What Are the Tories Going To Do for the Middle Classes?

You have to laugh at the audaciousness of the Brown change of strategy, from a “war on toffs” to fighting for the middle classes. He has also resurrected Blairism, even referring to his “friend” Tony, claiming “we have governed as New Labour and now we will campaign as New Labour.”  His speech to the Fabians yesterday was ideologically Mandelsonian.

At first the Tories might be inclined to dismiss it as desperate political zig-zag forced on Brown and Balls by a cabinet that wisely wants to fight for middle-income swing votes rather than just core-votes in a defeatist retreat into welfarist clientèlism. Except middle-income voters are bound to ask: “What will the Tories do for us?”

The Tories mock “One minute Gordon Brown’s a class warrior, the next he is a friend of middle Britain … The idea that a man who has spent his whole career at war with the middle classes can be their champion is laughable”.  They charge Gordon Brown with tax-bombing middle Britain, saying:

  • He’s repeatedly hiked national insurance, hitting middle Britain again and again.
  • He imposed a £100 billion pensions stealth tax.
  • He hit first time buyers with a £1,500 rise in stamp duty.
  • He imposed 111 tax rises.

Families on middle-incomes are entitled to ask where is the Tory commitment to roll-back those hikes?  Will they remove the pensions stealth tax or stamp duty?  How many of the 111 tax rises will they actually reverse?

The Tories give little sign that they plan to defend the middle-classes by reversing Gordon’s decade of attacks on them. The proposed marriage tax allowance is being watered down by Osborne, the Labour tax-bombs that CCHQ have warned us about in campaign posters since 1997 will not be defused.   In fact the Tories are signalling they too will bomb low and middle income earners with their own 20% VAT bomb. Only the LibDems are offering a tax cut for low and middle income families, promising to put the tax threshold up from £6,500 to £10,000.

Gordon says social mobility is his new priority, yet the Labour Party has blocked council house sales, the single greatest boon to social mobility since free education for all.   The LibDems and Tories should promise low-income, public sector tenants that they will bring back a programme of heavily discounted council house sales. Owning your own home is a great aspiration and a key driver of upward mobility.

The Tories are promising a lot of pain and little gain for the middle-classes.   The transferable marriage allowance is a vote winner, higher inheritance tax allowances are another and radical education reform looks appealing to all those of us who can’t afford to send our kids to Eton.  If the Tories are going to remove superfluous welfare benefits from those on middle to upper incomes they need to compensate us in return.  If Osborne credibly matched the LibDem proposal to raise income tax thresholds to £10,000 they would seal the deal with middle England…




Tip offs: 0709 284 0531
team@Order-order.com

Quote of the Day

Jeremy Corbyn:

“I’m not a defender or supporter of ISIS.”

Sponsors

Guidogram: Sign up

Subscribe to the most succinct 7 days a week daily email read by thousands of Westminster insiders.

Facebook

Updates: Who’s Standing? Who’s Standing Down? Updates: Who’s Standing? Who’s Standing Down?
Tories Mistakenly Share Private Conference Call PIN with Opposition Tories Mistakenly Share Private Conference Call PIN with Opposition
Len and Seamus’s Champaign Celebration Len and Seamus’s Champaign Celebration
Campaign Report: 48 Days To Go Campaign Report: 48 Days To Go
Campaign Report: 49 Days to Go Campaign Report: 49 Days to Go
Listen: Dawn Butler Car Crash Interview Listen: Dawn Butler Car Crash Interview
Manifesto Lookahead: Six Tory Policies in Peril Manifesto Lookahead: Six Tory Policies in Peril
McVey for Upminster? McVey for Upminster?
Watch: Corbyn Crowd Boos and Shouts Down ITV Question Watch: Corbyn Crowd Boos and Shouts Down ITV Question
Coalition of the Others Still Behind Tories Coalition of the Others Still Behind Tories
NEC Swerves Corbyn Loyalty Pledge NEC Swerves Corbyn Loyalty Pledge
Watch: Barry Gardiner Loses It on Sky News Watch: Barry Gardiner Loses It on Sky News
CCHQ Caught on Hop: Not Enough Tory Candidates CCHQ Caught on Hop: Not Enough Tory Candidates
Campaign Report – 50 Days to Go Campaign Report – 50 Days to Go
PMQs Sketch PMQs Sketch
Osborne Quits as MP Osborne Quits as MP
Will Tories Drop MOAB on Corbyn? Will Tories Drop MOAB on Corbyn?
Corbyn Getting Beers in Early Corbyn Getting Beers in Early
Labour Staff Told: No Slogan, No Key Seats List, No Budget Labour Staff Told: No Slogan, No Key Seats List, No Budget
BREAKING: May Calls Snap Election BREAKING: May Calls Snap Election