John Redwood, Chairman of David Cameron’s Economic Competitiveness Policy Group, once said that "the Conservative Party is a party of tax cuts or it is nothing". In a Q&A for ConservativeHome (published today), Mr Redwood reaffirms that understanding of the Conservative Party’s purpose and agrees that it is likely that his "policy group will recommend reductions to the biggest tax burden in British history".
That tax-cutting attitude is certainly needed. A new paper for the Centre for Policy Studies by Charles Elphicke – some findings of which are summarised in the graphic – notes that the nation’s tax burden is having serious consequences for economic growth. Mr Elphicke talks of a double whammy where people have (1) less money today because of Gordon Brown’s 80 tax rises and (2) less money tomorrow thanks to the ways in which taxation depresses economic performance.
Editor’s note: "George Osborne’s talk of putting stability before tax cuts does nothing to increase public understanding of the dynamic role that tax relief can play in creating a strong economy. Labour win the tax debate when Conservatives fail to present tax relief as an instrument for job and wealth creation. Small government conservatives will never prosper so long as the public believe that every tax cut requires service cuts. We can only start winning the tax debate when it becomes framed as a choice between a growing, low tax economy versus a sickly, high tax economy."