Cameron’s confusion over Tory marriage tax plans

by Stephen Tall on January 4, 2010

It can be hard pre-launching an election campaign, can’t it? Here’s the PoliticsHome rolling news front page from today:

At 3.04 pm, the site reported:

David Cameron said he could not guarantee a Conservative government would be able to offer a tax break to married couples, despite having personally supported such a move. “It’s something within a parliament I would definitely hope to do,” he said, but insisted the state of the public finances prevented him from offering any guarantee. “We’re not able to give people absolute certainty on everything,” he said.


By 4.50 pm
, the state of the nation’s finances had clearly improved, for Mr Cameron was able to declare:

The Conservatives will “definitely” bring in measures to recognise marriage in the tax system, David Cameron has confirmed. The Tory leader was forced to clarify his position after earlier giving an interview in which he said that he could not promise with “absolutely certainty” to deliver the policy if he won the general election. This afternoon the party issued a statement to the BBC from Mr Cameron in which he said recognising marriage in the tax system was something he felt “very strongly about”. “It’s something we will definitely do in the next parliament,” he said.

So, that’s two definite Tory tax plans we do know about: inheritance tax cuts for millionaires, and tax breaks for married couples. Yes, everyone, the Tories really have changed. No, really.