7 Oct 2009

So, do we actually have a credit crisis?

I’ve just done a ‘sit down’ with David Cameron, and met his wife too – tall, elegant, very personable.

We all met on the 23rd floor of the Hilton here in Manchester, an eerily deserted place with splendid views across the jumble that is Manchester and the sun kissed Pennines beyond.

Talked with Cameron for tonight’s Channel 4 News and he talked austerity. I wondered how scrapping inheritance tax for the rich fitted with “we are all in this together” in paying off the debt?

I asked him too about why tax payers should fund the mortgage on his second home to the tune of nearly £20,000 a year – even more than many nurses, teachers policemen who will now be hit by his planned austerity measures?

He didn’t say he was going to forfeit it, and said the promise of abolishing inheritance tax would stay.

In the sunny light of day the Osborne gloom gamble, in a speech in which he never mentioned the word “growth”, is looking like a very risky gamble as an excellent article in the FT by Chris Giles questions – do we actually HAVE a credit crisis?

Isn’t the greatest threat that for undermining growth, recovery and accumulation of the capacity to pay down that debt. I asked Cameron why it was wise for him to be the ONLY G20 country slashing spending when unemployment was rising? You can see his answers for yourself.

It’s a strange old conference this – awash with private equity, hedge fund and financial sector operatives (courted at fundraising events for their money) – yet these are the very people Mr Cameron told me he was going to bash with the tax system if they pay themselves unacceptable bonuses.

One other thing. I should clarify the gay fringe event that I said last night was the first at a Tory Party fringe, was of course NOT the first ever GAY event but the first ever PRIDE event. Thanks for pointing that out. I’ll blog again soon from here.

On Thursday Channel 4 News online will be providing extended live coverage of David Cameron’s speech to the Conservative conference, including film extracts, expert analysis and Twitter commentary.

To watch and contribute, go to www.channel4.com/news from midday on the 8 October.

Tweets by @jonsnowC4