The issue of the total tax take in the UK is set to become one of the cornerstone issues at the next General Election. When the economy was good, people shrugged off Labour's various tax hikes with a sense that at least they were paying for the investment in "schools 'n' hospitals" that Blair told us all was vital. The new electoral rule was that tax cuts were a vote loser; because any tax cut could be expressed not in pounds and pence but in the number of schools shut or nurses sacked. And it worked.
Now the chickens from the last 10 years are coming home to roost and improvements in public services are clearly not coming fast enough, people are starting to query all this tax. Residents on the doosteps are starting to ask a few harsh questions of the government - why are we paying so much tax, why has it had to go up so much and ... more importantly, can I keep more of the money I earn?
Because without better public services, people are finally challenging the last reason they had for putting up with tax rises year-after-year. I hope Cameron does put the focus on the reform of public services rather than just the funding of them.
I now think the conditions are right for the Tories to talk about tax cuts without being accused of being service-slashers. The rules of the game have changed. Labour convinced people that tax cuts mean service cuts. Cameron now needs to convince people that tax cuts mean a fairer society and reform leads to better services.
I think that residents are now willing to listen to Cameron and the arguement is on our side.