Some thoughts on David Cameron’s conference speech

1.) Say what you like about his ideology, politics, policies etc. but David Cameron once again proved effective a communicator he is. Playing on this strength the Prime Minister framed the upcoming General Election as a David Cameron vs Ed Milliband presidential style battle. The question is, will voters carry this mindset when they come to vote in 8 months time?

2.) It was interesting to see how Cameron attempted to play the Coalition’s failure to eradicate the deficit by 2015, as they originally promised in 2010. The line now seems to be ‘finish what we’ve begun in the next Parliament.’ Will the electorate remember the original Coalition pledge, and will any such memories diminish the Tories re-election prospects?

3.) As opposed to what many might think, the Conservatives’ plans to increase the income tax threshold to £12,500 won’t actually benefit the poorest. There are a number of reasons for this, not least that many of the poorest aren’t paying any income tax at the moment anyway! The graph below from the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) clearly demonstrates that it’ll actually be those in the richest half of the population who benefit the most from this policy. In spite of all this, it appears that this and similar tax policy proposals are clear vote winners.

4.) How will these significant tax giveaways be paid for? With a number of areas relatively safeguarded, it looks like one of the areas for the ‘chop’ could be working age welfare, another blow for the poorest in society.

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