Posted by: secretperson | September 29, 2008

Two Year Council Tax Freeze – Osborne’s Big Idea

So George Osborne’s big headline grabbing economic initiative? A two year freeze on council tax. (BBC and Guardian).

So torn between the Tory tax cutters (with whom I have much sympathy) and the need to avoid Labour calls of Tory service cuts, a freeze must have seemed like a compromise. Assuming high inflation this could be a real terms tax cut, with money provided by cutting consultancy budgets. I think there is clearly a lot of government waste and any tax cuts that can be found should be made. People need more money in the economic downturn so I think this is a good idea.

Mr Osborne also told bankers not to expect public bail-outs if they take risks. Setting themselves apart from the recent nationalising Labour trends, again something that I support. Nothing drastic but looking good compared to Labour’s higher tax, higher borrowing (delayed tax) ideas. Of course Mr Osborne didn’t mention in his speech that this only applies to council’s in England. I despair of any of the big parties being honest about the application of their policies post-devolution.

Gordon Brown’s record as Chancellor was strongly attacked and as predicted his “age of irresponsibility” quote was used against him. Particularly the growth based on debt, both private and government (which of course is really taxpayer) debt, was attacked, and rightly so.

But I think maybe the important sentence for me was

I am not going to do what the left has done and use the crisis as an excuse to abandon the free market economy that has made our country more prosperous.

Let us hope people haven’t been taken in by the left wingers crowing over the failure of capitalism, and that this sentence rings true. In many aspects I disagree with Cameron’s Conervatives, though there are those within the party I like. But I do believe that of the two parties who can win they are the best, at least their instincts are in the right place.


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