David Blackburn

Tyrie’s blast spices up pre-conference

Tyrie’s blast spices up pre-conference
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Treasury Committee Chairman, Andrew Tyrie, has shaken the nascent Tory conference with a coruscating statement about the government’s growth plan and general legislative programme. He writes, in a detailed policy document for the Centre for Policy Studies that is political in its emphasis as much as it is economic:

‘There is much to do, and it is not just a question of gaps in policy. A coherent and credible plan for the long-term economic growth rate of the UK economy is needed.

The Big Society; localism; the green strategy — whether right or wrong; these and other initiatives have seemed at best irrelevant to the task in hand, if not downright contradictory to it; likewise the huge spending hike on overseas aid and the cost of the Libyan expedition.’

Tyrie, a former Treasury advisor to Nigel Lawson and Ken Clarke, is respected on the backbenches. He “speaks for many conservatives” according to John Redwood, who has also called for urgent action to stimulate the stagnating recovery. The sense of imminent danger pervades Tyrie’s somewhat intemperate tone and he warns that the government will be punished unless it institutes a broad growth strategy, rather than the piecemeal measures that have characterised its policy to date.

Osborne, though, shows little sign of taking this advice at present, vowing not to cut taxes before 2015. The Chancellor is echoing David Cameron’s view, expressed in Canada a few days back, that Britain must stay on its current course. That may change in time, perhaps even during this conference.