political commentator * author * publisher * bookseller * radio presenter * blogger * Conservative candidate * former lobbyist * Jack Russell owner * West Ham United fanatic * Email iain AT iaindale DOT com
Thursday, May 20, 2004
David Cameron Day
A very enjoyable and useful day which was dominated by the visit of David Cameron MP, our local government finance spokesman to North Norfolk. However I started the day off in Norwich doing an interview with Radio 4's Today Programme on political egg throwing. Seemed to go quite well, especially when I told Jim Naughtie "you're showing your age". With David we did an interview with the EDP, half an hour on North Norfolk Radio and then a stint with the marvellous Sheringham Independent. Did a bit of street campaigning in Sheringham before a meeting with Conservative Councillors. This evening David and I spoke at a party fundraiser at the hugely imposing Hanworth Hall. About 100 people were present and there really seems to be a spring in the step of North Norfolk Conservatives at the moment. And about time too! While I write this I am watching a very depressing issue of Question Time which is concentrating on Europe. If this is the level of debate we are going to have God help us. I wonder if everyone else agrees with me about that awful Patricia Hewitt. I imagine every time she appears on TV she turns people off Labour. Good.
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Iain, were you able to put to David Cameron the figures we corresponded about on the level of income required for a typical household to pay as much in local income tax as they now do in Council Tax?
You will remember that you had applied the Lib Dems' 3.8% estimate to a household with two adults in full time employment, which appeared to be a mistake as the average household has just one adult in full time employment (due to pensioners, part time workers, unemployed people etc). My back-of-an-envelope calculations suggested a family would need a combined income well above average (around £40,000) to pay the same under local income tax as they do under Council Tax.
Was Mr Cameron able to shed light on the matter?
James, Yes, I did talk to him about it. He had researched the figures himself before he came up here and said that anyone with a joint income of £35,000 or more would be paying more. I think the higher figure related to people who would be paying £650 extra. However, I am going to get chapter and verse from the policy wonks, as I will obviously want to use this in the future. By the way, do you live in North Norfolk?
Have lived in Sheringham in the past and may very well do in future. Currently in London.
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