Monday, September 29, 2008

Vote Tory To Stop Council Tax Rises

Did I blink, or did George Osborne promise greater central control of local councils? That, at least, is what his eye-catching promise to freeze council tax bills for two years appears to suggest. It is a little difficult for Osborne, under pressure as he is to demonstrate a real difference between the Tories and Labour on the economy. A year ago, he managed to reverse Tory fortunes - and send Labour into a spin - with his promise to cut inheritance tax. Now, desperate for more headline grabbing initiatives, he has come up with the council tax freeze. The Tories are clear that they want to be seen as the party of the tax-cut. It is much less clear how they do that without cutting public services - after all, there are only so many consultants you can dismiss, or red-tape you can get rid of.

The Tory Conference in Birmingham should look like a breeze this week, with Cameron enjoying good opinion poll ratings, but as several punters are pointing out, his ratings are not nearly as positive as they should be, the Tory lead was halved to just 12 points at the weekend, and people still await some concrete Tory ideas. Osborne's was one of them - what else is coming out from the party that would be next in government we wonder?

5 comments:

Comrade MAjor said...

Concrete ideas???

It's an even more obvious demagogic move than even Gordon Brown's giving away of the 10p rate at first. It's pointless, it changes nothing and it just reinforces the fact that the Tories are nothing. They've got even less ideology that New Labour had in 1997.

consultant said...

As a resident of the People's Republic of Camden, I want to vote for a party that's going to promise to cut council tax, not keep it constant. If I can't even rely on the Tories to do that, what hope is there?

consultant said...

Also, the front page of the BBC News website currently tells it's own tale. Osborne's pale offer to freeze council tax is literally overshadowed by the most recent addition to worldwide economic meltdown Congress has just managed to give us.

This is genuinely dire stuff. If the sun were shining, a promise to freeze council tax would be a master stroke by Osborne, in rather the same way his inheritance tax wheeze worked last year. But as catastrophe looms, people might question just how much they can trust slick, massively inexperienced young Tories who seem to offer few ideas to combat the economic problems they face (and who had - quite recently - been announcing policy reviews recommending full-scale deregulation of the mortgage industry... er... yeah.)

In a recession, people will look for security. Brown might just have enough of a reputation left to convince the British people that he is the man to give them that. Cameron has modelled himself on Blair, but the voters can't afford a Blair right now.

GM said...

You may or may not be right about Brown retaining some shreds of a reputation, but I liked Osborne's line to the effect that people might prefer a novice to yet more of the Brown experience!

Comrade MAjor said...

Interesting comments by George Osbourne... as consultant said, the Tories were just for a laisser-faire attitude towards the banking system (note the reference), now he's saying the bankers brought in oin themselves, and saying he's anti-capitalist.

NB He just suggested to cap bonuses for City bankers. Wait a moment, didn't someone called GB say this a few days ago?

The Tories have got NOTHING to offer on the eonomic crisis. Gordon Brown at least knows how the system functions, unlike the posh, rosy-cheeked, Eton graduates, the only they know is to ride down Hampshire fences on their monthly fox hunts.

Yes, Gordon Brown borrowed lots. The question we should ask is did it improve anything? Yes, they DOUBLED the NHS budget, improved education funding, etc. etc.

We can't complain. In the present conditions, a dour, surly, careful Scotsman is much better than a posh Eton chap who will trust the other chaps in the City busy with channeling money into their offshore accounts on the Bahamas.