Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The mistake of Iain Dale and Guido Fawkes

I already highlighted Denis MacShane's opinion piece in yesterday's Telegraph .

Both Iain Dale and Guido Fawkes use that as some kind of argument to say that David Cameron should be saying that we will be cutting taxes as soon as we get in. They are both wrong for a number of reasons.

  • There is a problem of political presentation. If we say we are going to cut spending then the vacuous left will equate that (wrongly) to a number of nurses or doctors. It is true that someone like Denis MacShane calling for tax cuts makes it easier and makes it harder for Labour to make the argument over nurses etc.
  • Who carries out the cuts? This is important because if the management responsible for the waste are asked to make cuts then they tend to cut what is necessary over what is waste. They are only wasting money because they are incompetent anyway. As an example Margaret Thatcher tried to cut 15% from the NHS budget in the 1980's. I worked in the NHS at the time and you could see that could be done. The only problem is that the people doing the cuts were to stupid to see where to do it so cut services instead.
  • We do not know how bad the public finances are going to be when we win the next general election. We already know that Labour will borrow money hand over fist to pay for their own mistakes like the 10p tax fiasco and hock the country to the eyeballs in a fascist finance scheme.
So, we need to be careful. We are promising sustainably lower taxes, which can only be achieved by being careful and thoughtful. As an example by looking to reduce family breakdowns and the associated costs to society and the tax payer that ensues. We do need to cut out waste but we need to find the right mechanisms for doing that, like fund holding GP's. The problem is that there will not necessarily be any immediate tax benefit to any of this on day one. Many policy changes will take 3 to 5 years to start having a positive effect. In the meantime we can "share the proceeds of growth".

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