It does not work, and they know it does not work. Raising tax does not raise money: at these levels at least, it reduces the Government’s income. Don’t take my word for it: listen to Rishi Sunak. He said repeatedly in the Commons that there is a limit beyond which no more comes in, and we have reached it.
No one was fooled by making it a rise in National Insurance: it is a tax, and we all know it. The voters know it, which is why the Conservative poll ratings plunged at that moment. It will take a lot to win the trust back.
There is a window to rescue the position, on 27 October. The budget is being worked on, and it could (without going back on the National Insurance hike) reduce taxes that hit us all.
The temptation for any tax reduction is the old tick of raising allowances to take more people out of income tax entirely. This is a mistake. It has minimal effect on most, and those apparently benefited most will only have brief gratitude. We need people to feel personal engagement in the taxation process, and that means not taking them out of tax, but so they see a reduction. To be out of tax is to be told you are poor and failing. As soon as a working man is paying no tax, he loses interest: he might as well vote Labour for all it matters (and yes, he would be hurt mightily by the economy tanking if Labour get in, but if he feels no skin in the immediate game, then this future risk will not be a burden on the attention).
Voters in the North voted Conservative for the first time, as the low-tax, pro-enterprise party. Why did they bother? There is no sign of that party now, and no sign that the Conservatives have honoured the trust reposed in them, if the most cast-iron, attractive manifesto pledge has been dumped with barely a thought.
There is a need for a fight-back to win back the hope the voters once had. It will not come in the middle ground, for if Conservatives sit there, what makes them any different? It can only work if there is a reason to vote Conservative.
The reasons to vote Conservative, bluntly, are:
- Low tax
- Reduced bureaucratic interference
- Getting rid of the nonsense that has been filling the state
- Being actively on the side of the ordinary man and woman.
There has been little sign of these. Tax has not sunk by a penny, and now has gone up. Maybe someone saw an extra Union Jack somewhere. Government bureaucrats still interfere where there are not wanted nor useful, just to keep their jobs, bullying health and safety directives are multiplying even outside the sphere of the COVID state, and there is no sign whatsoever of cutting the bloated mass of government down. It must have become addictive: even Dominic Cummings could not make his Hard Rain fall.
In the everyday, it has not escaped voters’ attention that Woke nonsense has increased inexorably over the last decade, in all of which Conservatives have been in power, or at least in office: they seem to have no power in the matter at all. A few speeches about protecting statues has not stopped voters losing their jobs to the social justice warriors embedded in the multitudinous layers of the state. The police (once a bastion of Conservative values) are even more ready to leap upon innocent men over ephemeral words in social media posts, apparently finding it easier than to do the dirty business of tackling actual criminals.
What is the point in voting Conservative?
Tax is the immediate battlefield, but the rest is tied in. Make actual, dramatic cuts in the bloated state, and in its largesse to parasites that feed on it, then cut income tax rates dramatically and loudly. That is the Conservative way, and the road to winning trust.
- The Free Ports Opportunity: How Brexit Could Boost Trade, Manufacturing and the North by Rishi Sunak
- By Boris Johnson:
- Woke: A Guide to Social Justice by Titania McGrath
- The Madness of Crowds: Gender, Race and Identity by Douglas Murray
- Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds by Charles MacKay (1841)
- 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos, by Jordan B Peterson
- By Aristotle:
- By David Cameron: