Friday, October 28, 2005

We've Tried It All Before...

Looking round the blogs at Tory reaction to DD's Growth Rule/tax cuts plan, one widespread response is that we tried the same thing in 2001 and 2005. And...well, it didn't quite do the trick. So why would it work this time?

There are several points to make:

a) We didn't actually try very hard. In 2005 we offered a total cut of a measly £4bn, equivalent to a packet of Rolos a week. That was even worse than 2001 when we offered £8bn, equivalent to at, two packets of Rolos. Davis is offering £38bn, equivalent to a wagon load of Quality Street for every hard-working family in the land.

b) In both 2001 and 2005, we talked about raising the money through best efforts economy drives. Trouble is, every politician since Ugg The Hairy has promised that, and nobody believes it. Which is why DD is offering a Spending Rule, rather than wibbly-wobbly political discretion.

c) The political landscape is changing. Recent polls show growing support for cutting taxes and spending. And after Gordo hits us once again with his fiscal rhythm stick (regular big whacks in each post-Election budget), this support will balloon.

d) To be effective, we need to hammer home the message from now all the way through to the Election: not just drop it out of the blue a couple of months before the poll. DD offers us a clear tax and spend policy- good for individuals and national wealth creation- that we can lodge in the national consciousness long before 2009.

Enough of timidity. As Nick Herbert said on the World At One, a clear stance on low taxation should be a core commitment for any centre-right party anywhere in the world.


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