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« David Cameron's economic priorities | Main | Finkelstein Versus Montgomerie »


Oberon Houston

I agree with the comments that say, while the promise of tax cuts will appeal to Conservatives, the voters we need to get on side to beat Labour in a General election will not be so easily wooed.

The promising thing from recent interviews however is the way in which 'tone' has changed (if that’s the right word), but recently conservatives of all persuasions are sounding like reasonable people who care about everyones lot, and the rather dismissive grating edge that annoys many voters has softened somewhat. This leadership race is transforming both the party and the way it interacts with the public in lots of good ways. I think there has been more positive interest in the Tories in the last few months that in the whole of the previous decade.


Mike do you like the rate of tax that you are know on yes/no?

James Turner

I'm glad that this shows that DD has recognised the need to have a big, easy to understand idea. And we do have time to sell the moral and econimc case for tax relief, and fair taxes, but we must constantly emphasise that council estate kids will still get to go to a good school. That's what people worry about. It's fascinating that in the early and mid 90s people on lowish incomes were scared that labour tax rises would send them under. When I spoke to people at the last election (and at every local election i've ever been involved in) they were scared - genuinely scared in some places, especially Cambridge - that low taxes meant crap services for them and their kids. We have to bang on about the fact that public services (reformed, obviously) will be safe in our hands AND that fairer taxes will improve our competitiveness.


Last for the day. Who on this board doesn't think reducing the basic rate to 14%, scrapping IHT, CGT & SD is not a good idea. To me its better reducing taxes bottom up rather than the top down idea which of course would be attacked for only helping the well off?

John Coulson

I don't wish to get involved in the argy-bargy of previous posts but I must register my amusement that someone who is over 21 feels in neccessary to post on here as Cllr. It is trivial, yes, but I fear it will continue to be brought up and perhaps overshadow actually what Iain Lindley is saying. As for the refernce to google - I don't think that many constituents of yours would actually post Cllr into google. It is more likely that they just put Iain Lindley in. It would surprise me if the people you represent actually know who their Cllrs are. I think that they would probably contact their MP with major issues.
This is not a post to stir trouble - merely to put across a point of view!


Peter, I don't like paying tax at all.

I want a fair tax system and a low tax economy which creates more jobs and greater prosperity. I like what Cameron says about sharing that prosperity.

He knows how to use a lexicon which can engage people and he focuses on the ends - better quality of life and higher standards of living without sounding like tax 'cutting' is an end in itself.

Perhaps Davis will make a good shadow chancellor?

Oberon Houston

Shadow Chancellor. Mmm, Ken Clarke? He would be good a Gordon bashing.


Ok Oberon - Ken Clarke it is. But just until Blair departs. Then we swap Davis from Shdow Home Secretary to Chancellor and put Clarke in the Home Office?

Daniel Lucraft

Does anyone else think that "sharing the proceeds of growth between public services and tax relief" (i.e. DC's view) can be construed as meaning something like what DD has been advocating with his growth rule? (just without the specifics).

It seems to leave the door open for Cameron to just adopt Davis policy if DC becomes leader and this policy proves popular.


David Davis didn't get much coverage, did he? Seems like the media has made up its mind. What a shame. David Cameron will be able to get away with non-policy until he's leader... and only then will we discover what he's really about (if anything).

James M

So is Davis saying these cuts will be achieved simply by reducing the levels of public spending? If so then this could well be a resonable policy.

However, and it is a big however - by already going down the road of using language like "tax cuts" (for media attention) people presume, often unfairly this will mean cuts in existing spending - most people do not recognise the subtle difference between reducing future spending and cutting current spending.

As such Davis is falling in to the trap of playing to the media who like to portray Conservatives as public service destroyers. Why could he not have said we want to simply reduce the speed of spending growth which all being well should help us reduce the tax burden - that way you do not scare lots of people who think the local bus is under threat the second the Conservatives get in power.

After all our first job as a party is to get listened to - without that any tax cutting policies will be largely ignored, we will not get in power and never have the chance to show how our ideas can work well.

James M

Sorry that first line should read:

So is Davis saying these cuts will be achieved simply by reducing the levels of FUTURE public spending? If so then this could well be a resonable policy.

Oberon Houston

Davis has had some coverage, he was on the Today program this morning talking about tax and it was a very good interview.

Cameron may seem to have a similar policy, but its not. His language has been clearly different from Davis. Any benefit from lower taxes would be shared (directly) between Public services and the tax payer. David Davis is saying that all of the benefit goes to taxpayers and public services funding will improve indirectly from this.

I think that most ordinaty voters will prefer Cameron's policy for two reasons. Firstly it is less of a change from current policy and therefore will be seen as progressive but consistently so. Secondly they will percieve that there is less risk associated with Camerons version because it involves less change. Intuitively people think that bigger changes carry bigger risk because the possible outcome is harder to predict.

You make a good point James M. I have no problem with Davis policy - but he just isn't demonstrating how we break out of the unpopular Tory groove.

There isn't a new language, a new focus or a new way of thinking to communicate a new Tory narrative. It's not going to reach out to people who think we are obsessed with money and cutting things.

To fall back on the hope that we have four more years to persuade people who haven't listened for the past 8 could be to concede defeat already.

robin roberts

Does everyone believe that Davis' performance this morning on the Today programme was convincing? Sorry, but whilst I understood the traditional vote loosing retoric, frankly this policy, however appealing it is to the present tory voter is not going to win us new friends. Davis' delivery, to my ears, was once more hesitant and uninspiring.


Me fears your right robin. I last saw Davis on the Jonathan Bumble Bee programme and it was painful to watch. It took Dimbleby himself to articulate an exciting version of the Davis agenda.

sorry're right. not your right (though you certainly have rights) 100 lines for me.

Wat Tyler

Seems like the usual debate- most of us like the policy, but we're nervous about our ability to articulate it without being accused of slash and burn on the public services.

So yes, we must be careful with language, and of course we must link it to wealth creation- ie bigger cake- as DD is doing. And there may be a moral argument too (although personally I'm nervous of that because one man's tax morality is another's immorality).

We also need to sear into our brains that the plan specifically does NOT call for spending reductions.

And as for comparisons with the failed WH/MH tax cut promises, as I recall it, MH promised a measly £4bn, and the WH promise was hijacked by Portillo's treachery and by poor Ollie L's enchanting unworldliness. (see, yet again, Tory Wars). Plus we're now heading into Gordo's third post-Election tax outrage...the landscape is changing.


I don't think the landscape is changing.

I'm all for tax cuts because I would like to be able to own a house one day but now its not right.

First we must convince the public that we are interested in public services, as DC has said that the money we spend on transport NHS and schools is a positive good.

Then we can offer tax relief and bring down public spending as the fruits of sucessful reform.

Public service reform has to come before tax cuts. DC is spot on on this one.


Obviously Brown will have his borrowing under control and run the economy very well in the years up to 2009 - at least if I read these posts correctly. Talk of tax cuts in 2009-2010 is fascinating when the big increase in NHS spending ends in FY 2008 and we start to see the wheels fall off just as PFI costs kick in.

How anyone can be so sanguine about Labour economic policy as to assume funds for tax cuts in 4 years time beggars belief. By that time China will have overtaken Britain and France in terms of GDP - at present it is around the level of Spain.

It might be helpful if these people started thinking a little - in 5 years time Britain's problem won't be working out how to pay a Special Dividend to voters, but how to stabilise an economy bereft of export industries and importing fuel and energy.

Nelson, Norfolk

DC why cant your team update your website especially the page which gives details of your supporters.

Jack Stone

Promising tax cuts at the same time as promising there will be no cuts in public spending is a line people just will not buy frtom us. History over the last eight years as shown us that.
What is the point promising something at the next election that you know from the previous two that people will not buy.Its ridiculous!
We have to start thinking about how we can win at the next election not how we can appeal yet again to our core vote.
It seems to me that David Cameron by refusing to promise tax cuts is acting like a leader in waiting.Whereas David Davis, with these desperate promises of massive tax cuts, is acting like someone who knows he will never be leader!


Davis is clearly desperate. It's painful to watch. Policy on the hoof and ever more desperate throws of the dice from a desperate man.


DD unconvincing?



This is what the most important people of all(the voters)think of DD policy on tax.
I agree with them and the fact is that they didnt buy the tax policy of the last election and they dont buy it now with DD.We need to move on.

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