Tories ‘Will Take Years To Fulfill Tax Pledges’

David Cameron

David Cameron

(Mail) – VOTERS MAY HAVE TO WAIT YEARS to gain from Tory pledges to slash inheritance tax and stamp duty, and give married couples a cash boost, senior Conservatives fear.

Party officials raced to assure voters and jittery backbenchers yesterday that they were committed to tax cuts in the first term of a Tory government. Their reassurance followed reports that David Cameron would have to shelve them until he was voted in a second time.

Senior Conservatives privately admit that the aspiration to raise the inheritance tax threshold to £1million, and scrap stamp duty for first-time buyers on homes worth up to £250,000, may be delayed because of the recession.

Unless a Tory government can turn the public finances around, the promised tax cuts may take up to four years to enact — still within a first term.

Mr Cameron has already said that reversing Gordon Brown’s 50p tax raid on high earners will have to wait.

A spokesman denied a report yesterday that the Tory leader will have to delay tax breaks for married couples, worth up to £20 a week, until his second term, saying it is a definite promise for the first term.

A Tory with close links to the Treasury team said Mr Cameron was likely to adopt proposals by former leader Iain Duncan Smith to strengthen marriage with extra counselling, so that the tax break can take a back seat at the start of the Parliament.

The MP said: ‘You’ll see a lot of measures to show we’re supporting marriage; but, if we’ve got to make cuts in public spending, it won’t help to spend £3billion a year on tax breaks early in the first term.’

Shadow Chancellor George Osborne has been robust in joking with colleagues that the Tories will be the most unpopular government within memory after six months — because of the need to make savings to combat Labour’s handling of the public finances.

The senior Tory source added: ‘There will be some very tough decisions to take, and George will have to do the most painful things first. The first Budget will have to be brutal.

‘It makes sense because people will then see that a Tory government is acting on the deficit; but also because it will be politically impossible to do so much later on.’

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  1. […] (13/07/2009) – Tories ‘Will Take Years To Fulfill Tax Pledges’ Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Islamabad Predicts a Wider DeficitThe State Of The […]

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