And so it continues. The debate between those who favour tax cuts and those who say they do yet will not offer them is not leaving quietly. Should the economy worsen over the coming 18 months there is little doubt that between now and the next election this debate will intensify, especially if the Conservative assume power after 2009/10.
The reason that this issue needs addressing is that public opinion now shows a majority believe taxation levels are too high and that large amounts of public spending are wasteful. The taxpayers of the United Kingdom are beginning to feel uneasy about how well prepared they are to face a downturn in the economy. They now want some of their coerced investment in UK Inc to be handed back as the promised returns haven’t realised. Yet despite these demands there is little on offer.
The Conservatives need to develop principled arguments that can be used to support limited tax cuts in their first term should they become the majority party in Westminster. They need to focus on alleviating the crippling income tax and National Insurance burden on the low paid and making Britain a leading place to create wealth through a reduction in taxes on business. By encouraging economic growth this way they can tackle the massive debt they are likely to inherit through improved receipts (see: the Laffer Curve). In conjunction with a reform programme centred on cutting public sector waste they could have the country back on its feet in no time.
Aping the government’s promises will not aid any necessary recovery. The public is looking for leadership on this issue, a leadership that would take a well set out risk or two so that we do not have to suffer for any longer than is necessary. Yet from Westminster all that we are offered is indecision, is it any wonder we are increasingly turning our backs on the ballot box.