Cameron’s priorities: tax cuts, tax cuts and, er… tax cuts

DAVE was interviewed on Radio 4’s Today programme this morning, and although nothing he said will set the heather alight, one can only conclude from his musings that he has learned a lot at the knee of his former boss, that legendary, massively-successful chancellor, Norman Lamont.

He started off by saying that we’ve spent too much on public services in the last decade:

“The tragedy for the country is that we we didn’t have such tough public spending in previous years…”

The next obvious question would have been: where would you have cut spending? Alas, it never came.

Next we had his masterplan for easing the current economic difficulties: cutting stamp duty for first-time buyers. In other words, an uncosted spending plan. How would this be paid for? We’ll never know, because he wasn’t asked.

Next idea? Another tax cut with the introduction of the so-called “fair fuel stabiliser”, completely ignoring the fact that tax take doesn’t necessarily go up with fuel taxes, because other consumer tax revenue falls. This wasn’t pointed out to Dave, so he didn’t feel the need to defend it.

Then he came out with: “What the government ought to be doing is cutting taxes to give a fiscal stimulus to the economy.”

“They blew it in the good times,” continued Dave, unchallenged.

Blew it? By spending money on pensioners and public services? Where would you have cut spending, Dave? Okay, don’t bother answering that.

And finally, the Great Leader’s gets all technical: “That’s what sharing the proceeds of growth is all about – it’s about saying, look, when the economy grows, yes, you spend some of the extra revenue coming in but you put some aside either on tax reduction or debt reduction so you have money for a rainy day.”

Dave, listen, we need to speak to you… “Tax cuts” isn’t the same as saving. In fact, it’s the opposite. Tax cuts are government spending. Didn’t Norman explain any of this while you worked for him?

So there we have it: Dave’s economic masterplan is to cut taxes, and then if that doesn’t work, it’s to cut taxes. And of course, if neither of those two policies work out, then… oh, you know the rest.

Norman “unemployment is a price well worth paying” Lamont must be so proud.


Filed under Conservative Party, David Cameron, Economy, Media, Politics, Uncategorized

37 responses to “Cameron’s priorities: tax cuts, tax cuts and, er… tax cuts

  1. Richard

    “Tax cuts are government spending”?

    What you and your socialist colleagues seem not to be able to grasp is that it’s OUR money, not the Government’s. If taxes are cut you’re taking less of OUR money away, not giving us YOUR money.

  2. But it nevertheless represents a net loss to the Treasury. However you define a tax cut philosophically, it has to be paid for, and ‘Dave’ isn’t volunteering how.

  3. Trouble is there are all sorts of stealth spending cuts that they could make without being detected immediately by the electorate just as they did in the 1980s. Cutting down on maintenance of schools, hospitals and housing for example or postponing the renewal of obsolete equipment. Those sorts of cuts take a while to do any noticeable damage (but of course eventually cost lots more to put right).

    They won’t have the good fortune of North Sea oil licences or nationalised industries to sell this time around; it was these that helped the Thatcher governments to keep tax artificially low – this was probably their greatest crime against the British public. Using capital receipts to finance the revenue account is the act of a business in real trouble, it’s like a farmer selling land to pay for fertiliser – and farmers hardly ever sell land!

    If we find ourselves in opposition, I hope we’ll do better at exposing these sorts of scams than last time (unless that is we want another 18 powerless years). In the 1980s Labour was so busy fighting itself, Militant and the SDP that it was pretty well useless as an opposition in my not terribly humble opinion. For example, it was left to the First Earl of Stockton (the former Tory PM Harold Macmillan) to point out that the Lady was shamefully selling the family silver to pay for the family parties (or something along those lines – according to Wikipedia he clarified what he’d meant by saying in a speech in the Lords that his concern was about “using of these huge sums as if they were income”)…

  4. Zorro

    “completely ignoring the fact that tax take doesn’t necessarily go up with fuel taxes, because other consumer tax revenue falls.”

    Do you really believe this? If so please explain how this works given that the total tax on petrol is higher than just about anything else. (Allowing for the fuel duty and the VAT). If you concede that point, and I think you’ll find it hard not to, then the total tax take (from consumers) should increase.

    Furthermore, if what you suggest is true, then surely you could increase the total tax take by reducing fuel tax, as we’d then spend the money we weren’t spending on fuel tax on this other stuff…

    Plus, what Richard said. Frankly this country can no longer afford a Labour government.

  5. SNP watch

    We all know how the tories would pay for it…..

    Slash the NHS
    Slash the Schools
    Slash Benefits
    Slash the roads
    EFFICIENCY savings!!!!!! (the most laughable)

    Use money gathered from the savage cuts to help the wealthy…….increase the inheritance tax threshold for millionaires – the first true Tory tax policy revealed to date.

  6. SNP watch

    Zorro – it would appear simple that high fuel means higher carriage for goods, higher prices for food and essentials. When it costs more money to live – luxuries (retail, leisure, holidays) all go out the window, along with the tax.

  7. Let me give you an example.

    My earnings are less than they have been in previous years – that is the effect of Gordon’s credit bubble popping. For the last 10 years I have put money aside for the bad times, which means that we can continue our lifestyle while cutting back on luxuries.

    I have a friend who spent everything coming in all those years. He is now financially stuffed. He asks what he can do. I say he should have saved for this rainy day by not spending so much. He says – what you mean is not spending so much on my family, on food to feed them and fuel to heat them and the car to transport them. I say yes – exactly right. You spent too much on the right things all those years and now you do not have enough to continue to spend on those things.

  8. But it doesn’t bother you that the leader of your party thinks that tax cuts should be included under the heading “Putting money aside”?

  9. Auntie Flo'

    “Next idea? Another tax cut with the introduction of the so-called “fair fuel stabiliser”, completely ignoring the fact that tax take doesn’t necessarily go up with fuel taxes, because other consumer tax revenue falls” (Tom Harris)

    1. Cameron can save £billions on public sector waste, Tom, without cutting services. I can give you one personal example of £300K a year wasted on just one local project which has produced almost nil service to anyone. There are countless such projects all over the country.

    2. Ipswich Council is saving £400K a year by refusing to fund the surveillance state in their town – gatsos. Every town in the country could save similar sums. That would make the government’s information commissioner happy too – he rightly says we are sleep walking into a surveillance state. We in UK are just 1% of the world’s population yet we have an eye popping 20% of the world’s surveillance systems. Anyone would think your government either doesn’t trust us lot outside the political bubble or is dead scared of us.

    3. If Cameron taxes air travel because it becomes necessary to combat climate change (said he would be prepared to on the Politics Show 29 Oct 2006), we would make and save £billions. Here’s one of the ways we would save:

    Stop Stansted Expansion’s website [all starring is mine]


    The rapid growth in cheap leisure flights is having a dramatic effect on the UK Balance of Payments according to figures just published by the Office of National Statistics (‘ONS’). These show a record

    **£18.8 billion trade deficit on air travel in 2005** compared to a deficit of just £2.0 billion ten years earlier.

    The figures (from ‘Travel Trends 2005’ and ‘The United Kingdom Balance of Payments, 2005’) will come as a serious embarrassment to the Government whose controversial airport expansion plans would allow for a near trebling of passenger numbers.

    The Government has always claimed that airport expansion is justified because of alleged benefits to the UK economy but these latest Balance of Payments figures appear to blow that claim out of the water. ”

    ‘Passenger Forecasts, Additional Analysis’ show that this is driven by the growing availability of cheap flights. If present trends continue there would be a

    **staggering £64 billion deficit by 2016.**

    “The ONS report shows that in 2005 a record 54 million overseas flights were made by UK residents who spent £28.0 billion overseas. This compared to just 22 million foreign visitors coming to the UK and spending £12.3 billion. In addition there was a net trade deficit of more than £3.0 billion on the purchase of airline tickets.

    Meanwhile, overseas leisure trips by UK residents accounted for 47 million flights in 2005 – almost three times as many as the 16 million foreign tourists who flew into the UK last year. UK spending on leisure trips abroad amounted to £23.9 billion in 2005 compared to only £8.5 billion earned by the UK from overseas tourism.”

    And that’s just the beginning of how much subsidised aviation costs us.

  10. Johnny Norfolk

    All you Labour people full of good ideas (you say )

    Every Labour government we have had, has left office with the country in a worse state than when they came into power. They spend far to much of our money on their mad cap ideas. This will be the worse of all the Labour governments we will ever have had. As Brown said there will be no more boom and bust under Labour. He is right its just bust, now you have frittered away Mrs Thatchers legacy. Every generation has to learn the hard way about labour.

  11. Zorro

    SNP Watch. Hmm, that doesn’t alter the fact that the money is still being spent, just on non luxuries. I’m not aware of any luxuries which are taxed as highly as Petrol/Diesel. The higher price for your food is mostly going to pay fuel tax. The money for the holiday you’re not taking is to pay for increased fuel and increased price of food, both of which equate mostly to fuel tax. See?

    Tom I don’t know who that last question of yours was aimed at but from my point of view I don’t care what ‘heading he puts it under’ as long as he does actually cut taxes, preferably quite significantly… Oh and it’s only ‘my’ party in that it’s the least bad of the available ones who have a chance of power, much as democracy is simply the least bad form of government we’ve so far come up with. I hold no great flame for the Tories, and will be complaining vociferously about them as of about autumn 2010 I guess.

  12. Richard

    What shocked me to the core was the removal of the 10p tax banding. Not because it immediately made 3 million people worse off but because a further 4 million people were pushed into the tax credit “threshhold”.

    By the government’s own admission nearly 90% of those eligible for tax credits don’t take them which means that Gordon and his merry band of highwaymen knew well in advance that they were taking money from the poorest people in society.

  13. Andrew F

    Not that I’d ever wish to spend my time intepreting Cameron’s economic drivel, but in the interests of impartiality I’ll attempt to provide a possible explanation:

    If taxes had been lower (we’d been spending less), this would have increased disposable incomes. In theory, this would allow them to save more/take on less debt while living the same lifestyle. Thus, as the credit bubble burst, people would be in better shape to deal with the consequences. Sound reasonable? Probably not.

    Of course, this would all depend on people’s marginal propensity to save, which hasn’t, as I understand it, been at all high.

    And it does seem faintly ridiculous to not spend the proceeds of growth simply because people are sitting on mountains of personal debt. That’s… ideologically messed up from a conservative.

  14. Auntie Flo'

    Your government claims that we must have the freedom to fly:

    “Flying…… enables substantial numbers of people to go on holiday overseas in a way that previous generations could only dream about. Significantly, people in the lower income groups made 9 million more flights than they did 10 years ago. Society should think very carefully before simply bringing down the shutters on the freedom to fly.” Transport Minister John Spellar in a speech to the Royal Aeronautical Society, 9/4/03

    Yet Hacan and others opposing airport expansion have show that aviation receives massive taxpayer subsidies which amount to a tax on the poor in favour of the richest.

    Hacan’s clear skies pamphlet states:

    Tax concessions for air transport were worth £7.5 billion in 2000;

    On current trends tax concessions will increase to £18.1bn in 2020 and £22.7bn in 2030;

    In 2002 a single person on the national average wage of £25,000 paid an extra £557 income tax to meet the costs of aviation’s tax exemptions; a person earning £10,000 pais an extra £107 per year ;

    These tax concessions artificially fuel demand. The Government predicts passenger numbers at UK airports will double by 2020 and treble by 2030.

    The considerable tax concessions enjoyed by the aviation industry each year largely benefit high income earners. In a typical year:

    less than 50% of the population flies at all; the poorest 10% hardly ever fly (3); of those that do fly, only 11% come from social classes D and E (3); even on budget airlines 75% of the trips are made by social classes A, B and C (3).

    Second home owners are fuelling the soaring demand to fly:

    the number of English families with a property abroad increased by 40% to 173,000 between 1995 and 1999, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders, and a third live in the South East, but these figures do not include those who pay for their homes in cash or borrow money from overseas lenders; the number of second homes purchased abroad by British people is thought to be around 50,000 a year (4); second homes owners make an average of 6 trips a year – on present growth rates, by 2012 an extra 1 million people will have bought a second home overseas and will be taking 12 million flights a year, the same number handled by Stansted in 2000 (4).

    It is cheap flights that are making the explosion in second homes abroad so popular. Linda Tavella, who chairs the Federation of Overseas Property Developers, told The Times (12/8/02): “Why would you buy here when you can go to Italy extremely cheaply and rent it out when you are not there?”

    And it’s the poorest, often those who can’t afford to fly, who subsidise the cheap, frequent flights of the mega rich.

    I believe that Cameron will address this injustice.

  15. Auntie Flo'

    11. Reducing the government’s out of control growth forecasts for aviation would cut the cost of the environmental damage which air travel causes – to our natural and social environment, our air quality, noise pollution, our health and would cut the impact of aircraft carbon dioxide emissions on global warming.

    2. Any job losses in aviation would be more than compensated by a huge boost to UK’s – unsubsidised – domestic tourist industry, which already employs around a million staff, far more than aviation.

    3. Loss of GDP from aviation? Brian Ross, Economics Adviser to Stop Stansted Expansion, described the aviation industry’s economic claims as fraudulent:

    “While it may have been true in the past to say that air travel was good for the British economy, this is now an outdated view as a result of the growth in cheap leisure flights. We are rapidly becoming a nation of holidaymakers but how on earth can it benefit the British economy to subsidise an Irish airline which buys American planes in order to transport vast numbers of British people to spend their money in France and Spain?”

    I would add to that how does a hugely taxpayer subsidised Spanish airports authority – Ferrovial who took over BAA – benefit UK?

    “Mr Ross continued: “It is no surprise that the hotel trade and others in the domestic tourism industry, for example in the Cotswolds, Lake District and West Country, are experiencing tough times whilst the streets of Prague, Budapest and Rome are teeming with British tourists courtesy of Easyjet and Ryanair. The Government needs to urgently rethink its whole strategy for airport expansion given that the impact on the economy is backfiring in such dramatic fashion.”

    4. Then there are the Air Passenger Tax loopholes which hugely benefit the super rich

    5. And, even with ADP, aviation pays only 25% of the cost of its environmental damage. That needs to be urgently addressed.

    I’m not anti-aviation or flying, Tom, I used to enjoy flying light aircraft – not as impressive as it sounds, couldn’t fly solo as I’m too deaf to get a license. What I am against is the huge, uniquely privileged subsidies to aviation at huge cost to our environment and the poorest.

    You government cannot address aviation’s uniquely privileged position because it has committed itself to subsidising the mega rich and the billionaires of aviation. Cameron has no such commitments. I believe he will rebalance the domestic and air tourist industries and in so doing, will benefit the poorest.

    That alone would free up billions for investment in worthier and more productive areas.

  16. Auntie Flo'

    The figures (from ‘Travel Trends 2005′ and ‘The United Kingdom Balance of Payments, 2005′ will come as a serious embarrassment to the Government whose controversial airport expansion plans would allow for a near trebling of passenger numbers.

    Tom, why did you insert a winking avatar – or whatever you call these things – in my quote above?

  17. “I believe that Cameron will address this injustice” – you can fool some of the people some of the time (especially if your background’s in PR)…

  18. Auntie Flo'

    Re: aviation again.

    Tony Blair said that we must compete with European airports, we mustn’t be left behind.

    Compete to make a deficit?

  19. Bloody hell, Flo, is there any more of this stuff?

    And I did not insert an avatar, smiley or otherwise, into your post.

  20. David Marshall's Expense Account

    I can tell you how we could pay for tax cuts:

    * Scrap the draconian ID card and national identity database scheme.
    * Scrap unwanted regional assemblies in England
    * Bring home our troops from Iraq and Afghanistan, and try Tony Blair for war crimes at the same time.
    * End the “John Lewis” list of lavish MPs’ expenses.
    * Withdraw from the EU, reaping an independence dividend of billions of pounds a year.
    * Tax all former MPs at a rate of 70% until all their “expenses”, second homes and mortgages, new kitchens, etc, have been repaid for.
    * Scrap all “aid to Africa”, which in reality just goes into the pockets of corrupt tinpot dictators without helping the people its supposed to help.
    * No more NHS reorganisations, no more costly changes to the immigration system. No police restructuring or rebranding.
    * Slash the number of MPs by the third, including the abolition of MEPs.
    * A “bonefire of quangoes”, with a massive culling of Guardian-advertised “non-jobs”.
    * Scrap plans for an elected House of Lords. Presumably all these elected peers will want offices, researchers, press officers, fitted kitchen and satellite television, as well as lavish expense accounts.

    Incidently Tom, can you tell us how the billions of pounds pumped into Northern Rock were “paid for”? How about the £2.7 billion bribe to the voters of Crewe and Nantwich after the 10p tax rate debacle.

    Do you not feel ashamed and disgusted at a LABOUR government doubling income tax for the lowest paid in society. Do you not honestly understand that people are now taxed to the hilt and simply can’t make ends meet. The British people are crying out for tax relief. If Labour won’t give it to them then quite frankly people will vote for a government that will.

    The whole “tax cuts equals cuts in nurses, teachers and doctors” line might have worked in 2001. It no longer washes in 2008. Moreover, why do you insist on labeling all government spending as “investment”. The millennium dome wasn’t an “investment”, and neither are the half a million dead in Iraq.

  21. First of all…(can I call you DMEA for short?), kudos on having the courage not to hide your … interesting views behind the shield of anonymity. Respect.

    Secondly, please, please, PLEASE make your views known to as wide a section of the electorate as possible before the next election, and make sure you tell people you’re a Conservative Party supporter.

  22. Karen

    perhaps if we stopped being a country who let every one in and paid them to stay we wouldn’t have such a problem.

    Wonder if Mr Brown has actually done a food shop lately? he would have to do one for a couple of months to watch how much the prices do go up and wages go down because of tax

    ‘Blew it? By spending money on pensioners and public services? ‘ you blew it on pensioners and public services ?????????? where?????? most old peoples homes have been closed which is why alot of hospital beds are taken up with these people as they can not live alone. Public services which ones did you actually spend on ?

  23. Auntie Flo'

    Tom said:

    Bloody hell, Flo, is there any more of this stuff?

    Look! As transport minister, you ought to know about all this, Tom.

    Speak to Brian Ross at Stop Stansted Expansion, he’s one of the foremost experts in this field.
    01279 870558 SSE campaign office

  24. Auntie Flo'

    David Marshall’s Expense Account

    You deserve a big kiss for that excellent analysis.

    I agree with every word – except maybe the retrospetive tax on MPs, that’s as unfair as Brown’s retrospective tax on old car owners.

    And I would add Gordon Brown to your war criminals list – after all, he was Blair’s number two and he was the one who robbed us blind to fund the mindless slaughter in Iraq.

  25. Auntie Flo'

    And I did not insert an avatar, smiley or otherwise, into your post. (Tom)

    In that case, I sincerely apologise for wrongly accusing you, Tom.

    I wonder how it got there then? Weird.

  26. wrinkled weasel

    Richard’s initial point is short and sweet. It certainly is our money. And a lot of it has been taken from us by stealth or under the specious mantle of being green. You don’t have to have a degree at the LSE to understand that.

    The issue is, what right to you have to take it? None at all. Since Labour does not deliver on its manifesto commitments how are we, as voters, to make an informed decision on how the Treasury squanders our cash?

    When we hear about money given to Muslim extremist organisations, by New Labour – Hazel Blears can be singled out – “We are about to embark on a three-year programme involving £45 million for local authorities” (Hansard 20th May) You might ask yourself, “How many ordinary people agree that this represents a good use of revenue? There are some people in Glasgow East who might beg to differ.

    Did you know that the PFI extorts over £500 million pa in rents from the public purse, in connection with their gerry -built Hospitals alone?

    No. Labour is leaking our money. £3,500 for every man woman and child in this country to prop up Northern Rock – a political decision if ever there was one. And the rest.

    You will be alright Tom, but there are going to be a lot of sickly grins form Labour candidates on election night.

  27. Zorro

    “Secondly, please, please, PLEASE make your views known to as wide a section of the electorate as possible before the next election, and make sure you tell people you’re a Conservative Party supporter.”

    Which precisely of DMEA’s wonderful comments do you think most voters would disagree with at this time? Tom, I’m sorry to be the one to tell you this but I’m fairly sure the vast majority of the country would agree with pretty much everything he said..

    If you think I’m wrong then you should do what you can to encourage Gordon to hold an election asap, pretty please!

  28. I am not Auntie Flo’ (thank God!) but I have to take issue with your interpretation of at least one aspect of what the “Great Leader” said:

    “Dave, listen, we need to speak to you… “Tax cuts” isn’t the same as saving. In fact, it’s the opposite. Tax cuts are government spending. Didn’t Norman explain any of this while you worked for him?”

    Have you invented something called “Harris-onomics”? Since when was cutting government expenditure in order to take less tax from the economy not a form of saving? How can this be the opposite?

    Your interpretation of what he said is just like the nonsense that was spouted by Blair/Brown in the mid-90s – “any reduction in a planned spending level is a Tory cut” even though the actual eventual spend was higher than previous years. In other words, the rate of planned expansion government expenditure was slowed to take into account the economic circumstances. (You will recall that Major’s government actually expanded expenditure on the NHS while in office, for example, but at nothing like the reckless rate that Blair forced Brown to do with little if any real increase in productivity.) This was real prudence.

    Your lot have spent, spent and spent some more and left us in the mess we are in now. Your lot have lost your reputation for economic competence and “we will accept no lectures” on how to get us out of this mess.

  29. “Since when was cutting government expenditure in order to take less tax from the economy not a form of saving? How can this be the opposite?”

    But, Diablo, cutting taxes increases government expenditure, unless public services are cut to pay for them.

    But I do like the sound of “Harris-onomics”.

  30. tom2

    wonder which bit of the public services which fuel tax goes to pay for will go up and down with the stabiliser thing. Doesn’t sound very stable to me.

  31. It’s late and I am weary but I suppose I will have to spell this out for you Mr Harris MP. There are three things you can do if you are the Chancellor of the Exchequer who finds yourself in a hole:

    1. Raise taxes
    2. Cut expenditure
    3. Borrow more money

    Where does Alistair Darling go now? Does he raise taxes? He knows this would be political suicide. (Does he care? He’s already a dead man walking even though he will benefit from extra oil-related windfall taxes.)

    He can’t make any immediate and significant cuts in expenditure without the Unions and Labour MPs support. Is that likely?

    If he borrows more money he adds to the country’s already heavy indebtedness and saddles us with future costs for many years.

    OK, this is the simple man’s economic primer but the simple point is that the rate of growth in public expenditure has to be less than the natural growth in the economy. (That’s Diablonomics!)

    The problem you lot have got is that you are not in control of the rate of growth of the economy. In fact, you are faced with a negative growth rate – real inflation is running away from you – and your only way out is to borrow. Heaven help us all if Harris-onomics ever takes hold.

  32. Tom

    thanks for your reply –

    I see you do not disagree with me and no it does not bother me that DC thinks that. I’d like to clarify that just because I think Gordon Brown (not Labour) is destroying the country does not mean I am a Tory.

    the government had lost it’s way totally. It’s one thing starting a war in Iraq with the Yanks, it’s totally another increase the tax on the lowest paid and then making them claim that tax back through a lengthy form that the government knows only a proportion do fill out.

    Gordon spent years rubbing the Tories faces in ‘no more boom and bust’ and then presided over the biggest credit fueled boom ever to be followed by the soon to be biggest bust ever.

    His USP is gone – can I beg you to find your spine and join the plot to remove this goon. replace him with whoever you want, but do it quick please. Remember John Major had about the same time between Thatcher and victory in 1992.

  33. Johnny Norfolk

    You could save billions in public spending without cutting the services that are important. Just remove all the pet projects. I remember when Britain was broke under Wilson, Healy had to borrow from the IMF but the loans were granted only if he spent what could be afforded and stopped wasting money. We are all having to spend less. What are Labour cutting back on like the rest of us. They cant even run their own party. What a mess and we have not seen it all yet. Labour should hang its head in shame. Labour have taken us back to the pre Thatcher era.

    You must cut spending now. You have run out of money and you must not borrow any more. You must start running the country like adults not children.

  34. nibbs

    ‘Dave’ had a torrid time on Radio 5 when having to defend his ‘plans’ to deal with knife crime .It’s difficult to be a populist sabre rattler when the interviewer actually pins you down on the facts and figures behind your rhetoric .In the end Dave conceded it was a very difficult issue, the annual figures are more or less stable and no one knew the true picture. He ended up sounding like a bandwagon jumper rather than someone who had a clue what he was on about.We need more interviews like that please…

  35. Oh dear – you have sunk to the appalling level of the Labour spin doctors. You can have all the nurses, teachers doctors, police and service personnel for under one quarter of public spending – and we need all those. The issue is all the wasted money and stupid schemes – all the management consultants, expensive computerisations, the unelected reigonal government, ID computers, and quangos to talk to quangos. David Cameron is right to complain about the waste and to offer something better. Since when has a tax cut been public spending?

  36. John – However you define them, tax cuts represent a net increase in spending by any government unless it is matched by cuts in public spending. Will the Conservatives continue to be as vague as to which services they would cut as they have been on which taxes they will cut?

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