George Osborne must put spending cuts ahead of tax rises

22 June 2010 11:20

In 2009, Britain borrowed more, as a share of its national income, than any country that isn’t being bailed out by the IMF and the Eurozone (Greece) or already making… Continue reading


The two sides of the VAT question

21 June 2010 15:07

There are two main aspects to the VAT issue: one distasteful, the other less so.  The distasteful one is the issue of whether the government has a mandate for hiking… Continue reading


Lord Ashcroft clarifies a few things

19 June 2010 11:56

After all the hoo-haa about Lord Ashcroft’s tax status, it’s only fair to mention this passage from his interview with the Telegraph today: "He explains that new laws brought in… Continue reading


To increase capital gains revenues cut rates, don’t increase them

27 May 2010 11:14

To address the deficit, George Osborne will probably have to raise taxes. This is a grim truth to which most people are reconciled. But raising taxes and raising revenue are… Continue reading


Cameron’s public debate with his backbenchers

27 May 2010 9:15

So, did Cameron say anything particularly noteworthy during his interview on the Today programme?  In truth, not really.  Most of the answers were of the "let’s wait and see what… Continue reading


Mind the culture gap

19 May 2010 11:19

Danny Finkelstein’s column this morning is one of the most important things to have been written since the coalition was formed. Danny makes the point that the coalition has no… Continue reading


Let’s Talk About Tax

8 May 2010 23:09

We know that europe and perhaps electoral reform will be difficult for the Tories and Lib Dems to agree upon. So let’s talk about something else: tax. Cameron’s email to… Continue reading


The Lib Dems’ turn to convince?

14 April 2010 9:04

So now it’s the Lib Dems’ turn to present their prospectus for the country.  And, in some respects, I expect they’ll want a fairly uneventful day.  They have, after all,… Continue reading


Will Labour’s manifesto mean the end of VAT attacks on the Tories?

12 April 2010 9:07

You know it’s the day you’ve all been waiting for, CoffeeHousers – the day of Labour’s manifesto launch.  Last Thursday, Douglas Alexander described the document as a "progressive programme worthy… Continue reading


Even Cable can’t defend the Lib Dems’ misleading poster

11 April 2010 16:35

This poster by the LibDems is perhaps the most dishonest one of the campaign so far – and Vince Cable has pretty well admitted it to Jon Sopel on the… Continue reading


The Times is wrong about the Tories’ marriage tax break

10 April 2010 17:53

Since The Times moved its leaders on to page two, they’ve also taken on a new vitality. For years, they were the voice of solid good sense. It was pretty… Continue reading


The case for voting Conservative

10 April 2010 12:26

Why vote for Cameron? The reasons for voting against Gordon Brown are so numerous that the positive pro-Tory reasons for voting are often lost. This week’s Spectator gives you all… Continue reading


How Labour and the Lib Dems are attacking the Tories’ marriage tax break

10 April 2010 10:27

This morning, we’ve already seen the two primary attacks which will be used against the marriage tax break outlined by George Osborne in the Times today.  The first came courtesy… Continue reading


Tories remain on the front foot over national insurance

9 April 2010 18:28

A copy of a letter that George Osborne sent to Alistair Darling today: Alistair Darling The Labour Party 39 Victoria Street London   SW1H 0HA 9 April 2010 Dear Alistair, In… Continue reading


Labour’s high risk, high reward strategy on national insurance

8 April 2010 20:02

Labour today has tried to shift the National Insurance debate from whether you should cut waste to prevent a tax rise, to whether the Tories’ sums add up. When the… Continue reading


The VAT dividing line is growing deeper

8 April 2010 19:29

Is this a pledge we can count on?  After the Lib Dems suggested they wouldn’t increase VAT earlier, the Labour Chief Whip has told ITV’s Lucy Manning that his party… Continue reading


The joke’s on Brown

1 April 2010 20:30

It took a while, but I spotted Labour’s April Fool trick: an attack document on the Tory economic agenda. It looks real at first, but when you go through it… Continue reading


Labour have moved on from the death tax for now – and so should the Tories

30 March 2010 9:35

Labour’s plans for a national care service aren’t looking too sharp this morning.  Andy Burnham is expected to announce a cap on residential costs for the elderly later today –… Continue reading


A smart move by Osborne – but he needs to ready himself for his opponents’ attacks

29 March 2010 9:10

There’s little doubting it: the Tory plan to (at least partially) reverse Labour’s national insurance hike has handed George Osborne a high-calibre weapon for tonight’s TV debate.  It is, I… Continue reading


Introducing the Nelson tax

21 March 2010 15:36

In the News of the World today, I propose a new tax on the rich: specifically, on ex-ministers who go on to earn a crust advising companies how to avoid… Continue reading


Darling’s Budget takes shape

19 March 2010 9:04

Yep, it’s that time of the year again – when the government starts briefing about the contents of the Budget.  First up, there’s the news that Alistair Darling may cut… Continue reading


Labour will relish this opportunity to prolong the Ashcroft story

3 March 2010 11:27

When Gordon Brown pulled out of PMQs this week because of Jacob Zuma’s state visit there was much chortling that he didn’t much fancy PMQs. But I suspect that Labour… Continue reading


Labour’s pursuit of Ashcroft could backfire

2 March 2010 12:18

I wrote yesterday that Lord Ashcroft’s statement about his tax status should have drawn a "rather neat line under the issue".  Sure, it’s hardly ideal that someone with such influence… Continue reading


Six Tory Promises: How Impressed are You?

27 February 2010 0:32

Actually, there seem to be rather more than six promises Still, the Daily Mail reports on a series of Tory pledges that Dave & Co will roll out this weekend… Continue reading


Cameron brings some clarity to the table

13 February 2010 18:27

Maybe it’s just a slow Saturday, but the Conservatives’ latest WebCameron video (see below) strikes me as one of the most effective yet. The pitch is straightforward: make an appeal… Continue reading