Thursday, October 19, 2006
Cameron's 'Clause Four Moment' is now at Hand if he Wants it
This commission's recommendations were leaked yesterday; they comprise proposals that cuts worth £21 billion should be made including a 2p cut off the standard rate of income tax, abolition of inheritance tax and the 10 per cent tax rate and various cuts of business taxes. George Osborne did his best to spin the report into a mere 'menu of options'. He also sought to suggest such cuts(could be bad) will be off-set by green taxes(must be good) though Forsyth's report, it seems, does not mention any such a thing. The Deputy Director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, usually sympathetic to Conservative economic policy, commented that, 'It's quite clear that these proposals would benefit the rich.'
So, there we have it. I'm not the only left of centre blogger to sense a moment of truth for Cameron here. At his conference he made it absolutely clear that there would be no tax cuts until they could be afforded and 'stability' preserved. Now an influential body- commissioned by no less a person than himself- has come up with the very proposals upon which he pronounced anathema. Now Dave, is the time to show your metal, to unhorse those hoary old knights of the 'Nasty Party', to slay your dragons and convince us your 'Compassionate Conservatism' is more than just the usual old Tory sleight of hand, or, as we often say up here, 'load of bollocks'.
I don't sense much enthusiasm for not cutting tax anywhere in the land! No wonder the cheers from his own benches are getting ever more muted as hapless Dave stands up for his weekly demolition by Mr B at PMQs...
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