The TaxPayers' Alliance has published its manifesto this morning. Many of its pledges will cause the Tory party no headache but some are in direct conflict with the ambitions of a Conservative government.
SOME TPA PLEDGES CONSISTENT WITH TORY POLICY
- Cut middle class welfare;
- Cut corporation tax to 15% or lower (I expect George Osborne to make big steps towards this if he becomes Chancellor);
- Abolish inheritance tax (more sensibly the party is pledged to do this but only for non-millionaires);
- Introduce elected police chiefs (this is already Chris Grayling's flagship policy);
- Publish full data on spending (the Tories have promised disclosure of all Whitehall contracts over £25,000 – Stephan Shakespeare of the Network for the Post-Bureaucratic Age has already warned that this will lead to lots of budgeting things at £24,995!);
- Recall and citizens' initiatives;
- Payment-by-results rehabilition regime in prisons;
- School choice.
SOME TPA PLEDGES THAT WILL PUSH THE TORIES TO GO FASTER THAN THEY MIGHT NATURALLY TRAVEL
- Abolish the 50p tax rate;
- Abolish a range of quangos;
- Reform the NHS to make it less centralised.
SOME TPA PLEDGES THAT WILL CAUSE ANY TORY GOVERNMENT A HEADACHE
- The TPA want abolition of taxpayer subsidy of the trade unions. We learnt today that David Cameron intends to continue with the union modernisation fund.
- Abandon the 2020 renewables target and the EU's Emissions Trading Scheme.
- Drop the 0.7% target for foreign aid spending.
- Hold a referendum on fundamental renegotiation of the UK-EU relationship. No chance of this happening (sadly).