Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Tory Tax Proposals Published...by Ed Balls

The Conservative Tax Commission report appears to have been leaked early. I'm told that the Treasury are cock-a-hoop with delight as they can now start a traditional spat about unfunded tax cuts. Apparently Ed Balls discovered the report by surfing the internet and finding the Tory Tax Commission website.

I don't think a Labour attack will work in the same way that it did at the last two elections. People do genuinely feel they are overtaxed and if the Conservatives move from their current position of "sharing the proceeds of growth" to a position of offering costed, reasonable tax cuts which help real people (ie not just the better off), then I think people will welcome them. I have made no secret that I am a Tax Cutter. Always have been. Always will be. People know better how to spend their own money better than the government. I haven't yet had a chance to go through the Tax Commission proposals but from what I have heard, most of them are eminently sensible.

Naturally we'll be talking about this as the main subject of debate on Vox Politix tonight on 18DoughtyStreet. If you want to comment on the proposals click HERE for the programme blog. I'll be joined in the studio by Ashley Crossley, David Mills (from Tribune & GMTV) and James Fletcher. We're also discussing freedom of information, Iraq and THIS.

23 comments:

Cheltonian said...

If the Tories can't manage a launch of their tax proposals it doesn't bode well as a indicator of their competence to run the economy.

griswold said...

Osborne must not be sucked into a debate about the detail of tax cuts with Balls. Get onto the higher ground and ask Brown the question(and I quote from a CPS publication "From Principles to Policy")

Do you agree with this principle of economic policy or not

-'growth in public spending should be less than the growth in GDP over each economic cycle'.

This would reverse the rising share of taxes and public spending in the economy, restore international competitiveness and encourage enterprise and investment in the UK.

Michael Hoskin said...

I'd noticed David Mills writing in Tribune. Although he is a producer and interviewer on GMTV's Sunday Programme, I haven't been able to detect any particular bias on TV. (Incidentally, even though the presenter Steve Richards is clearly on the Left, and his Independent columns are frequently toadying to Blair, he too appears fair and courteous on this programme.) I do like the programme, even though it clearly has a tiny budget and has the off-putting signers, who have been mentioned on here before.

I'm happy with Mills's "double life", but wonder whether a regular writer in Conservative-linked publications would be deemed acceptable by the regular media.

nadders said...

Its about time the great masses got the message into their heads that tax revenue is their money and having a bunch of mad spenders like nuLab wasting it is just like burning £5 notes.

My hope is that our media savvy Dave & Co do manage to rubbish the nu lab bollocks that less tax means cuts to schools & hospitals, as Balls was saying tonight, and get people to focus on not wasting their own money.

nadders said...

And another thing...

As a percentage of all the tax nuLab now take off us, £21bn isn't all that much.

Refute all the bollox "massive tax cuts headlines"

Paul said...

I don't think the tax cuts = services cuts line is going to work. It seems to me the Government has pissed most of the extra cash they have pumped into the NHS away - if at a time of record spending they're making people redundant, Health Trusts are going bankrupt and even NHS statistics aren't improving in proportion to the investment Labour can hardly pretend throwing cash at the problem has help it. Either they need more money to make it work or they haven't spent it very well.

Anonymous said...

Tax cuts = spending cuts.

600,000 Poles prove there is plenty of work in the UK.

Yet 5 million people get some form of unemployment benefit.

It's about time someone had the bollocks to say work or starve.

Indigo said...

It's the cutting of real disposable incomes that hurts people. That, and the Government lying about it. This is from Hansard for 6 April 2005,

Mr Dorrell ... there was an unheralded tax increase after the 1997 election and another after the 2001 election. ... Last week, the Institute for Fiscal Studies published a report on the movement of disposable incomes during recent years. It reported that, for the first time since the early 1990s, real disposable incomes fell in 2003–04 compared with 2002–03. Why did they fall? They fell because of the £8 billion tax increase that the Chancellor introduced after the previous general election, having promised beforehand that an increase would not be necessary. ... The Chancellor is very fond of saying that he has not increased rates of income tax. That is a dishonest argument for two reasons. First, it draws a polite veil over the fact that he has increased the rates of national insurance contributions. ... when the Chancellor of the Exchequer talks about tax rates not having gone up, he is wrong on two counts: first, national insurance contributions; and secondly, the unplanned and unfair effect of holding down the allowances and bands in the tax system and not indexing them to earnings.

Shotgun said...

Heard some of what balls-sack was saying, and it seems to me he cocked up gloriously by making this a straight out attack on the Tories and especially trying to make this a class war subject. Tax cuts for the rich he said..what a mong, and that after the main report said the cuts were starting with the bottom rate being lowered.

People feel over taxed...people don't trust a word this Government says...and people like the thought of tax cuts.

Balls-sack I suspect is working for the Tories because he has handed to Cameron on a silver platter the best of all outcomes. On the one hand Cameron says he does not promise tax cuts...on the other Balls-sack says he does...get out of jail free card for Cameron, and either way the public see him as a prudent economist with the possibility of tax cuts.

Just for people like cheltonian...this is not Tory tax policies or proposals, and even the local village idiot knows this, much as labour mongs try and convince them otherwise.

Johnny Norfolk said...

The Tories should be confident about tax cuts. If they take some of the less well off out of tax that has got to be a vote winner.
Taking the family home out of inheritance tax will also help many people. Remember Labour just said they would keep to the Tories budget for 2 years then the first thing they did was to give the B of E more freedom and that was not in their manifesto.

AnyonebutBlair said...

£21Bn is paper clips. NuLab would have us all believe that the NHS will close overnight and old dears will be thrown onto the street in their dressing gowns. It just doesn't wash anymore.
The epic sums of money this government has spent on the NHS and education has been wasted. Time for a new approach and I think the public will be largely receptive. PS Ed Balls is a twat and I hope he loses his Normanton seat. A bigwig who I know in the city who was introducted to him thought he was an arrogant and ill informed prick, but hey that's just gossip

Anonymous said...

Confession: I'm a low tax Tory too.
However, I think David Cameron is right to be cautious about proclaiming tax cuts.
Outside of the political pundit world, the man on the Clapham omnibus thinks that, with the Tories, tax cuts = service cuts. David Cameron is slowly but sucessfully changing this perception.
But here is the point: tax cuts doesn't have the mean service cuts, but it does mean employment cuts in one way or another from the public payroll. And here's the problem - in New Labour's New Britain, we also have to face the fact that many more people are on the public sector payroll and are or are potential Tory voters than historically has been thought the case.
In the 1970s, for instance, it would have been possible to generalise that public sector workers (bar the managers) would be Labour voters, so the prospect of employment cuts but tax cutting Tories wouldn't have, and I believe, didn't weigh much on Tory political calculations (and anyway, there were bigger issues at stake back then!).
However, today, all of those aspirational nurses, the teachers who have now seen the folly of the ways of the 'educational professionals' of old, and the whole massive army of consultants - these people are on the public payroll and we need to convince them that tax cuts doesn't mean blanket cuts in employment (which is the current generalised perception), but only sensible cuts. (Which in practice means that consultants will get a severe chop, but then that's no bad thing, as they're all supposed to be bright enough anyway to reinvent their careers anew.)
This is a point that I think needs to be taken on board by those demanding tax cuts: the old mantra of "if the Tories cut taxes then it won't hurt Tory voters" no longer applies today, for which we have to thank 'new Labour'. Amen.

Westmorland Activist said...

You might haver gathered before that I am no great admirer of our present leader. However, on this one the Cameronian Stategy has worked like a dream.

We have our enemies, such as the BBC saying that we mean it - we really are going to cut taxes. This is good because when we say it no-one believes us.

Regardless of what you think of the headline the story itself is very positive for us. Somehow we have moved the focus of the argument as to how much we should cut taxes WHEN ( not if ) we are returned to power.

I would love to believe that this is part of a brilliant stategy to win a 50 seat over all majority. Alternatively it might just be a flooky shot that wasn't even meant to hit the goal.

pmd said...

shotgun -
The IFS have been quoted as saying that the proposals will cut taxes for the rich over the poor.

And as Cheltonian says, if they even manage the report launch, I don't see how they're going to manage an economy. Incompetents.

Anonymous said...

Ed Balls? Shurely that couldn't be the 'special advisor' to the Thief of Fife who showed him how to plunder pensions of 100-to-150-billion pounds by stopping the tax benefits designed to persuade people to save thus for pensions?

Praguetory said...

If we want to see successful tax-cutting/waste-cutting in action we should back Lee Rotherham for mayor. Then we could prove the naysayers wrong. Despite the usual negative Beeb spin if you look at the comments their readers are clearly yearning for lower taxes and less profligate spending.

Neil Craig said...

My hobbyhorse is cutting corporationn tax to get growth & I am pleased to see some movement here though not to Irish levels.

It is worth pointing out that an increase of growth of only 1% would mean an extra £16 billion in people's pockets in the first year, £85 billion a year at the end of 5 years. Makes £21 billion look small doesn't it

Anonymous said...

still getting plugs for 18 whatever. At least they aren't main posts, which is a start. Hope to see an end to it soon.

David said...

It is not tax cuts that are important it's cutting out waste. You could start by logging onto Burning our Money

I really don't think we do enough to persuade the electorate that real benefits that flow from taking a knife to public waste

Anonymous said...

I could not believe Ed Fucking Balls said on the telly last night that Labour had cut taxes since 1997. The lying fuck. I was so incensed my wife had to stop my driving to London to beat the fuckers head in.

jafo said...

Surely everyone knows that Ed Balls talks - well, could it be - round objects?

Everyone certainly knows that Government spending (on itself, certainly) is totally out of control. Who is paying for Cherie's car at over £50,000 a year - not her, is it - it's US! Who was paying John Prescott's council tax - not him - US! Who's paying this £2 million a year for Prescott's office of 18 civil servants, plus his salary, when he has no job? Us again. Who's paying this army of "political advisors" - us again.

There's plenty of room for massive savings in public expenditure by taking a scythe through Government spending on itself.

Where's all this money spent on the NHS actually gone? That's what the average voter wants to know - and there's no answers forthcoming from Government.

The BBC have a vested interest in trying to make "tax cuts" an obscenity, because they're afraid it might start with them and their bloated TV tax - the licence fee.

James Maskell said...

Ed Balls is talking crap about finding it on the TRC website. It wasnt on the TRC website until the day of publication. If the idiot learnt to read he would have noticed it was the oficial Conservative Party website he was on...

21 billion pounds is nothing and can be found so easily by abolishing a range of quangos which are useless. stability before tax cuts...what does that even mean? Camerons so chicken about facing up to Labour that he backs down when they say he wants to cut public services. What about Cameron grows a pair then tells Labour that they are wrong and tell them why they are wrong, pointing out examples of Government waste...

Neil Craig said...

I must admit I got my figure wrong yesterday - I was using a dollar assessment of our GDP http://www.geographyiq.com/ranking/ranking_GDP_purchasing_power_parity_dall.htm

A 1% increase in growth would be about £9 billion. £47 billion a year after 5 years. Since Ireland has been growing 4% faster than us for the last 16 years the value of supporting cuts in those taxes which significantly improve growth (primarily corporation tax) is obvious.

While cutting business taxes is not the quick bribe income taxes are I think, if convinced of this, the British people would go for it.