Concerns about Tory tax policy are reaching a crescendo. Yesterday’s ToryDiary post which
highlighted concerns from other quarters attracted a one hundred-comment debate.
The Independent is not surprisingly portraying it as a split between right-wingers and modernisers.
There were some positive aspects of George Osborne’s speech, such as emphasis on reducing the long-term demand on the state, but nothing radical enough to satisfy most economic commentators.
The Telegraph has good reason to wonder what happened..
"While he was running for the party leadership Mr Cameron promised to
lead a "crusade for capitalism"; his lieutenant, George Osborne, spoke
enthusiastically of the flat tax. Once he had won, Mr Cameron announced he did not believe in "isms" such
as "capitalism", and yesterday he and Mr Osborne ruled out the flat tax."
The bold policies may yet come as the economic competetiveness policy group was only launched yesterday, but there is only so long Cameron can go with "comfort conservatism" on tax. We will need to make the argument for lower taxes to reassure the grassroots, and win the argument for the future of our economy. Or as the TaxPayer’s Alliance puts it:
"The stakes are high. The future of Britain’s economic competitiveness
is at stake. Whilst MPs and the media may take a while to appreciate
the implications of Britain’s growing reputation as "just another
dysfunctional EU economy", it will not take long for serious
international investors and high-tech firms to come to that conclusion."