Mr Major’s Doorstep Interview at Grafham Water Sailing Club – 11 April 1996

Below is the text of Mr Major’s doorstep interview at the Grafham Water Sailing Club, made on Thursday 11th April 1996.


QUESTION:

[Asked about Tony Blair’s tax plans]

PRIME MINISTER:

I don’t know what his tax plans are. He’s made no speech and I would be very surprised if he gives any details. What we are seeing is a typical Tony Blair operation. His spin doctors outline what he thinks, what he might do. We never hear directly from him. We’ve have no signals from him. Every experience we’ve had from a Labour government is that they put taxes up. Labour and high taxes go together like strawberries and cream. The Labour party always wants to spend more money. If Tony Blair is in favour of lower taxes, why hasn’t he supported out tax cutting agenda. I don’t think he is in favour of tax cuts and his party can’t deliver them.

QUESTION:

[Asked if Tony Blair is stealing Conservative Party policies]

PRIME MINISTER:

He realises the Conservative party stands for the people of this country. The people believe in lower taxes so does the Tory party. If we increase them, it’s only when we have to, but our gut instinct is to cut taxes. Labour is the tax and spend party, that is the fundamental difference. Tony Blair said recently, you can only tell what a party’s like when it’s in power. Where Labour is in power on local councils, there have been tax increases right across the country.

QUESTION:

[Asked about Tony Blair’s comments on people who earn up to 40,000 pounds a year paying tax]

PRIME MINISTER:

Well Gordon Brown has categorically refused to rule out higher taxes. It’s clear that labour would have to put up taxes.

QUESTION:

[Asked about a message for the Tamworth by-election]

PRIME MINISTER:

People will have seen the candidates and made up their own minds by now. Now we must wait and see.

QUESTION:

[Asked if he was worried]

PRIME MINISTER:

I’m not worried.