“Everyone knows that the Centre for Policy Studies matters, and not just for Conservatives, but for politics as a whole,” said Dominic Raab on Monday. “The team here are producing exceptional work, and Westminster is sitting up and taking note.”
Those kind words came at the start of the former Brexit Secretary’s first major speech since leaving office, delivered here at the CPS. (You can read the full transcript on CapX here or watch it on the CPS site here.)
In November, we were honoured to have the Prime Minister speak at the launch of Make Work Pay, the first in a series of major policy reports designed to set out a blueprint for post-Brexit prosperity.
The report contained two major recommendations: to raise the threshold for National Insurance to ensure that everyone could earn their first £1,000 a month completely free of tax. And to guarantee that, from that point, no one would ever pay more than 50p in the £1 in tax – directly addressing the scandalous reality that the highest marginal tax rates in our country are paid by those trying to make their way off welfare and into work.
In his speech this week, Dominic Raab argued that we should focus future tax cuts on the low paid, by raising the National Insurance threshold – the first part of our plan. Indeed, he praised our "innovative and pioneering work" in this area – which built on his own papers for the CPS as a backbench MP.
Then, today, Boris Johnson made his own major speech, at JCB’s headquarters in Rocester. At the heart of his vision for British prosperity was our second proposal – a pledge that no one, rich or poor, should pay more than 50p in tax (click here to watch).
Our goal at the CPS is not just to produce good ideas. It is to inject them into the bloodstream of British politics. To have the Prime Minister attend the launch of our policy programme, and to have two senior politicians praising and championing the two key ideas in the first report, is the best possible sign that we are on the right track.