The Tory leader is indeed a man of remarkable vision:
“A child born into poverty in 1970 was more likely to escape poverty in adulthood than a child born into poverty in 1990.”
Ten points to anyone who can tell me in what year a child born in 1990 will enter adulthood. And five bonus points if you can guess how many poverty surveys covering that year have been conducted.
(It may be that he’s taken the standard media misunderstanding of a study comparing social mobility of children born in 1958 with those born in 1970 – which I discussed under point (2) here – and then piled his own extra misunderstanding on top by getting the dates confused. But may Oliver Letwin strike me down if I am wrong.)
Interestingly, though, Cameron seems unable to see into the past:
“Does anyone think that our economy with the highest tax burden in its history is better equipped to compete now than it would be if we could lower taxes? Of course not.”
The tax ‘burden’ now (as well as forecasted levels for the next few years) is lower than during the 1980s. Even the Tory Tax Reform Commission report [PDF] admits this: “In 2007 it is forecast to rise to 42.6 per cent – the highest level since 1986.” Back in those days, mass unemployment meant mushrooming dole payments, financed through tax. Now that really was a burden, as opposed to a popular decision to spend more on improving schools and hospitals and reducing poverty.
Also, it’s noteworthy that this remark of Cameron’s blows the gaff on his whole “economic stability before tax cuts” blather. He believes, as deeply and passionately as John Redwood, that tax cuts are the route to a stronger economy. But he’s too frit to say so.