The forthcoming Budget will tell us what type of Conservative government we now have. Will it be blue in tooth and claw or more the promised 'One Nation' style? The two are not incompatible but if the Budget goes for top rate tax cuts, changes on inheritance tax and moves over married couples allowances then the media will suggest the true blue version is winning out.
There are good political reasons why the Conservatives may pursue these policies from the outset. In particular, whilst Labour is primarily looking inwards then the Conservatives have a freer hand.
Lobbying on such matters starts early. Externally, organisations try to argue their case and put forward policy suggestions but internally too, MPs make their views known as well. For a Prime Minister facing a possible revolt over EU membership what better way to make friends than to give ground over tax.
No policies this side of an EU referendum can be seen as standalone. They all need to be seen through the prism of the referendum and the alliances being built around its preferred outcome.
Liam Fox and Steve Baker add names to growing list of MPs calling on Chancellor to cut top tax rate – despite concerns over impact on party image Up to 160 Conservative MPs want the top rate of income tax cut to 40p in the next Budget, senior Tory MPs have said as George Osborne faces mounting pressure to make the move.