Key messages from David Cameron’s interview on Andrew Marr’s Sunday morning programme (not verbatim):
It is not true that the Conservatives are inactive in the face of recession: We are proposing a two year freeze in council tax, a VAT holiday for all small businesses, a 1% NI cut for very small businesses and a £2.6bn aggressive incentive to encourage businesses to recruit the unemployed.
Government borrowing is massive: People will be shocked when they see that borrowing is going to be £80bn to £100bn. Labour’s borrowing bombshell will become a tax bombshell.
Brown’s stimulus may not work: As the Chairman of the European Central Bank warned, the stimulus may not work at all if people know that tax rises are going to quickly follow temporary tax cuts.
Labour’s likely VAT cut: The Conservative Party will make a decision on how to respond when we’ve seen the detail of what the Government proposes but the only uncertainty about a VAT cut is that we’ll add £12bn to the national debt.
The Tories are telling the truth: Unlike Labour there’s no blather. We are telling the British people the truth and you can’t borrow yourself out of a borrowing crisis. We are telling the people the truth that we can’t carry on with Labour’s spending plans.
This is a monetary crisis needing a monetary response: Interest rates need to be cut further and government action on fiscal policy must not endanger the Bank of England’s freedom to reduce those rates.
Bank lending to business: It’s no good shouting at the banks. There’s a complacency from Peter Mandelson and the Government on this issue. The Conservatives are open to offering insurance for new loans from banks to businesses.
George Osborne is a very good Shadow Chancellor: And he’ll make a very good Chancellor. I meet a wide range of people. I’ve met all former Tory Chancellors. They all tell me the same thing; that Britain is over-borrowed.