Your two-page guide to the positions of candidates vying to become leader of the Conservative Party in your print edition was very informative as far as it goes (Guide to the Form to Prospective Prime Ministers, July 11). But while the “Taxation and Spending” column refers to their views on taxation, there is virtually no information on their public spending policies.
This is hardly surprising, as none of the candidates expressed their position on spending during an interview, except for Nadhim Zahawi’s initial declaration of a 20% reduction in the operating costs of each ministry. , later clarified to mean a 20% cut in the civil service. manpower, as well as occasional references to defense spending.
Although there is general agreement on the need for economic growth, there is no focused strategy on how to achieve it, including the need to invest in public services.
But a high-growth economy requires investment in education and skills, as well as a healthy workforce – and that relies not just on a well-resourced health service, but also on housing. satisfaction and good nutrition, both dependent on adequate salary levels. Cutting taxes will not pay for this.
We need politics, not platitudes.
Newby Wiske, North Yorkshire
I read the political ideas of the candidates with growing concern. It’s all very well to dangle tax cuts as an argument, but how does that square with paying more NHS staff and new hospitals? rebuild schools in ruins and provide more money for school meals; properly fund the woefully inadequate healthcare system; supporting an increasing number of households at or below the subsistence level due to rising food and fuel prices; and keep our roads in at least reasonable condition?
Taxes pay for it all, so which items on this list are they willing to sacrifice?
Birmingham, West Midlands
Most Conservative leadership candidates claim, without evidence, that tax cuts lead to economic growth. But to claim that there is a simple causal link is economic illiteracy for at least three reasons. First, many other factors come into play, such as the amount of investment companies are making in advanced technologies and the skills of their workforce. Second, countries like Germany, France, and those in Scandinavia have both higher taxes and higher growth. Third, nothing prevents corporations from giving the money saved from tax cuts back to their shareholders and/or senior executives.
We need investigators to challenge this error every time it is spoken, to prevent us from having a Prime Minister who will cut taxes and thus make inflation worse than it already is.
Labor is right to demand that all Tory leadership candidates clarify their tax arrangements (Report, July 11), but it would certainly carry more weight if Keir Starmer and his Shadow Cabinet colleagues also made their records public tax.
In fact, Starmer should insist that all Labor candidates in the next election make public all their recent tax records. In Labour’s manifesto, there could be a commitment to legislation making this mandatory for all senior civil servants. I don’t see many voters finding fault with that, and it could be the first shot in what should be Labour’s war on tax avoidance and evasion.