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The trouble is that if you cut public expenditure the first thing that will happen is that public sector workers will go on strike (it's happening where I live already), the media will take the side of the strikers and the Conservatives will get the blame for being "nasty".

It would have to be timed really carefully, when the public have really absorbed that it needs to be done, like the curbing of unions after the winter of discontent.

What utter tosh Norman Tebbit does talk these days. I see that in the Mail he says that voters will desert us if Cameron backs the 45p rise. Amazing nonsense. Has he not read all the polls which show an 80+% support fo the better off to pay more income tax !!Argue all you like whether it makes economic sense but please lets not kid ourselves that somehow the great British public will swarm to our side if we scrap this increase. Far more likely is that swarms of them will reconsider voting for us as fairness in sharing the pain is an ingrained belief of the electorate.

For all the complaints about unbiased reporting on here, the editors have begun to do the same

In the same article, John Redwood backs the stance of Cameron and Osborne over the 45p rate - no mention of that in this article

It is with some sorrow that I have been observing the falling apart of the Conservative Party (takes out onion).

Why have I, a kipper, had to witness this unedifying scene on my ConHome?

from what I can make out, the Tory Party leadership:

says that overseas 'aid' is its only inviolable, spending commitment

wants to continue the war against Afghans in Afghanistan

backs 'Israel' to murder local people in Gaza

thinks a 45% income tax plus NIC is a good idea for people who will choose not to pay it

understands what 'In Europe, not run by Europe' means

casually backs the order for new Trident and useless aircraft carriers when they are unaffordable

consists of two toffee-nosed ingenues who have never done a proper job or know how to create any wealth or cut back on any spending

doesn't want to reform the NHS or give intelligent children the chance to attend a grammar school

is unfair to and intolerant of its own MPs

has no idea what to do except demand loyalty to men not measures

Paul D - I linked to John Redwood's blog post - John Redwood refuses to walk into the "tax trap" that Labour have set for the Conservatives - on the issue on the sidebar yesterday afternoon.

You can read it here:


Like so many things Lord Tebbitt is wrong. If you don`t back the tax hike Brown will simply paint the conservatives as the rich man`s party and you will have fallen into the trap that as been set.
People who work in the public sector do not live on the taxpayers back. Does he really mean that nurses and doctors some of whom saved him and his wifes lives are little more than parasites. I find that part of Lord Tebbitts remarks particularly offensive.
I am afraid the party needs to decide wether it wants to be a political party and actually try to win elections or it wants to be a debating society and is just satisfied with being right.
I am afraid if David Cameron doesn`t back the 45p increase he is likely to in the end be about as sucessful at getting into Downing Street as a certain Iain Duncan Smith!!!

Peter Buss, sadly you're right! Lord Tebbit could contribute so much as an Elder Statesman of the Party and instead he chooses bitterness. Very regrettable.

At the start of the 1980s Thatcher increased taxation and cut expenditure. What's the big deal??? If you're going to ask everyone to chip in, you are going to need this 45p top rate as a palliative, if nothing else.

I can understand why the economic situation makes it necessary for DC to talk about tax rises but we need to remember there is a law of diminishing returns (can't remember it's name) that says that reducing tax rates increases the yield.

Perhaps a solution is for DC to back the 45% tax rise for a limited time - say 2/3 years? That could be an acceptable political gesture and prevent high earners going to the trouble (and expense) of tax avaidance schemes.

So Sally, a man who has contributed to, and suffered so much for, the Conservative Party can only contribute in your world if he agrees with Dave and Gideon? That's a rather strange definition of democracy.

Plus he's absolutely right on this issue. This one is going to blow up in the Party's face, big time.

Peter and Sally are right. It's such a shame that Tebbit so often ends up on the wrong side of the debate. He just seems so out of touch I wonder if he's firing on all cylinders.

To those who oppose Cameron keeping the 45% tax rate, here is a question: which proposition, right now, is the more conservative:

B) the country's bankrupt - let's cut taxes for the rich

B) the country's bankrupt - let's cut taxes for the poor

Raising the Inheritance Tax threshold just about qualifies as supporting statement B. Cutting the 45% tax band is clearly supporting statement A.

Arguments about the Laffer curve cut no ice on a boarded up high street, or with a C2 voter selling his car to pay the mortgage. This debate is not about avoiding Labour traps, it is about telling angry voters that we are on their side. Message matters most - and that is the most important message right now.

Yes, yes... the first argument should be Argument A. Before you all pile in...

William Hague did well on Marr just now. What I particularly liked was his contrasting Labour's dishonesty over taxes with our Party's determination to be honest with the British People. I believe this will resonate with the 80% of people surveyed who believe that the better-off should pay their "fair share". So far most of the comments on The Mail Online are broadly supportive of Cameron and Osborne as well and I have only spotted one supportive of Lord Tebbit from someone signing themself "Philip"..

Mark Hudson, it is precisely BECAUSE of what Lord Tebbit has contributed to our Party in the past that his stance now is so sad and wrong.

Tony McNulty fiddled £60k expenses - allegedly.

Robert Wilson@ 9:50

.... or Argument C) Cut spending and put or public spending oon a sound basis

"Message matters most - and that is the most important message right now."

No. Really, no. What matters most is pursuing the right policy. To suggest the Laffer curve "doesn't matter" because it "cuts no ice on a boarded up high street" is shortsighted in the extreme.

Tebbit is right.

Sally, if you mean that elder statesmen/women should think before speaking, I have some definite sympathy with that view. Ghastly as he is, John Major has been a model since he left office.

However, I think you're rather missing the point that an awful lot of people from across the right of politics think that this is a bad move that shows up the paucity of economic brainpower between Dave and Gideon. Should we not be allowed to contibute to the debate? Very Josef Goebbels.

Seems that you've fallen into the trap that Labout set! I knew you would.....

I believe the top rate was 60% under a good deal of Lord Tebbit's tenure. The man has a nerve.

Should we not be allowed to contibute to the debate?

There's always scope to discuss things, but one has to consider how to do it in a way that doesn't undermine the party. The Tories needs to focus on winning the election, not fighting amongst themselves over a marginal tax increase for people who are able to afford it.

Did Boris Johnson make a slightly cynical calculation that he could put the knife in to the degree that he could further ingratiate himself with "core" Tories and undermine Cameron, but not the point where a Tory majority would be lost? Either that or he's not as wise as I thought he was.

'People who work in the public sector do not live on the taxpayers back. Does he really mean that nurses and doctors some of whom saved him and his wifes lives are little more than parasites. I find that part of Lord Tebbitts remarks particularly offensive. '

You don't understand tooth to tail ratio do you Jack?

It is derived from the military where there is a ratio of ten 'support' soldiers to one active combat soldier in some cases. The public sector has teeth in the sense of doctors, teachers and firefighters, for example, but an ever extending tail of purposeless job titles in search of a functional contribution. Tis these fellow travellers to which our Norm refers.

Yes, they will huff and puff, strike, and shout nurses whilst denying the great British public essential services such as Diversity training and Mission Statement critical path analysis. And regional bloody English government.

Cammiknickers and Ozzy have crossed so many lines in the sand of beyond which one will not step Conservatism, 45p being the latest, that I no longer believe that they have the cahones to do what has to be done.

The teeth to bite the tail.

But if we are all expected to share the burden then the public sector should be Cameron's Arthur Scargill.

Mark Hudson, of course we should be "allowed" to engage in debate (and by the way I think a little thought on your part might have prevented your addition of that somewhat tasteless "tag" which reminds me of a certain Ken Livingstone and his remarks to a certain Jewish journalist...) - that is not in doubt, but when Conservative Home is presented as the view of Conservative activists to all and sundry then we should take a responsible approach. I believe on this occasion we have not.

In fact, I think an apology on your part might be in order for comparing me to Josef Goebbels.

Enough Already - It's a Brown trap - ignore it until he is buried under the rubble of a destroyed Labour party after a General Election.

It's funny, Dr Lilico found himself on the 'wrong' side of Tory opinion on almost every major economic issue over the past year, and was signed off as a hero, not accused of being out of touch.

Dr Lilico was right. Boris is right. Tebbit is right.

But they will just have to be patient. The Roons are out of their depth in a policy paddling pool, and will drown in the ocean that is Government.

"Did Boris Johnson make a slightly cynical calculation that he could put the knife in to the degree that he could further ingratiate himself with "core" Tories and undermine Cameron, but not the point where a Tory majority would be lost? Either that or he's not as wise as I thought he was."

Actually, Raj, although I believe Boris is mistaken on this I do have a certain sympathy for his position. He is Mayor of a City where there are a large number of high earners and he is, in effect, being a good constituency representative.

Sally: "but when Conservative Home is presented as the view of Conservative activists to all and sundry then we should take a responsible approach. I believe on this occasion we have not."

By responsible approach you mean you want us to say nothing? You want us to go along with the flow even though there may be sound economic reasons for not doing so?

Raj: "The Tories needs to focus on winning the election, not fighting amongst themselves over a marginal tax increase for people who are able to afford it."

So you subscribe to the idea that just because someone can afford it the state is right to take it away from them? Are they not already paying their fair share?

Someone earning £150,000pa today (assuming an unrealistically high tax code of 603) pays £50,506 in tax and £4,357.95 in NI. What extra public services does such a person get?

Many will have worked hard to achieve qualifications, worked long and stressful days to build up businesses that employ people and taken risks to create wealth that benefits many other people. Why should they be used as a cash cow after putting in so much effort?

I earn nothing like that salary. But I do not sit there thinking, "they have got more money than me, they can afford it, so they should pay even more tax". I recognise they are contributing far more than I am to the public purse to fund public spending and services. I do not resent these people enjoying rewards they have earned. I would prefer them to have incentives to create more jobs and opportunities.

It would help, Ms Roberts, if you could cease reminding us of your religion: Mark Hudson's observation that suppressing debate in favour of an uncritical, unwavering support for today's Conservative leadership is valid. Such an attitude is characteristic of totalitarian regimes and any protagonist will serve as an exemplar - Stalin, Goebbels, take your pick. Conservativehome is not the sole property of those given to mindless ra-ra "conservatism".

I take comfort from David's comment (1024): how utterly misunderstood Lord Tebbit is by the commentators on this thread.
Norman Tebbit, unlike today's party leadership, is a Conservative and was as pleased as any to see the end of the 60% rate. But then David probably doesn't remember those days. I expect he's young. Kool.

There’s something vapid in Tory thinking. To reduce our debt means, first and foremost, that we must spend less. The Taxpayers’ Alliance has identified £100 bn of potential savings and that’s without touching any sacred cows.

When the Tories have done that, there may well be cause to raise taxes too, but they have their priorities wrong. Osborne is so thick that I’ve given up hope of any sense from him but why Hague has to muddy the waters too is a mystery and a tragedy.

The piffling savings Hague mentioned on the Andrew Marr show today are ludicrous - nursery economics. If he can’t say anything useful he should keep off programmes like this especially when ‘fronted’ by a socialist like Marr.

If Hague had concentrated on the dreadful state of the economy that the Tories will face then he might have been useful. But this was drivel.

It’s made worse that George Osborne was interviewed on last night's Channel 4 News about the burgeoning national debt and the possibility of tax rises - no mention of cuts in spending.

Thank heaven that in its ranks are Tories who speak out Today Lord Tebbit in his usual forthright way makes the point forcefully that “the only way to put things right is to get a firm grip on expenditure” .

When will Cameron pull this shambles together ? They are scared out of their tiny minds of talking about cuts. You can perhaps see why when the polls show unanimity of a Tory likely majority of 48 and that with an 11 point lead.

Where I think the Tory tacticians are wrong is that they read the polls wrong. The fact that their lead seems to be stagnating at that level is not because the public are worried about cuts but because they cannot see the proverbial 'clear blue water' between the parties and thus no reason to be enthusiastic about voting for Conservative The Tories look like throwing away the chance offered by an open goal.

The Tories opponents are led by a man who has wrecked a prosperous economy and Cameron’s lot still can’t grasp the opportunity

Too many on this blog cannot face the fact that cuts will come - they'll have to. To be in denial makes the Tory as bad as Labour and not worth voting for.

So you subscribe to the idea that just because someone can afford it the state is right to take it away from them?

Don't play the Labour troll. I said nothing of the sort.

Are they not already paying their fair share?

Arguably everyone is already paying their fair share. But if taxes need to go up in the short-term then those who are best able to pay cannot complain if they have to.

"By responsible approach you mean you want us to say nothing? You want us to go along with the flow even though there may be sound economic reasons for not doing so?"

No, I mean that we should be supporting our leadership and not sniping at it and undermining it.

John Coles - I am not even going to dignify your comments with a response.

Sally, support should never be uncritical or unthinking. Acting as if the leadership can do no wrong and maintaining silence if you disagree with it is not only unhealthy, it is dangerous. Politics requires debate and critique. Paternalism is wrong and so is dictatorship, so we have a responsibility to engage and say what we think.

Raj, congratulations on baring your socialist soul.

The road to the general election will be a hellish path. It's going to be a full on war, not a gentle walk in the park like some were assuming.

New Labour will do their best to trip us up and tell lies about us and stick the knife in. They're the masters of spin and games and as a political movement they're not going to drop down and die voluntarily.

The Conservative party is a strong party because of its ability to hold strong debates. But I get the horrible feeling that the Allies are fighting each other instead of fighting Hitler.

45p tax and the international development priority are big gaffes, and I hope they will be resolved soon so we can fight the real enemy.

Will the 45% tax rate work?

What will the net effect on tax receipts and the economy be?

Will this concede an argument to Labour that will allow them to push for an even higher rate of tax on everyone, not just the 'rich'?

Feel free to Fisk your responses to the above questions. If the answers to all three are in the negative, then we shouldn't support it. If the answers suggest it might work and that there are no serious long-term consequences, then we might be able to keep it on the table only once all possible spending cuts and efficiencies are exhausted.

There is a whole raft of reasons why Conservatives should not be raising taxes, but the most obvious and cogent reason is that increasing top rates of income tax will not raise any additional revenue at all. Remember the Laffer curve.

This is beginning to look like a few relatively wealthy ConHomers looking after their own. Time to burst the bubble, folks. In real Britain millions of people on 10, 15, 20K are hurting. 150K+ is something many of us can only dream of, and surely people on that money can afford a little more to avoid squeezing those on modest incomes even further.

Hmmm... I'm getting a vibe that the editors aren't 100% sold on the 45p tax idea :)
Don't you think you're banging on about it a little too much.
I get the sense that, as a reader, your'e pushing my face into it (metaphorically) - you're trying to force it down my throat.
And trying to show that everyone's really against it.
That's just my feeling anyway.

SW, those of us saying there should be no increase to 45% for top rate taxpayers are arguing it because we believe there should be no tax rises for anyone.

Just because someone might be able to afford more does not mean they should have more taken off them for the sake of it. That is all this 45% plan amounts to because it will do nothing to help the economy. This is the insipid politics of envy that characterises socialism.


The debate is no longer about whether you want to see tax rises or spending cuts - the public finances have been wrecked far too much. We are set to be borrowing £150bn a year next year. So even if we were able to cut out the Taxpayer's Alliance £100bn of 'waste' (which isn't easy - it consists largely of not letting projects overrun and cutting fraud without outlining how to do this) that's still at least £50bn a year we'd still be borrowing, and we won't have made a dent in the debt Brown has already accumulated on his watch.

You need sharp spending cuts and tax rises.

Sally and others - what pray should we do when the leadereship is cleary wrong? As I believe it is in this case.

There is absolutely no need to to either agree or disagree about 45% top rate since we do not know just how bad the mess we will (eventually) inherit will be. Cuts in public expenditure and a re-balancing of the tax and benefit systems will be essential but are presently unquantifiable.

As for the comment about Norman T the 60% top rate was "falling" not rising.

I am a long standing Conservative

I am fed up with this Governement

I really do wonder whether our so called supporters really want a Conservative government at all- the more they bicker in public the greater Brown's chances of winning.
Lord Tebbit should go on the doorsteps of his former constituency and tell the voters there he wants the comparitively well off to pay less tax! get real!

SW, you are right about people on low and middle incomes hurting, but how does raising the tax rate help them? Your position assumes that this tax will generate money, which is a pretty bold assumption.

Surely, if Labour thought this measure would raise any money at all, they would already have done it?

"Sally and others - what pray should we do when the leadereship is cleary wrong? As I believe it is in this case."

John we do what we have always done in that kind of situation. We write to our MP, we write to the Party's Leadership. We engage in conversation with them if we are in a position to do so.

What we do NOT do is wash our dirty linen in public on an online community which the media present as the mouthpiece for Conservative activists!

This is my last word on the subject until the situation has calmed down.

Oh, I feel another grammar school row being whipped up out of all proportion because the Conservative leadership have the temerity to display sound politics in the face of a classic Brownite trap before a GE! And as usually its been led by a small select few who do not speak for all of us, or can be said to be representative of the vast majority.

I was delighted to see Lord Tebbit's intervention in the MoS, that is their argument holed before the water line before its even properely launched. Cameron and Osborne will be delighted by this news, if Tebbit is in the media criticising them, then they are taking the correct decision. Classic! It always serves as a good reminder of why the party was in such a mess for so long, and why it we never got to grips with the New Labour project in the last 3 GE's.

Like grammargate, there will always be a group that seeks to protect the few over the many within the Conservative party. This decision by Osborne not to allow Brown and this government box us into being being the party that protects the few and not the many is politically sound.

Lord Tebbit used to talk a lot about sound money in office. How he must have disagreed with the rises in tax take of 1979-80!

Completely agree with Sally. Lord Tebbit, whom I often agree with on economics matters, should take the 'Hinchcliffe Test': get up in the morning, think about what you are going to say that day and asked yourself, 'will this help my party beat Labour at the next election' and remember Reagan's 11th commandment.

Why do they do it? Easy! Because they can! ConHome could hand victory to Labour. Bring in comment registration!

Malcolm, that has got to be another excellent example of my biggest criticism of Tebbit. He often attempts to undermine the current Conservative leadership in their pragmatic approach as an opposition party serious about winning the next GE. And he does in a wholly disingenuous way, by judging it through the prism of his time in the party when it was at the height of its popularity in government, rather than when it struggled to be elected from opposition under Maggie. He often has selective amnesia about the period from 1975-83 when it comes to our party!

I despair at the total vacuity of ideas of so many on this blog. Sloganeering won't do.

we're in a terrible mess be cause wqe spent too much which we didn't have . The way out of that is to stop spending. the way Cameron, Osborne and Hague go on is as if there were no major crisis. We have to cut spending. That's the only thing that will stop the rot. Taxation might have to go up but not until we have achieved something in the region of £200 bn in spending cuts.

The 45% rate was a trap (it will raise negligible revenue anyway) and Osborne - the stupid idiot - dropped us in it. The Taxpayers alliance has identified £100 bn without cutting services. Do that for a start and only then talk about tax increases. But the ignorance in the party of basic economics is profound.

If the Tory party doesn't get this right it will be committing suicide. It's an emergency, for heavens sake!

"This is beginning to look like a few relatively wealthy ConHomers looking after their own. "

Yes in the last few years the top earners have done very well, here we have seen FTSE Directors cranking up their salaries by 20, 30, 40% per annum, while the lower earners have seen their earning power undermined by mass immigration. For the top earners to cry poor and say they will be disincentivised by an increase in the top income tax rate seems a rather a sick line of argument.

45p is a stupid thing to have been raised that it was raised shows a complete failure of vision.

Put britons back to work - 20% tax from a new worker is worth infinitely more than an extra 5% off an existing worker.

It seems that people now think that the government have a moral claim to a certain proportion of money some one has worked for - rather than tax being a necessary evil to cover the unavoidable costs of managing the country.

This really is a minor issue, a matter of between zero and £3 billion in increased tax revenues.

Now compare that with:

1. The £180 billion government budget deficit projected for the coming year.

2. The potentially hundreds of billions of taxpayers' money which has been put at risk by Alistair Darling through his "Asset Protection Scheme" to insure (some of) the "toxic assets" held by RBS and Lloyds.

Cameron and Osborne must learn to refuse the bait when the government tries to distract attention from the impending economic catastrophe, and instead stick to the central issues that will determine whether or not we end up with a bankrupt state.

At last some sense here from Denis Cooper. We're going bankrupt and this income tax is neither here nor there - just Osborne-bait

There was absolutely no need for Osborne to have got into this tax argument at all. HE is the author of this row. There was an elephant trap in front of him clearly labelled "Beware Elephant Trap" and he it was he who ruined the effects of a not too bad speech by Cameron by making such a fatuous statement. :

All he had to say was that the mess is going to be dreadful and it will take much pain and anguish to put it right but that no precise details are worth the back of anybody's envelope until the books can be inspected in detail.

Denis, you missed the point. Yes the revenue from this tax is minute in the grand scale of things. But it is a classic Brown peice of positioning strategy, and its aimed at putting the Tories in the wrong position if they oppose it or at loggerheads with the usual suspects within the party if they don't.

New Labour strategy - Cameron has changed but his party have not = Conhom + Tebbit etc.

And that is why Osborne has not fallen into this trap. As others have rightly pointed out, but the usual suspects who cling to some fantasy Conservative idealogy that never existed in real life. Mrs Thatcher was in the habit of winning GE's, taxes went up when they needed to!
Public spending cuts are going to have to be severe over the coming years to tackle the current debt mountain, and we will all feel them, but taxes are going to have rise in the short term too. There is no either/or scenario, and that will become very clear before the GE.

I used to moan at Tim if he didn't allow that choice in some of his surveys on here for that very fact. Share the proceeds of growth will be replaced by share the pain this huge debt. So, not a lot of money in the grand scheme of things, but a huge polical message none the less. Never underestimate Osborne as a strategist or shadow Chancellor, but more importantly, learn to understand how Gordon Brown ticks as a politician or why he is PM without every contesting a leadership contest!

Why get yourself on the wrong side of the argument in a carefully laid out trap set Gordon Brown over such a small issue in the grander scale of this recession?
Are the public just shrugging their arms as Brown tries to deflect the blame for our financial collapse solely onto the Banks, and one banker in particular?

I do so hope that Gordon Brown or his team are regular lurkers on this site's threads, and that they really believe all the posters here are typical members of our party....

"Lord Tebbit adds his name to the tally of those opposing the 45p tax rate"

Must be a sensible enough proposition then.

Well if Tebbit is wading in to critisise, then Osborne must be doing something right. Notice this row has brought the usual suspects out to rant the same old stuff.

OH WHEN (oh when) will this STUPID Conservatve party realise...
The idiot CAMEROONS know nothing, let ME tell YOU how it is...

(Some considerable time later...)

...AND ITS *THEM* who need to KNOW that the British PUBLIC have had ENOUGH of this STUUUUPID TORY GOVERNMENT.

Mars used to be such a LOVELY planet, now all I want to do is RANT!!!

Well, ChrisD, maybe you're right.

Maybe it's not the case that Cameron and Osborne have been foolish by taking whatever bait the government has offered, and maybe they have in fact been astute and avoided falling into any traps.

Maybe, in other words, they actually prefer to keep the public debate focused on a succession of trivial, peripheral or minor issues, because they have nothing worthwhile to say about the central issues.

I come back to the question I asked yesterday - if Gordon Brown announced today that we were having a general election, and in a few weeks time Cameron became Prime Minster and Osborne became Chancellor, what would they do to mitigate the economic catastrophe facing the country?

Those last y=three postings make it clear why the Tory party is wrecked and doesn't deserve to win (though since Labour is worse ot probably will)

The whole of this row today is Osborne's fault. If he hadn't tried to upstage Cameron by going on unnecessarily about tax rates it wouldn't have happened. John Redwood is right, all those quoted by our editors are right, Norman Tebbit is right, Andrew Lillico is right, most economic commentators are right and our editors are right.

But the economic illiterates who are so upset are what the party is now composed of. There's no future for Britain with that lot.


I have a drawer full of anodyne letters that say we are right. Patently they were not.

Nor do I have the advantage of a Conservative MP although post the next election we may well have.

Healthy debate can only strengthen the cause.

You are right Christina Speight that we need spending cuts on a scale never seen in modern times. I was unaware that the TPA had identified £100bn of spending reductions that do not afffect any services. Could you tell me what they are please?

I accept that expenditure cuts alone won't bring this massively profligate government's legacy to heel in the foreseeable future. Most of this 45p 'milarkey' is again all about presentation not substance! Firstly, let me remind you that income tax is not the only tax, we also have the so called NI - which is not insurance at all or paid into a segregated fund , but just another direct tax. So in absence we have a 50% direct tax already! But let me remind you all of several facts. Firstly, the so called richest 10% pay 53% of total income tax, and this obviously excludes the 'super rich' who can legally arrange their affairs to substantially reduce their tax burden to often below those in the 150/- to 500/- bracket. Secondly, ignoring the direct tax NI, the current average rate for someone on 150/- is 31.6% (c.47,400) compared to 14% for someone on 20/- (c.2,800). So the former is paying 17x more tax than the latter whilst only earning 7.5x more salary-wise. That looks pretty fair to me in terms of shouldering more, maybe if our beloved leader needs or wants the 'rich' to pay more he should be more honest about it. Frankly, if you need to increase taxes it should be on discretionary expenditure. Sadly, we did need to open this front, an unnecessary action or skirmish in military parlance! I won't even bother to demonstrate the fact that the yield versus potential damage means it will have absolutely no impact on reducing the huge government debt burden that this government is creating through it's stupid policies. Sound finance starts with living within your means need I say more, the question should be in simple terms is it really necessary, if not cut it!

Malcolm Dunn

As you will appreciate £100 bn cuts don't fit into a paragraph here! But It'a all there in various publications all to be found on http://www.taxpayersalliance.com/

(excuse shortness - domesticity rules - OK?)

Robert you should really use your full name because that was a good post.

Firstly, let me remind you that income tax is not the only tax, we also have the so called NI - which is not insurance at all or paid into a segregated fund , but just another direct tax.
Of course if there was a mind to by whatever party happened to be government of the day, the National Insurance Fund could be returned to being solely a fund paying benefits to it's contributors.

Cut NHS spending and make what is left paid out of the National Insurance Fund to be paying for treatment only available on a contributions based basis, also scrap contributions paid on behalf of those signing on or on benefit.

Cutting out a lot of Culture\Arts spending that goes on paying for elitist theatres\operas and for maintaining artworks in this country in the public domain would save a lot and would be quite a populist measure.

Well is Lord Tebbit is against it, that's my prompt and instinct to go the othyer way.

It's a pity that you don't like a good working class conservative, a brilliant minister, who saw off the power of the unions, devoted his life after the IRA's attack on the party conference in Brighton to his crippled wife, who told the unvarnished truth always. That says more about you than him.

Presumably you prefer the limp wristed effete spineless, gutless wimps who run the party today.

Osborne and Cameron would rather fight with the headbangers in their own party rather than the whole electorate. I'm not sure who is more fearsome!

Jack Stone -
"People who work in the public sector do not live on the taxpayers back. Does he really mean that nurses and doctors some of whom saved him and his wifes lives are little more than parasites. I find that part of Lord Tebbitts remarks particularly offensive."

I would imagine that he is referring to the army of unemployed benefits claimants that your leader has created over the last 12 years.

I am now woefully behind all this as I couldn't comment yesterday or half of saturaday (still not sure why!)

Anyway, as today's papers now tell us there is a MASSIVE Tory u-turn, massive Tory tax dilemmma, massive Tory split...

except, that in reality there are NONE of these things. WHY oh WHY do we have to hand these things on a plate to Labour? Why o why do people NOT LISTEN to what Cameron and Osborne and/or Clarke are SAYING and not on one's assumptions and what they ARE NOT saying.

If we go into the election promising just one more cut than Labour we will lose. They are deeply committed to portraying tories as nasty, do-nothing non-planners; this is a big Brown trap which DC can get out of effortlessly by simply saying 'we put the interests of people ahead of the need to ashere to any dogma one way or t'other on taxation in the circumstances created by Labour's inability to control spending', and then acting effectively in accordance with that approach.

Unfortunately, the political discourse has become supportive of higher taxation and more government intervention. We need to challenge that, but the way for that to be challenged is by DC and GO and KC speaking from the conference stage after due consideration and consultation with the party.

Agreeing with Sally Roberts as per usual, and wishing Lord Tebbit had given up humbug for lent.

I'm relatively poor.

No tax cuts -> no vote for the Tories out of me. Public services? I use hardly any of them. Far as I'm concerned, throughout my life, the government has been nothing more than a monkey on my back. I don't see how stealing my money under threat of force helps anybody other than the parasitic ruling class and the Labour payroll vote.

Having some experience of public sector employment, I speak first hand in full knowledge that you could probably fire half of all public sector workers and Joe Public would never notice the difference. I don't want to contribute to the useless wastes of time in, say, the Audit Commission. Or the Department of Culture, Media and Sport.

A scythe needs to be taken to the State. One way or another it'll happen anyway because the country is bankrupt.

"Taxation might have to go up but not until we have achieved something in the region of £200 bn in spending cuts. "

I think Gloy Plopwell has changed their name to Christina Speight.

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