What would a Tory Budget actually do?
David Cameron has announced today that if his Party wins the election, they will hold an emergency Budget within fifty days. On describing the likely content of that Budget, he said it would be:
“about getting the deficit under control. But it should also be a budget that goes for growth that gets this economy moving again,”
Cameron also repeated the commitment to cut business taxes.
Is this really credible? A Budget that reduces the deficit through spending cuts and reduces taxes and is a “go for growth” Budget (the phrase usually associated with a more Keynesian investment approach). A triangulation too far?
Maybe also some nervousness about how the “austerity” approach is playing with the electorate. Note his rather unsure description of the announcement of measures to reduce the deficit:
What you need is a plan to get the deficit down, you have got to demonstrate to people that you are serious by taking some steps in your first budget and you set out those steps.
Is that a commitment to start actually cutting as soon as possible after the election (which seems to have been Tory policy previously) or the much softer measure of setting a path to deficit reduction over the medium and longer term (which arguably the Government is already doing)? It’s not that clear. I think the Tories could be shifting.