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What do you say to that, Malcolm Dunn?

Stop the baiting please Libertarian.

Too small scale and poorly targeted are only really valid complaints if they were claiming this is the 1 big answer to the recession, universe and everything... as an extra brick in a solidly built solutions wall then it's fine.

Does sound a bit too complex, but then if it stands a chance of being taken up by labour then it has to be overly complex or they would ignore it... maybe we'll see later if they have found a way of making it seem complex but actually be simple though.

The TPA are right. In its simplest form, Cameron’s tax proposal says that businesses can make 350,000 jobs out of £3.5 billion. That rather rash assumption aside, tying the relief to NI is inaccurate. There is no guarantee that the relief will result in new employment.

Why not just measure payroll numbers? A company gets £2,500 for every new permanent position they create. Payroll numbers and length of employment are already part of a company's PAYE returns so there'd be minimum additional admin.

I agree with the TPA. Didn't we have the discussion on here a while ago, about scrapping RDAs, quangos and other budgets and cutting Corporation tax by 4p as a result?

The resulting increase in business as companies relocated to Britain would benefit the economy, and comanies would be able to use their existing tax funds to keep staff on or invest in new plant and equipment.

I feared we might see some numerical jiggery pokery and paperclip-saving in order to cobble together a headline and so it has come to pass.

When will our treasury team realise that tax cuts need to be big, permanent and easy to understand? This proposal could well end up being none of the above.

Its good to see the party leadership committed to helping the unemployed. This will cost nothing and will potentially save a great deal in benefits. In fact I should like to see employers especially rewarded for giving work to the very long-term unemployed. Labour have no solutions to unemployment and only want to 'manage' welfare. The Conservative party has now shown that it wants to do more than just manage the figures.

Sorry, meant to say "tying the relief to NI in this way is inaccurate".

It's time for ConHome to call for Osborne to go.
He's had his chance.
C'mon Tim.

This deeply flawed scheme will never be implemented, of course, but if it were it would be a wonderful incentive to employ immigrants (whose employment history is difficult/impossible to ascertain) rather than native Brits.

Is this really the best Cameron and Osborne have to offer?

I'm sorry but it's a weak effort. Tory economic policy remains what it has been for the past 2 years: rather incoherent.
Osborne doesn't seem to be up to the job of being Shadow Chancellor in addition to his other responsibilities and the Tories are hurting for it.

DC needs to recognize this -- and he needs to act swiftly.

Osborne should become Party Chairman (we need a good one) and continue his role as policy coordinator. But he needs to move a big beast into the Shadow Chancellorship. I would move Hague, whether he wants it or not.

Of course we don't want to embarrass Osborne. He is vitally important and very talented in many areas. He's just too young and too inexperienced for the combination of jobs he's holding now. And he's not proved to be very effective as Shadow Chancellor. So this should be done in the context of a big reshuffle, which should be the last reshuffle before the next General Elections.

I would also find a job for Ken Clarke and replace Letwin by Redwood.

"An extra brick in a solidly built solutions wall"?


The TPA is absolutely right.

I would say that it is small scale but with us up to our necks in debt it is difficult to think of what we can do without very significant reductions in public expenditure.
I would disagree that it is too complex, it is important not to fall into the trap that previous governments have of making proposals where fraud is widespread.
As regards the third point it is in my view important to target those businesses that have a chance of survival and this proposal does that. If it actually helps 350,000 people find jobs I'd be very surprised but absolutely delighted.
Is that sensible enough for you Libertarian? Or will you as usual revert to juvenile name calling?

Completely correct. Why can't we just have a simple policy to cut income tax to allow people to keep more of their money? How would we pay for it? Massive cuts in all that stupid stuff the Government spends money on. Why do we always have to make everything so hard??

Mr Osborne, your shipment of fail has arrived.

I think this site should be renamed 'Conservativefairweatherfriends.com.

Hopeless - it recalls the dimmest days of the Liberals - a party with neither conviction nor purpose popping up with tips for tinkering. Now that Brown has thrown caution to the winds, so should the Tories. They've got an open goal and all Osborne can do is dribble. Someone, please shout into his ear what he should be saying to the electorate: it's either spending cuts plus lower taxes OR massive state debt and higher tax for the rest of your lives. Who's in charge of this Conservative party, anyway? A man whose whole strategy has been blown away by the recent storm and who isn't fast enough on his feet to take the opportunities it offers. Clearly, both he and Osbo were severely rattled by the crash - it showed on their sweaty faces in parliament. Bigger men do not see events in that way; they do not stick to exploded assumptions. They look for the advantage - in this case, how to revert smartly to being the party of capitalism, unflinching in its exposure of socialist incompetence and lies. As I say, bigger men...

So the tax payers alliance think the tories should have presented more wide ranging measures for labour to reject?

I suuppose that is a point of view - wonder what they think it would have achieved?

I think the NI holiday for unemployed new starters is a good idea - once in place consideration could be given to extending it to cover all employees, permanently...

@Goldie - no-one has yet found a job for Ken Clarke - or they've allegedly offered him one and he has never accepted it. I don't think he is likely to want to come back and I don't think Cameron will ask him because he would outshine him. It isn't a question of Cameron putting together a heavyweight team. It's having the structure possible with the current leadership or changing for a chance. (Where did that come from?)

I think Cameron is on difficult ground here with the TPA upset at us. I'm disappointed but not surprised at this policy and I think we were all expecting more different policies, not just one rather timid, weak tinker at the margins in a wholly unsuitable climate for it. If we are upset then not even Ken Clarke can help out until the leadership understands the need for robust statements of principles, perhaps some policy campaigns like the "Right to Choose" - "Keep Britain Working" is a good start but I haven't seen much of it in the newspapers - and other managerial techniques currently ignored.

I'm not a fair weather friend - far from it, I joined in 2004 AFTER the Howard honeymoon was over - but I really want to be. I was excited about this - Cameron seemed to be taking my advice - but why are we all left feeling so let down?

'Now that Brown has thrown caution to the winds so should the Tories'. I hope you're not being serious Simon. Whilst I have my reservations about George Osborne I'm glad that his proposals won't damage the economy in the way that so many of Brown's have done.

" I would say that it is small scale but with us up to our necks in debt it is difficult to think of what we can do without very significant reductions in public expenditure."

I agree Malcolm.

"I think this site should be renamed 'Conservativefairweatherfriends.com."

LOL, and with a few over active bile ducks thrown in too.

Enjoyed this post on PB.com
"As regular posters on this site know I am a floating voter who would normally incline to Labour. I have to say however that I’ve found Brown and Darling’s performance is recent weeks abject. The main problem is that Darling doesn’t cut it! We’re in the greatest financial crisis of all time and who do we have as Chancellor? A man who was privately educated at Loretto School and later joined the Trotskyite movement Fourth International. Sorry, but for real people with real concerns a guy with that background sounds hopelessly out of touch! Brown needs to shift Darling and get a heavyweight - Charles Clarke perhaps or David Miliband - as Chancellor. (Darling can be Foreign Sec.)
by Stark Dawning November 11th, 2008 at 3:14 pm"

The desire for headline grabbing, give the media a story and to hell with The UK is not the way to go. These are sensible IDEAS without handing this useless Government anything to steal or copy.
Keep it up TEAM CONSERVATIVES and GET behind George. He could easily sod off and not bother. It is to his and DC's credit that they continue working for us and for The Country. The time to get unpleasant is if they were to fail in Government, not in the powerless vacuum that is opposition.
I thought George Osborne’s performance up against that male menopausal hair freak, Neill, at lunchtime, was measured and calm. I shall be revising upwards my November rating on that alone!

So what does the TPA think we SHOULD do then?
Do they have better ideas themselves or would they criticise anything?

If the government wont help companies to do business surely the Conservative Party will - cut through the undergrowth of rules, regulations and constraints.

Most of the problem comes from Brussels. Cut those ties, free our businesses.

And how much Britain would save! Even the Labour government thinks EU rules alone cost us over £6 bn a year.

That's before we talk about our so-called contribution. Between 2007 and 2013 we are due to pay £39 billion. Now sterling has fallen so we will have to find the difference - over £50 billion.

Give business a chance Mr Osborne. Liberate us from the sclerotic EU.

@M Dowding - we need the publicity, otherwise people start claiming bias against us. We need to be seen and heard, rather than making silent manoeuvres. People won't vote for us if the next time they hear anything loud and clear is at the election.

I have just listened to Cameron outlining this scheme and I can only imagine that some of comments and the original contribution have been made by people who either want to knock anything Cameron does or who havn't read the scheme.

1. 360,000 jobs in one year is not "too little".

2. Cameron already has a separate proposal for cutting tax on existing jobs to protect them.

3. The idea comes from the U.S. where it works - not a socialist paradise.

Or you would prefare more tax relief which is unfunded?


The TPA have it right, my feeling was

Is that all there is?

Posted by: Louise | November 11, 2008 at 19:22

Louise, I think the press conference today was excellent and beat Brown hands down. I very much agree with your sentiments. My meaning was that these proposals are measured and unlike Brownmandymince's constant appearances and regurgitated nonsense, good stuff and the more of this the better.

Maybe George Osborne wants an even lower rating next month? He clearly did not get the message from the last survey.

This is a massive own goal. Brown will take the P*** out of Cameron tomorrow.


Don't take the money from my business and give it back to other businesses! Let me have the damn money to do what I want with.


"Do they have better ideas themselves or would they criticise anything?"

I think the TPA gets far too much attention on this site, they are very narrowly focussed group where as a political party that has to govern the UK has a slightly wider remit!

"I have just listened to Cameron outlining this scheme and I can only imagine that some of comments and the original contribution have been made by people who either want to knock anything Cameron does or who havn't read the scheme."

Totally agree David. I have watched the list of small and targeted proposal's that the Conservatives have steadily been putting out over the last few weeks, and always specifically timed to coincide with the latest bad news in those area's.

We have I suspect some very nasty unemployment figures due out this week.

This idea that we can be bold at this moment is just crazy! We have to be prepared for the fact that we will be coming into government at a time when the UK is going to be on its knee's economically. And these demands for tax cuts funded by public service savings are only affordable, when we are able to actual implement the savings.

We have NO WRIGGLE ROOM for bold tax cuts right now, the credit card is maxed out already and piling on more debt is not an option. This debt is simple future taxation!

I watched Cameron's speech this morning and listened to his proposal. I then watched Brown's press conference open mouthed at some of the blatantly dishonest statements he came out with.
Cameron looked and sounded credible, Brown on the other hand is beginning to terrify me. He is more interested in avoiding taking any of the blame for the dire position the UK is in, and he simple wants short term politically motivated policies to deal with an upcoming GE rather than the longer term economic health of this country.

The libdems want large tax cuts, they won't have to implement them or clear up the present mess. And most importantly, they won't get the media scrutiny of the details.
Labour will continue their dishonest approach to public debt and borrow more, with even scary figures kept off the books.

"This is a massive own goal. Brown will take the P*** out of Cameron tomorrow."

Negative as usual HF!

Never give up a chance to kick the Tories do you!

The level of this thread has sunk to a very low level.These anonymous half wits are ruining this blog Tim.You need to be careful.

I am simply underwhelmed!

Does Cameron have the backbone for the real fight he is now in? How can he keep Osborne?

DCMX is spot on @1652. I would go further and ask the direct question.

Is Cameron the right man for the job?

The trouble is that unfunded or otherwise, Joe Public understands:


whereas we've served up something along the lines of:

"we will suspend employers National Insurance contributions for employees hired who have been out of work for over three months, to be funded out of savings made in the DWP budget due to the lower financial impediment caused by the recipient being employed rather than unemployed, with the amount to be paid to emloyers in the form"

Which of these is your average floating voter more likely to go for?

John Rentoul on the Open House Blog on Bonkers tax-cutters

"I cannot understand the current presentation of Brown as a statesman suddenly come into his own, while Cameron and Osborne are portrayed as schoolboys who have responded to the economic crisis erratically and uncertainly. Higher borrowing - on top of the much higher borrowing that kicks in automatically because tax receipts fall in a recession - will make matters worse in the long run.

Brown is making it up as he goes along, as he has done since his golden rules were rewritten to suit his political ambitions, only now it is serious, and seriously wrongheaded. While Cameron and Osborne have been sensible and prudent, backed by "serious people" such as Terry Burns and Nigel Lawson."

"So what does the TPA think we SHOULD do then?
Do they have better ideas themselves or would they criticise anything?"

Abolish regional development agencies and save several billion in the process to pay for tax cuts.

While I'm not overly impressed with the Tory plans it does strike me that the negativity here is somewhat OTT.

Rightly or wrongly they have embraced Prudence and her sister Responsibility. They are boxed in by this. Even on today's announcement Brown was shouting "Not Funded!"

They want to be able to nail him as a massive and reckless borrower, and they can't indulge in too much themselves on their "Fiscal Responsibility" or they will let him off the hook.

Matthew d'Ancona on the Coffee House Blog calls him Imprudent, and proud of it

"This ideological consensus has been blown to pieces by the present crisis and the increasingly anxious response of the political class to it. The Conservative Party is now positioned as the party of fiscal prudence: all tax cuts are presented as “funded”, and monetary policy rather than fiscal stimulus firmly identified as the route out of a downturn. Labour, in contrast, is unambiguously Keynesian, all for public works, ever more borrowing, and (as yet unspecified) tax cuts."

There is now a definite media focus on the sheer size of our public debt, and the fact the government are not being honest about the true figure. Add in the narrative that the Tories are behaving in a more fiscally prudent and responsible way while Brown is going for *broke* for purely short term political gain.

"They want to be able to nail him as a massive and reckless borrower, and they can't indulge in too much themselves on their "Fiscal Responsibility" or they will let him off the hook."

Absolutely correct J. Trudgill.

As a visiting pinko, I see a lot of sense in many of the comments above: and I thank the contributors for their efforts -- that doesn't apply to the dross, obviously.

We have arrived at one of those defining moments in our polity, perhaps more so than how we individually considered "Thatcherism" (i.e. the legacy of Keith Joseph).

In the present moment we have an ideological and intellectual choice, a fork in the way. We either go the neo-Keynesian route which seems rapidly to becoming established as the international norm, or its back to the Chicago fundamentals. However, for better or worse, the lesson of the 1930s is writ large in every political history, and anyone bereft of the most starched shirt and rigid backbone has read and understood it. It's brown trouser time for any of our leaders, of all political complexions, still possessed of more braincells than my parlour palm.

So, sorry chaps: you lost it this time. It's hooray for John Maynard: David Cameron is wisely trimming to that wind.

My guess is that a cut in VAT must be a good bet, to improve spending power (though commonsense says that fuel duty should be increased to compensate the loss in take from petrol and diesel). It's also good socialism, and not regressive.

The alternative is the Irish route: 21.5% VAT and a 1% levy on all income, vicious cuts in government expenditure and social welfare, and all to protect that 12.5% corporate tax rate. After all, those multinationals need to have profits to export. Now try to sell that: Brian Cowan can't (and he's still a full Dáil from a forced General Election)

Votedave, you ask what the tpa would do instead. click the link that says "more from the tpa here" and you'll find they've explained their alternatives there.

So again what we want is not what is proposed. What most people want is wide ranging tax cuts for low to middle income family's and small to medium sized companies, this coupled with a large reduction in public spending. The public would understand and agree with this idea if explained well, but politics is being played with the countries well-being.

First we have to help those on the brink keep their heads above water, reducing the burden on them and their employers is vital.

I'm certain that the hard pressed workers of Britain would be open to the idea. When sensible people are strapped for cash they put off buying new goods, cut back on their expenses and live within their means till their finances get sorted out. It's uncomfortable, but its the stupid people who reach out to the credit card or loan to maintain their standard of living in the the hope that things will turn around before they are totally screwed!

The same should be true of government, people are going to lose their jobs, its what happens during a recession, there is no solution or fix to stop it, the only thing that can be done is provide an acceptable level of support, The most vulnerable should get priority, families must be able to eat, have a warm home and provide a level of stability for children, elderly will need help making ends and from the past we know recessions are the time when many more people will fall into the cycle of crime and despair such as drugs, alcohol, prostitution and the like, its these people that need focus.

I would much rather have hundred of families in homes than new public projects being continued.

Someone needs to ask Brown or his wet dishrag when the current 'economic' cycle is forecast to come to an end. His economic golden rules have been blown to bits and it is for him to provide the answers. Our (Conservative not trolls')role is to hold them to account. We know that there are savings to be made that will enable tax cuts to be made

The Irish route sounds reasonable.

Apologies for joining the discussion relatively late. Those voices criticising the proposal announced by our side today need to get some perspective

It would be impossible for the Tories to announce tax cuts funded a) through borrowing, for the reasons we have rightly criticised Labour's strategy and b) through cuts in current public expenditure, given the stage we are presently at in the recession 'cycle'

On b) you might want to actually think how you would decommit £2-3billion of public expenditure in the current climate to fund this targeted proposal, let alone find the money to fund Labour's proposals for £15billion. John Redwood's ideas on rethinking the current banking loans are interesting, but isn't there a danger of further destabilising the UK market when we have only just reached some form of plateau?

And when you've come up with your spending cuts list, think how this would play presentationally with the electorate when Labour and the media have seized their opportunity to finally bang the 'Tories are committed to cutting public services' drum ahead of the General Election?

There will be a time and a place ahead of the next GE to engineer a debate around taxes & public expenditure without lending hostages to fortune, especially in the emerging phase of what could be a very nasty recession

This proposal is therefore timely & targeted, although the forecast employment numbers are generous. It forces the government onto the back foot in explaining how they will square the circle by borrowing to fund tax cuts - a contradiction in terms

Daniel Finkelstein covers Nigel Lawson's speech on tax and borrowing in the HoL's.
More from Lawson on tax and borrowing

"Very good speech by Nigel Lawson in the House of Lords on tax and borrowing. Pretty short and worth reading in full. Best section:

I am not persuaded, however, that an attempted fiscal stimulus is desirable. Of course the budget deficit will rise as the recession erodes tax revenues and increases benefit payments, and that is no problem.

But in the UK in particular, where, under this Government, the underlying fiscal position has deteriorated alarmingly, discretionary action to cause it to deteriorate still further would, in my judgment, be unwise.

Public spending increases, other perhaps than accelerating sound infrastructure projects already in the pipeline, would be particularly unwise, slow to come into effect and hard to reverse, unlike interest rate cuts.

Temporary tax cuts, although less harmful, are probably also unwise.

I believe that any plausible, discretionary fiscal loosening would, at best, be of trivial use now while adding to the problems that already lie further ahead on this front."

"I am not persuaded, however, that an attempted fiscal stimulus is desirable. Of course the budget deficit will rise as the recession erodes tax revenues and increases benefit payments, and that is no problem."

Lawson is wrong on this one - too complacent. For example, the majority of SMEs in trouble right now are not in this position because of immediate solvency issues (i.e. business fundamentals) - their problems so far have been caused by a tightining of liquidity as the banks have closed credit taps. Letting this business cohort go to the wall would be irrational - right now they need a hand in terms of cashflow, to get through the current liquidity shortfall. i.e. let them keep more of their own money

Right - own goal when talking of throwing responsibility to the winds - the heart of my point is that tax cuts should be the Tory priority. They should "fund" them by severely trimming public expenditure. Mrs T did something even more radical in 81 - cutting back spending and raising taxes - such was the state of the public finances. Much more of Brown and it will have to happen again. We might be able to stop that if we can guarantee getting him out at the next election. This WILL NOT HAPPEN if we continue as miserably timid as Cameron. He says the British people won't believe Brown, but they are salivating at the prospect of getting more of their own money. We have to circumvent Brown now and argue against government expenditure in principle. All these pious, loyal points about what a shyster Brown is are beside the point. He's getting his hands on the tax cutting agenda, Obama style. As a party of the right, the Tories should have got there first and got there believably. THEN they would be able to attack Labour as implausible or reckless or whatever, because then people would be listening. Whilst they insist on parading their rectitude, they will keep sinking in the polls. The British are not as puritanical as Cameron thinks. They dislike toffs and they secretly despise preachers - a preaching toff is anathema. I thought Cameron's whole "shtick" was to be brutally realistic and unideological. Now we find him about as flexible and opportunistic as a naive scoutmaster.

"the heart of my point is that tax cuts should be the Tory priority. They should "fund" them by severely trimming public expenditure."

Wrong Simon. Labour have only succeeded in muddying the fiscal waters for now, and the situation will get clearer as we get into 2009. As for Obama, keep an eye on the emerging spat between him and GW as they negotiate an extra bout of fiscal stimulus.

The Tory leadership were slow to react as this situation emerged. To over-compensate with broad-ranging proposals to cut taxes/ public spending would be folly, especially in the eyes of a very nervous public. The time for hard selling is when the current storm is dying out, not now when it hasn't even reached its peak

No anon - if you don't start yelling at the start of the storm, nobody will hear you at its height. Moreover, there is so much expenditure that is totally unnecessary. Think of all the moneys squandered on Brown's client state. Think of the squillions spent on centralising health records. Have we forgotten Michael Forsyth's report - commissioned by Cameron - which alerted us to a possible saving of twenty billion pounds? That is what we need now. Money should flow into wallets, pockets and bank accounts. Banking would be solidified, spending would arise naturally, millions of people would have the opportunity of lifting themselves clear of debt. The unproductive side of the economy - "outreach officers" et al - is less a stimulus to commerce than a burden to everyone else's finances. It should be slimmed.

"Moreover, there is so much expenditure that is totally unnecessary"

Yes but this argument involves a judgement around electoral timing - now is not the time

on that note, have a pleasant evening, no doubt pick up tomorrow

Hang on folks. Some of the comments are getting overly negative. What does seem to be gaining some traction is that the public think the Govt has too much debt and don't think borrowing more is the answer. On top of that in reality they are right and we will all be paying higher taxes for many years for this borrowing. Sterling will also go into freefall if we keep borrowing. Brown is the one who is balls'ing up badly. We need to avoid increasing borrowing so do need to have carefully worked out plans but yes we do also have to sock it to Labour robustly as well. Going back onto the attack from now on will pay dividends - thats attacking Labour by the way not arguing with anonymous posters who emerge when they perceive there may be a problem and want to stir up trouble.

"thats attacking Labour by the way not arguing with anonymous posters who emerge when they perceive there may be a problem and want to stir up trouble."

Matt Wright - I hope that last comment wasn't aimed at me. If so, hardly 'stirring up trouble'...

Joey Jones spotted a bit problem with government mismanagement of expectations on Boulton&Co.
"Barring something really dramatic (and in the current febrile atmosphere nothing should be ruled out), neither the Tories' nor Labour's forthcoming tax proposals will make a massive difference to people's spending power.

Plummetting interest rates will make either party's "fiscal stimulus" look like small beer... and yet this tax-cutting territory will be fought over tooth and nail.

It's about signals as much as substance (more, really)... In that spirit Downing Street seems to be trying to box the Tories in with particular relish, while those within the Treasury may be a little more circumspect.

A senior source in the Exchequer cautioned me that people should not run away with their expectations ahead of the PBR - "We'll help people where we can, and set out how we're going to manage the books."

Prosaic, almost... and with the strong sense, I feel, that Darling will have his eye as much on what he regularly describes as the medium-term, as any short-term tax-cutting political gain."

George Osborne was quite impressive on the Daily Politics today, I have just caught up with it this evening. Its worth watching if you get the chance.
I think that the government have been caught on the hop a bit by the Tory approach in the face of the onslaught of criticism from some of the right leaning media and in their own party. I don't think they have gone in the direction the government were expecting them too.

Tim, hope you can add a link to that Osborne performance on the frontpage or in a diary link?
I think that for those that are open minded and politically astute, they might spot one or two indicators that the *live for the moment* political journalists and the usual suspects with their own agenda on here might miss.
No offence Tim, but it gets up my nose when the BBC will throw a negative ConHom poll at our politicians, but will ignore some of the more major pollsters findings when it runs with a comfortable Tory lead. I really think it goes against the supposedly grain of the guidelines so often quoted by the BBC.
It really was shame that such a good interview by Osborne was marred at the end in this way.



Too little too late.As a doctor working in the NHS, I daily see the evidence of profligacy and waste, not least the £12.6 billion squandered on a national computer service that does not work, and is unlikely ever to work.
There is ample scope for slashing public expenditure without any risk to operational effectiveness.
David should screw his courage to the sticking point and take heed from the TPA's analysis.

Editor, can you please delete the ridiculous and offensive post by 'warning' @ 4.54 above?

I think it is worth noting that labours call to bring forward public sector projects almost certainly means id cards.

Labour haven't make the link explicit yet - but I beleive that is their dishonesty - the roll out to the two air ports is evidence of their intention.

There is clear blue water here.

Tory: Ditch ID cards on principal, with a bonus of money saved.

Labour: Bring in ID cards in the face of public opposition and at great expense. Further accelerate the introduction under the guise of 'financial stimulus'.

To the intelopers who bang on about the 'bullingdon' club, this may be of interest regading Browns early days:


Brown has aparantly been an enthusiast for state handouts for a very long time.

Note to Editor: There are some comments on this thread that should be removed. This is an excellent site and I would hate to see it hijacked by the handful of idiots - eg post at 19:44.

I realise as the popularity grows it must be a nightmare to moderate.

I have now cleaned up this thread and banned two IP addresses - Jonathan and I were both away from our computers yesterday evening. If you see something you think inappropriate the best thing to do is email; [email protected].

Many thanks.

It is fair to say that the proposals don't go nearly as far as any of us would really like.However the fact must be faced that the only way to credibly deliver real tax cuts is to cut public expenditure and reduced the budget deficit.

The alternative to such a path is to expose our economy to even higher levels of borrowing defering large bills for tomorrow.In effect our economy is drunk on indebtedness.We have under Gordon Brown become addicted to the notion that we can have what we want when we want it.

As a result the old virtue of thrift has come to be seen as outdated and irrelevant.Unfortunately there is now little option but to allow the market to correct this perception.People will once again need to learn the value of saving and keeping credit exposure low.

This will be painful as recession bites but storing up more indebtness for the future will produce a far worse scenario.In essence we can not whatever we do "get out of recession all Goivernment can do is to mitigate the effects.The scope for any real tax cutting relief is simply not there at present given Labour's devestation of our public finances.

Against this background the leadership are right to set their face againt unfunded tax cuts.It is also correct to angle whatever relief can be given towards protecting jobs and reducing welfare dependancy.The reality that all contributors to this thread need to bear in mind is that this is Labour's recession worsened and made deeper by their neglect of public finances.We would never have got here in the first place.The election will be the time for a radical new agenda.THis will be based upon reducing the size of the state and delivering a rebalacing of our economy enabling lower tax take.

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