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Sounds pretty reasonable to me.

""We've got to stop taxes going up, we've got to stop the council tax going up, stop hitting people so badly. And then, progressively, trying to reduce the burdens on ordinary people by giving them back some of the heard-earned money they've lost""

Sounds very like what the best Conservative Councils such as my own in Hammersmith & Fulham have already been doing! Not rocket science and should prove popular on a National level!

The economy is flat on its back, in recession, close to bust and we are in for a very tough few years, at least.

Nowhere does the Dear Leader (destined to be PM two years hence or sooner) even begin to notice the elephant in the room.

I despair of the Tory Party leadership, I really do!

"Nowhere does the Dear Leader (destined to be PM two years hence or sooner) even begin to notice the elephant in the room."

Posted by: David_at_Home | August 25, 2008 at 17:10

"Frankly, after Labour's economic incompetence we're going to have to take some pretty tough decisions to get the public finances sorted. " DC

I just get fed up with people like David_at_home and their hysterical ramblings based on pretending Cameron never said something he had so I printed the above.

A new YouGov poll is showing C 48, Lab 26, LD 16. Anthony Wells has the information on UK Polling Report.

But, David Sergeant, the public finances are not the economy though they have certainly may have contributed to its downfall. The fundamental problems are that we have a huge balance of payment deficit, massive personal debt, a greatly diminished manufacturing sector and both retail and financial services, which have been seen as the strongest parts of the economy, are now going belly up.

We are about to enter an economic storm at least as violent as that of the late 1970s and possibly as bad as the early 1930s. If you don't believe me then just stick around for a bit.

All obvious, not scaring horses type language. Given the economic climate, this is just about all Cameron can say. Ultra sensible language, deliberately scripted to avoid causing concern about the stability of economy.

Such a pity the Tories are to inherit a dump of an economy. The Bank of England know how bad this is going to be and the Conservatives should listen to them carefully. Alistair Darling will distort the economic data to avoid political pain. The BoE doesnt have such pressures and is able to speak far more clearly about the way things are.

I am curious to the talk of the Tories amending the economic rules. If thats their idea, then they must air such policies far ahead of the next election and they must explain clearly how itll work. Do not mess about with such rules unless the consequences can be predicted.

In addition to clearly saying that , unlike Labour, DC would look for opportunities to cut taxes, a lot of other excellent things here.

For example:

Obviously income inequality does matter ... But I think the gap that matters most is the gap between the bottom and the middle. Yes, some time ago I read /heard something pointing out that Labour had only moved some from just above the poverty line to just below it, while the number of those in deep poverty has increased. Better to tackle root causes of poverty such as family breakdown (by supporting mum and dad marriage as most likely to give children the best chance) and dependence on the state.

Life is not just about money or balancing the books. I think towards the end of the 1980s we did become too much the economics party. And I think we needed to rebalance. Exactly. I suspect it is this rebalancing more than anything else that will convince voters we have changed. That is, we have moved from the perceived attitude that we are only concerned about profit etc regardless of impacts on families, work-life balance, the environment and society.

oops - I meant from just below the poverty line to just above it

David at home:

You say that the 'public finances' are not the same as the 'economy' and then go on to talk about balance of payments and huge debt levels (both public and private).

What do you suspect DC was referring to when he cites awful public finances? The petty cash tin? He KNOWS these things that you say for crying out loud, but unlike some, he has the political courage to remain sensible and not promise what cannot be afforded.

On another note, as heartened as I am to hear him talk about council tax, I hope he truly does understand that the only way to achieve that ambition is through the proper funding of LocGov... not auditing and targets. Particularly in this ageing and evermore dependent population.

' Under the circumstances in which the economy is growing and the public finances are sound and you're able to say to people, look, I know who earns the money in this economy, it's you, the taxpayers, the business, and I can give some back to you ..."

'Chicken before the egg' springs to mind??

If Cameron wants to grow the economy he is going to have to 'grasp the nettle' and cut huge amounts of public spending and reduce taxes by equal amounts.

Only then will the people of this country feel able to respond.

Richard, Cameron cant go out today and say something like that because Labour will immediately respond "public services will be cut" and itll stick. Before Cameron can be more aggressive with the proposals you say, he has to have ensured that the public wont listen to Labour. For that he needs to take time to persuade the public hes not going to risk public finances or make thousands of public sector workers unemployed from day 1. That would cause more problems than it solves.

Its about being careful not to blow it.

James Maskell

I couldn't agree more with your comments, however the 'tone' should be changing.

The public understand that the economy is in a shambles and to tell them that taxes can only be reduced when the economy is growing again is rather a forlorn message.

We need to give a message that encourages optimism and a realisation that there is a way out of this mess.

The British economy is going to get a lot worse.

The only way to restore the economy will be to radically reduce taxes and regulations.

We can not radcially reduce regulations without getting powers back from the E.U. (if need be by leaving the E.U.) - as it is the source of so many of the regulations.

And we can not cut taxes without getting to grips with government spending.

"Sharing the prodeeds of growth" is a fantasy - as there will be no economic growth unless current economic policies are changed.

And "not risking the economy with tax cuts" is getting things backwards - as it is only by reducing taxation that the economy can be saved.

In case someone brings up the "failure of classical economics in the 1930's".

People like Herbert "The Forgotten Progressive" Hoover certainly did not cut taxes (actually they increased them).

What they did do was to try and prevent wages and prices adjusting to the bust of the credit money bubble in 1929 (i.e. they acted in the opposite way to that which traditional economics would have suggested).

It was the "corrupt" and "stupid" Warren Harding who reacted to a credit-money bust by cutting government spending and taxation (and who allowed prices and wages to adjust - so that markets could clear) - back in 1921.

The differences in what happened after the bust of 1921 and the bust of 1929 are worth a look.

In 1921 the economy was on the mend (and unemployment was starting to fall) after about six months.

In the 1930's under the "progressive" and "modern" Herbert Hoover and F.D.R. (who, contrary to the myth, actually carried on and deepened the policies of the previous President) mass unemployment and a messed up economy carried on over the decades - with real (as opposed to inflated) output being almost as bad in 1938 as it was even in 1932, and unemployment being also almost as bad in 1938 as it had been in 1932 - no real recovery even to 1929 levels.

Is this "progressive" stuff really what we want in Britain?

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