The economic choice in 2015

Some of you here are critical of the coalition for not cutting more and not removing the budget deficit in this Parliament. Some of you are critical of the tax rises that were put in as part of the policy to get rid of excessive borrowing.

The choice before us in May 2015 is a simple one. The Conservatives offer the end of the whole deficit within the life of the next Parliament, whilst Labour only wishes to remove the current deficit, borrowing more for capital expenditure.

Both parties want higher ages. Labour offers an increase in the minimum wage, with the Conservatives likely to increase it by a similar amount by relying on the independent system of fixing it currently in place. Labour wants to take more action to enforce it and to prevent undercutting by migrant labour behaving illegally, which Conservatives too have said they wish to do. Conservatives wish to cut the flow of new migrants significantly. Both parties want benefit reforms within the EU to reduce amount of benefit the UK has to pay to newly arrived EU migrants.

Labour wishes to collect less tax from the rich by putting Income Tax up to 50%, where it collected less than at 45%, whilst claiming that next time round the higher rate will in some mysterious way raise more. Labour also want to tax dearer homes with a so called Mansion Tax.

The issue is therefore a simple one? Will spending, taxing and borrowing more generate more wealth and income, or will it, as in the past, generate less? If you want more taxing spending and borrowing then Labour is your party. If not the Conservatives offer the alternative.

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  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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