PER­SONAL AC­COUNT

The Daily Telegraph - Your Money - - MONEY - Marc Sid­well

Here are three tax changes that won’t be in next week’s Bud­get – but should be

An­tic­i­pat­ing drama from Philip “Spread­sheet” Ham­mond is a bit like watch­ing Theresa May ne­go­ti­ate Brexit in the hope of catch­ing a flash of Thatcherite steel. What­ever else the Chan­cel­lor’s au­tumn Bud­get on Mon­day af­ter­noon may of­fer (and see page 5 for our run­down of the run­ners and rid­ers), it’s un­likely to stir much in the way of emo­tion. Should Mr Ham­mond re­ally be in­tent on raid­ing pen­sions tax relief, as some fear, his speech will man­age to raise the blood pres­sure of in­vestors, but that’s about as heart-pound­ing as it’s likely to get.

What a missed op­por­tu­nity. There’s a des­per­ate lack of vi­sion at the heart of our cur­rent gov­ern­ment, ex­actly at the mo­ment when it is most needed. It is now painfully clear how lit­tle Mrs May has gained with her back­bone-free “Brexit means Brexit” wheelin­gand-deal­ing ap­proach to EU ne­go­ti­a­tion. The cost is not just in the cur­rent frus­trat­ing mud­dle but in the ab­sence of bold eco­nomic pro­pos­als that would have brought into fo­cus the op­por­tu­ni­ties for Bri­tain as it leaves the EU.

At the same time we have the soft-Left tenor of Mrs May’s do­mes­tic pol­icy agenda, full of plans to reg­u­late this and ban the other. This isn’t the sound of lead­er­ship but a quiet sur­ren­der to con­ven­tional think­ing – mouthing weak echoes of the kind of full-throated in­ter­ven­tion­ism be­ing planned by Jeremy Cor­byn’s so­cial­ists.

Con­ser­va­tive politi­cians can do bet­ter. If they are will­ing to be bold, they have some­thing more nour­ish­ing to of­fer vot­ers than fudge. In­stead of a warmed-up re­hash of Left­ist talk­ing points, they should serve up fresh ideas that re­ject top-down con­trol and favour the mass flour­ish­ing only mar­kets al­low.

Yes, there is a need to keep the deficit in check, but smart tax cuts can help grow re­ceipts, as we’ve seen in re­cent years with cor­po­ra­tion tax.

The party of Mar­garet Thatcher has, if it chooses to stand up and ad­mit it, a proud and dis­tinc­tive mes­sage of its own. That mes­sage cham­pi­ons eco­nomic free­dom, in­di­vid­ual in­ge­nu­ity and a ro­bust civil so­ci­ety. It backs poli­cies that favour low taxes and light reg­u­la­tion, be­cause it trusts cit­i­zens with their own money and their own lives.

But we won’t be get­ting much of that on Mon­day. Mrs May and Mr Ham­mond don’t do com­mon-sense cap­i­tal­ism. So here are three tax cuts that you won’t find in next week’s Bud­get – but should.

A plan to slash and then scrap stamp duty on house pur­chases

Mar­garet Thatcher showed Tory politi­cians how to be bold and prin­ci­pled

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