Sunday, October 23, 2005

The Importance Of Tax Policy

We posted yesterday on the differences between DD's very clear policy on reducing our tax and spend burden, and DC's much fuzzier aspirations.

Our focus was on the economic consequences of this difference, and we forgot to mention the even more important consequence, highlighted by Peter Cole in the IoS today:

'Where might you expect to read such words as these? "Nor is it good enough to promise tax cuts. Which taxes are to be cut? If the name of the game is growth, it will have to be those taxes that discourage people from working harder and taking the gamble of starting businesses. That will probably mean cutting taxes on high earners."

The answer, of course, is in the Sun:

'On page two on Thursday, the day of the second ballot, under the headline "Big ideas are not enough", The Sun publishes "Commentary by Irwin Stelzer, leading US economist". I doubt many eyes were diverted left from page three, but why was this piece there, rather than in, say, The Times where it would have looked less out of place?'

Well, it's because the Murdoch papers take this tax stuff very seriously indeed. Here's Trevor Kavanagh writing in the latest Reform Journal:

'Tax was the dog that didn’t bark in the general election campaign. I think we rightly expected a much stronger position from the Conservatives. But the Conservatives offered only £4 billion of tax cuts after their first Budget – out of a tax burden of £500 billion – with no pledges of future reductions. Oliver Letwin refused to rule out increases in income tax and even in National Insurance contributions. It was simply not a credible position.

The Sun said during the election that it will consider supporting the Conservative Party only when it clearly adopts the principles of small government and low taxes.'

Yes, we can complain about the media and say we should be free to make our own policies. But as various people keep reminding me- complaining about the media is like railing against the weather. It's time to get back into the Sunshine.


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