Monday, July 04, 2005

Exchange Of Bullets

DD has returned fire after last week's assertion by Michael Howard that tax cuts are not the Tories' electoral 'silver bullet'.

Davis said tonight in his speech to the Centre For Policy Studies:

'Some argue that low taxes aren't a silver bullet for the Conservative Party. And of course there's no single remedy to the position we're in.

But accepting the high tax, high spend terms of the debate set by Gordon Brown is certainly a bullet to the heart of electoral success.'

Excellent stuff.

He went on to say that delivering low taxes does not mean "slashing" state spending, just ensuring that spending does not increase faster than growth of the economy.

It's a measured conservative programme, and it's important to understand he's not just making it up on the hoof. He is following the direction already set out in some detail by Reform, the thinktank he was instrumental in establishing.

Last February, they published their Manifesto For Reform, which among other things called for a Growth Rule to govern public spending. Their rule was for trend spending growth to be set 2 per cent per annum lower than trend GDP growth, thus allowing substantial tax cuts over time.

Davis doesn't need to start a new policy agenda from scratch- he's been working it up for at least the last five years.


Update: Tory Leadership Blog reports that DD's speech was largely penned by Nick Herbert. Herbert of course is now the MP for Arundel, but he was previously head of Reform. He is also a member of the Direct Democracy group of new MPs. What we're being offered here is not a one-man band, but a team in waiting with a properly researched policy platform.

Please don't let those vainglorious 'anybody-but-DD' MPs blow us up again.
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