As a former Chief Secretary to the Treasury, I am uneasy about the bail-out of Flybe. Every time a private business is bailed out by the taxpayer, the pressure grows.
The Prime Minister’s spending commitments sit alongside welcome proposals for devolution and reform.
That’s a legitimate political agenda, and people are quite welcome to vote for it. But they deserve to know what’s coming.
The tax burden isn’t a full measure of the size of the state. But it’s arguably the pre-eminent factor and certainly that which most concerns the TaxPayers’ Alliance.
Today’s pledge of a swift Tory National Insurance cut is welcome, but more importantly it sets the stage for an attack on Corbyn’s tax grab.
In recent years the Conservatives have pursued policies that Thatcher would hardly recognise, and have thrown into doubt their claim to be the ‘Party of Business’.
Labour is banking on our innumeracy. I don’t say that they are taking us for fools. Plenty of clever and educated people can’t process numbers on that scale.
Who will their taxes really hit? How much will they truly raise? And can this really be described as a ‘moderate’ agenda?
When forced to choose, people prefer a Boris Johnson government to a Corbyn government by a ten-point margin, down from 12 points last week.
And, the Chancellor notes in his Bolton speech, that excludes 59 Labour policies “which don’t have enough detail for us to cost fairly”.
Corbyn has made it safer to indulge the Tory leadership’s willingness to spend. But there are signs of at least some restraint.
Chancellor Sajid Javid says party will publish “the most detailed, most transparent costings that have ever been published in British electoral history”.
Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell says: “95% of earners will not have an increase in their income tax rates or VAT or national insurance”.
Their manifesto doesn’t provide any costings for their most expensive plans. The IFS says their tax pledge is not believable. But will they get away with it?
The CBI provided the stage for the Prime Minister, but he treated them mean to keep a very different audience keen.
The PM says that £6bn saved by delaying cuts in corporation tax will be used to fund public services like the NHS.
A shallow minded and lazy tax and spend policy can only go so far on tax taken from the highest earners.
Our policy on apprenticeships should be high profile during this general election campaign. I think that rather than abandon the Apprenticeship Levy, the Conservatives should radically reform it.
Economic competence has been the cornerstone of the Conservative appeal. Remove that cornerstone and the entire structure becomes fragile.
The fourth piece in our series this week about what the Conservative Manifesto should look like.
The stereotype that working class voters simply want more money spent on them, without a way to sustainably pay for it, is mistaken.
The first piece of a series this week about what the Conservative Manifesto should look like.
Marr criticises the Conservatives for “spending money like water” in a way they formerly criticised Labour for doing.
The ignorance of many MPs and ministers towards the state of seaside communities is particularly surprising as coastal constituencies elect a quarter of all MPs.
Let me give seven examples of principles that most Conservatives would support. I struggle to reconcile them with those pursuing a No Deal Brexit at any cost.
The Neoliberal Manifesto, a joint project between the Adam Smith Institute and 1828, champions an approach based on freedom, markets and choice.
The heated debate about fiscal policy a decade ago is often forgotten. It matters that the former Prime Minister now acknowledges he came down on the wrong side.
Bowman and Westlake’s policy ideas are perfectly compatible with this end, but pitching them as a city and town agenda risks creating a false impression.
The approach – and the role of the Chancellor in the forthcoming election offer – has changed markedly.
“Britain’s hard work has paid off,” the Chancellor told the Commons.