Fraser Nelson

The Tories should reward the strivers

The Tories should reward the strivers
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Tory splits are rare nowadays, which is why it's good to see Lord Forsyth talking sense about tax in the Telegraph today. It is “mad” for the Tories to propose to bring back the 10p starting rate of tax (which - in his seminal tax report (pdf) - he proposed to abolish long before Brown did it in his 'tax con' budget). Instead, Forsyth said, the Tories should lift the low-paid out of tax altogether.  Ensnaring millions of minimum wage workers in the income tax system is one of the more morally deplorable acts of the Brown Treasury - as if he has any right to what little is earned by a woman who gets up at 4am to clean offices. Such "strivers" are the heroes of the British economy, and a Conservative party should salute them by letting them keep every penny they earn. What a contrast that would be from Brown, who intercepts their money at the payroll department, then asks them to fill out a 24-page form to apply to have some of it back, and expects them to be grateful.

The Forsyth tax document is (aside from IDS work) the most impressive policy document to have come out in the Cameron era. The most difficult question facing Osborne (as he found out on Channel Four last night) is “what would you do differently?”. I do hope they are saving the Forsyth proposals for a pre-election surprise, because it has the answers.

Written byFraser Nelson

Fraser Nelson is the editor of The Spectator. He is also a columnist with The Daily Telegraph, a member of the advisory board of the Centre for Social Justice and the Centre for Policy Studies.

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