Thursday

The Tories need to argue that low taxes matter

Osborne was asked on Radio 5 Live whether he wanted to get rid of the new 5% stamp duty on homes sold for more than £1m. He treated this question as though he were a bomb disposal expert and this was a particularly dangerous explosive. He replied that his priority was to reduce the burden on the less well-off – I think he picked out the rise in National Insurance. He clearly did not want to appear to be anything so terrible as a defender of the rich.
This is the way the Tory party has now allowed itself to be boxed in. It has implicitly accepted the way of thinking of Labour, Liberal Democrats, the BBC and so on. It has given up promoting its own ideology. Margaret Thatcher, when she was Tory leader, might have also replied that the priority was to take taxes off the poor. But she would also have been keen to go on to say that the overall level of taxation on everyone – rich and poor – was far too high and that it was damaging to employment and economic growth. She would have lambasted socialists for thinking that taxing and spending were the way out of every problem whereas she believed in low taxes, free enterprise and thus economic growth.
One day the Tory party will have to start saying these things again, otherwise it is starting the argument with an arm behind its back.

  1. Mr Brown taxes the poor (another angle)
  2. Why people are voting today for higher taxes
  3. Anger among the Tories
  4. Bring back 1966! We didn’t just win the world cup, we paid less tax, too.
  5. The new, disappointing generation of Tories led by David Cameron
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