently, unlike the likes of Tax Credits which deals out £5 billion to people who shouldn't be in receipt of it, and most other areas the British state envolves its self in.

The Conservative party has suffered greatly because it has gained a 'reputation' for being a party that picks on groups like single mothers, the jobless, etc. This has cost very many votes from people who would normally be sympathetic to mainstream Conservative policies.

David Cameron recognized this initially in his attempts to re-brand the party, but then once a sizable lead in the polls was established we started to hear all the same old nastyisms about the unemployed being at home living an idle life watching TV all day and single mothers being a problem etc. This type of language puts many people off voting Conservative. Of course voters want to see people taken off benefit and put into work but are looking for a positive approach to the problem and positive language to match. Instead of talking about the unemployed being lazy, idle, etc the party should talk about helping the jobless and ending the cycle of poverty that comes with unemployment.

The reason the Conservative party has been rejected by so many is more to do with a reputation for unpleasantness it has built up down the years based on stupid attention-grabbing remarks by politicians trying to sound tough in the media. The party needs to be more positive in its language and its attitude towards certain groups in our society.

And yet Letwin is still there.

What is the point of Oliver Letwin?

Unfortunately IDS's disastrous legacy of uncritical and unquestioning support at the time of going to war left both of his successors wrestling with how to correct the party's position.
Every single living Conservative leader was in favour of removing Saddam Hussein and the Baathist regime from power.

However there was still plenty of scope to criticise the war strategy, moe of the US and of the propoganda strategy especially of the UK - ie the bungled attempt at plagiarism of a Phd thesis.

The war was the right thing to do - the Iraqi regime had been destroying Iraq's environment and finances, committing genocide in the country, it had attacked neighbouring countries in the past and threatened others, the regime was developing missiles banned under the Ceasefire Agreement and various UN resolutions since and were not co-operating with weapons inspectors; in addition they had certainly had nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programmes in the past and were only waiting for international attention to shift elsewhere so they could go back to developing these.

As for their having WMDs at the time of the 2003 war, maybe they did have such but sold them or the Baathist Party had them and is moving them about, or they have been lost or looted. Iraq is a big place, if they are in a bunker in the desert hidden they could remain undiscovered for thousands of years.

If we are going to promise tax cuts, the only time to do it is a couple of months before the election.

I know people here are obsessed with knowing what platform we'll be standing on in 2010, but people will be bored with our message if we keep repeating everything from now until the election.

Oh, and Labour will steal the good bits anyway.

Cameron has never said there will be no tax cuts, just that economic stability comes first. So don't be surprised to see corporate tax (and CGT) cuts.

Of course voters want to see people taken off benefit
Yes, but there is increasingly less sympathy for people of working age on welfare, especially single adults, especialy those on JSA - a majority of the General Public think JSA is too generous and that it is easy to get a job, a large minority would favour scrapping it altogether and not putting anything in it's place.

And a large minority see all those on disability benefits as being scroungers.

Many people favour helping children and the elderly, but not other adults - naturally society is not structured in such a way that effects on children or the elderly can be seperated from those of other ages in the family, but this is what a very large number of people seem to expect.

"a majority of the General Public think JSA is too generous and that it is easy to get a job, a large minority would favour scrapping it altogether and not putting anything in it's place"

Yet Another Anon, can you verify this, that is can you tell us how you reach a conclusion that the majority of voters want to see JSA scrapped? Or are you just trying to pass off your opinion as a consensus view?

What you propose would cause serious social breakdown, homelessness and criminality. Without a basic amount of money to live by people who can't find work would be forced to resort to crime. What about children? Should they starve?

No-one can argue that a single person being on JSA is well off. However there are large family households where it is possible to rake in a large amount of money on benefit and as I've stated previously in such household a good proportion of the benefit should be paid in food and fuel vouchers to reduce the amount of disposable income and make the idea of staying on benefit as head of a large family less attractive for those who would abuse the system. Such vouchers would also ensure that children get the food, fuel and clothing they need.

The whole benefit issue ultimately is dependent on the number of full-time waged work available. A person working part-time and receiving tax credits is still on benefit. Full-time work is the only way to get people off benefit completely. Unfortunately none of the main parties have shown how they intend to create the million plus full-time jobs needed to end welfare dependency. Workfare isn't work and won't take people off benefit, only real jobs will do that. Where are the Conservative party's proposals for job creation? They don't exist. I guarantee that at the end of a Conservative term in office the problem of unemployment and welfare dependency will be just as bad as it is today. David Cameron's programme of 'welfare for work' is facetious and do not solve the problem.

Do NOT forget, the Conservatives WON the election ENGLAND!, but shhhchortland, a country with its own Parliament and government, voted McLabour to rule the "Yoo Kay" (England only).

So in affect, England voted McLabour out, and shhhcortland voted McLabour in, in England.

Yet Another Anon, can you verify this, that is can you tell us how you reach a conclusion that the majority of voters want to see JSA scrapped? Or are you just trying to pass off your opinion as a consensus view?
Surveys consistently show that people think JSA is too generous.

I have encountered large numbers of people as well who are quite forthright in declaring that as far as they are concerned people on JSA are lazy scroungers and that people claiming disability benefits are all on the fiddle. I can't ignore what I hear.

What you propose would cause serious social breakdown, homelessness and criminality.
I wasn't proposing anything in that message, just pointing out that the notion that the UK is filled with people thinking that people on welfare need helping is false.

Aside from this government do not create jobs as such, individual state owned organisations and private and third sector employers create jobs, but quite properly these are to carry out specific tasks, not as job creation schemes in themselves. All government can do is create economic and regulatory frameworks condusive to a strong economy which will tend to result in an increase in numbers in work, everything else is doomed to fail.

No-one can argue that a single person being on JSA is well off. However there are large family households where it is possible to rake in a large amount of money on benefit and as I've stated previously in such household a good proportion of the benefit should be paid in food and fuel vouchers to reduce the amount of disposable income and make the idea of staying on benefit as head of a large family less attractive for those who would abuse the system. Such vouchers would also ensure that children get the food, fuel and clothing they need.
People swap vouchers for other things, the Conservative leadership have been objecting to national biometric ID systems on the grounds they don't believe they will work in the War on Terror and in simplifying and increasing accuracy of information in things such as welfare - I think it would in those cases, but I also think that in the case of use with private organisations it will work far less well.

Other objections to what you have to say on this is that having it so that a couple get less than what they would get living seperately is a recipe for encouraging people to fiddle the system. Welfare is never going to be perfect, it is about preventing destitution while limiting disincentives on people entering work, the more there is an attempt to tailor it for individuals the more bureacratic and complex , unweildy and expensive it will become. Vouchers also remove personal responsibility, people have to live in the world, the world is money orientated and so people have to be able to manage money - if people fail to look after their families then the proper response is through criminal law, those with severely mental handicaps will have social workers who will help them in dealing with the world. The state cannot live peoples lives for them, to do so increases dependency.

I think that there are elements of family benefits that should be cut, equally though I think that disability benefits need to be greatly restricted and the system of rates restructured. There are too many benefits and too many differing rates - simplification, moving to greater universality in fixed rate benefits and replacing variable rate benefits such as Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit with low interest loans repayable in a similar way to Student Loans but with no write off of debts once someone reaches their later years, the debt should remain until they have paid it and interest off and if they die should be taken out of their estate.

Do NOT forget, the Conservatives WON the election ENGLAND!, but shhhchortland, a country with its own Parliament and government, voted McLabour to rule the "Yoo Kay" (England only).
The difference in votes between Labour and Conservative was very small and Labour won a comfortable majority among English seats too, in England no party can really claim a great success, all parties got less than 36% of the vote.

However a solution balancing devolution of power equally across the UK will be popular in areas without devolution and at least be not opposed in those areas that have had devolution, many of which such as Northern Ireland, Wales and Greater London would end up getting greater powers as well as those already with devolution.

can you verify this, that is can you tell us how you reach a conclusion that the majority of voters want to see JSA scrapped?
Just noting that I actually didn't say that a majority thought it should be scrapped, I said surveys showed consistently that a majority thought that JSA and other benefits for the unemployed were too generous and that a LARGE MINORITY thought it should be scrapped and not replaced with anything else.

Yet Another Anon, I agree that government should set the conditions to create work, these should be as follows:

1) Britain's manufacturing and agricultural base should be re-built and should supply our domestic market with goods. We should not be importing goods that we can create for ourselves. This will provide the million plus jobs we need to end welfare dependency.

2) During such a period of economic revival government should create a 'waged' public works programme the would be compulsory for all JSA claimants. Such public work could range from construction to care work. This will restore people to the structured responsibility of work and will serve as a halfway house between unemployment and work proper.

3) All schools should begin vocational training programmes in the final year of study, this would include several hours a week and paid weekend placements with prospective employers who would have to guarantee a job to the young person on leaving school if they are not going on to further education.

There are ways to create jobs and training. Its just that politicians currently are only dealing with the effects of welfare dependency rather than the causes. Programmes like New Deal and Workfare do not provide jobs, they only provide something for the unemployed to do while still on benefit. They remain on benefit. There has to be a programme of job creation, otherwise benefit dependency will continue without end.

Labour win in england. Just like hopefully Abredeen will win against Bayern Muncih tonight.

"On behalf of all your friends in the Labour party may i congratulate you on this exercise in dog wagging, which has only gone to prove how fundamentally weak and right wing Osborne and Cameron are: given that they are on the verge of caving in.

More power to your elbow! Forward to the fourth term!"

And we all know what happens to a party that outstays its welcome, don't we?

I don't think last minute promises of tax cuts will work, Michael Rutherford. We need to make the case for tax cuts over a longer period. We need to harness public anger at waste in the public sector. We need to get businesses arguing for relief from the tax and regulatory burden. We need to work with newspapers and campaigning organisations like the TPA to build voting blocs for lower taxation. We need to deliver targeted literature to those voters most likely to benefit from our tax relief ideas.

Tony and YAA - please keep on topic!

Editor, apologies for straying off-topic. I'm sure that one thing me and yet another anon do have in common is that we fully back ConHome's call to end the pledge in supporting Labour's spending programmes and to push for a tax-cutting agenda. The circumstances facing an incoming Conservative government are very similar to those Reagan faced in 1980. These samples illustrate the point.

"President Reagan and his advisors, in his first term and at the peak of his physical health, purposefully and successfully implemented core policies to rein-in government growth as a share of the U.S. economy, by stopping the run-away growth of social spending ratios and regulatory costs, and to reduce the potential dependence of citizens on big government - - to improve the economic and competitive health of the pure private sector - - aimed toward more economic freedom and living standards for average citizens. And, he would accomplish this turning by the only viable means politically open to him - - by a significant reduction in taxes - - to force down spending, and if not immediately successful, such would force down future spending under the threat of budget deficits."

"The 1980's began against very dangerous back-drops: Government spending was rising faster than growth of the economy, growing from 12% of the economy to 43% by 1980, especially social spending ratios climbing 10 times faster than the economy; the share of the economy left to the free-market private sector had been significantly compressed - - primarily due to social spending ratios exploding upwards 1,400% over 35 years; debt ratios which had fallen for decades stopped falling in the early 1970s and started up..."

you can read more at:

http://mwhodges.home.att.net/1980-88.htm

"We need to make the case for tax cuts over a longer period. We need to harness public anger at waste in the public sector."

I think you have got that the wrong way around. The first move should be to identify the obscene waste going on, and the obscene waste taking place because of the labyrinthine polices Gordon Brown has introduced eg the £5billion the Government has lost on the Tax credit system, and if the Conservatives did that they wouldn't need to make the case for tax cuts because people can figure it out for themselves, a 1+1 = 2 sum, if the Government weren't wasting in excess of £5billion on the tax credit system, they Government wouldn't need to raise that £5bilion in taxes, which equals less taken in tax, oooohhh its a tax cut, and no services get cut!

But as far as I can see the Shadow Treasury team are like the three brass monkeys, hear no evil , see no evil, speak no evil, and if they aren't making the case now, it will be too damn late a few weeks before the next election, for anything dragged out of the hat at that late stage will be seen as opportunism, an electoral bribe and nothing short of pork barrel politics,

Good lord, you really are desperate to have tax cuts, aren't you? No matter that you have to creatively rewrite history, no matter than you have to ignore all prudent electoral advice, it's tax cuts, tax cuts, tax cuts regardless. Christ. It's pathetic.

" knowing what platform we'll be standing on in 2010,"

Well not on a tax platform that has any numerical relationship whatsoever to Labour's shambles I trust.

The answer though to the remark posed above is the Station announcement:
"The 2010 train is arriving on platforms 2, 3 and 4. as it is coming in sideways?

That's the state of the argument it seems. It's really quite simple - stop defining the party always in contrast to Labour. The Conservatives should have their own policy not a soiled hand-down

David, at 15.35. I doubt whether you would be any keener than me to pay tax totally unnecessarily, which has been the case over the last seven or eight years.

If you were only earning about £12,000 a year, you would no doubt be furious to find your initial rate of tax being doubled, as will happen in April!!

I agree with increasing the annual expenditure on defence, health and education but because this government has been so incompetent when spending our money, too great a percentage has gone to waste e.g consultants, quangos, tax credits, failed IT schemes, red tape, bureaucracy, selling off half our gold reserves at a rock bottom price, the "nationalisation" of Northern Rock etc etc.

Billions have just gone down the drain. Iain, at 15.11, described it as "obscene waste" and he is quite right. If I had run things as Blair and Brown have done, I would expect to be sacked for inefficiency and incompetence. Brown should go soon and let us have a general election.

Re "Some of the über-modernisers underestimate the extent to which David Cameron can sell more traditional policies - on tax, crime and immigration - to middle class voters." Not to me he can't.

>I have yet to read tax proposals that differ greatly from those put forward at the last election<

First, this isn't right. Second, the correct direction would be to aspire to greater tax cuts than we aspired to in 2005, not less. But third, and most importantly, just because we lost in 2005 doesn't mean we had to change *everything*! The fact that you get beaten doesn't mean that the public hated *all* of your policies. For example, I'm pretty sure we were in favour of keeping theft and murder illegal in 2005 - but we lost, so since we are changing all our policies do we need "theft and murder proposals that differ greatly from those put forward at the last election"?

Richards' position here is just absurd.

Now it was, in my view, true that our approach to tax did not help in 2005, in that our budgetary proposals needed us to achieve significant savings from "fraud and waste" in order to add up - and "fraud and waste" are rightly regarded by the public as the last refuge of the political charlatan. But that doesn't mean that it was the promise to cut tax, *per se*, that was the problem.

Lefties like Richards exist in a strange parallel world in which Socialism had a major victory in the battle of ideas in 1997, and everyone now accepts that we should aspire to spend as much as the nation can afford on our public services. We must not accept this for a minute.

The voters did not trust us, nor did they find us an attractive alternative to Labour in 2005. There were many mistakes, but pushing immigration and tax cuts as the main platform of our manifesto made us look nasty and selfish, not to say that both messages were not important and genuinely needed urgent action.
But neither issue will win an election on its own, we need to represent more than a tougher line on immigration or a few tax cuts. Competence to manage government and deliver on policies is what will win the party an emphatic victory.

"There were many mistakes, but pushing immigration and tax cuts as the main platform of our manifesto made us look nasty and selfish, "

Personally I thought the problem was having Michael Howard as leader, for though he might have been known as a nice person within Conservative party circles, everybody outside the party only knew him as the person who failed to answer Paxman's question and something of the night about him. It also shouldn't be forgotten that studies have shown when people were told about Conservative policies they liked them, but when they were told they were Conservative policies they changed their mind. So it was madness to have a leader who linked the Conservatives back to the time when the electorate most disliked the party.

PS Though some of the crass dog whistle strategy in the election might not have helped.


'We did not lose the last election because we promised tax cuts.'

No, we lost it by not knowing when to shut up.

"It also shouldn't be forgotten that studies have shown when people were told about Conservative policies they liked them, but when they were told they were Conservative policies they changed their mind."

That is a point not made often enough IMHO, we had some really excellent policies which the public never heard about or associated with the Conservative party during the last GE campaign. Its the policies the public did not hear which cost us dear.
The press and the angle they chose to take on the Conservative campaign was damaging, BUT, we allowed them to do it because we hoped these dog whistle issues would help us scrape through. Negative and nasty, it allowed that disgracefully duo of Blair and Brown to get off the hook which still makes me angry.
We do not need to make the case for tax cuts, it is engrained ln the voters minds that we would hope to do so when in power. What the voter needs to do is trust us to be fiscally responsible about it, and not deliver swinging tax cuts at the expense of front line services in health and education etc. That is what they did not believe last time.
We need to be a broad church with policies less well connected with the party resonating in the voters minds too.

A lot of posters on here reciting pc mantras might do well to reflect that since the last election the economy as well as a lot of other issues have changed that will shape voting intentions. Those of you knocking Howard and dog whistles should bear that in mind. People are very angy with the government and polticians in general. Telling people in a patronising manner that all they need is more of the same when they have lost their job, home, or earning power over the next couple of years may not be the right way forward.

You are right editor to say this will be the last tax cut blog for some time. Frankly it is boring to party supporters but to any ordinary voter looking in it borders on sickening, or as "David" put it "pathetic". One reason for losing the last election, as was pointed out at the begining, was trust. Or, in this case we weren't trusted to not start cutting services and tax once we were in. And the reason for this was an assumption by electors that, whatever party leaders say, a Tory government will be forced by its supporters and MPs to cut taxes and services. Of course any passing voter reading one of ConHome's regular headbanging efforts on tax cuts (although recently they have been more mature) can only get that impression again, which, perhaps is why Richards wrote what he did to wind us up.

Just to repeat, John Redwood has made one of the few attempts to sell tax cuts and decontaminate the party over tax and services by pointing out that the Tory governments reduced taxes but also substantially increased public service funding. Tax cutting correspondents seem to need to decide if they really want tax cuts, and apply the Redwood argument, or just want to sound off to look tough.

Re Iraq. Howard did have room for maneuver, one example, he could have refused to accept the Hutton report which was clearly a very doubtful whitewash. And there were more oportunities.

We should make the economic case for tax cuts - and should have done so in 2005. (Michael Fallon is right - should be Shadow Chancellor).

Ireland, Australia, New Zealand have carried out this policy - some of them partly under Labour governments aswell. It has delivered a high standard of living and decent public services.

The 2005 election was a faded photocopy of the two disasters before it. But it did have successes. Michael Howard restored discipline and credibility - it may not have led to many extra votes then, but perhaps caused more people to consider us, and switch since.

We took some seats off the Lib Dems - just enough to throw them into some confusion and oust 2 leaders. The London results were a bit better, and some candidates did very well here and there, pinpointing the way for others.

But it's nearly three years ago - isn't it time to move on?

here an anti-waste argument was once difficult to sell, it's now in tune with voters. 66% agreed that the nation "could lower taxes without having to cut spending on vital services... if Britain reformed public services and cut waste".

This question is pathetic. It's basically saying "Would you like to have the same public services for less money and also lower taxes?." Silly.

No matter how much you might want people to thing like you, they don't. The right-wing tax-cuts-before-everything-else agenda is not popular. Your fundamental belief that money spent on public services is money that should be in private individuals' pockets is against the beliefs of the all but the selfish few.

"Efficiency Savings" is a mirage - everyone promises them, and no one delivers. Despite your wishes, our public services deliver decent value for money, and are no more wasteful than similar private companies.

I sincerely hope you win the argument with your party, and go into the election promising tax cuts. At least we'll know where you really stand, instead of this bunch of flannel we are getting from Cameron and Osborne.

It's basically saying "Would you like to have the same public services for less money and also lower taxes?."

Not it's not, it's asking whether people believe it actually possible.

Your fundamental belief that money spent on public services is money that should be in private individuals' pockets is against the beliefs of the all but the selfish few.

More left-wing lies. Nobody believes in poor public services. We just believe they should be efficiently run. We also believe that some regard should be paid to the effects on the rest of the economy, which contrary to socialist belief, does not exist simply for the benefit of the State.

Incidentally, attacking peoples' motives rather than arguing on evidence is not rational, and is a symptom of the underlying negative and malicious nature of socialist belief.

our public services deliver decent value for money, and are no more wasteful than similar private companies.

If you really believe this, I have a bridge for sale you might be interested in.

Alex Swanson, I don't think Passing Lefty was attacking your motives specifically. What he was saying is that swaithes of the electorate suspect Tory motives for cutting taxes, which is true. Any ordinary voter reading above would merely get this view confirmed. All we seem to get is teenager bitching at Osborne and those interested in beating Labour, there is no attempt to sell tax cuts to voters just vague economics smelling of rationalising a preset desire for tax cuts.

You are right editor to say this will be the last tax cut blog for some time.
One's on general fiscal policy would be more apropriate as it is simplistic to focus only on general drift of overall taxation and overall spending, such a discussion tends to ignore changes in parts of overall spending and overall taxation - it would be unusual if all areas of spending were to be cut or all areas of spending were to be increased and so many people demand tax cuts while demanding spending increases of such magnitude on so many things as to render them impossible if such changes were to be made.

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