Tax a hot topic at Tory party conference

The Tory leadership race has burst into life at the Conservative party
conference in Blackpool with a battle over tax policies.

David Cameron has called for economic growth to be used to lower taxes as
well a fund public services, and has indicated he thinks a flat tax with a high
personal allowance is ‘an exciting idea’.

To his right, former Public Accounts Committee Chairman David Davis has also
called for a low tax environment, with taxes on a par with those in Eire and
Australia in a bid to revitalise the economy – and a drive to reduce red tape.

Even further to the right, GP Liam Fox also believes taxation is too high and
the state too big, signalling that even a £4bn reduction would be too small.

But well to their left, big hitter Ken Clarke has made it clear he wants tax
cuts only when they are affordable and not at the expense of vital public

Finally, former foreign secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind, whose low level of
support means he will almost certainly back Clarke in the end, agrees, though he
would like action to simplify the tax system.

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