Who can be toughest on the ‘undeserving rich’ is shaping up to be one of the main political battlegrounds of 2012. David Cameron and Nick Clegg’s comments today on tax avoidance are an attempt to get ahead of this debate.
Clegg, though, is keen to make this issue his own. As I say in the politics column this week, he is planning a big speech later this month on ‘responsible capitalism’. He will use it to argue that there need to be more checks and balances within companies and call for more shareholder power over executive pay. One Cleggite tells me, in reference to the Labour leader’s conference speech trying to sketch out a new capitalism, ‘it is the speech Ed Miliband should have given.’
But Cameron is also planning to make a speech on ‘moral markets’ in the coming weeks. He will propose a very Cameroon combination of more transparency and greater social responsibility as the way to deal with this problem.
Meanwhile, Labour are planning a string of sallies against so-called ‘predatory capitalists’ in the next few months.