Finally, an actual policy skewer for Cameron, in a move aimed at solidifying the Davis base he goes straight to the point. No waffle about “change” but a pounds, shillings and pence pledge to cut taxes by £1,200. Which is a figure that Guido seems to recall being central to a 1992 Tory poster saying “Labour’s Tax Bombshell : £1,250 more tax a year under Labour.”Its an old core message – Davis is saying he’ll return the tax burden to where it was under Major. Nick Herbert is being credited with crafting the message, but Matthew Elliot, CEO of the Taxpayers Alliance will be pleased. He is a former aide to Davis who has taken a sabbatical to go back to help out his old boss on Team Basher. The expected Davis signing of a public pledge to lower taxes smacks of Elliot’s influence – inspired by Newt Gingrich’s Contract with America.
Cameron’s “we’ll share the spoils of growth between tax cuts and public services” answer will seem vague in comparison. Cameron needs to put a figure on his tax relief bid.
“This is, at its heart, a matter of public trust,” he told the PM, concluding: “I cannot reconcile the terms of the proposed deal with the promises we made to the country in our manifesto at the last election… I believe that the regulatory regime proposed for Northern Ireland presents a very real threat to the integrity of the United Kingdom. I cannot support an indefinite backstop arrangement, where the EU holds a veto over our ability to exit…”