« Tories 19% ahead in new ComRes survey | Main | Tories' spending pledge will not be repeated »


Quite right. Let's ensure that the State bankrupts the private sector completely, and that 5 million healthy wealthy energetic Britons abandon the country in the next ten years, doubling the rate of emigration.

And at the same time let's get even more forms to fill in so all these State employees encouraging diversity and social harmony have something to do. And let's double their inflation-proofed final salary pensions so that council tax will be about £5000 a year per average dwelling.

This is really exciting politics. Let's see which Party can bankrupt the country the quickest.

Sterling is in free fall. Banks have tapped the BoE for £200 billion in two months plus around the same from the ECB. Great. Wonderful. Taxes must be kept higher at all costs, and economic dynamism made impossible. I'm all for it. Well done George. Let's finish the job Labour has started and totally devastate the place, wreck it entirely like at a Bullingdon Dinner.

What's the slogan for the election going to be - Tories Love Taxes. It'll be sure fire winner. You bet. Where's my blue rosette? Britain must be beaten down and never allowed to recover. Yes. That's it. Brilliant!

"entirely vindicated by economic events since,” he says."

I usually ask David Sergeant to interpret the words of our sages for me.

Are you out there David?

The call for tax cuts may have left the Conservatives exposed to Labour attacks but it was the only argument being put forward to change the bloated client state Labour have created, for if taxes are cut then something has to be done about the client state. Osborne killing off any talk of tax cuts has in turn killed off any talk of getting to grips with the client state, as we see for I can't think of one instance where Osborne has said anything about the bloated state machine. So no thinking about tax cuts means our politicians are doing no thinking on anything else.

Its interesting what's going on at the FT... for many years their editorial team have been accused by many of a New Labour bias - especially associate's like Philip Stephen's. Lets and see whether there is a shift in opinion there...

Tapestry, spot on. Gideon is truly economically illiterate. As Clarkson points out, we are rapidly becoming a 3rd World country. With this chap as Chancellor, we'll get there even sooner.

If Conservatives don't offer policies to pull the country through its current financial crisis and rebuild its once golden economy, they will fail.

Osborne's recent attack on Corporation Tax was nearer the mark.

The last two paragraphs of Martin Wolf in this week's FT should colour all the policy responses and statements of the Conservative opposition -

The financial crisis looks as serious as any the UK has seen since the second world war. The fall in house prices may yet prove very severe. If household savings were to rise swiftly and substantially, a deep recession would ensue, generating a large expansion in the fiscal deficit. This could well result in a further loss of confidence in sterling liabilities. That, in turn, could generate a bigger run on the pound and a jump in long-term interest rates. This combination might even force the MPC to raise rates. Collapses in financial institutions could then reduce fragile confidence still further.

This then is the nightmare. What such possibilities demonstrate is how vital it is to retain confidence in the UK. A weak government is a risk. Any policies it introduces must avoid undermining confidence in the UK’s policy regime and, above all, its commitment to monetary stability and fiscal sustainability. The prime minister knows that, as must the chancellor. They must be seen to keep their heads, even if nobody else does.

Once we get talk that addresses the situation of Britain as it is, then we will know that Osborne will be a great Chancellor. This is the context now, not the past failures of the Labour government, which Conservatives definitely do not need to replicate.

The important word is 'strategically'. It made a big difference in how the Tories were seen. Tax cuts were often painted as one of the obsessions of the right, and used as evidence of the Tories not caring about public services. Not banging on about tax cuts allowed the party to correct that misconception.

Anyone who believes the Tories won't cut taxes in the fullness of time is as deluded as those who believed Labour's new-found mean-ness with the public finances before 1997 was a sign that they wouldn't raise taxes.

I liked Hague and Cameron's phrase (which they used to describe Britain's relationship with the EU).

The same phrase could be used to describe Labour's record on economic and other management, and could feature in a Conservative election campaign.

Things cannot go on like this

If that thought were to run at the core of all Conservative thinking, then anything can be changed and adjusted after Labour are gone. Taxes too as part of a general bonfire of all things Labour and EU, which have brought Britain so low.

There can be no justification left for pussyfooting with Gordon Brown's disastrous management record. It needs to be annihilated, not copied.

And how can any politician hoping to be taken seriously not be talking about this.

Tax cuts will be great when the economy is in such shape that they can be given! We do not want them to become the Totem of the Unthinking Right!

"Tax cuts will be great when the economy is in such shape that they can be given!"

The trouble is we aren't getting any economic political thinking that will change the situation we are in. At least with the demand for tax cuts it forces a rethink on the bloated client state Brown has built. With Osborne not feeling pressured to come up with tax cuts means we aren't getting any economic thinking anywhere else.

If we don't talk about tax cuts we don't get any economic debate anywhere else.

Sally, they have pledged to copy Labour's economic policy.

Mr Cameron is against having adequate energy supplies.

He won't pledge to hold a referendum on the sweeping and permanent Lisbon constitution, thereby accepting it into law.

He wrote the disastrous Howard manifesto, but is now a greenie.

He is determined not to have a plan.

Personally, he seems a nice bloke and is super-smooth and tough.

He got David Davis right and had the courage to go for the leadership. He is great at memorising the word 'change' and at saying it with emphasis and passion.

He is a walking liability - the last of the plastic politicians. Apres lui le UKIP.

Sally Roberts - Oh dear! You haven't grasped the size of what's hitting us and what the Tory Chancellor will find when he gets there, have you?

Palin and McCain have said 'Cut expenditure and Cut taxes' . That's not only needed right now, it's what will happen anyway (the cutting expenditure bit!) and it's popular too. Every time Cameron+ Osborne open their mouths I think ' why vote for them', they're going to wreck the country too!

Read Clarkson today - populist, I know, but it's what people think.

Is Mr. Osborne a Conservative? I only ask because I`ve never met one who shares his views on taxes.

The fact is that spending has to be cut if we are to balance the budget and get the economy going again. People are cutting down on personal consumption therefore they should hardly be surprised if the government cuts down on public consumption. Where exactly has this demented rule that the government should continously increase spending even during a recession come from? Oh hold on, I remember now, JM Keynes - his economics went out of fashion in the 70s. But he at least said taxes should be cut too. What we need are tax cuts and spending cuts and we need to start selling this to the public ASAP. It's the only choice we have.

Well, there was a dramatic bounce in our poll ratings, following the pledge on IHT, while there wasn't one, after the 2006 conference, so I don't really think Osborne is correct, politically speaking.

As to whether he is correct in economic terms, it's probably the case that the state of the public finances will be so dire when we take over that immediate cuts in taxation won't be viable. But that merely strengthens the case for making cuts in public spending, so that the tax cuts do become a possibility.

Edward Huxley asked."Is Mr. Osborne a Conservative? I only ask because I`ve never met one who shares his views on taxes."

In the FT article Mr Osborne says. "I guess I would describe myself as an economic and social liberal"

There is you answer Edward.

Worth noting that Ozzie has never studied economics in a formal academic setting either at school or uni....and it shows

As to whether he is correct in economic terms, it's probably the case that the state of the public finances will be so dire when we take over that immediate cuts in taxation won't be viable

So things will be so bad that nothing can be done. That really makes a lot of sense, doesn't it.

It's not spending that needs cutting but the waste of valuable resources, like the cramping of growth potential through excessive tax and nonsensical regulation.

Any more talk of 'nothing can be done' has to end.

The country is in a serious mess which could get a lot worse if it's wrongly managed. The thought that the cavalry are coming will do a lot for peoples' confidence...by that I mean us lot the Conservatives who know how to manage, and bring the financial troubles to an end.

How about - 'things cannot go on like this'. 'We will do whatever it takes to put the country back into functionality once again', after the wrecking it has suffered under Labour's watefulness and the EU's barmy attempts at economic destruction.

People are now aware that labour have got it wrong. It's no good saying we will replicate their actions and policies. If taxes need cutting they will be cut. If EU rule is doing damage to us, they must be changed or got rid of.

What about the efficient level of taxation? Raise taxes too high and people avoid them. Under Brown and the EU, Britain has become a nation of lawyers and accountants - when we should be trading, building and manufacturing, creating wealth, not spending it all on keeping one step ahead of an incompetent and ever threatening Revenue and Excise.

If Conservatives cannot bring back growth, then stand aside Cameron and Osborne. You are not required for your charm and good looks alone.

"So things will be so bad that nothing can be done. That really makes a lot of sense, doesn't it."

No. Simply, it may take longer than we'd like.

"entirely vindicated by economic events since,” he says."

Henry Mayhew is like a lot of contributers to this site in that in order to find an excuse for bashing Cameron et al you pick a phrase, not even a sentence, often out of a long speech and get agitated. Since you ask Henry I would guess that Osborne has in mind the fact that, since he said tax cuts weren't the first priority (he never said he wouldn't cut taxes), the economy has got to a point where there is no room to cut taxes, or look responsible if you say you will cut them.

However, Tapestry | September 06, 2008 at 06:22 plays a real blinder. Brown has turned the best economy in Europe, or even the West, into the worst. So who is Tapestry riling against? Brown? Darling then? Or Blair? No, sod me, he is riling against Osborne and the Tories. Worse, he knows perfectly well Cameron's government would be different than Brown's but finds it much easier to bash the Tories to get attention. One example of why the party has done so badly since 1992 and we get called the nasty party.

We can stop making people do things which cost them money, even if we cannot cut taxes.

One example, is Home Information Packs - which we will scrap - cost £600 for 1m households moving house every year - effect, a £600m "tax cut" by another name.

The key word in the pledge is "unfunded". If you can show that the cost of Government will be reduced, say by ending the vast range of targets set by Government for local authorities, which results in those authorities employing lots of people to tick boxes and report on progress against the targets, they can be sacked and the cost of Government reduced, making room for tax cuts.

I'm sure everybody who contributes to this site could come up with an idea for something done by Councils, quangos or central Government which can simply be stopped without affecting frontline services and which can lead either to a lower cost of Government and therefore lower taxes, or a reduced cost to the citizen for some service or thing, which is currently just an expensive irritant.

I'd love to see what we could find - target by Monday morning - £20bn!

to get attention?

- attention to the seriousness of the task, and to the rapidly changing times. If Conservatives think that running an economy efficently is 'nasty', then we are in more serious trouble than I thought.

It might be pointed out, David that running an economy into the ground with high taxation creates the opposite to what is claimed. I guess you'd agree.

If it is thought 'nasty' to say strongly that I don't agree with that, then I will have to go for an extended stay at a finishing school in Switzerland to learn some nacer manners.

It was wise to be 'not nasty' and emphasise compassion in 2005, when the economy was awash with cash. By 2009 with a nasty recession biting, a little strength will be called for. The public will be looking in desperation for a strong leader who offers a way out of the mess. The oh so nice Blair years are past.

Cameron will have to modify his pitch a third time. He began by being me-too Blair. He became more serious to oppose Brown in the ascendant. Now Brown and Labour are in a state of total collapse, he can adjust his approach again.

I've made my point.

Will he be using his gigantic trust fund to help bail out the nation's finances? Isn't that what Stanley Baldwin did in the '30's?

There is nothing wrong in saying that we will not make unavoidable tax cuts. What is important is to state that we WANT to be able to make tax cuts as this is the best way of getting economic growth and we will manage government activities wisely so that this can be done. There is plenty of Government waste and inefficiency to provide scope for this.

Also, it is worth pointing out that history shows that past Labour governments have always taxed more than Conservative ones.

Well I disagree with him David. I would agree that taxes cannot be cut as much as I believe necessary if government spending continues to increase by 2% per annum which is Mr Cameron's proud pledge.

You seem to think that I enjoy bashing Mr Cameron and his Etonian / Pauline friends. Not true, they have as much right to get involved as anyone. This bash the toffs thing is out of date. I am simply in favour of responsible, decisive, policies that address the reality of our problems.

Their politics is the politics of Newsnight and the BBC executive suites - unaffordable off the public payroll and banking and outside of West London on family money. They don't know that because they don't know another existence, which is why I do not in fact criticise them personally at all.

I only ask you to explain their thoughts because you do such a good, earnest, job of it.

...... One example of why the party has done so badly since 1992 and we get called the nasty party.

Posted by: David Sergeant | September 06, 2008 at 14:37

Sorry to have to say Dave, but it was the Conservatives that decided to call itself the "nasty party" - Theresa May. The idea spread. It was the Ratna moment.

"Their politics is the politics of Newsnight and the BBC executive suites - unaffordable off the public payroll and banking and outside of West London on family money. They don't know that because they don't know another existence"

Henry, I have to take this oportunity to agree with you, believe me I am nowhere near any of the above. The trouble is that the "core" of the Conservative party is and is slow at coming to terms with the rest of the world, unlike Labour. The biggest, OK not the only, reason NuLab have done so well electorially and got us in the mess we are in is the inability, or even unwillingness, of the "core" conservatives to engage with the rest of the world outside their enclave.

"Sorry to have to say Dave, but it was the Conservatives that decided to call itself the "nasty party" - Theresa May. The idea spread. It was the Ratna moment."

Posted by: Dontmakemelaugh | September 06, 2008 at 15:52

I wonder if you live in "West London" D--h, only that sort of Tory would not realise how much we were hated. By seeing to recognise it she probably got in a few votes. More a Kinnock Liverpool moment than a Ratner moment.

But who was inviting "unfunded tax cuts"?

1. We are taxed too much for what we get in return.
2. We borrow too much to fund the gap in taxation and spending.
3. We need to start identifying things to cut and efficiencies to be made.
4. We need to reduce spending below tax receipts and start paying off the national debt.
5. Then we need to reduce actual tax receipts.

the country needs this to happen. Please start saying how it will be done

Sorry, David Sergeant, but if you think the public has fallen in love with Dave and Gideon, then you are smoking something. The current Conservative opinion poll lead is (highly understandably) down to a desire to eviscerate the present Government and that alone.

If the Conservatives were so popular, why is the party's membership - even in safe seats - still declining rapidly? It's a stark contrast to New Labour from 1992-1997, when the elecorate actually wanted a particular political party to win.

What irks me is that neither Dave or Gideon has actually done a real job, are both multi-millionaires and are seeking to stop the average voter keeping more of his hard earned income through tax cuts.

"riling against? Brown? Darling then? Or Blair? No, sod me, he is riling against Osborne and the Tories."

Perhaps because some of us were riling against Brown's economic policies a long time ago, and no we aren't claiming knowledge with hindsight, for some of us were posting on this site about the dire economic situation we were heading to when Cameron was saying the next election wouldn't be fought on economic matters, that the economy was in good shape, it was all about social issues, and Osborne was squandering one economic open goal to do Brown some damage (while Chancellor ) after another.

So we have already done the give Brown a kicking( when the Shadow Treasury team couldn’t be bothered) we have been exasperated that the Shadow Treasury team has been asleep on the job and failing to lay down any markers, and now when the Conservative party should be making the arguments to act as the foundations to the economic polices they may want to put in action when in office, we are confronted with a party that has no more ambition than to copy Labour economic polices. If that's the total ambition of the Conservative party, what is the point of it?


You are insulting and patronising beyond belief. The unthinking right? Who won election election after election and rebuilt this country? Margaret Thatcher that's who, only to see quivering jellies like Major let it all go to waste.

The people and policies you admire have left us in opposition for years, not the right but your lot; the Hesletines, Pattons, Clarkes and Rifkinds and all the assorted band of left of centre consensus sell-outs that apologised and agonised about how terrible we had all been. Gutless feeble losers, quick to grab the controls in 1990, unable to run a whelk stall in office.

Look at us now.. the country is crying out for change from this hopeless rotten government and what do we offer... platitudes.

An econmomy collapsing under the weight of taxation and officialdom and we have sixth form Shadow Chancellor who cannot see that tax cuts are imperative, not a option to be toyed with. An economy reliant on oil and gas supplies under the domination of an out of control Russia, and we have a leadership that STILL cannot admit that nuclear and coal based power is absolutely vital.

We are told that this is because it would frighten the voters, that we lost because we frightened the voters

The voters are not that stupid, we lost because we had crap policies and crap leaders, no guts, and no joined up thinking.

We may win, but what then? To cut taxation and restore a shattered economy required superhuman efforts by Margaret Thatcher and her Cabinet and took years.. do you really think that our current leadership have the intelligence and guts to do it if in power?

If you do I fear you will be sadly disappointed, and our country will be the loser

Ian @18.07 - Spot on!!

Treacle@ 18.24 - Could not have put it better myelf!

I think at least as important, if not more important will be redeploying what is there. Point made above about poor value for tax paid is crucial to the argument. Many people thought if Govt delivery matched Govt Income, it would be OK. Well, it's not OK.
I would hope that Alan Duncan's team are now, today, putting in the groundwork to make a full study of what we have now in the business world with all the new rules and regulations. When that study is complete, I would hope to see the first rollbacks of the dead hand of state intervention happen here and for a (very) slimmed down business environment that works in a non-conflicting manner (ie Rule A does not negate Rule B and Rule C does not negate Rule A). Not as an immediate matter of course, but this where the money engine will be to fund tax cuts. Giving the current tax regime a good hacking over to simplify it will also I think pay good dividends and free up many a bored revenue man fed up of calculating tax credit.


I certainly describe myself as being of the right. But unthinking no, no, no!

In my view the right have out forward most of the ideas that have changed this country for the better. The implementation of left/centre policies are responsible for most of this country's present ills - targets, invasions of privacy, state knows best etc.

But on the economy the left/centre coalition have excelled themselves. Osborne says (or similar) "nothing saved for a rainy day" and then adopts labour's spending plans. That is both economically illiterate and mad.

I like John Moss's suggestion - lets see what we can get rid of - the savings will be immense.

Moving away from tax I would really like to see our shadow team start to enumerate those items of legislation they will repeal within the first 100 days of taking office.

Correction - the right have put forward.

"We are told that this is because it would frighten the voters, that we lost because we frightened the voters"

But we did frighten the voters Treacle: it was the whole basis of Labour's election campaigns. Ignoring what could have been said at the time that was the reallity Cameron was faced with.

And Ian, the Conservative front bench have been riling against Brown's economic policy just as long as you, I can recall Portillo in 2000 going on about what could, and eventually did, happen. But people in general, and the media in particular, weren't interested the Tories were just a bunch of miseries (I surely don't have to give chapter and verse). As for the term "putting down markers" that is just peevish waffle.

" I think pay good dividends and free up many a bored revenue man fed up of calculating tax credit. "

Unfortunately Cameron and Osborne have said they will keep tax credits.

When did they do that Iain? I haven't read about that anywhere.

Tax credits will go. But its such a huge upheaval it will take time to make sure there isn't chaos and suffering in the change.

Osborne should keep quiet about taxation and only cut taxes when we can afford to. George Bush Snr. was forced into making that pledge and when he couldn't do it immediately, the very people who hounded him to make the pledge hounded him for 'breaking promises'. Not a clever idea.

"Tax credits will go."

Well in an interview recently Cameron said he would keep tax credits.

"Osborne should keep quiet about taxation"

If a political party has any ambitions it must have ambitions about the economy. If you are saying that the Conservatives should keep quiet about taxation, then you are saying they should keep quiet about the economy, for the two are linked. So what’s the point of having a political party when it won't discuss or debate the economy? That's ridiculous position, a political party is in essence about ideas, putting forward those ideas, and winning the argument about those ideas, if it won't then what's the point of having a political party ? And in this regards what's the point of the Conservative party?

A political party must be more than a bunch of professional politicians getting buggins turn in office, mustn't it?

Which interview, where? Be grateful if you could point me to a source. I've had no luck with google.

with Labour in such disarray Mr Osbourne could claim to have parted the Irish Sea and the FT would have taken him at his word.
On the topic of the Northern Rock nationalization he is far less credible, allowing Cable to push along a ruinous course and offering no real solution.
John Redwood remains by far the better voice of sound economics at a time when the Exchequer's position grows worse by the day.
What happened last year is old news. Never mind pressure from right wingers, what about a few thoughts on this fiscal disaster we find ourselves in?
On that it appears Osbourne has little to say.

Iain - you've ignored what I said later. I'm not against tax cuts, but to do so whilst ignoring the state of the public finances, spending commitments and projected receipts in the budget cycle is too simplistic. Let me put it in a context most people would understand. Lets compare it to a domestic budget where spending commitments are out of control, disposable income is too small and wages are shrinking. Is the first thing YOU would do is open a savings account whilst the home is repossesed?

Your starting from the wrong side of the equation. Get spending under control use the funds to stimulate growth (tax cuts for business) and THEN cut taxes for individuals. It will take a couple of years - but it will work. cutting them on day one would mean mass redundancy's, increasing welfare costs, industrial action, reduced consumer demand and pain for many families. If it was simple everyone would do it. It isn't. Lets move the debate on to how we can cut taxation over the term of the parliament - not by 9:30am on Monday morning.

ps - I'm off to Vegas to blow a wedge. But then I work for a greedy oil company.... :-D

"Which interview, where? "

It was in a very recent interview, can't quite remember where. Was Cameron interviewed in the Marr program recently while Marr was away on holiday? If so that might have been where I saw him make the pledge about keeping Tax Credits.

"Iain - you've ignored what I said later. I'm not against tax cuts,"

But I am not really making the argument about tax cuts, my point was that as we aren't getting any sort of economic narrative about the economy from the Conservatives nor what the Conservatives want to do with the economy and where they want to take it if they get into office. At least with a pledge of tax cuts you would by inference be getting a Government that wanted to do something about the bloated client state Brown has built, but I would much prefer we got a reasoned argument from the Conservatives about the effect of the state taking 45% of our GDP in taxation and what effect this would have on our future growth prospects.

Taking a look at our trade deficit and making the argument that we have to change direction for services aren't going to make inroads in the red of our nations trading balance sheet.

Making the argument that running an economy on consumer consumption and debt underwritten by a bubble housing market isn't sustainable.

That the state just can't sit by watching the wide boys in the city flogging off our industrial and manufacturing base just so the trader can get a fat bonus, and the foreign owned merchant bank can get a fat return.

That the state has some view about sovereign funds. Do we want our national assets nationalised by another country?

etc etc...

But Gideon used to be in favour of renationalising the railways. Really, he is just a highly competent fraud and liar.

Isn't there any detail about what these people actually did in the Bullingdon Club? Which places did they destroy? How much damage did they do?

Someone must have some detailed information? I think it would help to understand who Osborne, Cameron and Johnson are, especially their sense of entitlement.

This is the least experienced shadow chancellor anyone can remember.

If this post was elected rather than appointed you can be sure he wouldn't hold it.

Will Mummwy and Daddie be pwoviding an awfully big twust fund for Gideon to go fwar in politics?

Some advice to MPs and party members. Just tell him to f*** **f.

Of course they in favour of IHT cuts! 19 out of 29 of the members of shadow cabinet are millionaires. It's the least diverse, most entitled shadow cabinet since the 19th Century.

Little Gideon has done no real work at all, neither has Cameron come to that.

This is a pretty stupid thing to say in light of recent events.

Of course "unfunded tax cuts" make no sense, but if he commited himself to funded tax cuts the Tories would be laughing in light of the economic downturn inevitably caused by Labour.

I mean, even if they just pledged not to increase spending they'd get 2-3% tax cuts per year based on economic growth of the time, or 12% over a 4-year term.

The comments to this entry are closed.



ConHome on Twitter

    follow me on Twitter

    Conservative blogs

    Today's public spending saving

    New on other blogs

    • Receive our daily email
      Enter your details below:

    • Tracker 2
    • Extreme Tracker