The Telegraph reports that Lord Forsyth and John Redwood, both former ministers who have written influential reports in recent years on economic policy, have called for the Conservative party to propose a lower overall burden of tax and government spending. Lord Forsyth said:
"Just as the country is having to tighten its belt, clearly we are going to have to look at priorities for public expenditure.
We have reached the limits and in my view we have got to make economies. I think we have reached the end of the road. The British people are well ahead of the politicians on this and know that the money is not being spent wisely."
John Redwood echoed that call to cut back on wasteful spending:
"The [economic] situation now is the result of this Government’s overspending, overborrowing and overtaxing.
There are areas where you could stop spending on unnecessary programmes which will start to relieve pressure. We can cut back on things."
Such a move could be politically popular. TaxPayers' Alliance polling (PPT) shows that 66 per cent of the public thinks that, with reform and cuts in waste, taxes could be cut without compromising vital public services. 64 per cent think that the government spends, and therefore taxes, too much.
It would be an incredibly welcome break for families struggling with the effects of the current economic slow down. Taxes are up 50 per cent over the last decade and that additional burden has put a big dent in many people's pockets. They will rightly welcome politicians who promise to get a grip on spending and deliver cuts in the burden of tax.