Tag Archives: budget 2012

2013 can be the year Lib Dems prove the cynics wrong, but we have to get smart

Nick Clegg after his conference speechOne of the most interesting results in Lib Dem Voice’s most recent poll of party members was the answer to the following question: Do you support or oppose the Lib Dems being in the Coalition Government with the Conservatives?

After two-and-a-half years of difficult negotiations with our Conservative partners, deep spending cuts, unpopular tax rises, hundreds of council seats lost and a national poll rating now consistently in the single figures, still only 19% of Lib Dem

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LDVideo: Chloe Smith’s car-crash fuel duty Newsnight interview

Yesterday saw George Osborne execute his latest U-turn, postponing from August until January next year the 3p-a-litre rise in fuel duty. Here is that U-turn, by the way:

Last night, Conservative Treasury minister did a tour of the media studios to defend the decision. Unfortunately for her, that included facing Jeremy Paxman live on BBC2’s Newsnight. You can watch the fairly excruciating result below (from approx. 6m:15s in):

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PMQs: It’s déjà vu all over again

Andrew Selous MP (Conservative) got up at Prime Minister’s Questions this week and said this:

What does he think about Ken Livingstone, who said that: “I get loads of money, all from different sources, and I give it to an accountant and they manage it”? Is that modern socialism for you?

A superb question. But one could be forgiven for being reminded of Yogi Berra’s remark:

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A question for the Coalition: Would Lib Dems and Tories support the Charity Tax if Labour had proposed it?

One of the aspects of the furore over the Coalition’s Charity Tax that has struck me is that charity is a more divisive issue than I’d realised.

Those of us who work in the charity sector probably take for granted that our organisations provide a public good, that the aggregated generosity of donors and the endeavours of staff make for a better society. That’s probably a majority view among the wider public, but it clearly isn’t a universal attitude.

Look at the reader comments on major news …

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Time for Nick Clegg and the Coalition to see sense and stop the ‘Charity Tax’

This year’s budget was, in general, a good one for Lib Dems. Most notably, the party’s number one priority of taking more low-paid workers out of tax was fast-tracked, while the controversies, and specifically the cut in the 50p top-rate at a time when pensioners’ tax allowances are being frozen, have hit their Tory backers’ support in the polls.

However, there is one lesser noticed and malign Budget change, the ‘Charity Tax’ — a cap on tax relief which threatens to cost the charitable sector hundreds of millions of pounds — which has not attracted mainstream media attention. That needs to change if the Coalition is to be talked down from a policy with Lib Dem fingerprints on it, and which will undermine philanthropic giving at a time when it is needed more than ever during the public funding squeeze.

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Opinion: subtexts rule! (or, why the subtexts of the budget and new roadbuilding plans are more important than the headlines)

This last week has demonstrated that a sailing ship without a destination will… well… just drift with the wind.

During this last budget week the Tories, under pressure from their backbenchers, reduced the 50% rate of tax for higher earners. Under the principle of Collective Cabinet Responsibility, Lib Dem ministers defended the change, implying that this concession has been granted in return for broader anti-avoidance tax measures for the better off, and the next step in the reduction in the number of lower earners paying income tax. BIS Minister Vince Cable weighed in dutifully with facts and figures showing that the …

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Opinion: sometimes Liberal Democrats just can’t win, but we won’t stop trying

Everyone this week has pretty much agreed that the Liberal Democrats did a good job on tempering the worst of Tory excesses in the budget last week. There is also universal agreement that we did well in getting our message out and I was particularly pleased with the splash page on the homepage of the national site.

But if you read Deborah Orr in the Guardian on Saturday, it is quite clear that in the eyes of some we will never get it right. Deborah started off her article by bemoaning leaks from the budget and laying the blame squarely …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 27 Comments
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