Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Cameron on the slide?

According to an interviewee on the Today programme this morning, when Cameron was elected, 75% of the Tory party thought he'd be their next Prime Minister. Now, only 50% do.

If even half your own party don't think you'll win, how much of a hole are you really in? But then if you can't find a decent candidate for a by-election from your loyal members, what does that say about those on the Tory parliamentary panel?

Not surprising that he's retreating to the Cornerstone approach of putting the (married) family first, with this misguided £20/week tax break.
Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to join this man and this woman in a more tax efficient manner...

If you are getting married for those reasons, then perhaps you need to examine your motives a LITTLE more deeply.

What is the policy supposed to achieve? While the probable outcomes are significantly better for a child brought up by a married couple, that may not be a function of marriage, but of the commitment shared by that couple. Marriage makes that commitment harder to break, but it is not, of itself, the panacea for society's ills (something that the IDS policy forum doesn't claim, to be fair). Children raised by single-parents are more likely to have problems, but that is more likely to be connected to the economic issues surrounding most single parents. Directing funding towards the aim of supporting children and tackling child poverty is likely to prove more effective in the long term.

This is less an attempt to help families than a way to tempt middle-class voters with the promise of a barely-disguised tax cut. And I don't need to remind you that if taxes are cut somewhere, then services have to be cut somewhere else to make ends meet - especially as Cameron doesn't look likely to accept a proposed £400 million increase in taxes on alcohol (actually, if it does raise that much, it will have failed spectacularly).

The Times highlights another proposal
Charities and parents to be allowed to set up new “pioneer schools”, set up as charities, free of local authority control, and able to recruit staff and set pay levels

Hello. That's not hit the headlines. Kinda like private schools then? Or is this a plan to continue the academy programme under another name?


Freddie said...

If you really think that family breakdown does not contribute to the social problems of this country, you are either living in another country or deluded. or is it that you recognise that family breakdown is a problem but lack the political stomach do anything about it?

PoliticalHack said...

Errrm, Freddie, take some more water with it. I've not said that family breakdown doesn't contribute to social problems. I just don't think that this policy will deal with the issues and risks making a quarter of children into second-class citizens because of what happened to their parents.

Freddie said...

How on earth can supporting marriage in the tax system make the children of unmarried couples, '2nd class citizens'? It doesn't even make their parents poorer, it just makes other parents wealthier.

Anonymous said...

Yes Freddie, the 25% are therefore RELATIVELY poorer (no pun intended). I.e. 2nd class.