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I'm afraid Hammond does not get it (again). If the public is being asked to vote for a party that may deliver tax cuts at some far off point in the future the public may well ask "what's the point"?
The point is that is it tax cuts that will help get this country moving again both economically and socially. They will help deliver a sound stable economy rather than being something we should promise when we have a sound economy. Has Hammond learned nothing from these last 10 years?
And another thing, if we start talking about what we will do in the second term of office we risk sounding pretty arrogant. We've still a lot to do to win a first term!
It's been a good week for the party and I'm optimistic, but this stuff does nothing to help our case. Hammond sounds like Darling lite, and he's nearly as dull too!

The point is that is it tax cuts that will help get this country moving again both economically and socially.

How are you going to fund your tax cuts?

Hammond sounds like Darling lite, and he's nearly as dull too!

According to the graphic he’s making the same argument that I’ve made many times on this site. I rather like the chap.

Mark, the tax cuts can be funded by stripping out lots of the waste public spending there is already. Your surely not suggesting that every penny Labour currently spends is necessary are you? The public knows how much is wasted already, and how much more Labour will waste on its pet projects like ID Cards. There's billions to go at!

Sorry guys but we're wrong on this one. Tax cuts are right for three reasons: (1) Because they're electorally attractive; (2) Because it's morally right to leave as much money as possible with the people who earned it; (3) Because it's good economics. Judicious tax cuts, counter-intuitively, actually INCREASE revenue. Oh, and a fourth reason: a commitment to tax cuts would be a healthy discipline for spending departments.

Now is precisely the time to CUT taxes, not to increase them.

And the party can pledge to increase the nil rate band such that not only will every taxpayer benefit but the greatest benefit will be felt by the worst off - thus the tax cut would not only be popular and economically and philosophically correct, but it would tick the leadership's socially just box too.

Tax cuts are an incentive, an incentive to spend, to save, and to vote. Of course a Conservative government should put sound public finances and price stability at the top of the agenda. However its a bit of a paradox to claim that Labour are taxing us too much and then stick to their wasteful spanding plans. There really is no point in being in power if the party is going to be carrying out Labours agenda.

Steve, if the cuts are to be delivered through increased efficiency then they cannot be delivered until after the efficiency has actually improved.

Successfully campaigning on cutting taxes in this way relies on the electorate believing in your promises to cut waste. I believe the electorate is justifiably too cynical to believe that promise.

Roger Helmer, I point you at some articles which dispute that tax cuts increase revenue:

Congressional Budget Office

Washington Post

Centre on Budget and Policy Priorities


I'm not saying that tax cuts definitely don't increase revenue but the jury is definitely out.

Well, the 16% lead is good news. But my bet is that it will fall considerably following Philip Hammond's latest ill-considered remark on tax (i.e. not lowering it for at least four years). Even it that is the possibility, it is foolish to state it so blatantly. The message should only be that it is the Party's absolute objective to cut taxes as soon as possible. More needs not be said.
Never mind any nuancing, the result of this pointless statement is that the message in the minds of the public will be "We don't intend to cut taxes", and unsympathetic parts of the media will milk this for all it's worth. Hammond's statement should quickly be stamped on by both Cameron and Osborne. Hammond comes across as weak, shaky and easily brow-beaten on television, and I believe he is a doubtful asset in his current position This might be a good time to bring in someone else.

I am very dissapointed by this. We got the highest tax level in Britains history, and the Tories wont do anything about it until (maybe) 2014. We might not even get to govern for that long.

Our Treasury team is dire. As Roger Helmer, Donal Blaney and Tony Makara rightly point out, properly targeted tax cuts can lead to an increase in revenue.

Even if they didn't, a simplification of the personal tax system could be largely self-financing. As Donal so rightly says:

"And the party can pledge to increase the nil rate band such that not only will every taxpayer benefit but the greatest benefit will be felt by the worst off".

To raise the personal allowance to £10,000, as we have argued frequently, would take millions out of tax (including all important OAPs) and be largely offset by savings in benefits and the attendant bureaucracy.

What about the following ideas for a Sunday morning?

- Ww go into the election with the Mission Statement: "Mending our broken Society".
- we focus in the first term on "The needs of low earners".
- we restate the mantra: "Sharing the proceeds of growth..." as "Sharing the proceeds from reductions in government waste".
- We move George Osborne and draft in Redwood and bring in Fallon and Redwood.

Not very streetwise is it.
Do nothing to promote growth whilst promising to share the proceeds in a falling market.
Vote Tory for no change and no more pounds in you pocket.

I think the party line on this issue is the right one I'm afraid.

To promise immediate upfront tax cuts, when we have no idea what the state of the economy will be in at the next election, is not only irresponsible but would show that we have learnt nothing from our last two general election defeats. Do we really want to risk rising inflation and rising interest rates as a result of unfunded tax cuts?

It is worth remembering that the 1974-1979 Labour government left our finances in such a state that even Margaret Thatcher was unable to decrease the burden of taxation for a number of years after she came to office. Tax cutting is a great Conservative instinct which I share, but stability must come first.

I'm afraid I agree with Phillip Hammond. We have to bear in mind that the country is in debt, and unless we use the money that we would normally fund tax cuts with to pay off that debt, the interest will eventually become unsustainable.

Also, investment is needed to the country's infrastructure in order to improve our economy; for example, to make trains a viable alternative to air travel.

We have to accept that Labour has milked the country dry, and we have to repair the damage before any tax cuts are issued.

David Cameron proposes six months paternity leave to mums and dads. That will finish off more than a few small businesses.

Philip Hammond says no tax cuts for years.

Are these people Conservatives? Time to rename the party - Blue Labour. You can now get a blue rose, I believe.

Where are the sources of the proceeds of growth from which increased paternity leave is to be paid?It is ironic that the major beneficiaries will be our fast breeding immigrant communities-----dads might use this paid time to do up the flat in Krakow or perhaps a bit of 'training' in Afganistan.

"which *was funded* by a controversial levy on non-doms"

No. This is simply not true. Please do not perpetuate what is clearly not true and I am sure no-one at CCHQ would dare repeat Osborne's conference claim that this levy will bring a net overall receipt of £3.5bn, will they?

The non-dom levy will not raise £3.5bn it will actually leave to a net *loss* of several billions pounds.

George Osborne has 'offset' a tax cut with another cut in income. His maths are inaccurate, amateurish and thus dangerously incompetent.

Disagree with me? Come on, let's hear Osborne publicly restate his claim that he will raise a net £3.5bn a year (ie increase no fall in complimentary revenue from non-doms spending into the economy etc) from this levy.

Those like Labour and Osborne who erode our freedom or prosperity will soon face very public exposure of their actions.

I thought the Conservatives were going to 'share the proceeds of growth' between tax cuts and public spending increases. If there are to be no tax cuts for 4 years, does this mean that we are promising that there will be no economic growth if we are elected ? It seems a strange policy to adopt.

Edward Huxley - spot on. All this stuff about not knowing the public finances is garbage. Any investment bank forensically dissects this on behalf of its clients. It's Gideon's smokescreen

“When the money’s piled up in the pot, you then give it away in tax cuts” – Philip Hammond.

But do we really want to continue suffering the highest tax burden ever (“So what?”) for the proceeds to be piled up in the pot? This sounds just as intellectually dishonest as “sharing the proceeds of growth”.

Now if he had said that there may be no room for major short term tax cuts because it was in the national interest to pursue a policy of Public Sector Debt Repayment, to be funded in tandem with a substantial programme of waste reduction, this might make more sense. Even then, this leaves the economic stimulation rationale for well focused tax cuts.

Now that we have a major shift in national sentiment, with the latest opinion poll leads evidently showing that the silent majority are utterly fed up with socialist economic policy as portrayed by the Darling Budget of Mayhem, there is surely no need to be fearful any longer. The promise to maintain Labour public spending levels has never been more ripe for ditching. A Treasury team of John Redwood and Michael Fallon, ably assisted by Edward Leigh and (if asked nicely) Jeff Randall, would deliver.

Good for Hammond. A large part of this is expectations management. There may be prudent tax cuts which could swell the public coffers, but they're hardly likely to be announced two and a half years ahead of an election. But inevitably, priority one has to be cleaning up Labour's mess, and people ought to realise that money's going to be tight from the outside, and who's responsible for that.

Thanks for the support Mark. As I`m now 84 I think I would rather not have to wait 4 years for tax cuts. But people like me no longer count of course.

"We have to accept that Labour has milked the country dry, and we have to repair the damage before any tax cuts are issued."

I agree, and I think it more than reasonable to go into the next election with the objective to get Government finances back into shape, just promising to stop the rot, and not promise any tax cuts, but it seems stupid in the extreme to close off any hope to the hard pressed tax payer. More concerning is that the Conservative treasury team are more animated about knocking down any pleas to lighten the tax burden than they are about trying to wring efficiencies out of a very bloated and inefficient state, for with deteriorating Government finances, where there will be no room for more taxes or more borrowing, anything that can be done has to be done within the current level of Government tax receipts, so that means efficiencies and scrapping bureaucratic programs ( like the tax credit system) etc yet I don't see any ambition from the Conservatives on this.

Ok, so we cut tax second - after waste. But why wait until a second term? Why not cut waste in year 1, look at the savings made and use them to cut taxes starting in year 2?

Excellent point johnC.

Cameron has clearly pledged to share the proceeds of growth between tax cuts and public spending. He annoyingly refused to quote a % split between the two, but 0% for tax cuts is not 'sharing'.

This new approach can only mean he has abandoned his core economic pledge, or forecasts <=0% growth in the economy for the duration of a Tory government.

So what is it? A five year recession forecast (negative growth) or has Cameron now abandoned his 'sharing the proceeds' policy?

The sharing pledge is over the course of an economic cycle Chad; not in every single year.

Other blog reactions to Hammond...

Iain Martin:

"If Brown goes early, next year, and the Conservatives win that means you could crack open the champagne to celebrate your tax cut (I'm getting the feeling it will
not be big cut, so do not spend it all at once) if conditions allow in 2015. That is seven years away. It took Britain just six years to win the Second World War. The lack of ambition on this subject is breathtaking."

But John Redwood is mildly encouraged:

"In practise Mr Hammond had said tax cuts would not necessarily come in Year one – consistent with Mr Osborne’s “No upfront unfunded tax cuts”. The development of the Tory approach is somewhat different from the story that we move from wanting tax cuts in due course to ruling them out for a Parliament. What seems to have changed is that now tax cuts come from making savings in spending and from eliminating waste. I regard that as good progress. It must mean we will not be hitched to Labour’s spending plans in perpetuity, but now understand that in the next decade it will be possible to get beneath them whilst delivering better services, and it is imperative to do so."

I, naturally, agree with Roger Helmer. Those who rule out tax cuts ignore competition from other countries. Yahoo is moving to Switzerland to cut its corporation tax bill.

As any corporate change management specialist will tell you, cost savings must be made in the first year when employees are expecting restructuring. Wait and a few years and the opportunity is lost.

Philip Hammond displays an alarmingly pessimistic and defeatist attitude. We need a Treasury team that is confident that it can deliver radical and successful policies that offer a real and positive alternative to Labour and the Lib Dems. At the moment, the Blue Labour jibes are well deserved.

There are few current Tory policies that I can support enthusistically. My Party has lost its principles and it cannot rely on my vote.

Frankly, none of the parties are attractive to a libertarian such as myself. I would rather abstain than sanction any of this lot of fraudsters. That, Mr Cameron, is true anti-politician action. Don't vote, it only encouages the socialists in all the parties!

Fiscal conservatism must come first.

If we want tax cuts we must pay for them somehow:

Borrowing - can't, already far too high.

Cutting waste - have to cut the waste first as Hammond says.

Cut spending - Cutting schools'n'hospitals would be electoral death. There are many Labour gimmicks and schemes that could be cut, and personally I'd scrap International Aid and the Arts Council, and the Health & Safety Executive... but there are also several things that need more money, like building new prisons, armed forces, nuclear power stations, reducing borrowing, etc.

But anything left over should be tax cuts!

I'd be rather interested to know how it would be possible to have tax cuts, reduction in the ballooning budget deficit, and tax cuts immediately.

It is not only the policies; we need the right people in place and David Cooper at 11.41 is right on the button:

"A Treasury team of John Redwood and Michael Fallon, ably assisted by Edward Leigh and (if asked nicely) Jeff Randall, would deliver".

The Treasury is the engine room of government and Jeff Randall would be an enormous asset.

Is there no way we can get rid of Brown and his dreary minions before they do any more damage?

Perhaps we can forgive Osborne, Hammond et al- they have never run a business.

But the Conservative leader of Hammersmith and Fulham has. The Conservatives here campaigned on tax cuts; on day one started cutting waste and inefficiencies (and boy was there a lot to cut); and have delivered two years of tax cuts. That’s despite paying Red Ken more money.

Just one suggestion – there are over 800 quangos. I bet 80 per cent do nothing of moment. In local government alone there are more than 600,000 people working for embedded quangos. Get the red pen out!

Question: Should we elect politicians with no business track records to run UK plc? I don’t think so.

Hammond 16/03/08: "We often hear talk about getting back to Thatcher-style cuts. [Baroness] Thatcher waited until she could see that she had stabilised the situation before she started to reduce taxes."

Howe (12/06/79): "It is universally recognised, or almost universally recognised, that the present top rate of 83 per cent. on earned income is an absurdity. The rate of 98 per cent. on investment income is even worse. Such rates bring in very little revenue. But they kill incentive and are patently unjust. Some members of the previous Government recognised this, but they did nothing about it. I now propose an overdue measure of reform. The top rate on earned income will be cut from the present 83 per cent. to 60 per cent. This now top rate will apply to taxable income over £25,000. [Hon. Members: “Oh.”] If hon. Members will wait, I shall come to the other end. At the other end of the higher rate scale, the present threshold of £8,000 – and many skilled workers cross that threshold – is too low. I propose raising it to £10,000. Even at this figure, the starting point for taxation [259] at higher rates will be no higher in real terms than it was in 1973. Between £10,000 and £25,000, I propose a new scale of rates less steeply progressive than the old scale."

In 1979 Mrs Thatcher moved the burden of taxation from direct (income) to indirect (VAT) taxes. Is there not scope for someting similar now ? This would reward work, deter via higher prices the purchase of anti-social products (chocolate oranges, Lolita beds, alcopops), and encourage savings.

Sam S, based on personal experience in the public sector, a minimum 30 to 40% of government expenditure is wasted. The waste is on bureaucracy, red tape and inefficiency. More savings could be realised by axing subsidies to the race relations, equal opportunity (sic)and environmental industries.

All that is required is the courage to tell the truth and take on the vested interests. Some Conservative politicians are too cowardarly to take the necessary action. Others actually relish the prospect of running peoples lives.

The whole concept of "sharing the proceeds of growth" is based on the lie that the government owns the the proceeds of growth and has right to decide who gets a share. We are ruled by the equivalent of a political mafia that is running an extortion racket.

Cameron is too scared to root out the corrupt establishment that is ruining our country and prosperity. We now have a new version of Newspeak - Cameronspeak. This language talks of trusting the people, giving them back power. It contrasts with the reality that leading Tories are unwilling or too afraid to give the people the freedom and power. That means giving them back their own money, to do so.

We are now back to triangulation and double speak of the "heir to Blair". Blue Labour, benefiting from the government's implosion, is back. What's the point?

I watched David Cameron on the Politics Show and William Hague on the Andrew Marr Show. They both talk a lot of sense.

People are getting very stressed about this, but all Hammond has really said is 'we can't cut taxes until e've saved some money to do so.'

Anyone who thinks that's wrong is being irresponsible.

I firmly believe in a low tax economy. I belive that lower taxes stimulate growth in the long run. I look to Ireland with envious eyes.

But then I take heart from Osborn's pledge to make reduction in business rates one of his priorities - that should stimulate the economy, raise the tax take from business, and give us greater scope to cut personal taxation.

And for those of you who regularly make the simplistic equation: True Tory = Tax Cutter, remember that Margaret Thatcher's new Govt in 1979 had to raise taxes for the first couple of years to sort out Labour's economic mess.

So it won't be unusual for a new Conservative government in 2010 to have to hold taxes as they are for a couple of years while they pay down debt and sort out Labour's economic mess.

"a Tory government will use a first term to eliminate waste, make savings and then promise fully-funded tax cuts at the subsequent General Election."

Sounds sensible.

@ Votedave

Are you nuts.

I watched DC on the Politics Show to. He was ranting on about how supermarkets should stock there shelves etc.

Oh please, well will politicians learn. Keep the dead hand of the government away. Trust the market!

"People are getting very stressed about this, but all Hammond has really said is 'we can't cut taxes until e've saved some money to do so.'

Anyone who thinks that's wrong is being irresponsible.

...or they just might believe that cutting taxes will actually *increase* tax revenues and maintaining our current tax levels will lead to further *decreases* in revenue as more businesses and individuals leave.

Non-dom has proven to be an excellent example of this. Income will reduce by imposing a tax, as those who currently are here (paying tax on their uk income, spending the rest in our economy etc) will leave.

"He was ranting on about how supermarkets should stock there shelves etc."

More like he was answering the questions Jon Sopel was throwing at him.

How very disappointing.
The electors of a Conservative government expect significant steps towards smaller government in the first two years. It follows that tax cuts in the first term of a conservative administration are possible and need to be an election commitment.
If Cameron and the Conservative Party believe that electors will accept the promised land, but only after 8-10 years possibly, then they are badly out of step with former conservative supporters still deciding on their voting options.

@ Votedave

"More like he was answering the questions Jon Sopel was throwing at him."

Well he should of said stocking supermarket shelves is not the governments job. Leave business to run itself! Stop interferring.

No to the nanny state.

Yes to Margaret Thatchers Conservative Party.

No to wishy washy liberal/pseudo socialist nonsense

@ Margaret Hemmings

You are right as usual.

Am I to understand that DC on the Politics Show was suggesting he would tell me what I should/shouldn't sell in my Takeaway?

If customers want to eat pies or sweet & sour that is their choice.

I am not taking responsibility for clogging up arteries/obesity.

If customers want to be obese that is their choice. Overweight people are often very jolly people to you know.

Less of the Nanny please Dave

Those people who commented on whether or not Hammond was being realistic, entirely miss the point.
The message he has got across is that "The Tory's won't cut taxes". This must NOT be the headline.
The key and essential policy that needs to be repeated time and time again is that our Party WILL cut taxes: it is essential in the support of enterprise and the building of prosperity. We believe in it. It is central to our whole policy.

"The electors of a Conservative government expect significant steps towards smaller government in the first two years."

No, not all of them do. If we are have a hope of winning the nesxt election we need to attract a significant number of people who are distinctly wary of a Conservative leader promising large and quick tax cuts.

I speak as a keen advocate of the benefits of a low tax economy, but I also recognise that there is a degree of political and economic reality that can't be ignored in favour of some some of messianic cry that "We're Tories, we cut taxes, regardless!!". That's already lost us three elections. We need to win the argument on this - it may be self evident to you and I, but it isn;t to many voters whose support we need.

I'll say it again, Margaret Thatcher had to INCREASE taxes for the first few years after 1979 to sort out the mess, before she was able to start decreasing them.

Tax cuts aren;t magic, they need to be well thought out, planned, and explained.

What I do find rather odd is that under various other threads, a large percentage of the respondents would appear to have said that cutting taxes is a proven vote loser (not that I agree), yet here there are many arguing that promising to cut taxes is imperative....

(It being Palm Sunday I'm late on the blog otherwise this would have been up earlier !!)

Tories are - of course - cock a’hoop having at last attained a double-digit lead over Labour. But they should beware; this leap is not in popularity for their party so much as disgust by former Labour supporters to the spectacle that is presented to them of a government which is not in control but where events are proving overwhelming.

So the Tory lead is born of weakened Labour and not of popular Conservatism . Averaging the 2 polls makes a Tory figure of 41.5% (not especially buoyant for them) while Labour are on 29%. It is this latter figure which has changed and is the lowest figure for Labour for a very, very long time.

Why have the Tories not benefited more? I suggest that it is firstly because of a feeble and misdirected response to a changed world. Cameron missed a great opportunity in his speech yesterday when in the midst of a raging firestorm in all economic markets across the world he devoted the bulk of his speech - and all the emphasis - to the family. The second reason is that he lacks the full-bodied support of eurosceptics by his wilful refusal to spell out the details of his promise to ensure that in the absence of a referendum on the EU Constitution “we will not let it rest there. This is shooting himself in the foot. He has had months to think of the answer!!!

I, for one, am quite prepared to grant that the party may have identified a cosy niche they can make their own and outflank Labour. But to do this when the world may fall about our ears within months has a touch of Nero’s fiddle about it. And negative reports have arisen from Mr Hammond’s statement that tax-cuts in the first term of a Tory government are impossible. This is only true because he clings to a daft policy of matching Labour’s expenditure when the whole - and acknowledged - problem arises from reckless over-expenditure. Hammond should have put it a different way. He should have laid into the impossibility of even Labour continuing its spending binge in the light of a collapse of of our own finances and pointed out that circumstances will force cuts whether any government likes it or not. We believe in lower taxes, he should have reminded people, and that they will come just as soon as we can get our economy onto a safe sustainable basis. In passing, the leeway for these could be found relatively quickly by employing the NET savings by disentangling ourselves from Brussels.

Cameron has not matched up to the occasion - indeed he is running on such preordained tramlines that it is probable that he hasn’t noticed that there is an occasion to rise to.

It is, indeed, quite baffling

Philip Hammond's announcement that tax cuts will have to wait until 2014 is a total cop out.

The huge number of low earners,under £15000/20000 p.a. cannot wait until then to be given an incentive.

It takes political courage to tackle the mess that Labour have put us in and if the Tories cannot come up with credible solutions to give the working man a reason to vote for him he simply won't !!

The huge number of low earners,under £15000/20000 p.a. cannot wait until then to be given an incentive.

Under the latest budget, a family with one income of £20,000 and two children sees their income increase from £19,861 to £20,842 (source Daily Mail). If we're going to start using tax as the lever to get this vote, exactly how much of a bribe do we have to offer?

"Yes to Margaret Thatchers Conservative Party."

This is not just the Conservative Party of Margaret Thatcher, Norman Tebbit and Nigel Lawson. It is also the Conservative Party of David Cameron, George Osborne, Philip Hammond and Ken Clarke.

To say nothing of Disraeli, Salisbury, Baldwin, Heath, MacMillan etc etc. Margaret Thatcher is not the be all and end all of the Tory party or Conservative ideology.

How popular would funding tax cuts by slashing the social welfare budget be? Call me cynical but I can actually imagine most voters not being too bothered about this as long as we promise not to cut spending on schools and hospitals.

In case Hammond has not noticed it the public mood on tax cuts has changed. The middle class or coping classes are being taxed to death and being econmically smashed in a way they have not been since John Major subjected us to the ERM. Brown has demonstated beyond any doubt that high public spending is as effective as burning money. We clearly have to spend money on health and education but there is loads of waste such as money to the EU , the million new none jobs on the public payroll, the excessive spending in Scotland , wales and the North of england. Tax cuts will kick start the economy . Personal allowances could be doubled to help the low paid,unused husband & wife allowances made transferable and corporation tax reduced for family companies. Move over Hammond and make way for John Redwood.
Why should anybody vote for somebody who is promising the same as Brown. Targeted tax cuts to the average family will enable them to economically survive in an era of Government induced inflation and the credit crunch.

I have to say I find Hammond's speech quite credible unlike many other posters on this blog.
Unlike Roger Helmer I think it's good politics to not make promises we may not be able to keep.Sorry to disagree with you on this Roger but the Tory party have had a credibility problem on economic matters since 1992 and running up big deficits a la George Bush which is the likelehood of what would happen if the credit crunch really bites is not only not sensible economics it's not sensible politics either.


Do you believe that dropping the non-dom tax (which will be a tax cut) will create a *deficit*?

It's a simple yes or no question, and I know how you badger others who don't give you a direct answer etc, so I'd appreciate your response. :-)

No tax cuts are required expect for the poor We need higher taxes on the rich. To redistrubute wealth to the decent poor. Is it right that drug barons have more money to spend on more rolls royces while the poor starve. Nope. But in extreme right tory land, rhe poor should starve while the wealthy go fat like pigs. Booooooooooooo.

Anyone else noticed how Margaret Hemmings and Wang Din Chin always seem to post close together and always seem to agree?
Funny that.

I don't want Osborne to drop the non dom Tax.

I didn't ask you that Malcolm!

I asked if you believe dropping it would create a deficit. A simple yes or no.

You're as evasive as the bloggers you attack for not answering your questions!

Most contributors to this think Hammond has got it wrong. Iain Martin in the Sunday Telegraph yesterday; "Carry on like this and there will be no first term".

Lower taxes should not be seen as a desirable extra when times are good; they are a prerequisite for a sound economy. Low taxes encourage people to work, save and invest and if you keep tax rates down the economy grows more quickly. Low taxes also reduce both the opportunity and the incentive for tax avoidance so revenues increase. At the last general election the Liberal Democrat Party said they wanted to raise the top rate of tax for 40% to 50% to raise extra money for public services. The Conservative Party when in power was able to generate the same amount of money by lowering the top rate of tax from 60% - 40%. If people pay less tax, and keep more of their own money, they have more incentive to work and unemployment falls as new jobs are created. Low taxes also make Britain a more attractive country for inward investment which in turn generates jobs and income.

High taxes only serve to penalise the successful while providing little incentive for those on less money to earn more. In the end high taxes make us all poorer, as Dick Cheney recently remarked, “no nation ever taxed its way to prosperity”.

The saying goes that nothing is certain in life apart from death and taxation; we are born free then taxed to death. If the traditional believers in lower taxation – the Conservative Party will not make the case for lower taxes then who will?

Freeze public spending for 5 years and use the proceeds of growth to cut borrowing and taxes. It really is that simple Mr.Cameron.

Is this the shortest suicide note in political history?

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