Tax Thresholds Have Not Kept Up With Middle Class Earnings

Boris Johnson is proposing raising the threshold for paying higher rate income tax to £80,000. It is currently at £50,000. This means that income tax on earnings between £50,000 and £80,000 will fall from 40% to 20%. Because the national insurance thresholds would rise too, the total income tax and employee national insurance on earned income will fall from 42% to 32%. This represents a much needed tax cut for millions of middle class taxpayers.

In 2018-19, the higher rate threshold was £46,350. This was increased to £50,000 for 2019-20. According to research from the Taxpayers’ Alliance if governments since Blair in 1997 had increased the threshold in line with earnings, it would have been £58,895 by next year. If governments had increased the threshold in line with earnings since Margaret Thatcher’s last budget in 1988-89, it would have been £73,268 by next year. The higher rate was never designed to be paid by millions of what Corbyn’s 2017 manifesto called “ordinary households”…

Fiscal drag is real and has dragged millions of middle class families into a tax bracket that was only ever intended to be paid by the rich. For Conservative candidates to oppose a much needed reset of the thresholds to keep up with inflation and earnings increases is incomprehensible. These are the middle class voters that have to be won back from the Labour and Brexit parties…

Rory Stewart Will Destroy the Conservative Party

On the day that he launches his leadership campaign we learn that a Conservative Party led by Rory Stewart would be destroyed, he is an existential threat to the Tories being an electoral force and the party under his leadership would be reduced to 51 seats – less than the Liberal Democrats would win. According to pollsters ComRes, only one leadership candidate  will win a majority, Boris Johnson. Boris will smash Corbyn and win the Tories a 140 seat majority…

Boris Promises Vote Winning Tax Cut for Middle Classes

Boris’s leadership rivals have been taking aim at his tax cut for people earning between £50,000 and £80,000 – the middle classes who were key to the most recent period of sustained electoral success for the Tories. For aspiring Tory leaders to attack families earning £50,000 a year as “wealthy” is not a strategy that is going to pay dividends, these are public sector professionals and private sector middle managers, not tycoons. For Labour politicians with short memories going on the attack, Labour’s 2017 manifesto specifically identified those earning under £80,000 a year as “ordinary households”…

In fact, because of George Osborne’s 2013 child benefit reforms, many families earning between £50,000 and £60,000 a year are hit by some of the highest marginal tax rates in the UK tax system and end up paying an effective 60% tax rate as child benefit is rapidly taken away, as the Telegraph’s handy chart above shows. Even the Guardian ran an article just a few months ago bemoaning the “60% tax trap”…

Voters will keep £9.6 billion-a-year more of earnings in their pocket to spend in the wider economy, set against a backdrop of over £26 billion of fiscal headroom. The higher rate of tax was meant to be a tax only on higher earners which caught only 1.7 million voters in 1990/1, it will hit the pockets of 4.3 million voters in the current tax year, on top of the child benefit double whammy. The Tories need to win back the professional classes once Brexit is over, this is a vote winner…

Hard Blow from Gove

Michael Gove had to try something different to give his campaign a bump with the dust still yet to settle from his torrid weekend and he certainly managed the most energetic campaign launch of all the candidates so far. The line he decided to take this time was going hard on Big B…

Gove stands out among the Tory leadership field for being able to both set out detailed policies and not be boring doing so and there was plenty that will have appealed including his social care insurance and veterans policies. Brexit is still his Achilles heel – on policy at least – and Gove saying that he would be prepared to delay Brexit “however long it takes to get a deal over the line” more or less sinks his chances of winning over Brexiteers in any significant numbers. His lines on Brexit aren’t red…

His decision to launch a range of personal attacks on Boris looks like a calculated deadcat gambit to try to shift the media narrative off his personal peccadillos onto internecine Brexiteer warfare and personality clashes, judging from the number of hits he took from journalists afterwards over it he still hasn’t managed to blow away the issue just yet. Attacking the candidate most people expect to emerge as the eventual winner is not necessarily the best way of getting wavering Tory MPs on board either…

Trump Weighs In On Tory Leadership Frontrunners

Trump knows Boris, he knows Jeremy Hunt, he says he doesn’t know Michael Gove despite being interviewed by him in 2017…

Trump’s Late Night Phone Call to Boris

Last night President Trump rang Boris Johnson to offer a meeting during his ‘executive time’ today. The former London Mayor had to turn it down in due to a Parliamentary Hustings organised by the One Nation Group of Tory MPs to which he is committed. A source close to Boris told Guido that the conversation lasted for twenty minutes, and Trump understood that Boris couldn’t pull out of his hustings. Guido understands that he said he “looked forward to catching up at a later date”… This of course means there is definitely a diary gap for Nigel Farage…

Boris Launches Official Campaign Website

Continuing their soft launch this week, today Team Boris have launched BackBoris.com, their official campaign website. It is hoping to sign up Conservative Party members, Councillors, as well as recruit an army of social media ambassadors and people who will host events. It’s all kicking off…

Boris Stretches Lead to Double Figures

As the working day draws to a close Boris has on his digital launch day stretched his declared lead on Guido’s spreadsheet to 10 MPs, boasting 36 to Gove’s 26. There will be pressure on other candidates to show a boost in support over the coming days to become or remain a serious contender. Nominations go in in a week and today a fitting 52% of the Parliamentary Party have now declared…

View the full list here: order-order.com/backers

Get in touch with any updates…

Who’s Backing Who: Boris Now Leads MPs’ Declarations

With 50% of Tory MPs now publicly declared Boris has taken the lead. Of the 4 pack leaders Raab and Gove have previously led, Boris is now ahead for the first time in the public declarations.

James Brokenshire has announced he is not running, telling an audience at Policy Exchange

“We simply do not have the luxury of weeks of navel gazing or days and days of whittling candidates down to the final two and talking to ourselves. At a time when the country is looking to us for leadership we need to show this as a Party. So I say gently to some of my colleagues who have put themselves forward for what has been described as the Grand National of Political Contests. Please think carefully.

If you already know it’s going to be a bit of a struggle to get over the first fence let alone Becher’s Brook ahead, then maybe you should pull up. There is no embarrassment in that. It doesn’t reflect on your talent or ability to influence the direction of our Party now and in the future. It’s just the overriding need to get our new leader in place as quickly as possible.”

Pressure is growing on the also rans in the field of thirteen to drop out in favour of one or other of the pack leaders, before the official contest starts…

View the full list here: order-order.com/backers

Get in touch with any updates…

Rich’s Monday Morning View

Trump: Nigel and Boris are Friends of Mine

Typically subtle diplomacy four days before his state visit…

Raab Backs Boris

Dominic Raab has come out for Boris in his new absurd court case brought by a man who wants to overturn the referendum result. Speaking to ITV News he said:

“I do worry a little bit about the timing of this, as a private prosecution, and the sense that the cut and thrust democratic debate ought to b decided by your viewers rather than in court, and I think in order to preserve free speech and democratic debate, that’s something we should all look very carefully and consider.”

Where will other leadership contenders stand..?

UPDATE: Matt Hancock and Michael Gove (who’s also used the £350 million figure on a number of occasions) have both criticised the court case. No word yet from the others…

Campaigner To ‘Stop Lying In Politics’ is Lying About His Political Campaign

The smarmy man behind the case to prosecute Boris Johnson has been saying his case is not about stopping Brexit, just about stopping ‘lying in politics’. That will come as news to the original backers of Marcus J. Ball’s first (now deleted) crowdfunder which Guido can reveal was set up from “within a Facebook group called The 48%” in order to reverse the result of the referendum. Quelle surprise…

“Once these prosecutions have established that politicians did indeed lie to voters our next step will be to take other action to prevent Brexit. This may be in the form of a judicial review… We will also work to reverse Brexit and ensure our membership of the European Union is not lost”

After consulting his barristers, Ball deleted his original blogs, seemingly to hide his original intentions and then launched a new site claiming that he was “motivated by a desire to challenge the national problem of lying in UK politics.” In late 2018 a new ‘Brexit Justice Prosecution’ page was launched, a new financial target established, and new Twitter and Facebook profiles were set up as old ones are deleted. The old ‘Brexit Justice’ Page now reroutes to the new page, with all references to Ball’s political views removed. Crafty.

What started as an attempt to prosecute the Leave campaign turned into a campaign against the man who led it, which if successful would have hugely destructive consequences over our democracy, enforcing government regulation of political speech. A source close to Boris told Guido that:

“The claimant has openly admitted that his plan is to overturn the referendum via a legal challenge and he clearly intends to try and undermine the one man who can truly deliver Brexit. The decision to issue a summons is extraordinary, and flies in the face of hundreds of years of British democratic tradition.”

Boris has become the latest in a long line of Brexit champions who the establishment and dodgy bandwagon hoppers are trying to defeat in the courts. They know they can’t defeat Brexit though legitimate democratic processes…

Ruth Will Work With PM Boris

Ruth Davidson on working with PM Boris

“I have worked with him when he was Foreign Secretary. I will work with whoever the Prime Minister is. I haven’t had a phone call yet to ask me to run his campaign in Scotland. I am not expecting the call. But I will genuinely judge him on the same criteria as I judge any of the candidates.”

Brexit Party 18 Points Ahead in Final YouGov Poll

The final YouGov/Times poll before the EU elections has the Brexit Party miles out ahead on 37%, almost double the closest challengers in the form of the Lib Dems. On current polling this would make them the largest single party in the entire European Parliament. Labour have slumped to a poor third and are looking nervously over their shoulders at the Greens. The Tories’ misery continues as they fall further to 7%, this was before May’s offer of a second referendum vote yesterday…

The biggest danger now for the Brexit Party is that they can’t live up to the hype – turnout could be a big moderating factor for these elections which Brexiteers never wanted to happen. The other danger is that Farage starts believing his own hype too much, Guido was at the Brexit Party’s London rally yesterday and the atmosphere was electric, the one slightly off-key moment was when Farage took aim directly at Boris Johnson. Many natural Tory voters are happy to see the party get a bloody nose over May’s handling of Brexit, however if Farage’s goal becomes the wholesale destruction of the Tories they may be less on board…

Opponent Most Feared by Labour Members is Boris

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As Tory MPs start jostling for position at the start of the Tory leadership race, they and their allies will be making claims and counter-claims about who would be best placed to take on Corbyn with one eye on their own prospects. Perhaps it might be worth asking a more objective sample of experts who might be best placed to beat Corbyn? Labour activists for example?

LabourList did a massive survey of 4,478 readers last week which they have just published. They asked: “Which of the following potential candidates do you think would be most difficult for Jeremy Corbyn to beat in a general election?”

Labour frontbenchers and Owen Jones might bluff that they don’t fear Boris, in reality they remember he beat them twice in London, a City they consider their fiefdom. The opponent Labour activists most fear is Boris. They know. The clique of Tory MPs who are trying to block Boris are making a strategic mistake that risks delivering a Marxist government in Britain.

Boris Only Contender Winning Brexiteers Back to the Tories

With the Tory leadership race finally starting to hot up, a new Hanbury Strategy poll has looked at how the potential candidates fare with different sets of voters. Boris is the only contender to make 2017 Tory voters more likely to vote Tory next time round. Not a great result for the contenders Hanbury execs are (informally) advising, Raab places fourth while Hancock isn’t even included… 

The poll found Tory General Election voting intention had dropped to just 21%, well behind Labour on 30% and only just ahead of the Brexit Party on 19% (Change UK surged to 5th place with a whole 6%). Again, Boris was the only contender to make Brexit Party supporters more likely to vote Tory:

Interestingly, the poll also found that voters would be less likely to vote Labour if they backed a second referendum in all circumstances, 37% said they would be less likely to vote Labour if they did, compared to only 32% who said it was more likely. Bad luck Labour Remainers, Corbyn was right…

Boris Fends Off All Challengers in Latest Tory Run-Off Poll

ConservativeHome have done a fresh round of Tory leadership run-offs to see how different combinations of the final two candidates fare with the members in their survey. It’s bad news for Jeremy Hunt whose Brexiteer drag act has not fooled the membership – Hunt loses all four matchups. Sajid Javid doesn’t fare much better, only notching up one narrow 36%-35% win against Hunt…

Out of a maximum of 400 percentage points up for grabs the scorecard for and against was as above. Michael Gove gets a mixed reception among the members, he sees off Remainers Javid (44%-31%) and Hunt (43%-29%) but comfortably loses out to outspoken Brexiteers Dominic Raab (52%-36%) and Boris Johnson (57%-34%). Boris rules the roost, in the final run-off he holds off Raab by 7% (46%-39%). It’s a big change from the last set of run-offs when Boris was nowhere and it was a knife-edge result between Gove and Javid…

Raab Picking Up Support

The Times’ Red Box has produced a useful chart of the indispensable ConservativeHome’s leadership polling for the last 2 years. There was an eccentric period of Mogg ascendancy in late 2017 – which Guido laid at the bookies to the tune of thousands – before Boris became the activists first choice again. Dominic Raab has been picking up steady support since last July.

The quasi-democratic Tory system means that this poll is not the one the counts. Tory MPs choose the two candidates that go to the pro-Brexit membership. The parliamentary party is more sympathetic to remaining and some MPs are ardent Boris haters. There is a real danger that MPs might once again try to foist a candidate who backed remaining on the members. Which hasn’t worked out very well so far…

Remainer Academic IPSOs Boris

IPSO has forced The Telegraph to amend a column Boris wrote in January in which he suggested ‘No Deal’ was the most popular option with the public. A Remainer academic from Reading University complained to IPSO extraordinarily hysterically saying that Boris’ column was “clearly out of the Trump/Bannon playbook.[…] Read the rest

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Quote of the Day

Boris responds to Tusk…

“I don’t want a No Deal Brexit but I say to our EU friends if they don’t want No Deal they have got to get rid of the backstop from treaty. If Donald Tusk doesn’t want to go down in history as Mr No Deal Brexit then I hope this point will be borne in mind by him too.”

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