Andrew Tyrie is a well respected Conservative MP. He is also Chair of the Treasury Select Committee. From what I have heard him say in the past I was not surprised by some of the comments attributed to him in today's media. Seems he thinks there should be tax cuts for business to promote growth - and reductions in international aid (despite the manifesto promises) - and less spending on promoting voluntary involvement in society (despite manifesto commitments) - and questions our recent involvement in Libya (or at least the cost of it). Now, I'm sure there are other Conservative MPs who share some of these opinions. Most will have some sympathy with the desire to see lower taxes as part of a growth package. But there are a couple of problems with all this.
Firstly its the timing of Andrew's intervention - on the eve of our conference. At the very least it looks unhelpful to his own team, as they kick off in their most important game of the season. And secondly there's the issue of the deficit. We would all like to see tax cuts, but they have to be paid for. And our absolute priority is to maintain international financial market credibility in the Chancellor's deficit reduction strategy. Coincidentally, the Chancellor has written a powerful article for today's Telegraph emphasising leadership and sticking to his much respected strategy. There could well be a few discussions about this intervention at Manchester next week.