Tax-cuts are back on the agenda. These arguments are coming not from the traditional fiscally tight Conservative Party, but the traditional 'tax and spend' Labour Party. As things stand the Conservative’s are firmly on the back foot; however, it offers the perfect opportunity for the Conservatives to strike back.
The Liberal Democrats were the first Party to raise the possibility of putting tax-cuts on the agenda as a powerful fiscal tool to help people cope in the current crisis. The popular shadow chancellor Vince Cable sounded remarkably libertarian, stating: "The fact is that millions of families are under severe financial pressure and would prefer to decide for themselves how their money is spent".
Writing in The Independent before the Labour Party’s opening salvo, Bruce Anderson understood the tone that the opposition should be taking. He suggested that in a time in which households are economizing, the Conservatives should be calling for cutting back unnecessary government waste and the cutting of taxes. Good call. Luckily for the Conservatives, government waste is one thing we have a lot of at the moment.
Perhaps David Cameron is right not to risk too much on calls for tax-cuts or the reduction of government, instead relying upon the public’s cyclical appetite for change. But such would be a sad reflection on politicians and the public at large. The Conservative Party should be arguing now for a flat tax with an increased personal allowance to take the poorest out of 'tax poverty'. If the public isn’t ready for this now, they certainly will be once recession takes hold.