‘Proceeds of growth’ delayed until further notice

HAS George Osborne given up on the “proceeds of growth” approach to tax cuts? He promised today to freeze council tax for two years but also not to cut taxes elsewhere. The council tax freeze would be paid for, implausibly, by a cut in government advertising and consultants. So why no tax cuts?

“The cupboard is bare”, he tells delegates. But does that mean he has no confidence that his own party’s economic policies will deliver the growth needed to fund public services and cut taxes, as has been promised by ‘Dave’ on a number of occasions?

Seven years ago, Labour’s 2001 intake of MPs began the practice of Monday evening dinners, occasionally inviting senior members of the government to lead a discussion. In 2002, we decided to invite members of the Tories’ 2001 intake to join us for a bite and a chat. The only two to take us up on the offer were George Osborne and Paul Goodman.

The annoying thing is that, although we all got on reasonably well, we were all so guarded in our comments (despite the agreement on Chatham House rules) that no-one really said very much of import. Still, I remember being impressed that both George and Paul were willing to risk the wrath of their whips by being seen publicly fraternizing with the enemy (indeed, word is that they were both subsequently given a stern talking to about the company they were keeping).

I don’t know if this means GO is a man ready to take risks, or willing to listen to others’ points of view, or if it just means he didn’t have anyone else to dine with that evening. But on the strength of his commitments so far this week, he’s hardly giving the faithful gathered in Birmingham what they want to hear.


Filed under Conservative Party, David Cameron, Economy, Labour, Politics

7 responses to “‘Proceeds of growth’ delayed until further notice

  1. Johnny Norfolk

    Of course the“proceeds of growth” are on hold. It is going to take years to pay back Labours over spending. But at least Council Tax will be frozen for 2 years. We do need some reality back in this country. I think you think wealth grows on trees.

    Its taken a long time for Britain to come to its senses.
    I think my children thought I was nuts when I told them in 1989 that the longer labour stayed in power the worse the disastwer would become.
    My daughter telephoned today to tell me how right I was. That all I predicted has come true. I told her it had, only worse.

  2. NFN

    Your children probably did think you were nuts when you were talking about Labour staying in power in 1989, Johnny – they didn’t get in until 1997.

    As closely acquainted with reality as ever!

  3. richard

    It’s very difficult to spend the proceeds of growth when any fool can see that the economy is in decline and likely to be for quite some time.

    Recession looms. Ireland is already there, Germany and France to follow, Britain after that.

  4. Madasafish

    No more boom and bust but an era of irresponsibility..

    Soneone’s got their thinking screwed up…

    Meanwhile the FTSE has fallen 5.3% today… one of the biggest % falls for 2 decades…

    Never mind we are better placed to withstand the storm than everyone else…

    FTSE down over 28% from its 2007 high…Dow down 25%…

  5. Martin Cullip

    “The council tax freeze would be paid for, implausibly, by a cut in government advertising and consultants”

    Why ‘implausibly’ Tom? Can you honestly say, without snickering by the way, that Labour have NOT increased waste of taxpayers’ funds in those departments?

    Off the top of my head, people standing on skyscraper cigarettes in the middle of Corrie, for example? For how much taxpayer benefit, exactly?

    And … “(word is that they were both subsequently given a stern talking to about the company they were keeping)” … like Labour are any different in their approach? Remember the guy bodily heaved from Conference for heckling? Get real please.

    My rates were £250pa in 1989, my Council Tax is now £1,430. My (very modest) business is increasingly punished by Labour incompetence and state expansion whilst the tax-consuming NGOs and Local Authorities continue to spend money like water.

    It has to stop & your party aren’t even making the first steps in doing so. A freeze in Council Tax is a great start. Of course, it will take the co-operation of Local Councils but seeing as they have been used to being given powers to do whatever they damn well like by your lot since 1997, that is one hell of a beast to tame.

    I would like to trust Labour to do the taming seeing as I am an ex-member (from 2000 to 2005) but I’ve more chance of seeing Emma Bunton turn out for the Surrey cricket team, so GO has won my approval today seeing as Labour did NOTHING but make life unbearable for someone in my position last week (or the last 3 years either).

    There is a simple word that Labour have to learn before they ever become anywhere near electable again. It begins with S and requires following with a way to make amends for the incredible damage inflicted on the British people’s lives, both at work and at leisure.

    All Labour say when they get spanked is that they are going to ‘listen’. They never show any sign of actually doing so though and never will.

  6. Johnny Norfolk

    Sorry about my date error, but I enjoyed reading Mr Cullips post as he speaks for most working people who do not live off the state.

  7. It is worth remembering, that when James Callaghan arrived on the Friday evening after the leection, his predecessor, Reggie Maudling, is said tyo have passed him on the way out, stopped, apologised and then said” Sorry to leave such a mess old cock”. He was of course, referring to the state of the countries finances, rather than the condition of the offices. In this example, the cupboard was also bare.

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