Lower taxes are popular

Many politicians think the way to win elections is to offer more and more public service and public spending. They seek to build a coalition of people who will benefit from the enlarged and new programmes they offer. If you look, however, at winning campaigns it is often the tax cut that proves more popular. More people want to take responsibility for their own lives, and wish to look after themselves and their families out of their own incomes.

The Conservative governments of the 1980s drove income tax rates down and abolished whole taxes in successive  budgets. This was one of the main props to their election winning run.

Labour discovered this in the 1990s, and won office in 1997 on the firm pledge to keep the lower tax rates that the Conservatives had introduced.  They kept their word on Income tax rates until the financial crash. They put the rates up at the end which went alongside the 0ther problems they had created to lead to their defeat.

George Osborne promised a tax cut prior to the 2010 election, which proved popular. In office the Coalition was only able to agree on cutting the Income Tax threshold. This was sufficiently popular for both coalition parties to want to claim credit for it.

In the 2017 election Mr Corbyn seemed to offer to repay all the debts of former students who took out student loans. This appeared to be an offer of a £40,000-£50,000 gift  for some people. It proved very popular and drove a surge in the younger vote for Labour. We subsequently learned from Mr Corbyn that he did not mean to offer to repay all these debts, though he only clarified this after the vote.

Mr Hammond began the 2017 election by appearing to hint that higher taxes might be needed. The rest of the Conservative leadership had to deny this. Fears of tax hits to the self employed damaged Conservative popularity though these plans were rightly dropped. These followed the tax attacks on Buy to Let Investment and on home ownership through higher Stamp Duties which were also unpopular.

One of the main reasons Mr Trump did well in the US election was the promise of major tax cuts for individuals and businesses.

I look forward to Conservatives offering and delivering tax cuts in the future. The sooner the we stop sending  large sums to the EU the better, as that will increase our  budget flexibility on both spending and taxation. In the meantime we should be cutting the tax rates where to do so will increase the revenue.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.

71 Comments

  1. Duncan
    Posted October 2, 2017 at 5:32 am | Permalink

    We need a new leader and a new Chancellor before we need tax cuts. We need to see some defiance and anger from the Tories. And that’s the problem. There’s no anger. There’s no bite. May’s a headless chicken throwing out spending suggestions as those she’s spending money without regard to its source. She’s an embarrassment

    Forget tax cuts. Yes, I would like to see monies being returned to their rightful owner rather than the Govt and the State consuming it to preserve their cozy privileges while the average private sector worker picks up the tab but it ain’t gonna happen. May’s succumbed to the left, AGAIN. She’s reacting to Corbyn’s ideas and that’s not good.

    We need a leader who believes, passionately believes that the taxpayer doesn’t simply exist for the benefit of the State and its dependents. May believes the opposite. She sees the taxpayer as something to be abused for political purposes, to finance idiotic political policy making on the hoof.

    I am tired of this gravitation to the left. The idea that the State is all supreme and that the private exists to serve the State’s needs.

    Stop pandering to Labour, attack them hard and dispense with May and Hammond. We need proper Conservatives at the helm again

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 2, 2017 at 6:15 am | Permalink

      May and Hammond clearly love tax increases and wasteful vanity projects like HS2, Hinkley C and the greencrap. They like a large, bloated and overpaid state sector producing little of any real value and inconveniencing the productive.

      They are strangling the goose that lays the golden eggs not just with higher taxes but with endless red tape, expensive energy and stupid demands like gender pay reporting, workplace pensions, minimum pay laws, restrictive employment laws, attacks on the gig economy and self employed, the apprentice levy (tax), the attacks on pension pots, the attacks on landlords and tenants, the moronic Taylor report, the 12% IPT tax ……

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 2, 2017 at 6:37 am | Permalink

        Plus 40% tax on anything over just £325K you own when you die. Why would anyone rich or hard working want to remain (or come to live in the UK) with these penal levels of taxation?

      • Bob
        Posted October 2, 2017 at 7:25 am | Permalink

        “attacks on pension pots”

        will the Lifetime Allowance be applied to the EU pensions for the likes of Lords Mandelson & Kinnock?

      • Chris
        Posted October 2, 2017 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

        May and Hammond are not actually true Conservatives, and that is the problem. They represent left of centre thinking with high taxes and state intervention into everyday lives. They will not get my vote, principally because of the Brexit fudge, but also due to their left of centre leanings. Mrs May, please stop trying to chase Corbyn and instead try being a proper Conservative. Boris knows what to do, and Rees-Mogg.

    • Bert Young
      Posted October 2, 2017 at 7:56 am | Permalink

      Duncan , Well said and I couldn’t agree more .

  2. Bernard from Bucks.
    Posted October 2, 2017 at 5:40 am | Permalink

    “I look forward to Conservatives offering and delivering tax cuts in the future. The sooner the we stop sending large sums to the EU the better.”
    Hear, hear to that John.
    I look forward to Conservatives offering and delivering a cut to IHT in the near future too. The sooner executors have to stop sending large sums to the tax-man the better.
    It is a scandal that this tax is now so out of proportion to , say twenty years ago.
    It needs re-aligning.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 2, 2017 at 6:19 am | Permalink

      We were promised a £1M IHT threshold each by Osborne (the promise was hugely popular and made Brown bottle his early election plans) but it still has not been delivered. In the States the threshold is over ten times the £325K we have.

  3. Mark B
    Posted October 2, 2017 at 5:50 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    We also need to reduce our borrowing, spending (Overseas Aid) and wasting. Too much government and regulation leads to bureaucracy and, in some cases, corruption.

    We need a Conservative government to be conservative and control public spending. This is of course never easy but the government has made a poor case against those on the Left, Unions and academia who benefit directly or indirectly from such gifts.

    The government should also stop funding of so called charities who receive more than 15% of their income from local, national, supranational or international governments and / or bodies. No charities are they. It is time to get tough on this scam and that of NGO’s.

    Another area is to limit government spending on large projects. If the Private Sector will not fund it, either in part or whole, then that is only because it has a bad business case and is clearly a bad idea. Same too with PFI’s. Government spending should be limited. No more buying stuff on ‘tick’ and pushing the debt and the problem on to our children. That is immoral.

    So yes, less tax but funded from the above and not just leaving the EU as some of than money is going to have to pay for the subsidies we have been paying out.

    • getahead
      Posted October 2, 2017 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

      Ha yes! A bonfire of the Quangos. Whatever happened to that?

  4. Roy Grainger
    Posted October 2, 2017 at 5:50 am | Permalink

    Mrs May needs to realise that adopting Labour policies – such as cutting tuition fees – will not make young people vote Conservative instead of Labour, all it will do is validate for them that Labour policies are correct. You would have thought the result of the last election where she stuffed the manifesto with Labour-lite policies would have told her that but apparently not.

    • eeyore
      Posted October 2, 2017 at 6:04 am | Permalink

      The best answer to socialism is conservatism. Even in one’s bleakest moments a Tory Prime Minister with instincts like Mrs May’s could hardly be imagined. I’d hoped she could get Brexit sorted and go in 2019, but that looks impossible now.

      Churchill’s advice must be taken: “If he’s no good he must be poleaxed.”

    • Bryan Harris
      Posted October 2, 2017 at 6:37 am | Permalink

      Good points Roy – Tories need to show they are Tories, really, and not a different version of labour, and fundamentally, they need to stop following socialist policies.

    • stred
      Posted October 2, 2017 at 11:23 am | Permalink

      All the talk and coverage of the conference so far has been on insignificant amounts such as a billion reducing increases in fees for English students and raising the threshold before repayment. The successful student who uses qualification to make a modest income will still be paying over 6% interest, while the government borrows at near zero. The successful will be subsidising the unsuccessful again. It will not gain a single student vote.

      While Herr Oettinger the EU budget commissioner has said he is concerned that, when or if we leave, he will be short of £12bn every year. But never mind for now, the (EU?) supporting civil servant who has been called to no 10 to help has been trotting around EU offices showing them plans to stay in for 5 years after the referendum paying up and offering to chuck in our army, airforce and what’s left of the navy plus aircraftless aircraft carriers for a sweetener. And Mrs may has been trotting around abroad reading the speech very competently. Even M.Barnier welcomed it. But he still wants the 5x 12bn and the extras confirmed.

      £60bn is over £1000 for every person in the UK. I bet there is not a whisper about this at the conference from the BBC, which is already reporting the 2 year extension of EU payments and law as certain, already decided without a word from MPs or voters. The Conservative party seems to be the party of big business and the civil service.

    • a-tracy
      Posted October 2, 2017 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

      One of the biggest problems with Labours suggestion of free tuition for everyone coming up behind the graduates repaying their 9% graduation taxes (student tuition fee loan repayments) was the unfairness of the double taxation that would then be required from those graduates and those grads that have nearly paid off their student loans through higher taxes on those in the 40% tax band. A double whammy for the brightest and best students and a free for all for low-earning grads. Not charging a ridiculous interest rate on the outstanding loan, not applying interest to the end of the training and applying a fair increase to the lel for student tuition

    • Chris
      Posted October 2, 2017 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

      I believe those who are advising May are not very bright and cannot see what is staring them in the face.

      • stred
        Posted October 4, 2017 at 9:51 am | Permalink

        Those advisers to the Transport Minister can’t be very bright either. He said in his speech that HS2 was necessary to carry the express trains and would free up existing lines to take commuters and freight. The fact staring them in the face is that we could build a normal express or freight line for a fraction of the price on the old Central Line, as proposed not long ago and turned down by the ministry. The existing express trains could be improved and more space made for commuter trains by lengthening platforms and trains.

        No wonder there was a stunned silence when he announced this latest reason for the unreasonable.

  5. Prigger
    Posted October 2, 2017 at 6:00 am | Permalink

    John McDonnell appeared on TV and stated categorically the backdating refund of tuition fees. I do not recall Mr Corbyn putting it into clear words or indeed being asked if he supported the idea by our balanced media. The two men often speak in parallel and avoid condemning the other. Mr Corbyn was recently asked what Mr McDonnell meant by “THEY would eventually try to get him and who they were” as it sounded as though he was referring to some clandestine British Security attack. Corbyn replied “”They” are the people ( Mr McDonnell ) does not like”. End of answer. Usually in a comedy due you have a straight man and a stooge, not two stooges. But it works for them! All the little munchkins of Momentum follow their every custard pie in face and all the banana skin slips.

    • Posted October 2, 2017 at 7:37 am | Permalink

      Do take a look at the Canary website and see how the graduates of our education system have been programmed to think. Their conference (aka the Conservative Party Conference) begins today too.

  6. Lifelogic
    Posted October 2, 2017 at 6:05 am | Permalink

    Lower taxes are not just popular they help the economy to grow hugely. High taxes make otherwise sensible things simply not worth doing. They make inefficient DIY sensible even for highly skilled staff who would be better using their specialist skills. High taxes thus kill productivity and high (and hugely over complex) taxes kill it even more.

    Compare say doing repairs to your own house or car with earning the money then employing some professional to do it or say looking after your own children or paying a nursery to do it. The taxes NI (both employer and employee), income tax and vat can take about two thirds of the money off you in the process. Meaning that unless the professional is at least three times more efficient than you (or you are paid three times what he is) then you might as well just do the job yourself but less efficiently.

    High taxes by themselves are hugely damaging to an economy. Far better for the state to have 20% of a large economy than 80% of virtually nothing. The 15% stamp duty and the taxes on “profits” (that landlords are not even making) are particularly damaging & moronic. High taxes deter people from working or doing over time – as it is just not worth their while.

    I too look forwards to a real conservative party led by someone who really is a “low tax conservative at heart” alas we have May who is essentially a Corbyn socialist, green crap, PC interventionist and ex(?) remainer – just not quite as bad as Corbyn but nearly as bad.

    As Milton Friedman put it:-

    “I am in favour of cutting taxes under any circumstances and for any excuse, for any reason, whenever it’s possible.
    The reason I am is because I believe the big problem is not taxes, the big problem is spending.
    The question is, “How do you hold down government spending?” Government spending now amounts to close to 40% of national income not counting indirect spending through regulation and the like.
    If you include that, you get up to roughly half. The real danger we face is that number will creep up and up and up.
    The only effective way I think to hold it down, is to hold down the amount of income the government has. The way to do that is to cut taxes.” –Milton Friedman

    In the UK is it way over the 50% with the costs of regulation, the greencrap energy and the likes are also included. Government, almost always, is the problem not the answer.

  7. Prigger
    Posted October 2, 2017 at 6:16 am | Permalink

    Trump has detailed recently precise numbers on tax, increasing the tax threshold for low earners. I think $24,000 for a couple before they start paying tax and an ongoing lower tax rate, plus all the other child welfare benefits. Also a major lowering of corporation tax and the introduction of a one-off repatriation of company money from abroad now in tax-havens. Pundits say it is well on its way to approval by BOTH Houses.
    # The best part about a tax cut ( as opposed to just a raising of thresholds for individuals is the Opposition are taking their political lives in their hands if they dare oppose a clear giveaway of money to everyone. No constituency MP would like that on his or her record. Is the Tory Party bright enough to do it? Last election, no. It went instead for the Strangle Your Grandparents Tax and somehow lost seats.The electorate are so fickle!

  8. Bryan Harris
    Posted October 2, 2017 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    Tories have to get back to that winning position – lower taxes and smaller government.
    Incredibly, very little has happened re bonfire of quangos, and now we hear security firms will have power of arrest – THIS IS NOT THE DIRECTION WE WANT TO GO – Parliament has to be the place that controls things, not unelected overpaid bureaucrats.
    Most imporantly!!! we want a tax system that is fit for purpose:
    – Rewrite the tax rule book (on a gradual basis is OK)
    – Get rid of National insurance, BBC licence fee, and inheritance tax… and a few others
    – Switch some taxes to VAT on true luxury items

    Stop sending so much money abroad, and declare that wealth redistribution is dead!

  9. Cheshire Girl
    Posted October 2, 2017 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    Just a thought. We could save quite a bit of taxpayers money by NOT appointing a ‘ Vice Chairman for Diverse Communities’ as recommended in Eric Pickles recent report!

    Talk about throwing money away!

    • Timaction
      Posted October 2, 2017 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

      …………….how about one for “English Communities”. Oh I remember we are the forgotten second class community in this politically correct Country.

  10. alan jutson
    Posted October 2, 2017 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    The problem you have John is that your Prime Minister wants to spend MORE taxpayer money.

    Last week in Florence she gave away £20 Billion to the EU.

    Yesterday on the Marr Show she has promised to give away another £12 Billion on supporting home ownership for first time buyers.

    Goodness knows what further giveaways we are going to have this week at your Conference, which will need more tax rises to come, to pay for it all.

    Why not Simply raise the personal tax allowance threshold to £15,000 and simplify inheritance tax to £1 million per person, and that will get you more votes if that is what you want.

    Or

    Raise the Personal Tax Allowance allowance to £15,000 and spend another £10 Billion on the NHS

    Or shove the whole lot into Social care so we do not have Nursing home fees.

    Goodness knows there are enough problems to solve without supporting an over priced housing market, which is just finding its own level at last.

    Mrs May may have a vision but I am afraid it is rather blurred.

    • Daniel
      Posted October 3, 2017 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

      I think that rather than raising the inheritance tax threshold to 1 million, the rate should be halved from 40% to 20% & the threshold doubled to £750,000 & loopholes closed, otherwise the rich will still try & avoid a punitive 40% rate.

  11. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted October 2, 2017 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    The increase in the higher rate threshold was offset by an equivalent reduction in the NI secondary earnings limit so higher rate taxpayers did not benefit. Fiscal drag throughout the previous five years,when your government did not increase the limit to pay for the lower rate increase, has made the threshold ridiculously low.

    Removing universal child benefit through the taxation system from those earning over £50K (an amount for a single earning family equivalent to two earners in a family earning an average wage so not a lot of money) represented an increase in tax for middle earners.

    Tax cutting my ****

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted October 2, 2017 at 7:06 am | Permalink

      80% spending cuts and 20% increased taxes was the aim I recall.

      I am certainly paying more tax but I do not actually see any cuts. Government spending continues to rise.

    • stred
      Posted October 4, 2017 at 8:36 am | Permalink

      I met the wife of a couple with 2 children who are probably in this pay group and was shocked when she said she had not been able to afford the new residents parking charge of £130. She now has no-where to park their old car and will have to walk a mile to it with young children. There seems to be no limit to ways to squeeze more tax out of people trying to work, pay the mortgage and have children.

  12. Glenn Vaughan
    Posted October 2, 2017 at 7:16 am | Permalink

    John

    You have made a convincing case for sacking Hammond who could have sat comfortably in a Blair cabinet. A petition has been handed into Downing Street recently that sought to achieve that objective but unfortunately only amassed approximately 38,000 signatures.

    Theresa May has demonstrated that she is not up to the job of leading this country but let’s remember how she became Prime Minister in the first place. She won by default. The Johnson, Gove, Leadsom and Fox campaigns all fell apart and revealed how each was inept under media scrutiny. None of them showed that they were fit to become Prime Minister then and nothing has changed in the subsequent 15 months from what I’ve seen and heard.

    If Mrs May is to be succeeded by a genuine tax cutting Conservative then it would be intriguing to learn from your readers who should lead this country. Surely it has to be someone who sits on the back benches currently.

  13. Richard1
    Posted October 2, 2017 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    Oliver Letwin this am argued for higher taxes. This being in tune with BBC-think he wasn’t challenged as to which taxes should rise. The tax/GDP take in the U.K. Is now as high as it’s been in decades, is way above what it is in high growth / high GDP per capita economies like Switzerland and Singapore & rates are in many cases clearly above the revenue maximising level. The Conservatives will not win the next election by appeasing leftism and becoming Labour-lite. Big government leftists will never vote Tory. But people running their own businesses or working in the private sector up & down the country will respond to better incentives through low taxes.

    • Richard1
      Posted October 2, 2017 at 7:59 am | Permalink

      Mr Hammond said this am that we will have a two year transition period “in order there isn’t a cliff edge”. Err.. does the govt believe in the cliff edge or not? If so the EU will clearly sit it out and wait for the UK to cave in in terror of the cliff edge. In such a case it would be better to go now for the Norway or Switzerland model, since the UK would have in this case, no negotiating leverage. If the govt does t think the cliff edge is there, if it agrees with JR that the cliff edge is a myth like the millennium bug, then ministers need to stop talking about it, and challenge others who do.

  14. formula57
    Posted October 2, 2017 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    I commend your prudence in avoiding a repeat of the offer often made to readers in the past to state what they would like to see in the forthcoming budget for I think none of us can expect to see anything we would like. This is the problem with having an ailing, out-of-touch government.

  15. Ian Wragg
    Posted October 2, 2017 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    It is interesting that all those complaining about squabbling in the Tory party are the people who want to overturn the referendum result.
    Neither Hammond or May have an inspiring vision for the UK post Brexit. It’s time for a change with a small state low tax PM and Chancellor in charge.

  16. agricola
    Posted October 2, 2017 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    Rather than the perpetual round of either more dependency offerings or reductions in tax, a fundamental re-think on the purpose of government is required. Do we require it’s present all intrusiveness in the lives of citizens. Once it has been cut right back to fundamentals, none of which it does well at present, the tax burden on the population would fall away. The great problem in the UK these days is the overwhelming number employed by government at all levels just to prevent you walking on the apocryphal grass.

    At it’s very worst we see what is happening in Catalan, the draconian measures taken by the Spanish government to thwart democracy, and the complicity of the EU in Brussels who have nothing to say. All those remoaners at your conference need to have a long hard think of that with which they wish to inflict us.

  17. Posted October 2, 2017 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    Lower taxes – of course. They attract good people who love to live without too much tax – Singapore, Thailand, Dubai…
    How? Well, how about looking at the massive bureaucracies that plague the professions – Doctors, Nurses, Teachers, Clergy – and which clog up the tax system too? Lots of dead wood there, I should like to think.
    The Labour Party will not be at all happy when their Libraries are closed and they will shriek about “Austerity” when the NHS is pruned (about time too).
    Mrs Thatcher dared to assault the Council Houses and those pillars of Unionism, the Miners…

  18. Nig l
    Posted October 2, 2017 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    Excellent post. Shame it is three days after your leader promised umpteen billion for first time buyers, obviously a market whose problem is lack of supply needs more demand, and some sort of refund system for student loans. Both clearly panic measures, unfunded and not thought through as part of an overall cohesive policy.

    We still have to hear how you are going to reduce our energy prices, more market distortion?

    Charles Moore in the DT wrote an excellent article setting out quite clearly how Theresa May does not understand market dynamics so to suggest that she will lower taxes and trust individuals is wishful thinking.

    Corbyn has got her and your party petrified as we have seen from the recent knee jerk and I expect more moves to the left to help those just managing.

    She needs to be reminded she leads the Tory party and it’s values, not Labour lite or an
    SDP and if she live with that, oved on and replaced by someone who understands that it is a dynamic free enterprise economy albeit with the right checks and balances that truly helps everyone in the long term.

  19. Chris S
    Posted October 2, 2017 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    The most important sentence in your piece is the assertion that “we should be cutting the tax rates where to do so will increase the revenue.”

    That means Stamp Duty, IHT, CGT and the 45% tax rate.

    Unfortunately while tax reductions in these areas are a no-brainer as far as revenue raising is concerned, it would be a gift to Corbyn and his rag-tag army who are intent on fighting last century’s class war and starting a 21st century war between the young and the middle aged/retired.

    There is no way to reason with people who have been brainwashed into thinking that the Venezuela school of economics is the way forward for the UK.

    It’s a fact that Mrs May simply hasn’t the charisma to face down Corbyn and sell a sensible economic model to younger voters. There appears to be a lack of potential leaders with that essential ability. In my view, Dan Hannan is the only credible person that would be electable as PM. He’s also a generation younger.

    The abysmal standard of teaching of 20th century history and the left wing bias that’s endemic across the whole of the education system means that they have no concept of the utter disaster that successive Labour governments have inflicted on us.

    • Daniel
      Posted October 3, 2017 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

      Most of those taxes have been cut by Osborne from what they were under labour, VAT however hasn’t, Brexit enables us to scrap VAT altogether & replace it with a simpler sales tax, the revenue of which could go to local/county councils. The tax from Internet purchases could go to the central government.

  20. A.Sedgwick
    Posted October 2, 2017 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    May and Hammond have to go, they both make Major look dynamic. It is inconceivable that they will lead the Conservative Party into the next General Election, if they do welcome PM Corbyn.

    Catalonia – Remoaners your views please or is the deafening silence or weasel words inevitable.

  21. Duncan
    Posted October 2, 2017 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    I know one thing. If we enter the next election with May and Hammond at the helm we will get absolutely destroyed. They are a disaster waiting to happen

    The priority should be to try and persuade traditional Labour voters in the north to back the Tories and that means tax cuts, delivering the EU referendum result in full, a return to self-reliance and the destruction and obsession with the politics of identity

    Students vote Labour. It’s what they do. Stop pandering to them

    • mickc
      Posted October 2, 2017 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

      It may be a good thing if the present Conservative party were destroyed. It could then revive true Conservatism, as Labour has revived Socialism….and been very successful.

  22. David Lawrence
    Posted October 2, 2017 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    The issue is not about the money to be spent as that remains more constant, but rather who managers it. I prefer the individual to the state for reasons of freedom and liberty and pragmatically a higher percentage is then spent correctly. The state should enable free enterprise as it is not capable of running it. Brussels given this can only be a hindrance.

  23. Bob
    Posted October 2, 2017 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    So Mrs May announced an increase to the repayment threshold for student debt to £25k pa.
    This will give them a short term cash flow benefit of £360 while adding an interest charge of 6% annually compounding on the £4k.

    After 8 years the interest will actually increase the debt by more that £360 pa.

    UKIP’s policy on education to reintroduce grammar schools, invest in vocational education and technical training and scrap tuition fees for STEM subjects makes far more practical sense that the current fiasco which leaves many graduates burdened with huge high interest debt while scratching around for low to average wage jobs.

    • a-tracy
      Posted October 3, 2017 at 9:06 am | Permalink

      Good point Bob, so effectively the brightest and best STEM graduates and highest earning grads will never escape their 9% graduate tax for 30 years as well as paying 45% tax ++ if Labour get elected.

    • Daniel
      Posted October 3, 2017 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

      That policy was actually my idea, Tim Aker liked it & it became UKIP policy, my original idea was that we’d ask business what degrees were necessary for the economy & those would then be free, Aker slimmed it down to STEM.

  24. Man of Kent
    Posted October 2, 2017 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    There are only four ways of spending money :

    A- Spend your own money on yourself

    B- Spend your own money on other people

    C- Spend other people’s money on other people

    D – Spend other people’s money on yourself

    The most efficient of these is A.
    We spend our own money much more efficiently than Government : so let us spend
    the maximum and keep Government expenditure to the minimum on Defence and Justice

    As for D : there is still far too much of that – like EU accounts , public rip-offs .

  25. Iain Gill
    Posted October 2, 2017 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    How much money have may and Hammond promised to throw away so far this week?

    What a laughing stock.

    • a-tracy
      Posted October 3, 2017 at 9:07 am | Permalink

      What’s the purpose of a Conference, can you vote on a loss of support for elected Chancellors?

  26. Bert Young
    Posted October 2, 2017 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    Lower taxes and an expanding economy go hand in glove ; if the Conservatives have any sense they would go along with this ethos and put it to the people straight and uncomplicated . Frankly -as things stand , the Conservatives are in a mess ; the lack of positive and determined leadership has allowed all manners of dissension to occur within their ranks . Pre and post Cameron there has been a drift to the left and an unusual degree of pandering to those supporting ” remain”. I don’t think now that there is any sense in Theresa remaining .

    There has to be a clear strong message to the people that we are not going to be cajoled by the EU’s response to our negotiations ; David Davis will never be able to deliver the right package if he is not supported by strong and consistent backing . Populist opinion is growing and will continue to erode away at traditionalists ; in a independent society people must be encouraged to aspire and achieve and they will respond to a good leader .

  27. acorn
    Posted October 2, 2017 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    You don’t mention what level of Treasury spending you anticipate; or, the level of budget deficit you will entertain in the domestic non-Bank economy. All three are part of the same equation in a Conservative “hard” neo-liberal economy. (Where the proletariat must never find out that taxes don’t actually pay for anything.)

  28. Iain Moore
    Posted October 2, 2017 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    Before you make tax cuts you first have to win the argument for tax cuts. The Conservatives vacated the political battle field a long time ago ,and in that empty space has walked Corbyn offering free stuff for everybody and state control of production . I very much doubt that the Conservatives are up for challenging Corbyn’s back to the future socialism. When we need Tebbits we’ve got Sourby’s .

    Harping back to tax cuts, though it is important to have a smaller state, I believe misses the political touch stone of the day, which is student debt, lack of prospects for the young, stagnating wages , housing, and access to public services.

    Student debt I see as a stand alone issue, and the argument should be employed that if you want the state to pay for your university education, as the state always rations resources, then students should get ready for a lot fewer of them going to university. I do see a role for the state to assist students studying for skills that state needs, like medicine, engineering, sciences etc, but if a student has a passion for studying gender , humanities or media studies, well the debt is on their head.

    The for rest I see these as problems that are the direct result of mass immigration. Depressed wages …. the direct result of the surplus supply due to mass immigration. The shortage of housing…… the surplus demand caused by adding a couple of million people to our population over the last decade. The shortage of state services…..demand cause by mass immigration. Yet rather than changing the terms of the debate the Conservatives ministers go onto political programs and get beaten up for attempting to become Corbyn lite . Well here’s the news, the Conservatives will never be able to out spend Corbyn, and why should people accept £300 from the Conservatives when Corbyn is offering the £50,000?

    The Conservative have to offer people a different route out of the mess we are in. Regurgitating tax cuts ain’t going to do it. Instead of minsters bleating about how many more houses they are trying to get built, they also have say look we are also trying to stem some of the demand that is coming into the country. Instead of Corbyn’s state control of wages the Conservatives have to make the market work for the low paid by shutting off the supply of cheap labour. Its not rocket science. but for some reason the Conservatives refuse to make the argument and won’t point to the elephant in the room , that of mass immigration, and in not doing so you are helping Corbyn.

  29. Epikouros
    Posted October 2, 2017 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    We do not have to worry about Labour putting up taxes anymore as they have found a magic solution. Peoples QE, helicopter money, price controls and the acquisition of private assets at a price determined by the purchaser, them. They know that this sort of thing has been tried before with disastrous and inflationary consequences. However in true lefty thinking they know it will work for them as they say as it will be them who is going to be do it this time. Why it will work for them and has never done so for for anyone else before is not a question they deem worthy of an answer.

    So I say next time vote Labour as I am sure they know what they are doing and that the promise to students was just a minor blip and was no way intended to deceive. Of course if it does go pear shape then the pound will be worthless, everyone will be as poor as church mice and the wealth creators will have decamped to healthier economic climates (like the French ones have been doing so in droves since the election of Hollande another lefty).

  30. John Finn
    Posted October 2, 2017 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    I’m not sure tax cuts are quite the vote winner they once were. To complicate matters further the Labour party are promising the electorate there will be tax rises – but not for them.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted October 3, 2017 at 7:33 am | Permalink

      This does rather get to the heart of the matter.
      Conservatives’ mantra is that the free market economy where money is freed up by lower taxes generates growth which increases overall tax take and money supply thus improving the lot of all.

      Translation for the youth and have nots ‘- others will get richer than you if it works.’

      Labour’s mantra is we will take from those better off than you and companies to pay for things you want.

      Translation for youth and have nots ” even if it doesn’t work the rich will be punished and I will have saved up to £40K on student fees” (NB at the next election my children will be about to go to university and I will think hard about voting for this policy it is worth a lot of money).

      Conservatives will lose the argument to that demographic so need to find other ways to engage with them. Security, unions, authoritarianism, lack of principles (this seems a rich seam to exploit as an achillies heel).

  31. ale bro
    Posted October 2, 2017 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    the problem that neither party has managed to come to terms with is the ability of highest earners to evade the tax net.

    the only way to claw back this cash is to impose withholding tax on money flowing to offshore jurisdictions, or to at least try and reclaim some money from those who live in monaco.

    it is conservative policy to accept political donations from tax exiles, as long as they remain uk citizens. some are even ennobled a la philip green. the conservative party needs to get out of bed with this lot – a clear statement stating that tory coffers are closed to tax exiles would be a good start.

    parliament could easily legislate to stop offshore tax leakage. instead, we are treated to the lie that £95k in annual earnings is enough to count as rich, as people earning above this are expected to shoulder all of the tax burden.

    in reality, £95k is what a newly qualified lawyer will make, and earnings at this level are definitely not enough to qualify a rich. many MPs have made a fortune from property holdings in central london, and what a surprise these profits are tax free!

    it should be a national scandal that the duke of westminster was able to avoid normal death duties on his estate. if normal inheritance tax rules had been followed, the country would be billions of pounds richer!

  32. David
    Posted October 2, 2017 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    I know how you can cut taxes now. I know people who don’t work and never will but live in zone2 live on benefits. Make them move somewhere cheaper and use the savings to cut taxes. If you think it seems harsh – imagine what is like for those who have to commute long distances every day and would like housing nearer their work.

  33. Duncan
    Posted October 2, 2017 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    Just seen Hammond’s speech. If that’s the best that this pro-EU infiltrator can do that my party is doomed. This man can never become the leader of my party, never. An utterly dreadful character

    We need a towering figure, a person with guts and determination to see the UK through the transition from the EU and a return to sovereignty

    Message to all Tory MPs – get rid of May and Hammond

  34. Dave Andrews
    Posted October 2, 2017 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    Ending our EU payments would be good for sure, but they are only 1/4 of the national debt interest we pay.
    Lower taxes would be great, but assuming the idea isn’t to make up the difference with yet more borrowing, that means a reduction in public spending.
    Take the NHS for example, we should really be focusing on reducing this bill. This means ending the public’s obsession with being sick and adopting healthy lifestyles.

  35. Bob
    Posted October 2, 2017 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    We need a Chancellor with a more positive optimistic attitude.
    Hammond should go, and take Carney with him.

  36. libertarian
    Posted October 2, 2017 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    Well right at this moment my business taxes are still going UP

    The latest attack on my business by the Conservative government could be the straw that breaks the camels back , I’m seriously considering closing down , 140 people affected sadly, but I’m not prepared to keep paying vast amounts of tax for worse and worse services that I dont want or need anyway. More of my revenue now goes on taxes, regulation compliance and pensions contributions than any other thing. Its becoming pointless being in business

  37. a-tracy
    Posted October 2, 2017 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    You don’t make anything of any benefits you have put in like a higher tax-free allowance lifting millions of the lowest paid and part-time workers out of tax.

    Left-wing writers ask “where have all the Young Tories gone” with a suggestion there aren’t any, well they’re keeping their heads down love and keeping their mouths shut, when the left activate people that hang effigies from a bridge would you admit to these people your political persuasions, there’s no debating with them, they’re right and you must be evil if you don’t agree. My goodness, I don’t know if I’d declare I’m a Tory in Manchester so aggressive and intolerant is the current mob. If you speak out we’ll come for you and we’ll close you down seems to be the order of the day, the political right have to be much more careful with their speech and actions so much so that they daren’t hardly speak.

    • a-tracy
      Posted October 2, 2017 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

      One more off-topic suggestion (sorry) for Nicky Morgan – No Nicky, Boris Johnson should not be quiet, he speaks for us, the silent people that voted Conservative and Leave, his loyalty is to the Conservative grassroots and people like me who YOU don’t speak for. To me she is the one out of kilter, talking out of turn with the leave voting majority.

  38. James Doran
    Posted October 2, 2017 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    There are many excellent comments to your article Mr Redwood, I do hope you read them. The only thing I will add is my recommendation to prepare yourself for a period in opposition. The inept offerings from the Conservative party are making the Socialists look competent. In the mean time I look forward to reading more of your articles on Catalan independence, balance of trade deficits and fiscal and monetary tightening.

  39. adam
    Posted October 2, 2017 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    regulate illegals and borders and criminals more

    regulate businesses less

    a simple rule for good governance

  40. Chris
    Posted October 2, 2017 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

    If anyone was in any doubt as to where Hammond’s priorities lie, then this should provide a very strong clue. He seems to have no intention of effecting the Brexit we voted for.
    http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/861245/Brexit-news-UK-EU-transition-European-Union-business-chancellor-Philip-Hammond-video
    WHAT?! Brexit FARCE: Hammond says ‘flexible’ transition may last MORE than two years.
    A POST-BREXIT transitional deal with the European Union could last longer than two years to avoid a cliff-edge for businesses, Chancellor Philip Hammond said.

  41. getahead
    Posted October 2, 2017 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    “Mr Hammond began the 2017 election by appearing to hint that higher taxes might be needed.”
    Mr Hammond does a lot of hinting. He first hinted that we might need a “transition” period of two years to help business adjust. He is currently hinting that businesses might need longer that two years to achieve a necessary adjustment. All of which is bullshit. He clearly wants us to remain in the EU. Get rid of him.

  42. Simon Coleman
    Posted October 2, 2017 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

    The biggest economic issue of the day is wage stagnation, especially in the face of rising prices. When people haven’t had a pay rise in a decade, do you really think they’re bothered about a tax cut worth about £50 a year which will doubtless be reversed? Your obsession with tax cuts shows how out of touch you are. You just don’t get what is driving the Corbyn movement: wage stagnation plus ridiculous house prices and rents, and rampant inequality.

    • a-tracy
      Posted October 3, 2017 at 9:32 am | Permalink

      How can their be wage stagnation when the NMW is pushing up pay differentials by a higher % than inflation plus extra grade changes increasing pay and productivity enhancements plus a new % of revenue going into people’s pensions from their Employer?

      None of this betterment is being acknowledge or accepted and to be a small business owner in these oft quoted ‘people haven’t had a pay rise in a decade’ is frankly insulting.

      In one year there were two increases for workers over 25 one in October and one in April. At the same time workers have been requested flexible working, reduced hours which have all been accommodated but will reduce the averages per person as so many wish to stay on over retirement age but in a shorter working week, which only leaves you a part-time job role to fill not a full-time job role.

      In April 2007 the lowest wage for 25-year-olds was £5.35ph in April 2017 it is £7.50. In April 2007 the personal allowance (before you start paying tax) was £5225 from April 2017 it is £11,500, so you can earn more than twice the annual wage now before paying tax. In addition, all employers are contributing 13.8% National Insurance contribution on your behalf over the lel plus an extra 1% towards your personal NEST pension element. So if you are a person on the lowest wage doing the average 37.5 hours per week can you tell me how you calculate that as wage stagnation, I’m not being awkward I just want to know what %’s and reasoning you’re using?

      We have taken into our Country millions of immigrants over this decade which has put pressure on housing in the most prosperous, good work location, areas, we see on our tv screens that these people are willing to share houses sometimes overcrowding a rental house by a massive degree, students often share multiple occupation homes at much higher rent than that home would have achieved without converting every room into a bedroom bar the bathroom and kitchen. There is a massive problem about priorities over social housing and who is getting housing benefits and able to live in social rental accommodation in say Kensington just how many people living in social rentals on housing benefits in say Kensington our most expensive Borough we’re told, what % were born in the UK and moved into that area to work and what % were born in that Borough?

  43. Daniel
    Posted October 3, 2017 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

    The taxes that I’d cut if I were Theresa May would be inheritance tax from 40% to 20% & double the threshold to £750,000 this takes most homes out of the question. Also sin taxes disproportionately hit the poor, so cutting or freezing tobacco, alcohol & fuel duties would be a boon for the less well off, as would raising the national insurance threshold.

  44. Peter Martin
    Posted October 5, 2017 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    In the meantime we should be cutting the tax rates where to do so will increase the revenue.

    The pound is essentially an IOU of Government. The Government creates the pounds, spends them into the economy and then they come back as taxation. UNLESS they are saved.

    That’s really all there is to it. So if you want to increase your revenue you need to work out how to stop people saving. That is if you really want to do that.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, He graduated from Magdalen College Oxford, has a DPhil and is a fellow of All Souls College. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.

  • John’s Books

  • Email Alerts

    You can sign up to receive John's blog posts by e-mail by entering your e-mail address in the box below.

    Enter your email address:

    Delivered by FeedBurner

    The e-mail service is powered by Google's FeedBurner service. Your information is not shared.

  • Map of Visitors

    Locations of visitors to this page