23 Feb 2009

VAT cut 'nuts', says Cameron

I’ve sat down for a good long interview with David Cameron today. The interesting thing about interviewing people at irregular intervals is that you see how they’ve changed.

I met him in his Commons office, which, despite his blue tie, is very green. A nice sofa area in a corner window, a very large desk with pictures of his wife and children, and of him with what looked like a very odd hat on his head. Also a picture of him and the family with Mandela and with assorted other luminaries.

He was crisp and relaxed, quite at ease with the process, the product of which we shall unleash on Channel 4 News tonight. The top lines you can grab from Snowmail (he describes the recent VAT cut as “nuts”) – or watch it live – or on 4 Plus One.

Tweets by @jonsnowC4

6 reader comments

  1. Katie says:

    Jon’s hardball attitude towards the Tories is so different to his snuggle up attitude towards Labour. Is he hoping to have another grand meal with Mandy and Co?
    Balance dear boy, balance.

  2. Raymond Anderson says:

    Interesting you should say Cameron was “crisp”. I thought he was rather a waffler, always aiming to prolong the answer. Indeed I thought the Snow tactic of cutting him short worked rather well. Still no real sign of any substance beneath Cameron’s shiny exterior.

  3. Lee Pollack says:

    I enjoyed your interview Jon. The part about the “Daily Mail test” made me smile. It seemed he wasn’t expecting that. Well done.

  4. Andrew Dundas says:

    Very illuminating interview! David Cameron has been accused of not understanding either the current global economic crisis or the appropriate solutions, that his rushed judgements prevent him from finding solutions.

    Describing the VAT cut, he offered two reasons why his comment of “nuts” is correct: that the whole stimulus package is too expensive and that selected retailers’ anecdotes agree. Those weak explanations confirm that Cameron doesn’t understand how economic life works in practice.

    To be effective, early injections of cash intended to maintain domestic spending should be in small amounts so that they’re unlikely to be saved as windfalls. Nobody can tell yet whether consumers have saved or spent their extra cash – thereby sustaining spending more and overcoming their “precautionary instincts” which are to save.

    But as Jon Snow pointed out, retail stats suggest that more money has been spent in the UK than in countries who’re still dawdling over plans. Perhaps Mervyn King is correct: that all the tax-cuts & other measures will prevent the slide becoming worse by this summer? Nobody can possibly know just yet. But doesn’t this suggest that Cameron is far too hasty in his economic judgements? I think so. Maybe you should ask Mr King too?

  5. Ray Turner says:

    DC was right about the VAT cut. It makes so little difference on what I paid to buy a new Washing Machine a few weeks ago, that the Government would have done better to have hung on to that tax.

    It would have been much more helpful to have reduced my Council Tax. Not one of those statistical real-terms cuts so favoured by politicians, I mean a genuine reduction where I actually pay less Council Tax than last year…

    Finally. It was slightly surreal to hear a party leader use the words “crazy” and “nuts” though, even if he is factually correct…

  6. Richard Coomber says:

    I’ve only just caught up with this interview but once again Cameron seems completely at sea over his position. It’s as though he is opposing for opposition’s sake.

    And as for the donations to the party – the simple fact that no one will answer if Lord Ashdown pays tax in Britain is a sure sign that there is something to hide.

    I’m sick and tired of ordinary people paying their full whack of taxes while those that can afford it most duck and dive yet still want to influence what goes on in the country. It’s nothing but greed and gives the lie to any other ‘good work’ they claim to do.

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