The Autumn Statement: what the press says about Lib Dem influence

We are hearing many rumours about the climb-downs to be expected in Osborne’s Autumn Statement, which is due tomorrow, and how the Liberal Democrats are positioning themselves.

In the Guardian we learn the welcome news: George Osborne set to drop plan to end housing benefit for under-25s. “Lib Dems revolt against David Cameron’s ‘unjust’ move in runup to chancellor’s autumn statement”

The Guardian also devotes a whole article to Matthew Oakeshott’s comments: Lib Dems urge Nick Clegg to stand up to Tories over spending plans. He said “he wanted Clegg to show the same vigour and forthrightness as he had demonstrated over his response to the Leveson report.”

Elsewhere in the same paper, Patrick Wintour previewed the Autumn Statement under the headline: George Osborne prepares for climbdown on missed fiscal targets. “Chancellor must admit he cannot meet second target of reducing debt as proportion of national income by end of parliament”. He then goes on to quote from a statement from the Social Liberal Forum:

The Social Liberal Forum would not support a Government that takes regressive spending decisions, on the welfare budget in particular, that will go beyond the term of this Parliament. … If the state of the economy leaves the Coalition with a choice between investing in future growth by easing the deficit reduction programme and cutting support to the most vulnerable people in society, it can only choose the former.

The Social Liberal Forum crops up  again in the Huffington Post which claims: Nick Clegg Under Pressure From Lib Dems To Resist Benefit Cuts (which you must go to if only to check out the photo of Nick Clegg holding Osborne in an arm lock). Prateek Buch, SLF Director, is quoted as saying that the Social Liberal Forum was keeping Lib Dem ministers “aware of feelings in the party” in an attempt to win the “battle” against benefit cuts with just two days to go until the statement.

In the Independent quotes a letter from some 50 charities under the headline: Cutting benefits to poorest ‘a tragedy’, then goes on to say “Liberal Democrat sources said they believed that they had negotiated a “balanced package” which would be seen as fair.”

Even the Mail has a quote that sounds pretty authentic:

Osborne wants to demonstrate that fairness means both the rich paying their fair share and ending ‘the something-for-nothing’ culture.

The Liberal Democrats take a different approach. Their concern is, as one of them puts it, to prove that ‘when we ask people to tighten their belts, the people we begin with are those with the biggest waistbands’.

 

* Mary Reid is the Tuesday Editor on Lib Dem Voice.

Read more by .
This entry was posted in News.
Bookmark the web address for this page or use the short url http://ldv.org.uk/31939 for Twitter and emails.

One Comment

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

If you are a member of the party, you can have the Lib Dem Logo appear next to your comments to show this. You must be registered for our forum and can then login on this public site with the same username and password.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

*
*
Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?




Recent Comments

  • User AvatarRichard S 23rd Oct - 7:26am
    I am not sure that “sharp tongue” tells the whole story. He was and is very persuasive, sometimes more patiently assertive than I could ever...
  • User AvatarJohnTilley 23rd Oct - 2:23am
    Caron wrote ---"Anyway, back to Donnachadh. There will be many figures from the establishment in the Ashdown and Kennedy Eras who will have felt the...
  • User AvatarGeorge Potter 23rd Oct - 1:42am
    @Mark Valladares I really don't see what is possibly ad hominem about pointing out the fact that Tony Greaves has both said "This idea is...
  • User AvatarMark Argent 23rd Oct - 1:33am
    Perhaps unelected peers are no more scandalous than shoeing candidates into safe seats in the Commons — the fact that (for example) Boris Johnson is...
  • User AvatarDonnachadh McCarthy 23rd Oct - 1:07am
    Thanks Caron. Yes I agree using nearly 30 police in military formation to arrest someone for the "crime" of having a folded tarpaulin under my...
  • User AvatarRichard S 23rd Oct - 12:50am
    Wasn't part of the constitutional crisis that the Governor-General can dismiss the Prime Minister, but the Prime Minister can also replace the Governor General, so...