This morning we have announced the formation of the new TaxPayers' Alliance and Institute of Directors (IoD) 2020 Tax Commission.
The list of Commissioners will contain plenty of people readers of ConservativeHome are familiar with including the Chair Allister Heath – Editor of City AM; Nick Bosanquet, Professor of Health Policy at Imperial College; Mike Denham, former Treasury economist and author of the sadly on hiatus Burning our Money blog; Martin Durkin, who directed last year's must-see Britain's Trillion Pound Horror Story (available now on DVD); Andrew Lilico, contributor to Platform and Director at Europe Economics; Mark Littlewood, Director General of the Institute of Economic Affairs; Douglas McWilliams, Chief Executive of the CEBR; Fraser Nelson, Editor of the Spectator; and Stephan Shakespeare, co-founder of YouGov and closely involved in a number of innovative centre-right projects. There are also a range of other experts like Anthony J. Evans, Associate Professor of Economics at the ESCP Europe Business School; David Frost, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce; and Kevin Bell, respected political consultant. David B. Smith, chair of the Shadow Monetary Policy Committee, is the Chief Economist for the Commission.
There are more but I've boasted enough about the incredible group we've put together. What is really important is that we've put together exactly the right people to consider ambitious tax reform.
At the moment policymakers are trying to work out how to deal with the deficit, and at the TPA we've done a huge amount of work on how we can cut spending, and a previous joint project with the IoD set out £50 billion of potential savings. But those of us who think that we are better off leaving money in people's pockets, having low taxes that reward the hard work and investment that is and will be the basis of our prosperity, need to go beyond TINA. Our pitch to the public can't just be about dire necessity, in the face of the very real threat that Britain could have moved from the status of secure safe haven to the next Greece/Ireland/Portugal. We need a plan and to show why tax reform should be a priority once the economy and the public finances are recovering.
At the same time, people are increasingly concerned about how we get the economic growth we need to minimise a long term fiscal crunch. Again we need to show why and how tax reform is the answer.
The 2020 Tax Commission has important work to do. I'll keep you up to date with how it progresses and you can read more at 2020tax.org. For now, here is a welcome to that website from the chair which sets out what we're trying to do: