The Budget: so, what did you make of it?

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218 Comments

  • James Preston 22nd Jun '10 - 1:34pm

    Tory budget from a tory government.

    What else is their to say ?

  • I’m reminded why I loathe the screeching windbag that is Harriet Harman so much.

    As for the budget, my initial reaction is that its horrible. But that was a given no matter who was in power. My second reaction is that it is decidedly less horrible than It could have been. My big fear was that the 0 rating of VAT would be abolished or raised, it hasn’t been and that takes a large amount of sting for the poorest families.

    Will now dive into the Budget document.

  • Daniel Furr 22nd Jun '10 - 1:39pm

    Well, the fact we didn’t “do a Canada” means we don’t get a surplus till 2014. Canada’s bloodbath was done within two years. So yes, it could’ve been MUCH worse. But I’m happy with it. Harman’s arcane Socialist language, ranting on and on, will do Labour no good.

  • how bad was it to see only Clegg and Alexander sat next to Osborne as he wielded his axe?

  • I hope you LibDem folks ‘mellow out’ soon or it’s going to be a L-O-N-G Five Years. Frankly you should be very pleased at how much of the budget demonstrated CLEAR LibDem influences. Not that the conservatives minded too much as some of your ‘stuff’ was better than their ‘stuff’. It WAS a ‘progressive’ austerity budget. Kind of novel, really.

    Assuming that the economy does not completely crater, that was a VERY fair budget, especially as it clearly aims to address some serious structural UK ‘issues’.

  • How many Tory Chancellors have (a) increased CGT (b) imposed a levy on the banks and (c) favoured the poorest tax payers over the richest ? Many signs of Lib Dem influence

  • Public sector pay freezes, child benefit frozen, disability benefits to be cut,25% cuts in some departments….I must have been watching a different budget.

  • toryboysnevergrowup 22nd Jun '10 - 1:56pm

    So much for taxing capital gains at the same rate as income – the difference is only 23% before taking account of the reliefs. And what did the coalition agreement say?

    And as for the VAT rise? If this is a fair an progressive budget could we have an unfair and regressive one please.

    How different do you think the Budget would really have been if the LibDems had sold their souls?

  • The budget was pretty much a disgrace. To be honest as someone who voted lib dem I am deeply deeply ashamed. I may never vote for anyone again. I feel let down and that *I* have let the country down.

    When I look at Nick Clegg and Danny Alexander all I see are people who have sacrificed our votes and the country’s best interests in order to fullfill their own ambitions.

    I feel very very sad.

  • Daniel Furr 22nd Jun '10 - 1:56pm

    Some should remember we are Liberals, not socialists. Small government, low taxes and a strong private sector is something we should encourage. Welfare dependency is something we should strongly targeted.

  • “Some should remember we are Liberals, not socialists. Small government, low taxes and a strong private sector is something we should encourage. Welfare dependency is something we should strongly targeted.”

    Oh, so ‘we are all Thatcherites now’? Why not go the whole hog and merge with the Tories?

  • toryboysnevergrowup 22nd Jun '10 - 1:59pm

    Oh and why has the growth projection been downgraded from the OBR projection as a result of this budget? So much for Vince not wanting growth to be jeopardised.

  • The Tory 2010 budget that was only made possible by the Lib Dems!!!!

    Disgrace!

  • VAT was always a personal “red line” for me. It hits those less able to pay the most. The CGT rises have been watered down and we have a wacking great VAT rise. I am seriously considering my continuing membership of the Lib Dems. I need to find a moment to look at the overall pros and cons of coalition policy so far

  • Daniel Furr 22nd Jun '10 - 2:07pm

    @AJ

    Not a fan of Glandstone are we? Probably the greatest Liberal minds to enter British politics. The last Chancellor who considered abolishing Income Tax. This budget is, in fact, extremely liberal than conservative.

    As for merging with the Tories, why don’t you join the Labour party? It is obviously clear you admire their socialist platform.

  • @toryboy

    Because spending is being cut. As it should be, 0.3% cut in growth or a continuing exponential spiral in government debt? I know which side I’m on. Short term pain for long term stability and control.

    I was impressed. The maintaining of the 0 rate VAT is important. The 1k rise in tax allowance will cancel out largely the rise in general VAT for the poorest and a clear commitment to raise that allowance further. Benefits have not been cut, but frozen. That’s something. Gimmicky one off grants that do nothing for equality or fairness but are back breakingly expensive have been axed.

    I remain stupefied that there are some who seem to earnestly believe that we could get away with out making sacrifices. In the horrendous economic circumstances we find ourselves in, this is about as good as it could have gotten.

  • Speaking honestly, I think the budget wasn’t as bad as it could have been. But that is probably because the govermnet managed our expectations, especially with Nick Clegg’s ‘warning’ email to members.

    But I fear there is still a lot of devil in the details. Lets see. VAT was inevitable (all three parties displayed jaw-dropping insincerity on that one) I think the public sector, though damaged, could have been cut back even more.

    As I say, lets see.

  • @Daniel Furr

    “Some should remember we are Liberals..”

    I thought the party was an AMALGAM of Liberals and Social Democrats? Or am I mistaken?

  • toryboysnevergrowup 22nd Jun '10 - 2:13pm

    The Tories in their manifesto proposed to reduce the deficit by only having £1 of tax rises for every £4 of expenditure cuts (saying some garbage about it being international best practice). The coalition agreement was silent on the balance between tax rises and expenditure cuts. Perhaps we thought that the LibDems may moderate the Tories usual cutting tendencies?

    Well for any LibDems with any principles remaining perhaps they may wish to examine the budget document from HMT and they will find that the impact of the LibDems has to make the Tories even worse they are now planning nearly £5 of expenditure cuts for each £1 of tax rises. Progressive politics in action – I think not!

  • toryboysnevergrowup 22nd Jun '10 - 2:15pm

    “Short term pain for long term stability and control.”

    No pain no gain – Norman Lamont and Mrs Thatcher would be proud of you. Wrong then, wrong now I’m afraid.

  • Raising the tax threshold by £1000, linking pensions to earnings, raising the level of Capital Gains Tax.

    Please could the Labour and Green trolls please explain why any of these measures is in any way unprogressive.

  • @ Mark Wright

    Alternatives include scrapping Trident, implementing Lib Dems full CGT policy, closing tax loopholes (was this mentioned?), lower tax relief for higher rate pension contributions, manion tax.

  • Anthony Aloysius St 22nd Jun '10 - 2:29pm

    “Well for any LibDems with any principles remaining perhaps they may wish to examine the budget document from HMT and they will find that the impact of the LibDems has to make the Tories even worse they are now planning nearly £5 of expenditure cuts for each £1 of tax rises.”

    Actually, it says the plan is for spending cuts of £99bn and tax rises of £29bn (para 1.33):
    http://www.direct.gov.uk/prod_consum_dg/groups/dg_digitalassets/@dg/@en/documents/digitalasset/dg_188581.pdf

    The ratio is 3.4 to 1, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the Lib Dems have played a role in reducing that from the original Tory target of 4 to 1.

  • “I remain stupefied that there are some who seem to earnestly believe that we could get away with out making sacrifices. ”

    That’s becoming a tiresome straw man.

    I have seen nobody saying there shouldn’t be cuts. Merely are we making the right ones at the right time. Even Obama’s said that for goodness sake.

    If you continue to prefer imagining what people are saying rather than what they are saying then maybe you’d spend less time stupefied.

    Ashamed I voted libdem.

  • dale gallowg 22nd Jun '10 - 2:33pm

    was lib dem but just became a labour supporter with the lil dems support of this budget its a disgrace

  • Anthony Aloysius St 22nd Jun '10 - 2:35pm

    The increase in child tax credits by (if I understand correctly) £150 per child above inflation is quite significant, isn’t it? For those who are eligible that will go a long way towards mitigating the effects of the rise in VAT and the freezing of child benefit.

  • The VAT increase will push up the real cost of living, bring forward major purchases and create a consumer spending dive in 2011. Growth figures are wildly fantastic as the double dip recession is now a certainty.

    Lib Dem leaders are in a tough position but I can see a lot of voters either staying at home or voting for other parties; I hope it isn’t the end but would not be surprised if we lost a lot of seats both nationally and especially in local government. A tradegy where I have known many hard working Lib Dem Councillors who now need more than ever to campaign on their personal / local records and not try to excuse the Westminster Government actions.

  • Malcolm Todd 22nd Jun '10 - 2:38pm

    @Ian Ridley – sure, we could have done all that if we’d won the election. As it is … Well, I can’t say I’m happy. The VAT hike was both inevitable and deeply dishonest, the CGT increase rather unconvincing.
    Positives? The pension change is an undoubted good (though I believe all parties were committed to restoring the earnings link by the end of this parliament at least, so it’s not a huge advert for Lib Dem influence). The commitment to capital spending is probably a good thing, though I’m no economist.
    It’s probably a better budget than the Tories would have come up with on their own; and a minority govt would have had to tread water for longer, with pretty dire effect on market confidence. I don’t know that it’s worth it, though. (I’d feel a lot more ready to give the budget the benefit of the doubt if it weren’t for those bl**dy “free” schools.)

  • Sir Norfolk Passmore 22nd Jun '10 - 2:39pm

    There may be nobody saying there shouldn’t be cuts, Anne, but there are a lot of people conveniently forgetting they ran up the credit card bill and essentially saying there should be some unspecified cuts at some unspecified time. And I’m sorry, but it isn’t anywhere near good enough.

    On the progressive debate, others have rightly pointed out increases in tax allowance and raising CGT. It seems to me there is absolutely nothing progressive about spending for the sake of spending in the face of a huge and expanding deficit, with the mere aspiration to pay it off sometime in the never never.

  • @beaunash

    Quite. My usually on-the-ball local councillor still has “we’re the only ones that can beat the tories” on his website.

    Beat them at what ? Their own game ?

    We’re going the way of the labour party and abandoning our core support. Problem is – ours wasn’t as big in the first place.

  • “there are a lot of people conveniently forgetting they ran up the credit card bill and essentially saying there should be some unspecified cuts at some unspecified time.”

    really ? would you like to point them out – because every single person on this thread, when challenged has backed it up with examples as far as I can see.

    The comparison to household finances is ridiculous. But you knew that didn’t you ?

    “others have rightly pointed out increases in tax allowance and raising CGT.”
    have proven that the tory lib govt cares more about the rich.

  • Paul McKeown 22nd Jun '10 - 2:45pm

    Harriet Harman’s response was boring, couldn’t we just have cut to Barry Gardiner’s stirring rant against the sins of Liberal Democracy? It was at least interesting, even if seriously deranged! Well done to Malcolm Bruce for his factual, grounded, yet empassioned deconstruction and rebuttal of the member for Brent North. I look forward to further sparks leading to yet more radical ideas from the coalition partners creatively clashing with each other.

    Judgement: fair, although the VAT increase was disappointing, if, perhaps, inevitable.

  • Terry Gilbert 22nd Jun '10 - 2:46pm

    The 20% VAT rise is both inflationary and ethically disgraceful. The poorest fifth of the population pay about 12% of disposable income in VAT while the richest fifth pay about 4%. This is a highly regressive way to repay the deficit. Either the millionaires at the top of our party have very little influence, or they just don’t care about the ‘fairness’ agenda.

  • Conservative 22nd Jun '10 - 2:47pm

    well, comrades, what a brilliant budget. I was upset by the tax rises esp. those hitting business but I am so proud of the Lib Dems for having finally seen the light and protected this country from the terrible overspending and bloated public sector. Good to see the Liberal backbone is still strong – long live classical liberalism.

  • Don’t like the increase in VAT, but for me the real stinker is the freeze on child benefit. This is equivalent to actually cutting it in real terms over the next three years, and when you take into account the VAT rises this will be worse even than through normal inflation.

    A much better option – though still difficult to accept – would have been to means test it, to protect the families who really need it and remove/restrict it from those who don’t.

    The other nasty – in my view – is the attack by stealth again on the usual Tory target, single mothers. This time, once their youngest child is at school, they’ll be forced to go back to work. When will the Tories realise that single mums aren’t just benefit scroungers; they can be there through no fault of their own?

    And I’d really like to see Georgie-boy’s figures behind the claim that some people get over £100k in housing benefit. How many? Where do they live? What’s their situation?

  • Peter Dunphy 22nd Jun '10 - 2:56pm

    I think some people would have posted the inevitable ‘ashamed of yourselves’ and ‘sellout’ posts here. All parties accepted need for tax rises and spending cuts (Due to Labour thievery and incompetence). The budget cushions the poorest (raising income tax threshold by 1000, increasing child element of tax credits, restoring pensions earnings link, freezing regressive excise duties, keeping 18% CGT for lower rate taxpayers). VAT is regressive but is exempt on children’s clothes, food and travel which make up a higher % of the poorest’s expenditure. However if you are a higher rate taxpayer you have to pay much more CGT, more income tax (due to freezing of threshold) and there is a big tax on the banks – I dont like the left/right thing but this budget is more left wing (forget progressive) than anything done by Labour (remember the 10% income tax abolition, reduction of CGT (mainly paid for by the rich) from 40% to 18%, the 75p pension rise etc.

  • Actually, the VAT increase and the freeze on child benefit has the real potential to be a hammer blow for low-income families. This isn’t a Lib Dem budget, by any stretch of the imagination….

  • George Kendall 22nd Jun '10 - 3:05pm

    My reaction is a sinking feeling. At last the real pain begins. It’s necessary pain, it would have come under Labour. And the pain will get worse. 25% real terms cuts in some government departments is eye-watering. And when those cuts come, it’s going to be heart-breaking.

    If Labour had won the election, there would also have been terrible pain. And I’m pretty sure they would have done a u-turn on not cutting now. The world economy has changed, the international consensus has changed as well, so they’d have been right to do a u-turn.

    But they’d also have been driven by political calculation. Their previous calculation was to defer the pain to after the election. Their new calculation would have been to cut early in the parliament, rather than defer the pain to closer to the following election.

    Would they have cut the deficit less? I’m not sure. They’d want the deficit down quickly too. And I don’t think their tax rises would have been particularly progressive. With such a massive budget deficit, I wouldn’t have been surprised at a large rise in VAT from them, either.

    But, I guess, the real question is not, what would Labour have done, but what should have been done?

    Some people seem to think that deferring the deficit cutting would have been progressive. I don’t agree. Continuing to rack up more and more debt is progressive in the short-term, and even more regressive in the long-term. It would lead to higher interest rates for our debt. The interest to be paid on that debt would mean the debt would grow exponentially. And, if we have too much debt, that would leave us with no room to manoeuvre if there were a future shock to the world economy.

    If deferring cutting the deficit meant worse later, lax decisions now would not look progressive at all when it resulted in even more savage cuts in the future.

    When Labour was running a budget deficit in the middle of a boom, I’m sure they liked to tell themselves they were being progressive. From where we’re sitting now, their extravagance looks regressive. It is now taking from the poor – the UK in the middle of a downturn. And it gave to the rich – the UK as it then was, in a boom.

  • toryboysnevergrowup 22nd Jun '10 - 3:07pm

    Anthony

    I think the ratio you quote is only for changes announced in this budget – it doesn’t take account of those that were already included and it also treats the reduction in debt interest as an expenditure cut rather than the end product of the process. I suspect the figures may have been presented to Nick Clegg in a similar manner. There are some very nasty expenditure cuts to be announced in the autumn – and they will overall be c5 times greater than the increases in taxation we have heard about today and in previous budgets – and it will not be the well off hwo bear most of the burden I’m afraid. The Tories are now talking about cutting 25% of non ring fenced departmental expenditure, and this figure has been gradually increasing since the election, so I have my doubts about LibDem influence.

  • Happy with the increase in income tax allowance threshold, restoration of the pensions link, incentives for business to
    invest outside London and my overall feeling is it could have been much worse.

    I am a bit concerned about some of the welfare changes though.

  • Anthony Aloysius St 22nd Jun '10 - 3:17pm

    “I think the ratio you quote is only for changes announced in this budget – it doesn’t take account of those that were already included and it also treats the reduction in debt interest as an expenditure cut rather than the end product of the process.”

    No – the paragraph I referred you to states quite clearly that those figures are overall ones, including both from in the March budget and the additional ones just announced.

    Here’s the link again. It’s para 1.33:
    http://www.direct.gov.uk/prod_consum_dg/groups/dg_digitalassets/@dg/@en/documents/digitalasset/dg_188581.pdf

  • Ruth Bright 22nd Jun '10 - 3:22pm

    Speaking as a recipient of child tax credit in a family earning over 40K I think the tax credit changes are a fair cop. – in fact the Chancellor could have been harsher. The attack on single parents though, (like the earlier one on travellers) is utterly depressing.

    What are our female MPs doing? They get themselves all worked up about minor stuff like the retouching of photos in adverts but don’t appear to have anything to say about the abolition of the maternity health grant.

  • toryboysnevergrowup 22nd Jun '10 - 3:23pm

    Anthony

    I admit it – I got it the wrong way around above with debt interest – just look at what is happening to expenditure (before interest) and tax take totals and you will see what is happening to the overall fiscal stance. Table C6 probably illustrates this best.

  • Andrea Gill 22nd Jun '10 - 3:23pm

    Be nice if comments here were possible to be marked as to who is a member and who isn’t – the media is having a feast reading Labour trolls and assuming this is the opinion of all Liberal Democrats…

  • keenasmustard 22nd Jun '10 - 3:25pm

    Overall a pretty good budget for tough times.

    Everybody forgets that even Labour were planning £44Billion of cuts – so their hypocrisy is self evident.

    VAT rise is unfortunate but more can be done to help the very poorest in next years budget – certainly another increase in the basic tax allowance and perhaps some targetted benefits – possibly at the expense of univeral – middle class/income benefits like child benefit.
    Surprised by how much I support the budget.

  • Michael’s remark about ‘screeching’ Harriet Harman reminds me of that disappointment so many people had about the lack of women at the top of the Lib Dems. No male politicians are referred to in this way. I bet Michael is male and pale.

  • Paul McKeown 22nd Jun '10 - 3:35pm

    Looking forward to Mehdi Hasan going barko and frothing at the mouth! Always entertaining…
    :-)

  • Andrea Gill 22nd Jun '10 - 3:37pm

    PS: I fully accept some Lib Dems are not happy, but not all of those expressing negative views are party members or even long-time LD voters

  • toryboysnevergrowup 22nd Jun '10 - 3:44pm

    “Everybody forgets that even Labour were planning £44Billion of cuts – so their hypocrisy is self evident”

    So just to show how fair and progressive you are – you and your Tory friends have decided to go for a further £32bn of cuts per annum. And don’t worry you still haven’t identified what most of them are yet either – that will only be done in the spending review.

  • @ KL – the freeze in child benefit is being offset by a real-terms rise in child tax credit (ie above inflation) for the poorest families. Together with the rise in personal allowance for the lowest paid, that should mean that the effect of the child benefit freeze is felt most by middle and higher income families, which personally I think is the right way round. No one earning £40k a year should be getting benefits…

    And I’m a bit surprised at the objections to single parents returning to work when their child(ren) start school – aren’t both parents in a double-parent household expected to return to work at that stage too? I could be mistaken…  

  • The VAT rise is obviously a disgusting betrayal of values but I was expecting it not because as we’re all spineless powergrabbers but because there simply wasn’t anything else that could be done that could generate the same revenue’s quickly, sad underlying truth and I could see many LibDem faces not happy in the seats. It does give Labour unwelcome ammunition that we have to be against. A plus maybe is that It isn’t happening till January, which I think is as good as it could have been as it avoids ruining this years xmas and allows companies to effectivly prepare and considering how much other tax-cuts and changes they have been given to make things easier it might not be as painful, but mostly I hope it’s not for long.

    Less start-up taxes for companies outside of London/SE and this should do something to improve the private sector in those area’s that really are desperate for it.

    Welfare changes are double-sided. I think coupled with the Public Sector cuts those measures could cause real problems, as lack of help and money will be a double blow on the flip though I do agree wholeheartedly that people should not be on benefits for life, should be getting anything like 100,000 in housing benefit a year nor anyone getting 40,000 wage bill should demand CTC.

    basically It was never going to be a fluffy fun budget, we’re in deep do-do and no matter how you cover it in chocolate your eventually going to taste the S*it. An it would have been alot worse had it been Tory only as good libdem policies are there.

  • No longer a LibDem 22nd Jun '10 - 3:53pm

    This will be an historic day, the day that the Liberal party ended, all we have now is Tories.

  • Simon Williams 22nd Jun '10 - 3:53pm

    That’s a very, very harsh budget. But could have been a lot worse. Good to see some policies in there which will help to at least mitigate some of the hardship for those on lower incomes.

    Some of the figures aren’t adding up for me right now. Will look forward to seeing the details.Welfare cuts in particular (especially given hints of seeking more than a 25% cut from Osborne) aren’t making much sense without a radical change in employers’ provisions for the disabled and long term sick. And given that unemployment will rise, and that we have already a significant number of unemployed, maybe that’s something not to be playing with during this parliament…

    Personal major concern is that DLA is now going to get the incapacity benefits treatment with private companies doing assessments of ability to work based upon deeply flawed checklists. Danny Alexander panned the system Labour introduced pre-election, and rightly so given the flaws highlighted by MIND and other mental health charities – I really hope that we’re pressing hard to see this investigated and we make sure that any such assessments are done fairly and without inflicting even greater hardship for significant periods of time upon those vulnerable people who are able to navigate the current appeals system. If benefits savings are to be achieved by letting people fall through the net, then that is not something I could support at all.

    VAT rise is troubling on many, many levels. But I can’t honestly say that I didn’t expect it once the coalition deal was announced.

    Still not convinced that the coalition economic policy is on the right track here. Throwing in further taxes upon consumption is an odd way to stimulate the economy. We’ll see. Hopefully this budget will be an exception to the rule.

  • Anthony Aloysius St 22nd Jun '10 - 3:54pm

    “the media is having a feast reading Labour trolls and assuming this is the opinion of all Liberal Democrats…”

    Ah – so that’s why you’ve been posting comments so assiduously. You think what’s said here influences the media coverage.

    Personally – speaking as a troll who is not currently a member of any party – I very much doubt it (though I do remember Nick Clegg once being asked about a comment on LDV during a radio interview). I suspect most people don’t take what’s written here very seriously at all. And that may even go for most of the people writing it …

  • Paul McKeown 22nd Jun '10 - 3:55pm

    @No longer a LibDem

    Can you give your name, so we can check your credentials?

  • @andreagill

    If you like I could dismiss your comments by saying you’re a tory troll.

    But that would be petty and avoiding dealing with the real issues. But hey – if you can’t cope with the fact that not everyone has the same point of view as you – despite voting for the same party then debate is kind of pointless.

  • @paulMcKeown

    You can check people’s credentials ?

    How exactly ? this is a serious question

  • No longer a LibDem 22nd Jun '10 - 3:59pm

    Lara you said “…The VAT rise is obviously a disgusting betrayal of values but I was expecting it not because as we’re all spineless powergrabbers but because there simply wasn’t anything else that could be done that could generate the same revenue’s quickly, ….”

    Can I remind you of what the leader of the old LibDem party said in the last general election campaign:


    Liberal Democrats have costed, in full, our proposals for tax cuts. We can tell you, penny for penny, pound for pound, who pays for them. We will not have to raise VAT to deliver our promises. The Conservatives will. Let me repeat that: Our plans do not require a rise in VAT. The Tory plans do.

    “Their tax promises on marriage and jobs may sound appealing. But they come with a secret VAT bombshell close behind.

    “So if you’re on an ordinary income, you have a choice. If you want your taxes to rise: vote Labour or Conservative. If you want your taxes to fall: choose the Liberal Democrats.”

  • I am Labour to the core so you wouldn’t expect anything positive from me: fair enough.

    But understand this: in their acceptance of the budget the Lib Dems are locking themselves in for the full five year roller coaster. After today there is no point in whinging about it.

    It’s war now, of course.

  • The Lib Dems were against the VAT increase. Now they’re in favour….

    Nick and Simon and Vincent all looked very uncomfortable as Harriet Harman asked the Lib Dem MPs if they would vote for it….didn’t here any supportive growls from the government benches….

    The Tories are the nasty party, what’s the Lib Dem excuse….

    New politics my Arras…

    http://braveheart-braveheartsblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/dr-dracula-and-lib-dem-blood-bank.html

  • No longer a LibDem 22nd Jun '10 - 4:01pm

    @Paul McKeown

    I didn’t know you had access to how I voted in the local and general elections.

  • In fairness, Anthony, I spotted the Guardian Live Blog mention this very thread, (…used by LibDem activists) and the “very hostile reaction”. Which is fine, but it should come with the caveat (missing there) that those reactions are not necessarily from Lib Dem members.

  • @paulMcKeown

    Checking people’s IDs? Very Liberal of you.

  • Paul McKeown 22nd Jun '10 - 4:06pm

    @Never was a Lib Dem

    Perhaps you can stop pretending to be what you never were?

    Otherwise you’re just noise!

  • Andrew Shimmin 22nd Jun '10 - 4:07pm

    Just a reminder:

    LibDems won 57 seats, against Tories 306 – so LibDems have 16% of government seats in parliament
    LibDems won 23% of vote, against Tories 36% – so LibDems got 39% of the votes for the two parties in the coalition.

    Given these numbers, we should expect government policies to be influenced by the LibDems in about a 1:4 – 1:3 ratio with Conservative influence. There are various ways of looking at this (taking example of the budget):
    – The budget should be about 1 LD policy to every 4 Tory policies
    – The budget measures should be a compromise about a quarter of the way between the LD and Tory positions pre-election
    – The budget should be 25% better, because it is a coalition budget, than a purely Tory budget would have been

    This is how we should be evaluating whether this budget is a ‘success’ from a LD point of view. Since the LibDems did not win the election, this is not a LibDem budget, and nor should anyone expect it to be. It should be a budget which pleases LDs and Tories in the ratio 1 to 4.

    I think maybe some people need to be a bit more realistic about what LibDems punching above their weight in the coalition looks like.

    (I am not a member, but increasingly feeling like I ought to be… and I am centre-left, not centre-right)

  • Angela Davies 22nd Jun '10 - 4:09pm

    The budget. All this hype about a tough budget, I waited eagerly to find a significant proportion would be sold into slavery to pay the national debt. not a chance.Damp squib 20% vat is that all

  • Keith Browning 22nd Jun '10 - 4:10pm

    The alternative??

    LibDems shouting hopelessly from the Opposition benches and a Budget that would have been even tougher and without the ‘fair’ bits.

    Perhaps too many LibDems enjoy the ‘protest rally’ aspect of politics too much.

    VAT in many European countries is already around 20% and with a more sensible approach to purchases and some old fashioned haggling and barter then the average Brit might not squander so much of their hard earned cash and manage to keep their standard of living at about the same level.

  • @no longer a libdem
    I’m assuming Paul has access to the membership list – seeing as you claim to be “no longer a libdem” as opposed to “no longer a lib dem voter”.

    If it was an empty threat – it’s a pretty lame one.
    If it was a real one – it’s a pretty nasty one (not to mention breaching the DPA)

    If Paul does have access to the membership list. (And unlike others I work to the assumption that everyone posting here is what they say they are) he has access to my personal information. Which creeps me out slightly. As a result I’m out of here.

  • @ Never was a Lib Dem anyway

    So what would YOU have done to sort out the nation’s finances? I mean, an actual proposal that you could have negotiated with the Conservative party as part of budget package that would have raised billions of pounds.

    Tell us all, so we can understand what kind brilliant armchair political strategist you must be.

  • No longer a LibDem 22nd Jun '10 - 4:11pm

    @Paul McKeown

    So Clegg was lying to us at the last general election?

  • “The Budget Red Book reveals working-aged people in social housing could be moved out of larger properties if they no longer need the space,” says the BBC’s Ross Hawkins. “From 2013 housing entitlement will ‘reflect family size’. This could see parents of grown-up children required to find smaller properties once those children leave home.”

    so much for the small state. which one of you is volunteering for the eviction squads?

  • I voted Lib Dem in May for the first time ever. I liked what Nick Clegg was saying and agreed with a lot of your policies. Never, ever again will I vote for you, and I suspect that a lot of the 5 million people who voted for you in May have made the same decision. I genuinely believe that this budget is the beginning of the end for the Lib Dems, leading to a split where your Orange Book MP’s who are Thatcherite Tories in all but name, will formally join the Conservatives. A return to the tiny rump of the 50’s and 60’s beckons.

    Can any of you truly expect me or others like me to ever trust you again? I voted for you and you betrayed the trust I put in your party to be a more progressive party that both the Tories and Labour. You sold your soul to the devil and you will I am afraid reap the “rewards”.

    Vote Lib Dem, get Thatcher.

  • “This could see parents of grown-up children required to find smaller properties once those children leave home.”

    These people are living off the state. What part of that is supposed to be unfair.

    “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need”. Hmmmm… now who was it who said that? Oh, I know, Karl Marx.

  • No longer a LibDem 22nd Jun '10 - 4:18pm

    @ Robert C

    What would I have done? What the Liberal Democrats said we would do, that was what I voted for. I was not against the idea of the coalition in principle because the country needed to get rid of the Labour party but not at the cost of us becoming hypocrites and liars who merely rubber stamp what the Tories always wanted.

  • toryboysnevergrowup 22nd Jun '10 - 4:19pm

    Andrew Shimmin

    If you want to gauge the impact of the LibDems on this budget why not compare what the Tories said about cuts to budgets in non ring fenced areas (i.e the NHS and overseas aid) to the 25% they are now promising. I think that you might be shocked!

  • @ Declan,

    What on earth were you expecting? For Clegg to strike the ground with a staff and fountains of money to spring out of the ground? You fail to realise that only 24% of the electorate voted with you. What were Lib Dems supposed to do with ony 57 MPs?

    You really take the biscuit. Go vote Labour then and detach yourself from financial reality.

  • There’s a few grumbles in there, (chidl benefit freeze and allowances not going up quick enough to counteract VAT rise for the poorest), but other than that it actaullly OK, the worst Tory instincts have been moderated with some LibDem progressiveness in a (slightly) smaller state overall agenda. Basically its OK, the real test is which schemes and projects get dumped in the departments with 25% spending cuts.

  • No longer Labour 22nd Jun '10 - 4:20pm

    A budget which has had to incorporate a number of hard choices to correct Brown and Labour’s attempting to buy the votes of people with money the government did not have nor the country afford . Of course some individual proposals are not the ones I would have chosen but as a package it is on the right lines and we can look forward to substantially better budgets in 2014 and 2015 and perhaps even 2013 .

  • Gosh, all this ‘you’re a troll’, ‘let me check your credentials’! It’s beginning to resemble the worst Stalinism of New Labour here!

    A troll is someone who posts inflammatory, superfluous and off-topic messages. It is not someone who posts an opinion that differs from yours, even if they do so anonymously. As I’ve said this on various Labour sites where alleged ‘non-believers’ are castigated as Tory trolls and infiltrators, if you don’t want to be confronted with people expressing conflicting opinions, in whatever guise, set up a private email group!

  • nolongeralibdem: That’s why I said it was a “disgusting betrayal of values”. It’s not something that we should ever be doing but sadly it’s not just a liberal democrat government and we didn’t have the mandate to have done all the things that the manifesto detailed. This looks terribly bad but one VAT rise doesn’t stop me remembering all the terrible horrendous things that Labour did in the last 13 years.

  • @ No longer a Lib Dem

    Since when did the Tories want to take the poor out of tax, increase child tax credits, raise capital gains tax, give tax aid to regions outside the South East? When was any of that in their manifesto?

    You fail to understand that with 57 MPs you can’t just stamp your foot and say “I want!”.

  • No longer a LibDem 22nd Jun '10 - 4:24pm

    @Robert C

    My mother worked until she was 65, she lives in a council house and paid the full rent for many years (granted she no longer does since she is a widow and over 80), she is typical of the majority of older people in council housing. What you are saying is that since she is “living off the state” she should be forced to leave her home of nearly 50 years, be forced to move away from the area in which her family live, move away from supportive neighbours that help her with her shopping, cleaning her windows and the like. You support her evictyion and you have the nerve to suggest it is me that isn’t a LibDem! If you represent what the party has become no wonder Clegg was so quick to jump into bed with the Tories, he knew the party would be behind him.

  • I am no longer surprised at the Liberal Party imploding after coalition governments with the Tories; I am amazed that they continue to exist. I want social democracy, not a return to Thatcher’s Britain.

    An appalling budget, hitting the ordinary working person and the poorest most. The rich as usual have nothing to fear. The Guardian says less than 100,000 people will be eligible to pay CGT. The bank levy is a joke. I am disgusted and am never voting for the main parties again. And I presume that all the people on here calling for cuts in the public sector don’t actually want a fire crew when there house is on fire, or a paramedic when they crash their car or a policeman when they’re being mugged. This country disgusts me. The very fact that people calling themselves “Liberal Democrats” would call for hard-working ordinary people to be fired because they work in the public sector (rather than selling crap that people don’t need and can’t afford) is so wrong. I am going to dump my LibDem membership right now.

  • Paul McKeown 22nd Jun '10 - 4:30pm

    @Declan

    6,836,824 electors for 23% of the popular vote, not your 5 million. Since the February 1974 general election, the “Liberal” vote has been 5 million or less in 1979 and 2001 only. In a number of general elections in that period it has topped 7 million. I rather doubt that a period in government will see the LDs fall to their core vote, which is apparently 5 million or thereabouts. I suspect that their popular vote will actually increase, as the sneer that they are irrelevant or impotent, under which they have for all too long laboured, will have been visibly and comprehensively rebutted.

  • No longer a LibDem 22nd Jun '10 - 4:30pm

    @Rober C

    No you don’t stamp your foot, you stick to your principles and if you can’t you do not support and you certainly don’t form a government that goes against those principles.

  • @Robert C

    If you can’t reply politely to someones post then don’t bother. I didn’t vote Lib Dem in order for them to go into a formal Coalition with the Tories.A nd are you implying that that the views of Lib Dem voters angry at what has happened should be ignored because only 24% of them voted? I have the right to express my disappointment at the selling out of their principles for a taste of power.

    And by the way, I have never and will never vote Labour. You slurring me in that way is typical of the posters on ConservativeHome.

  • Andrew Shimmin 22nd Jun '10 - 4:36pm

    @ toryboysnevergrowup
    I haven’t said this is, or is not, a good budget. What I am trying to remind people is where the baseline should be of our expectations, against which to gauge whether this is or is not good.
    So any one (or two, or three, or four) particular item or area is good or bad does not mean that overall LD influence on the coalition’s budget is huge or negligible.
    You have to look at the overall package – and expect LD influence to be about 1/4. Certainly not that everything should be LD-friendly. Not half, even.
    Surely on budget day we can think a bit about maths…

  • @ No longer a Lib Dem

    I’m not saying your mother should be forced out of the area, but living in a council house for 50 years does not give you ownership, particularly of a whole house just for one person. I’m sorry, but it doesn’t. This is just a harsh truth.

    What about a flat? What about all the other people on low incomes with children who might need permanent council accommodation and can’t get it? Have you ever thought about them?

  • Anthony Aloysius St 22nd Jun '10 - 4:38pm

    On the whole, given the state the nation’s finances are in, I don’t think anyone can complain too much about this package of tax and benefit changes.

    The really frightening thing is the plan to cut spending in some government departments by as much as 25%. I’m sure that’s where the real problems are going to lie, not in the rather marginal changes that have been announced today.

  • Paul McKeown 22nd Jun '10 - 4:38pm

    @Anne

    No, I have no access to a members list or anything of that sort. That anyone should react with simulated horror for the “violation” of civil liberties apparently inherent in the suggestion that anyone pretending no longer to be a member of a political party that they were in fact never a member of in the first place, is humbug. Sadly all too typical of anonymous postings from the Internet.

  • “you don’t stamp your foot, you stick to your principles and if you can’t you do not support and you certainly don’t form a government that goes against those principles.”
    So you argue for an all or nothing approach. In other words if you can’t have your way on everything stand aside and have your way on nothing. It isn’t a very mature approach to politics.

  • Andrew Wimble 22nd Jun '10 - 4:41pm

    A mixed bag, which is what I would have expected from a coilition.

    The budget is going to hurt but that was inevitable. At least it contained a number of measures to cushion the blow for lower earners such as the increase in tax allowance, and a small pay increase for the lowest earning public sector workers. I would have prefered to see additional revenue raised by some means other than raising VAT though as VAT is one tax that takes no account of ability to pay. I was also disappointed that the move towards bring capital gains tax more into line with the income tax most of us have to pay was very timid.

  • This made me chuckle – from a comment on Cif:

    Oxford Dictionary – new additions

    To be clegged. ( First appearance of this usage in 2010) – to be deceived, let down, lied to.

    As in ‘He said he’d lend me the car but the bastard clegged me”

  • @ Declan

    OK, politely this time… what, pray in an ideal world would you have had the 57 MPs granted by the electoral system to the Liberal Democrats do.

    Abstain?
    Vote against the Conservatives and have another election where they would have been returned with even fewer MPs?
    Try to stitch up a deal with Labour, nationalists, Greens, SDLP, etc. etc. with no electoral reform whatsoever and be undermined by Reid, Prescott et al?

    Or what?

  • @Declan – Labour troll, methinks.

    @Catherine – the problem with child tax credits is that they have to be claimed, and it’s often the case that the people who really need the credits don’t claim them – through laziness or complicated forms, it doesn’t really matter. As a result the money is even less likely to get to the kids who need it. Also, as a councillor, I’ve heard numerous stories about problems with the tax credits system – claiming the credits can be slow and the results of (frequent) incorrect calculation can be disasterous for families.

  • @ Declan

    As opposed to being “Milibanded” which means to be offered a deal which makes no concessions whatsoever to the other party and is totally unacceptable.

    As in: “I tried to negotiate the price of the car down from £10,000, but he completely Milibanded me. So I walked away”.

  • Maybe everyone should be looking at the long term proposals in this budget,seems to me that people on low incomes/ benefit/state pension will be progressively squeezed.

  • Poppie's mum 22nd Jun '10 - 4:54pm

    The Bank Levy Osborne announced…has anyone any figures on how the cost of that to the banks with be offset by the lower rate of Corporation Tax ?

    It just looks like sleight of hand.

    I voted Lib Dem on May 6th, and have done in previous council elections but so far am not impressed by Clegg. Alexander and the appalling David Laws. Would not vote Lib Dem again in a hurry.

    I live in Wales, we’ve had coalition governments here. Labour and Plaid do not cosy up in the same embarrassing way that the Lib Dem leadership have done with the Tories.

    Speaking to people who voted Lib Dem, like me, this is a common complaint about the Lib Dem leadership, particularly the smarmy behaviour of Nick Clegg. He’ll need some form of PR in the next election to try and make back the votes lost due to lack of trust in the party’s selling out to right wing economics.

    I’ll be helping Plaid Cymru in their local campaign for the Assembly Elections next year.
    Will not be wasting my vote on the Lib Dems again.

  • Ruth Bright 22nd Jun '10 - 4:55pm

    To Catherine – re single parents (usually mothers) returning to work when their children go to school. Not unreasonable if they can find high quality work (ie not just earning a wage which barely covers their childcare costs) and they can find high quality childcare between about 8am and 9am and between 3pm and 6pm everyday (impossible to find in many areas for love or money).

    To the Lib Dem credential checkers – I joined the Liberal Party on October 6th 1985, councillor 8 years, PPC for 5.
    I also have a tatoo of “none shall be enslaved by poverty, ignorance or conformity”. OK so I lied about the last bit.

  • Conservative 22nd Jun '10 - 5:01pm

    just out of interest why is it that Tories are so much more disparaged on this site than Labour I get that there are lots of social democrats but we are meant to be on the same team and you did just support our budget? Where are your classical liberals?

  • Why do Lib Dems insist on repeating the lie that raising the personal allowance helps the poorest. It does nothing to help the poorest and disproportionally helps those on higher incomes.

    See here
    http://www.ifs.org.uk/publications/4849

  • Pete Crockett 22nd Jun '10 - 5:03pm

    I am a Labour supporter who has leant my vote to the Lib Dems in both Eastleigh and Romsey constituencies. Never again will I feel able to do so as you are, at parliamentary level, no longer the party of Penhaligon and Grimond. I have genuinely had a respect for the liberal wing of the party. Sadly, that has been taken over by those who see being involved in a macho cutting exercise as testimony to their political virility. I think you will see good Lib Dem councillors losing seats in the next set of local elections at an alarming rate. (I know the feeling of being let down by my party’s political leaders i.e. Iraq. Sadly, many of you will get to feel the same way.)

  • @ Pete Crockett

    So instead you will vote Labour and get a Tory MP in an area where Labour has no hope. And that helps to ensure progressive aims are pursued how???

  • @paulmcK

    that’s a very long-winded way of admitting you were talking shite.

    It wasn’t “simulated” horror. It was genuine revulsion. Please don’t assume that everyone holds to your “standards” of honesty.

    To think that along with other things libdems managed to avoid this pathetic tribalism and name-calling. Well if you lie down with dogs …

    What a sad day.

  • Andrea Gill 22nd Jun '10 - 5:18pm

    @Anthony – point taken, I should be more sceptical of media commentators who quote a public & open comments section on any website as representing the opinion of the owner of the website…

  • @ Conservative
    Here’s how it works. The truth is that we don’t like you MORE than we don’t like Labour, but Labour wouldn’t and couldn’t offer to do any vaguely acceptable deal, and we were stuck in the middle so we had to plump for your lot. Does that help clarify it?

  • “Keith Browning
    Posted 22nd June 2010 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    The alternative??

    LibDems shouting hopelessly from the Opposition benches and a Budget that would have been even tougher and without the ‘fair’ bits.

    Perhaps too many LibDems enjoy the ‘protest rally’ aspect of politics too much.

    VAT in many European countries is already around 20% and with a more sensible approach to purchases and some old fashioned haggling and barter then the average Brit might not squander so much of their hard earned cash and manage to keep their standard of living at about the same level.”

    VAT is not 20% in most European countries. In Spain, for example, it’s about 7 iirc.

    Today’s budget was nothing more than Thatcherism hidden behind the word “Progressive”. There should not have been a rise in VAT, we should have stood by our principles and really pushed for CGT to increase.
    I’m ashamed to be LibDem.

  • @ Nathan
    “We should have stood by our principles and really pushed for CGT to increase.”

    Why do you think Vince Cable etc. didn’t do just that? If they could have got it, it would have been great, but there was a huge campaign on the Tory side against ANY rise at all. Do you not realise that putting up CGT to 28% is a climb down for them?

  • Andrew Shimmin 22nd Jun '10 - 5:27pm

    @Nathan
    “we should have stood by our principles and really pushed for CGT to increase”
    I’m sure the LD ministers did so. But with 5 LD ministers pushing for 40%, while 22 Tory ministers pushing for no increase, the outcome is…. a 10% increase.

  • Paul McKeown 22nd Jun '10 - 5:28pm

    @Anne

    I at least don’t post “shite” anonymously. People claiming to be “No longer a Lib Dem” when it is transparently obvious that the monniker is a mere Labourite sockpuppet are genuinely talking “shite” imo. And as for your simulated “genuine” revulsion and your “standards of honesty”, it is manifest humbug.

    As for lying down with dogs, Liberal Democrats are not only aware of the fleas of the Conservative Party, but also the lice of the Labour Party. They will do deals with whichever other democratic party at any level of government they have to in order to pursue the policy objectives that are stated in the party’s manifesto. Some day that will be Labour too, and no doubt, the current Labour trolls will be licking our faces like over-affectionate dogs, whilst Tories will be accusing us of baseless treachery. Shrug. Who cares, just the usual nonsense.

  • Andrea Gill 22nd Jun '10 - 5:28pm

    @Richard – So actually implementing many Lib Dem pledges in government and a significant – please do remember we only have 57 MPs! – amount of Lib Dem influence on what could otherwise have been a much, much harsher budget with tax cuts for the rich and none of the increase in child tax credits for the poorest, that is a sign of our “demise”?

  • Andrea Gill 22nd Jun '10 - 5:30pm

    @Paul: “As for lying down with dogs, Liberal Democrats are not only aware of the fleas of the Conservative Party, but also the lice of the Labour Party.”

    LOL…. thanks, I needed that laugh :)

  • Paul McKeown 22nd Jun '10 - 5:36pm

    Andrea,

    You are most welcome!

    ;-)

  • Reading this board is like listening to someone convincing themselves that their partner isn’t really cheating on them “well she is spending a lot of time at David’s recently but they are very busy and she explained about her dress being inside out” . The fact is that the ideals of the Lib Dems have been sold out by your leaders.

    I voted Lib Dem in the general election, I generally vote either Lib Dem or Labour depending on who the candidate is.

    I feel very let down by the behaviour of the Lib Dems in Government, they seem to have forgotten it is OK to disagree. If you actually agree on everything then it seems pointless having the Lib Dems, if you don’t then say what you disagree with and what you’d do differently otherwise it is bye bye forever.

    When I hear politicians like Simon Hughes , who I’d always respected, waffle on about how you never really meant that you wouldn’t raise VAT it disgusts me. When I see Scientific funding disappear altogether and University fees about to shoot up I wonder what you actually stood for at all, certainly my MP made it very clear that he regarded universities and science as the best way to grow the economy so what is his position now?

  • Keith Browning 22nd Jun '10 - 5:43pm

    Just checked the standard rates of VAT in Europe (again). Only Luxembourg and Switzerland below us and others range from 19% to a huge 25% in Denmark. 20% is the average. We are now in line with the rest of our competitors and we do have more exemptions for lower rates than many.

  • Paul McKeown 22nd Jun '10 - 5:43pm

    @redallover

    An honest post. Thank you.

    Yes, it will be war… possibly until 5 minutes after the May 2015 General Election has closed. Who knows what will happen then, Con, Lab, Lib, LibLab, ConLib, ConLab, anything is possible, and old enemies might suddenly become bosom friends.

    In the meantime, here’s to a clean fight, no holding in the clinches!

    :-)

  • im not too sure you can guarantee a yes in the AV referendum unfortunately

  • The VAT increase must be put in perspective, both in terms of its impact and the rest of the budget. Let me quote Vince Cable’s response in parliament to the pre-budget report, when Alistair Darling cut VAT to 15%:

    “What I fail to see is how the economy receives a major stimulus from, for example, a £5 cut in the price of a £220 imported flat-screen television or a 50p cut in a £25 restaurant bill. Surely it would be much more sensible to put money directly in the pockets of low-paid workers by cutting their income tax, rather than offering them a pathetic £25 and, if they earn over £20,000 a year, the prospect of tax increases.”

    Putting up VAT while raising the income tax threshold is in keeping with that progressive thinking. VAT is only indirectly and weakly regressive — there are lower rates on essentials and VAT burden depends on lifestyle — while the raised threshold directly targets low and average incomes.

    Looking back to the 2008 cut also reminds us that a VAT increase is not such a big deal: I’d rather save the NHS than save £10 on a flat screen television.

    So I am more than comfortable with this budget. The threshold increase is a Liberal Democrat policy won through the coalition agreement, and if the Liberal Democrats were not influencing the Treasury, I rather suspect that we would be seeing a raising of the inheritance tax threshold, not income tax threshold. Now that would be regressive!

  • Peter Dunphy 22nd Jun '10 - 6:03pm

    @Pete Crockett

    This is why AV would be so helpful – you can vote for the Party that best represents your political position, without worrying that it is ‘wasted’. So you could vote Labour no 1 in Eastleigh, and hopefully vote for LDs no.2, as without Lib Dems in seats like Eastleigh and Eastbourne, Devon, Somerset, Cornwall etc there would be a Tory Overall Majority, presumably a worse scenario for you than a coalition. Many of those elements to this budget that mitigate the cuts for the poorest emanate from LD pressure. People like you should therefore strongly support the vote for AV (as should Conservatives in places like Redcar, Bradford East, Southwark & Bermondsey etc). I can understand the disappointment of Labour supporters, but ultimately they did not get enough votes or seats to be able to form a government, or even a stable coalition partner (unless you went for a red-blue coalition as up until a couple of years ago in Germany). Labour lost, so did the Lib Dems, but we would rather get a quarter of our policies through then none at all.

  • Peter Dunphy 22nd Jun '10 - 6:11pm

    @Ian Ridley on cost savings & tax.

    As a Lib Dem, I prefer many of your alternative proposals too. However we lost the election. Although the Tories did not get a majority they got more votes than us. If we get a majority we can do all of the things we would like to do. However if you support PR then you have to accept coalitions. This means only getting a proportion of your policies implemented. We got 23% of votes. I think we are getting a lot more than 23% of our policies implemented ! to bewail the fact that we are not getting everything we want is an incentive to try to get more votes next time, not give up. Remember it was LABOUR that reduced CGT from 40% to 18%, presided over widening poverty gaps, abolished the 10% Income tax rate and failed to restore the earnings link. If you want to join a more progressive party than the Lib Dems you need to join a Party that will never have any hope of any power such as the Communists.

  • toryboysnevergrowup 22nd Jun '10 - 6:13pm

    Declan

    I think the Cable is more guilty of deceit than Clegg who really has said very little on economic matters in the past. Cable actually led us to believe that he is a Keynesian – and what this Budget actually does is commit to take a further 3-4% out of the economy in future periods on top of the defict reduction which was already planned. Any sensible Keynesian would not make such a commitment when the prospects for growth in the UK and the world economy are as uncertain as they are at present. If this behaviour is repeated elsewhere in the world the likely result will be a long period of stagnation and further rises in the level of debt – if you don’t believe me just look at what happened in Japan.

    And yes a lot of the pain has still been hidden. During the election the Tories were talking about 10-15% cuts in non ring fenced budgets, a few weeks ago Osborne mentioned that the figure may be as high as 20% and now today the figure is 25% (is that enough maths for you Andrew). If that is the effect of LibDems in government could they please stop!.

    PS Conservative – today is the day that the LibDems gave up Keynesianism and returned to the Manchester School (the economic equivalent of Manchester United – i.e not supported by many who actually live there), the problem is that there are still a few who are in denial.

    PPS Yes I am a Labour Troll – still doesn’t make what I’m saying wrong however!

  • Paul McKeown 22nd Jun '10 - 6:18pm

    @labourboysactingthecourtjester
    @duncan

    Hmmm, Keynsian. Like Gordon Brown, the socialist hyperbrain who never read the bit that John Maynard Keynes wrote about governments running national budgets at surplus when the economy is growing to pay for borrowing when the economic cycle moves into recession?

  • What concerned me most were the Clegg/Alexander bobble head impressions during the Budget, whilst Cameron was strategically placed behind the chancellor and not in eyes view. I feel this was very harmful to the image of the party, and the electorate will not take this level smarminess lightly.

  • No longer a LibDem 22nd Jun '10 - 6:31pm

    It would seem I am to be vilified because I believed in what the likes of Clegg said at the last election, again let me remind you what .Clegg said:

    “So if you’re on an ordinary income, you have a choice. If you want your taxes to rise: vote Labour or Conservative. If you want your taxes to fall: choose the Liberal Democrats.”

    There were his words, his promises to the likes of me. He has gone completely back on that, that is not a matter of compromise (which I do recognise has to happen in any coalition) that is matter of principle, taxes for every single “ordinary income” person in this country will be going up. There is no way around that betrayal, and please lets not have the spin that because of Greece things have changed – the markets demonstrated that was not the case (the UKs rating did not change nor did the UK’s cost of borrowing change any more or less than other countries such as the USA, Germany and France).

    Is there nothing that the LibDem leadership won’t go back on simply to gain a seat around the cabinet table?

    What really worries me is that because of this we will have Tory government after Tory government (Labour is not electable and won’t be for at least a generation) the LibDems could have been the credible alternative if only they’d stuck to their principles. Instead they simply sold out and it seems, if the comments on this thread is anything to go by, they will excuse anything this government will do, no matter how much it is out if step with what the LidDems have been campaigning for as long as I can remember.

  • Paul McKeown 22nd Jun '10 - 6:52pm

    @Never Was a Lib Dem

    “So if you’re on an ordinary income, you have a choice. If you want your taxes to rise: vote Labour or Conservative. If you want your taxes to fall: choose the Liberal Democrats.”

    Please refer to http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/d/junebudget_annexa.pdf where chart A2 in part A.17, clearly illustrates that everyone earning in the bottom 8 deciles will pay less tax after this budget. The burden will be born by those in the top two deciles. Clearly in that case this is the most progressive budget placed by a Chancellor of the Exchequer before the House of Commons in the last 60 years or thereabouts.

    So it would appear that Clegg was telling the truth after all.

  • Conservative 22nd Jun '10 - 7:22pm

    @Robert
    Thank you that clarifies things perfectly for me – your candour is much appreciated. No doubt we will continue the fight against the socialist left even when in alliance with you. Here’s to the next uneasy months or however long this horrendous coalition lasts (although I did like you tax cut policy for the poor, we Conservative activists were nodding in approval).

  • on the 9th of feb 2010 w c a came into force and people on dissabillity allowance were to be reassessed so how can something be put into place that already exist i was reassessed only a few months ago 2years before i was due for it do i have to go through it all again do they think i have had some miracle cure in the last few months

  • toryboysnevergrowup 22nd Jun '10 - 9:42pm

    “As for lying down with dogs, Liberal Democrats are not only aware of the fleas of the Conservative Party, but also the lice of the Labour Party.”

    Ah you just cannot stop those LibDems trying to play Punch and Judy at the same time – its in their DNA unlike Keynes and Beveridge.

  • toryboysnevergrowup 22nd Jun '10 - 9:53pm

    Paul McKeown 6:52

    You numpty the changes in the chart at A2 are ALL changes – i.e they include those from LAbour budgets – if you read the text you will see that these were offset by Condem changes. And the reality is that the spending cuts which are much greater will hit those in the lower deciles harder than those in the top 2 deciles. I suspect that the overall impact of this budget will be the same old Tory story – many thanks to the Lib Dems!

  • @KL,

    No, not a Labour troll. I genuinely voted Lib Dem in May as I though they were a genuine change from the old “Labservatives” as the Lib Dems. I had decided to vote for them before the debates but the debates cemented my decision. That is why I feel rather betrayed today. People on here are arguing that having the Lib Dems in Government has blunted the worst of the Tories. So the pathetic CGT rise, the attack against single parents, harking back to the bad old days of the Tories in the 90’s are examples of the Lib Dems “influence”? Or how about the pathetic 2billion tax on the bankers and no tax on bonuses. The banks piss that amount away in champers every year. How about your parties strong opposition to a VAT rise? Wonder what happened to that?

    I have never and will never vote Tory as I happen to have a soul, and have voted Labour once (Blair, 97. Big mistake). But I liked the Lib Dems AS THE LIB DEMS, not as the crypto right wing sell outs they have become. When the real fun begins in Sep/Oct when the Government is gutted to the bone to the Tories ideological delight I really do hope that some of those 57 develop a backbone, because they are spineless today.

  • Anthony Aloysius St 22nd Jun '10 - 10:10pm

    “You numpty the changes in the chart at A2 are ALL changes – i.e they include those from LAbour budgets – if you read the text you will see that these were offset by Condem changes.”

    Unfortunately that chart shows pretty much the opposite of what Paul thought. It shows that everyone is going to be worse off as a result of these changes, and the percentage decrease in net income will be greatest not only for the two richest deciles but also for the poorest decile. And we must also remember that the average change for the poorest decile will include quite a big boost from the rise in child tax credits. The poor who aren’t eligible for these are going to be hit quite hard.

    But more significantly, this is only to consider the relatively small changes in taxes and benefits announced today. On top of that will be the huge cuts in public spending that are planned. If that could be done without hurting the poor, it would be a miracle, to put it mildly.

  • Robert Gaunt 22nd Jun '10 - 10:18pm

    I think the budget 2day was facinating and respectable it gives people something 2 think on about what might happen in the future and when that guy from the lib dems was talking 2 Laura Gosling from bbc news ‘what he said 2 her was right the stuff that lib dem guy said was agreeable as some might say and respectable too.
    I hope there’s no more cuts this year there’s that budget in october I wonder what the goverment might say in 4 months away from now.

  • Robert Gaunt 22nd Jun '10 - 10:24pm

    I really hate this advert on here not the 1 above this other 1 asking for my heart rate oh my god worst piece of infomation I have ever seen in my life I hate it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • It’s not a LibDem budget but it’s less of a Tory budget than we would have had if the Tories were governing alone. Despite the unavoidable bad news there are some welcome things within it. But the real pain is still hidden – the Budget only spells out where a proportion of the cuts will fall – those connected with benefit rates,etc – leaving the majority still to be implemented by a whole range of public bodies including local councils. On the face of it Councils will be facing cuts of 20-25%, which is going to be painful beyond description. And we have to help implement this whilst watching the Gvt continue to waste money on defence spending, trident etc.

  • Ex Lib Dem Voter 22nd Jun '10 - 10:33pm

    I hope Nick Clegg is proud of his title and finds his ministerial car comfortable, and isnt bothered by the thought of those poorer and less priviledged than him who are going to suffer from this budget. Am I the only one who can see that they may raise the tax-free allowance, but by taking away benefits this is irrelevant?!

    Spending cuts ALWAYS affects the poor. To cut the deficit we HAVE to reclaim the money that has been handed to the banks AND end the free ride given to the wealthy for far too long. If they leave the country as a consequence, then good riddence.

    I will NEVER vote lib dem again. Nick Clegg is a confidence trickster on a grand scale. I fell hook line and sinker for his election campaigning.

  • toryboysnevergrowup 22nd Jun '10 - 10:34pm

    Anthony

    I think it should also be borne in mind that most people would not believe that sharing the pain is the same as equal % changes in net income – a 1% cut in net income for the bottom decile is a lot more painful than the same for the top decile. And that is not to say anything about Table A1 which is verging on the intellectually dishonest when it compares absolute changes.

  • toryboysnevergrowup 22nd Jun '10 - 10:38pm

    Anyway I think I have found a genuine LibDem contribution to the budget – the reversal of the increase in cider duty. Must have something to do with the LibDem voter base. And I mean the West Country not alcoholics!

  • George Kendall 22nd Jun '10 - 10:42pm

    @Andrew Shimmin
    “(I am not a member, but increasingly feeling like I ought to be… and I am centre-left, not centre-right)”

    Hi Andrew. I think you’re right. You’re making sensible, realistic comments. So you’d be very welcome on board if you want to join.

    https://www.libdems.org.uk/join_us.aspx

  • George Kendall 22nd Jun '10 - 10:50pm

    @Andrea Gill
    “Be nice if comments here were possible to be marked as to who is a member and who isn’t”

    I tend to assume someone is a troll if their criticism of the party has no balance to it.

    If they say “I’ve been a member for X years”, but then make no effort to understand the party’s point of view, I assume they are a troll.

    If they agree on some things, but then rail against others, I assume they are a genuine party member or supporter.

    I try to respond to commments from the non-trolls, and completely ignore the ones who seem to be trolls.

    @Anthony Aloysius St
    Although you’re not a member, I don’t regard you as a troll. You’re comments include criticism of the party, and searching questions about party policy, but you also make positive points, and I welcome your contributions on the site.

  • @George Kendall

    Where did you develop such a smarmy attitude? A non-members Lib Dem vote is equal to that of a Lib Dem members vote, hence they have the right to critically assess every Lib Dem government action if they wish. Please remember this before waving your membership card, and acting like you own the place.

  • George Kendall 22nd Jun '10 - 11:23pm

    @Bernard
    “A non-members Lib Dem vote is equal to that of a Lib Dem members vote, hence they have the right to critically assess every Lib Dem government action if they wish.”

    I agree with that. Which is why I went out of my way to say I welcome Anthony Aloysius St’s contributions on this site. I just don’t see the point in engaging in debate with people who seem to make no effort to understand the other point of view.

  • We need to see the emerging detail before we make final assessments about this budget. My worry is two fold that the devil is in the detail and that as the implementation of the budget rolls out we will find that it is rather nastier than first appeared and that our influence was rather less than we hoped.

    It would help many of us if Messrs Clegg and Alexander could find a way of expressing policies without sounding entirely like Tories. I know it is tricky but they sound like new kids trying too hard to please. They need to find more measured, less partisan language that may help build an idea of an element of difference which we will need in 2015.

  • Paul McKeown 23rd Jun '10 - 12:39am

    @Anthony Aloysius St

    Yes, I made a hasty misreading. The net impact is the black line with the squares points. For which I thank you for your correction and apologise for my error. It is, however, good to get some reality into this discussion, which was just in danger of being reduced to a troll vs. LD sniding contest.

    The charts show that it is the top income decile that will proportionately (and the difference is considerable) pay the greatest, with the second highest income decile also paying proportionately more than the mean, with the second lowest to seventh highest income deciles contributing proportionately less than the mean, particularly the second lowest decile. The lowest decile will lose out, almost entirely due to the 2.5% increase in VAT. It should be borne in mind that the chart deals only with those under the age of 65. Nevertheless this does appear worrying, as it would not appear consistent with the idea of making work, even if poorly paid, more rewarding than unemployment, which was a main drift of the Lib Dem manifesto. Anyone in full time employment at the national minimum wage would be in the lowest decile.

    Everyone will have to spend time reading into the detail to understand this more fully.

  • “Tory budget from a tory government.

    What else is their to say ?”

    Glad to see the brainless, unthinking and clearly uneducated (and utterly INCAPABLE of basic spelling) masses have such a clear grasp of facts. Oh, hang on, just uneducated and thick, as bloody usual. THANKS. FFS…

  • ‘We are all in this together’

    Please can someone explain to me:

    “Among the Budget paperwork is a document reminding us that MPs receive their home-to-work travel tax free, unlike the rest of the population.

    Salt is rubbed in the electorate’s already raw wounds by the statement that the government will “continue to reimburse some spouse travel” – also on a tax-free basis.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/10381823.stm

  • Author Name 23rd Jun '10 - 2:24am
  • Your party is finished, a laughing joke with a leader reduced to a yes man, the moment LibDems got into bed with the Conservatives they ceased to be a credible party and even more so after sacrificing their policies in order to gain a taste of power in the only way they were ever going to. Once this disgrace of a coalition imploads and the ConDems are no more, your party will not even be looked upon in any seriousness ever again, that will be the price you will pay for not only being Conservative’s little dog that comes yapping when Cameron whistles but also in sacrificing your policies, you will never be able to use the name “Democrats” again, you will either have to become a Tory or end up in the political wilderness as i know of countless LibDem voters who feel dirty and betrayed by this whole sordid affair, and will never vote LibDem again. You are a Fickle Whore of a Party.

  • Tony
    Yeah yeah.How many times over the years have I heard, “The Liberals are finished”
    The Labour Party may well be the party in decline.The traditional working class base
    has become reduced with the disappearance of heavy industry in Britain.
    “New” Labour will implode but old Labour has little to offer.

  • Anyway the Buget.
    An austerity buget should put more tax on booze.
    Too many people in Britain are drinking themselves to death.
    Cigarettes need to be highly taxed as well.

  • Oops, that is Budget. Freudian slip!

  • I take it that all the previous comments come from people who have either been councillors or attempted to get a seat in Parliament. If not then I suggest they have a go and see how easy it is!! I have been and know the honest facts when it comes to budgeting. Otherwise shut up and give the country a chance.

  • No longer a LibDem 23rd Jun '10 - 10:29am

    @Paul McKeown

    So now that you realised your mistake and now that you say “…Nevertheless this does appear worrying, as it would not appear consistent with the idea of making work, even if poorly paid, more rewarding than unemployment, which was a main drift of the Lib Dem manifesto. Anyone in full time employment at the national minimum wage would be in the lowest decile…

    Perhaps you now understand where I am coming from? We were promised that the poorest would be protected, yet this budget does the opposite – the poor have been targeted not protected (and that is even before the cuts in public services that will effect the poorest the most), and goodness help the single person on minimum wage, they are going to be hit even harder.

    Of course there have to be compromises if you want a coalition to work, but as I said earlier you can’t compromise on matters of principle.

    Which ever way this budget is spun it is a betrayal of the idea of “fairness” that the likes of Clegg claimed was what the LibDems stood for.

    This budget and the coming cuts are simply not by any measure “fair”, the cost of pair of jeans from ASDA going up £2.50 is a big deal for the poorest in our society, the fact that the cost of a pair of Armani jeans will go up “proportionately” the same does not make that increase fair.

  • johninpenarth 23rd Jun '10 - 11:10am

    We could have scripted all of this weeks back, surely – coalition issues budget, hordes of ‘oncealibdems’ swamp the message boards with words like sold out/no principles/can’t trust the orange bookers/never vote lib dem again/i didn’t vote lib dem for them to [whatever]…

    The budget wasn’t that bad. I’d have preferred a bigger hike on CGT, but we don’t have a LD govt. to achieve that. Generally VAT is regressive, except that it doesn’t apply to most foodstuffs, books or childrens’ clothes (so perhaps not so big a pinch proprtionally for those on the lowest incomes in terms of necessities). On the DLA, I can’t see why there should be an objection to the state checking every so often that recipients of benefits, some really quite generous, actually continue to qualify for them – and a fake furure about capping housing benefit at £400 per week (and is it really still £400 per WEEK? just think about that) shows how used some got to the bloated and unsustainable economics of the Labour years.

    Taking so many lower earners out of tax must be a good thing if you believe in freeing people from poverty (unless you’re Labour and like having people feel that they have to vote for you in order to ‘protect’ their benefits)?

    surely best to ignore the trolls, and carry on, but always preserving the party’s identity (which may shine through in the coalition more strongly yet when the focus shifts from economic to social matters).

  • Philinlancs 23rd Jun '10 - 2:54pm

    24 hours after the Budget it is very clear that this disastrous Tory/Lib Dem budget is going to take the UK and our society back to the bleak outlook (for ordinary low paid workers) last seen during the last Tory administration

    I for one never expected the “Banks” to be penalised in any way for the fiasco they created in the mad dash for profits and subsequent bonuses. As usual, s**t flows downhill and it is the most vulnerable that will suffer the most however commentators try to spin the Budget otherwise.

    VAT increases will damage small businesses the most and anyone who thinks it will not will see for themselves just how this will prove to be the case over the next few months and years. So much for creating jobs……..

    The fallout for the Lib Dems will make sure that Nick Clegg will never be believed by the floating voter in the future with the worst case scenario being those people will never bother to vote again period.

    I voted Lib Dem and will never vote for Lib Dems again.

    The honourable thing to do after the election was to force the Tories into a minority Government.

    The raeson Labour did not choose to go into an alliance with Lib Dems was New Labour knew the game was up, the result of the election was very clear on that point. Labour knew that the only choice was that the Lib Dems would form a coalition with the Tories and would then have to be bloodied by the inevitable cuts. Talk about political suicide for Clegg and Co.

    Labour will say as much frequently as the opportunity arises over the next few months as the cuts really start to change our communities for the worse.

  • Philinlancs
    Well things were pretty bleak in the 1970s.
    I remember the Beech Hill estate in Wigan well.

  • Andrea Gill 23rd Jun '10 - 3:56pm

    @Keith “Perhaps too many LibDems enjoy the ‘protest rally’ aspect of politics too much.”

    Sadly, for a few, that seems to be true. Although going by some reactions on twitter, some have been simply too selfish and supported cuts etc only as long as they – middle income earners – weren’t affected, which was frankly galling. Just goes to show that selfish and unfair people exist in all parties’ supporters.

  • Andrea Gill 23rd Jun '10 - 4:11pm

    Very refreshing to have just heard a much more constructive criticism about the speed of deficit reduction from Labour’s Huw Irranca-Davies on BBC Parliament

  • Andrea Gill 23rd Jun '10 - 4:29pm

    @Dave Page: Myself and many others have been able to buy the Orange Book via one of the editors who is on and off selling copies on Amazon. 3 available new now:

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1861977972/?tag=libdemvoice-21

  • Philinlancs 23rd Jun '10 - 5:40pm

    @ Manfarang: Keep the Faith, Wigan lad eh? You will know the score then. Wigan, like my hometown, Preston, got hammered in the eighties. Still not fully recovered from the last Tory government either. Still no real jobs except flipping burgers and low paid retail work for youngsters. Great Britain my arse. This Budget shows nothing but contempt for the young and their future so how do the Tory/Lib Dems spin that one?

    Yes the seventies were pretty grim too, 3 day weeks and the power cuts too. However there were a damn sight more jobs around for my elder brother and his mates when they left school in the mid seventies. At least they got the chance to get on the employment ladder unlike those who left school in 79/80. All the apprentices I knew at the time were not able to finish their apprentceships due to cuts and redundancies. Mind you there are no apprenticeships to speak of these days in the area and these are now certainly under threat in the private sector if any are available at all.

    Successive governments have ignored the plight of the regions and particularly in Scotland and Wales where in the case of Scotland your voters did not think that Lib Dems would get into bed with the Tories and I know a lot of Scots here in the Fylde coast who did vote for you. The Tories are the Scot’s worst nightmare in ways you can only understand if you had lived there in the eighties. Maggie was the main reason the Scottish Nationalist found the support they enjoy today and will continue to do so.

    People in the south east do not care about the rest of the UK, they will always do nicely thank you and bollox to the regions (the rest of the UK). People like myself thought that the Lib Dems would make the situation farer. Obviously I was wrong along with all the other fools that voted for Clegg and Co.

    The Scots will hammer the Lib Dems come election time and so they should. Clegg and Co sold them out for a seat at the table. The Lib Dems sold out every other floating voter too. What a very short sighted battle plan Nick Clegg has for the Liberal Democrats as a serious third option. There is no third option now, it is official!

    Bye, bye Liberal Democrats. You were an interesting experiment in supposed alternative politics but ultimately proved to be a Tory (sorry, Trojan) Horse. Well at laest we can all live like Spartans for the next few years, especially us poor bloody regional Northern Monkeys.

  • Philinlancs
    It’s my brother-in-law who is the Wigan lad.
    I like to get out and about so I”ve been to the Pier,
    had a pint in the Red Lion and a cup of tea
    in a Burmese teashop. Never been to Catalonia
    though, but did know some of those who were in
    the International Brigade.
    I think someone has already written another book
    about the Road to Wigan Pier.
    Youth today need to know the maths and science.
    It’s the high-tec industries that will be Britain’s salvation.
    Well it was bye-bye Ulster Liberal Party (and also the
    Northern Ireland Labour Party) but the Alliance Party
    is advancing.

  • Anthony Binder 24th Jun '10 - 8:14am

    just a short note on ‘the money we´ve handed to the banks´ No money has been handed to the banks, the government has shares in the banks, and these shares are tradeable on the market. So: the banks never ‘got’ any money and: ‘we’ will not ‘get the money back’ from the banks through any form of ‘repayment’, but the government can and will sell the shares owned in the banks at any time of their own choice, hopefully provided of course that the market is prepared to swallow the shares offered with causing a major drop in the markets.

    All information on number of shares owned by the government in each of the concerned ‘bailed out banks’ and the share price payed for them is available online by UK Financial Investments, the company set up to manage the shares that the government bought.
    http://www.ukfi.co.uk/publications
    publishes updates on the assets, I have however noticed a lack of info on Northern Rock, that I have requested.
    You can of course calculate the asset profit/loss made by the government since the purchase of the bank shares, and see what effect an offering of the shares to the market would have on the budget.

    The governments budget does not take these assets into consideration, but this is done in e.g. the EU´s consideration of the UK´s national debt.

    If the share prices for the banks continue to rise as they have done since ‘the bail out packages’, then the asset that is held by the government rises aswell, and if those assets where marketed, that would of course significantly change the budget deficit situation.

    The national debt is a completely different matter and should in no way be confused with the budget deficit. It is not possible to cut the debt, since the debt is taken through issuing of T-bills and Gilts, and these have a nominal maturity which means that no matter what measures is taken to reduce the budget deficit the debts already taken by gilts/bills issuance can NOT be cut short until the dates of their expiration.

    I sincerely hope this will be taken into consideration in the future when you flag your views in budget matters.

    Anthony Binder

  • Anthony Binder 24th Jun '10 - 8:31am

    And of course every reader must see that even I have obviously been affected by the ‘New speech’ use of mixing up the terms deficit and debt. The sentence: The governments budget does not take these assets into consideration, but this is done in e.g. the EU´s consideration of the UK´s national debt.

    Should of course read: The governments budget does not take these assets into consideration, but this is done in e.g. the EU´s consideration of the UK´s national deficit.

    And I really need a real cup of coffee to waken up.

    Anthony BInder

  • Matthew Huntbach 24th Jun '10 - 9:53am

    @No longer a LibDem

    My mother worked until she was 65, she lives in a council house and paid the full rent for many years (granted she no longer does since she is a widow and over 80), she is typical of the majority of older people in council housing. What you are saying is that since she is “living off the state” she should be forced to leave her home of nearly 50 years, be forced to move away from the area in which her family live, move away from supportive neighbours that help her with her shopping, cleaning her windows and the like. You support her eviction and you have the nerve to suggest it is me that isn’t a LibDem!

    Council housing is let out at cost, therefore the capping on Housing Benefit won’t affect her – it applies far higher up to property let privately at market rates.

    The problem is is that the “right to buy” caused this. I remember when it was being introduced writing to the then Housing Minister saying it looked good for current tenants, but what about the next generation? His reply was that I shouldn’t worry, the housing would still be there, only privately owned.

    Well, so it is, but it means families who once would have got council housing now get privately let housing if they get any at all. In some cases, it is even the same housing – the tenant who exercised the right-to-buy long ago sold it, or died and her heirs got a big dollop of cash courtesy of this state hand-out of assets, it was bought up by a buy-to-let merchant, and it is let out at a rent twice or more that of the identical house which is still council owned next door. In some cases, the buy-to-let merchant was in on the act all the time – lending the money to the tenant on a split-the-profits basis. Anyone with an elderly mum in a big council house knew if they scraped together enough to up it for her, it was BIG profits when the inevitable happened, and there were lenders who could see that and so lent you the money to do it on that basis.

    Right, so “No longer a LibDem” if your mum’s still in a council house and you intend it to stay that way, so that in time that house can go back and be let at cost price to a family who could make full use of that house, you’re doing the decent philanthropical thing, and you deserve all credit for that. However, it is the next generation which are in effect being evicted from the area, because they are being told “there aren’t the family council houses which used to be the norm when your parents had you” and that’s true. This has led to the destruction of that community feeling which your mum enjoys. It is considered “racist” in council house allocation to give priority to those whose living nearby to mum and dad would help out both ways (mum and dad look after grandkids, the next generation looks after mum and dad when they can’t do it on their own – big savings all round to the state which otherwise would be doing these jobs). In particular, the sort of working class person who tries hard, acts responsibly, so doesn’t have kids first find housing later, doesn’t have a drugs habit, doesn’t have relationships which end up with knocking on the council’s door asking for housing due to being homeless and soon, is squeezed right out. There is NO chance ever of such a person getting council housing allocation.

    The buy-to-let merchants prefer tenants on full benefit anyway. The money goes straight from the government to the landlord, and what’s above what the council rents would be is pure profit. Then these people have the cheek to moan about paying CGT on the additional capital gains profit when they sell up the business. Incredibly, they and their mouthpieces in the Tory press have been putting it about that somehow they have been doing us a service. Yes, forcing up house prices because they can pay more than a someone who is buying to live there, and enjoying rent forced up because Housing Benefit places a floor and itself contributes to more rental money available so rent prices going up at the expense of taxpayers.

    Now I am reading from Labour people about this “oh dear, dear, now the essential workers in London won’t be able to afford to live there”. Just maybe the employers could try paying wages that would? Or at least, if we are to have housing subsidies, let them be in a way that is focused on need and not on transferring wealth to private landlords. It does seem to me to be crazy that we pay money for people to live unemployed in very expensive parts of London, no point in them trying work because that would just lose in benefits what it gains in wages, while filling jobs by people commuting long distances or imported from abroad.

  • Matthew Huntbach 24th Jun '10 - 10:13am

    @Philinlancs

    I voted Lib Dem and will never vote for Lib Dems again.

    The honourable thing to do after the election was to force the Tories into a minority Government.

    This at least answers the question which many of those who are shouting “betrayal, never vote LibDem again” have not answered, which is “OK, what else should we have done?”.

    I think we can see the arithmetic made a coalition in which Labour was the largest component almost impossible, and Labour knew well that it would be good for them not to be in government when cleaning up the mess they had left was the priority. This would also have been portrayed almost universally as “propping up a government which lost the election.

    Forcing the Tories into a minority government was an option which would have been attractive had we been on a strong upward trajectory. They would then be in fear that if they called an early general election, we would win more seats and they would lose. But our campaign bombed – I do blame Clegg and the Cleggies for that. There was also the case that the economic crisis meant the uncertainty of a minority government would cause serious harm. Minority government would have worked better had the economy been doing well. So, if we’d gone for a minority government, the finance markets would have arranged a big crash on the uncertainty, and Cameron would have gone to the polls in a second general election in months saying “the problem is the LibDems – vote them out and give me a majority”.

    What the LibDems in government need now is critical friends, not people who walk away saying “I want nothing to do with you”. They need that support in trying to get their way in bargaining, they need to be able to point to us “look – we’re being pushed by our supporters”, and they need the confidence to have the ultimate bargaining position to play “We’ll break the coalition and that will hurt you more than it hurts us”. If the LibDems lose all their support on the left, Cameron knows they’ll lose if there is an early election, so he can get his way on the “turkeys don’t vote for Christmas” argument. I see in this budget that already happening.

  • I didn’t think this budget was that bad actually. Lots of people are moaning but it could have been far worse and its evident there were liberal influences to reduce the blow that it could have been with a Tory majority administration.

    Personally I would have proffered to have seen the richest lose both child benefit and the winter fuel allowances. Of course that may have took some money to achieve in administration and it seems they went with the easier freeze option for everyone.

    The Disability Benefits are ‘cuts’ in the long term projected as savings from people not needing them any more after being reviewed. This wouldn’t stop those with entitlement from receiving them and we should ensure only those who need it on an ongoing basis get it anyway.

  • Please explain why people, and dont forget this will affect carers as well will be subject to worry for the next 3 years?
    According to the official figures, less than 0.5% of those claiming DLA are considered to be fraudulent. Compare that to the much higher rates of fraudulent claims in Income Support of 2.9%, Incapacity Benefit at 1%, or Jobseekers Allowance at 2.8%**. The only benefit which has an overall fraud rate of 0% is the state retirement pension.

  • And how is the coalition going to make the estimated 1.4B savings with a fraud rate of 0.5% in DLA? I can only guess that will mean many people getting DLA will no longer be entitled to it. Maybe you should go and read what life is like in this country for the disabled and the people who care for them http://www.carersuk.org/Home. I believe in a fair and just society, not a society that continually batters the people who through no fault of their own find themselves on the lowest rungs of society.

  • Anthony Binder 24th Jun '10 - 11:45am

    @Declan,
    the “new addition” of the term ‘to be clegged’ in the Oxford Dictionary may be amusing, and I don´t object that it made you chuckle, but it´s still just another urban myth, atleast according to the staff at the mentioned publication:
    “I have looked into your query and searched for the term ‘clegged’ within the OED Online, which did not return any results.”

    But then if we post it here and there on the Internet (this post included) in the future it most likely will.

  • Author Name 24th Jun '10 - 1:59pm

    George Osborne said yesterday that “there are some families receiving £104,000 a year in housing benefit”. That calculation, the government subsequently admitted, was not based on real cases but on potential rates for housing benefit.

    The rates Osborne used show that prior to yesterday’s reforms, anyone granted housing benefit on a five bedroom house in Kensington and Chelsea, one of London’s most upmarket boroughs, would have got £2,000 a week.

    “It is what the rate would be,” said a spokeswoman for the Department for Work and Pensions. “We don’t have any figures on how many people are claiming that rate.”

    However, she added that a search of the Daily Mail and the Sun newspaper websites would throw up stories of people being paid the same if not more.

    Says it all really, rather like those same MP’s who wish to use Parliamentary Privilege as their ‘defence’ of expense ‘claims;

  • Author Name 24th Jun '10 - 2:15pm

    For those interested (I am NOT a Guardanista BTW) you can take a look at some graphical representations of the IFS analyses effect of the budget:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2010/jun/24/budget-2010-ifs-cuts-data

  • Author name – Ch4 Fact Check says the DWP say there are a few hundred such cases.

    http://blogs.channel4.com/factcheck/2010/06/22/the-budget-factchecked-housing-benefit-child-poverty-and-taxes/

  • As a lib’Dem voter (although never a member), I empathise with Declan’s sense of betrayal

  • At the moment i’m feeling like a rather disloyal Lib Dem member. I keep trying to remember why I eventually decided to join the party but struggle, given my impressions of events since the election. I joined the party because of what I understood its values to be such as a commitment to fairness. Its representatives also regularly seemed to be expressing sensible, pragmatic views against the tit-for-tat of the other parties. I also believed that this election was more important in part because of the risks of a same-old-Tory party in power. I supported my local party by printing their literature and the campaign was not for huge cuts to services which will overall hit the poorest hardest, whilst potentially making one million public servants unemployed. The measures which Nick Clegg proclaimed as indicative of how the Lib Dems have influenced decisions are irrelevant, when you consider if benefits in kind via services and benefits to be lost. The lines used to attack the Lib Dems may cast the party as the prop for a Conservative Party hostile to state action and committed to defending the rights of the wealthy; i already know how open I am to there arguments and suspect the same can be said of other who dives voted for the Lib Dems or who believed their role would genuinely limit the worst excesses of the “nasty party”. The issue is that the only opposition party is Labour so realistically i hope they can mount an effective challenge to the Goverment, whose actions I believe will have a devastating impact.

  • Philinlancs 24th Jun '10 - 8:13pm

    @ Matt

    I am pleased to see that some Lib Dem members do not share the opportunistic outlook of your leadership. Please hang in there, your party really needs supporters with values such as yours more than ever now.

    Due to the opportunistic change in values of Nick Clegg and Co I foresee grave times ahead for the Lib Dems because informed and rational voters like myself do not appreciate being lied to. VAT is one part and I do not have the time to go into further detail. I lent the Lib Dems my vote and you as a party lied and subsequently have badly let me down. I am ashamed that I voted for this fiasco of a progressive coalition. What an idiot I have made of myself and all the people I persuaded to vote Lib Dem.

    We all new the situation needed sorting out and that spending could and would not continue over the term of the next Parliament. By voting Lib Dem I hoped that this would be a check on the excesses of the Tories. I was misled.

    Come local elections this blatant opportunistic colour change from your leader and his cohorts will come back to haunt the Lib Dems. It’s no longer “Orange”, more like burnt sienna……

    Without the support of the floating voter you are finished as a credible party (if you have any credibility left at all).

    I suggest that you all listen to The Who’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again” as an anthem for all the shattered expectations the floating voter had for the Lib Dems. Nick probably prefers The Jam’s “Eton Rifles” these days. What a t**t !

  • The budget is a classic Tory production. it is regressive – VAT hits the poor much harder. it lacks fairness – fairness is not about everyone having to pay the price, but about protecting the most vulnerable. Middle and upper earners should be bearing the brunt. The banking levy is a joke, when compared to the amount spent on bonuses to high earners. And there were alternatives to the VAT rise – what about a financial transactions tax? It could raise much more than the VAT rise will, without hitting the poor.
    And to crown it all, cutting spending at a time when most other countries are doing the same is not going to produce economic growth. Growth needs to come from exports, but if everyone is cutting back, who will buy anything we manage to produce? It is a mess, and confirms my view that the coalition is a huge mistake from a Lib Dem point of view. As a former councillor, former Chair and Vice-Chair of my Local Party and Vice-Chair of my Regional Party, I am seriously considering leaving the party, for the sake of my own self-respect.

  • Having gone away from this post for 24 hours it I forgot (in my personal anguish) to elaborate on why it is that the Lib Dems look like they are – at best – destined to languish in the shadow of the Tories and Labour.

    I cannot understand why so called Lib Dems are trying to put any sort of positive spin on this coalition. Can some members not entertain the thought that the Tories will win out even if the coalition breaks down in the next ten minutes. The coalition will break down and it’s cracks have already started to appear even in this blog.

    When the coalition goes belly up there will of course be recriminations and splits. The Tories (being the devious Nasty b******s that we all know they really are) have already calculated in their bunker that some (how many remains to be seen) Lib Dems will of course defect to the Tories. Maybe enough to give them the majority they crave and ultimately require. A taste of power is a powerful drug and some of your so called Lib Dems will already be hooked. Any port in a storm and all that and let’s face it, this is going to be some storm.

    Some of the comments I have read on here from Lib Dems would have disuaded me from voting at all in the GE. This is why I feel ashamed that I voted for you lot.

    Without trying to be emotional about this I have three kids which I of course love and care about very much. My middle son is in receipt of DLA due to autism and other complications. We could not stay afloat without this money as employers in the private sector are not as flexible about sudden time off work without notice. Some have been good and some have been arses.

    Now having mentioned the above there will be people pointing out that families like ours will be OK. We will be assessed (again) and all will be right in the universe. It has been a living nightmare getting (fighting meeting after bloody meeting) the DLA we get. Getting time off is very diffcult for all the normal kid stuff let alone “special needs” related activity. Should the DLA payments go down or God forbid stop (even for a short time) we will be screwed.

    The Tories don’t give a flying about people like us. We are a drain on the system in their eyes. They have targeted the most vulnerable in society who will be forced to grovel for crumbs from the table.

    Is it just me or does Nazi really sound similar to Nasty.

    I hope all you progressive coaltion supporters are well chuffed.

    Arbeit Macht Frei

  • @ tony
    Couldn’t agree more on all the points you raised. Name calling never bothered me. If my views make me a Troll and helps the “New Lib Dem Order” feel comfortable with their stance then I can live with that.

    When the Tories were last in power I remember having a heated arguement with a Tory Councillor from South Ribble because the Tories were trying to float the idea of Private Health Insurance. I pointed out that my Mum (a nurse in the NHS for some 34 years) had developed cancer (breast) and would not be able to get cover form the day she was diagnosed. This Tory councillor more or less said tough luck the NHS was facing a funding crisis, blah, blah, blah.

    This attitude has returned and is evident on these pages. The problem today is that these comments are from so called Lib Dems. They are trying to spin a bucket full of sh*t re the Budget announced with the blessing of the Lib Dem high command. The trouble for Lib Dems that do not support the proposals is that they are branded Trolls etc. This is a Tory character trait, the one of divide and conquer. Turn one part of the UK demographic against another and make out it’s the “Loony Left” that are trying to start a idealogical class war. Maggie had it down to a tee.

    Nick Clegg is comfortably off. He went into politics for reasons only he could honestly answer and we will never truly know. You could also say this about all the other politcal types. The thing about Nick Clegg is that he has become the most dangerous threat to what the general public feels about Lib Dems.

    I trusted Nick Clegg and lent my vote to the Lib Dems and he betrayed that trust plain and simple and not only to me but thousands of other voters.

    The Tories are leading Nick and the Lib Dems down a path deep into the dark woods and he cannot see this because he is either stupid or naive or both. The Tories are smug in the knowledge that the split will occur and there will be defections.

    From my perspective the new political leanings are as follows, Labour – centre right, Lib Dems – centre right/right and Tories – right/far right.

    The good news for my family and I after reading other comments here is that people like you Tony fill me with at least a glimmer of hope that some Lib Dems are as gobsmacked about the U-turn in policies by your leadeship as the rest of the “floaters” that voted for Nick Clegg.

  • Anthony Aloysius St 26th Jun '10 - 1:11pm

    “The good news for my family and I after reading other comments here is that people like you Tony fill me with at least a glimmer of hope that some Lib Dems are as gobsmacked about the U-turn in policies by your leadeship as the rest of the “floaters” that voted for Nick Clegg.”

    Of course, many Lib Dems have been unhappy about the direction the party has been going in for years. The problem is, what are the chances of anyone being able to do anything about it? On another thread, Matthew Huntbach has said the party has the power to overrule the leader and that people should stick with it in the hope that something can be done at the party conference in 2012. Sadly, I think this is just a fantasy – particularly given the almost complete lack of any criticism of the leadership from the parliamentary party over the last month and a half.

    I think it’s far more likely that large numbers of unhappy members will simply drop out, and that ultimately the parliamentary party will accept an electoral pact with the Tories in 2015, as the only hope of saving most of their seats.

    Not for the first time, Charles Kennedy’s judgment about this looks spot-on. Very depressing.

  • Anthony Aloysius St 26th Jun '10 - 1:19pm

    By a strange coincidence, I’ve just read that plans are being considered for Cameron to speak at the Lib Dem conference and for Clegg to speak at the Tory conference this year …

  • Philinlancs 26th Jun '10 - 1:30pm

    @ Anthony Aloysius St. What you true Lib Dems need to do is “crack on” one of my favourite catch all expressions from seemingly overwhelming situations whilst serving in HM Armed Forces dressed as my favourite bush. Sure some Lib Dems will give up but such defeatist attitudes are exactly what the Neo Nasty lot want. It plays right into their suspected long game plan.

    What true Lib Dems need to do is declare war on the leadership now. Lance the boil before it gets too big. Should reduce the number of defections before local elections. Remember the best form of defence is to hit the b””””””s (Leadership) hard whilst they least expect it. It will force entrenchment too so you know what your up against and who stands where. You will also see who is prepared to stand by so called principles.

  • Philinlancs 26th Jun '10 - 3:18pm

    @Anthony Aloysius St

    “By a strange coincidence, I’ve just read that plans are being considered for Cameron to speak at the Lib Dem conference and for Clegg to speak at the Tory conference this year …”

    That should help widen any cracks. Sounds like a bad move for either Clegg or Cameron to consider but good for true Lib Dems. Nowt like a bit of rotten tomato chucking at conference to highlight the differences in what the poor bloody troops think about Nick’s conversion on the road to Damascus, sorry Westminster!

  • The last two GE I voted liberal democrat the reason was I believe in a fair and just society, this was demostrated to me by how impressive my local councillors are, they have worked so hard in this community to make it a safer, better community. Against the odds my councillors won again this year http://www.lynnefeatherstone.org/2010/05/libdems-win-camden-by-election.htm.
    This Budget will increase crime, unemployment, poverty and slowly destroy all the good work my local councillors have achieved in my community. I live on a limited income and will struggle to manage. II feel so let down its imposible to describe. I doubt I will ever be able to vote for liberal democrats again. Same happened to me in 1979 when I believed Mrs T and to my everlasting regret voted for her in that election.

  • Doubting Thomas 26th Jun '10 - 9:03pm

    I left school in 1972.I remember the strikes in the Seventies.But I also remember the Thatcherite cuts in the Eighties.It was not that hard to find work in the Seventies.I left school on a Friday and started work on a Monday as did most of my peers.But between the Seventies and the Eighties the Eighties were much more harsh than the Seventies and very hard to find work.
    I remember reading in the Daily Mirror which kept a rolling toll on the number of people that committed suicide through unemployment in the Eighties.It went into thousands,not many committed suicide over the strikes.Plus calling the Labour Government over strikes in the Seventies.People were striking because Callaghan’s Government would not give into the strikers like the famous Thatcher.But people seem to forget that.
    I think the Lib Dems have made a tragic mistake in supporting this Tory Budget.Floating Voters will not trust you ever again.Either stand for what you believe in and regain your respect and self esteem or see yourself forever in the wilderness.Or possibly your MP,s will just cross over to the Tories to hopefully keep their seats as Conservatives.
    Notice I am not slagging of previous posters on either side of the debate unlike some childish posters here.I am not bothered what you say about me as I am gone from here as soon as I have posted.Just wanted my two pennies worth.

  • It was always going to be a budget driven by Tory preoccupations/obsessions/solutions, and so it proved. The best one could ever hope for is that LibDem influence left some detectable impression. It did that, although the impression wasn’t as strong as we would have wanted. That there was some increase in CGT was probably the best that could have been hoped for, given the arguments against it from the reactionary Right. That there was a bank levy was a step in the right direction. The level of the levy is pitiful (and handed back through corporation tax cuts), but the principle has been established. A range of other initiatives could be identified. But overall the budget had Conservative stamped all over it. And as the IFS has demonstrated, it is, taken in isolation, undeniably regressive. But it is less regressive than it would have been without the LibDems. As some posters have commented, we have to have a realistic view of what can be achieved as junior partners.

    Some of the most recent posts here have been interesting. I think that the LibDem members of the cabinet have played it wrong in being quite so signed up to some of the more clearly Tory strands of policy. And there is an urgent need for the party to articulate its distinctive agenda. But to do that without then running into fundamental conflict with those in the leadership that are fully signed up to the coalition agenda will be a challenge.

  • Anthony Aloysius St 26th Jun '10 - 11:02pm

    “That there was some increase in CGT was probably the best that could have been hoped for, given the arguments against it from the reactionary Right.”

    ????

    It was there in black and white in the coalition agreement that CGT rates would be “similar or close to those applied to income”.

    The Tories have gone back on their word, little more than six weeks after giving it. And Nick Clegg is not in a position to do a blind bit about it.

  • Anthony Aloysius St 27th Jun '10 - 12:34am

    tony

    I think I’m pretty cynical by now, but I didn’t expect the Tories to renegue on a key part of the agreement within weeks. Especially not without a word of protest from their coalition “partners”.

    Seems I’m still not quite cynical enough to get the measure of what passes for democracy these days.

  • This was a fair and balanced budget given the circumstances and the Lib Dem influence in protecting pensioners, increasing the basic tax threshold, and increasing child tax credits for the poorest is evident. The 20% VAT hike doesn’t hit the poorest most (as the third table in the IFS study shows) because the poorest spend disproportionately more on zero rated and 5% VAT items. On my latest food bill pnly fruit juice and chocolate had VAT on them so it is going to cost me an extra 11p a week. I voted Lib Dem, I didn’t expect them to get into bed with the Tories, but as a former Labour voter fed up with their financial mismanagement and spend for the sake of it, in retrospect I am getting used to the Lib-Con Coalition and glad they have had the guts to grasp the nettle firmly. Corporate tax cuts will encourage inward investment and jobs that Labour would not have replicated so we would have had massive cuts from Labour and nothing from the private sector to even try and fill the gap. I don’t like Osborne but with the Lib Dem influence the resulting budget has been better than otherwise might have been anticipated. I am proud to have been a Lib Dem voter, never a Tory, and very happy with the results so far.

  • Paul i couldn’t have put it better myself.

  • Anthony Aloysius St 27th Jun '10 - 4:12pm

    “The 20% VAT hike doesn’t hit the poorest most (as the third table in the IFS study shows) because the poorest spend disproportionately more on zero rated and 5% VAT items.”

    Talk about selective use of evidence!

    Actually, the first chart in the IFS presentation shows that the 10% of households with the smallest incomes will lose about 2.25% of their income on average, compared with a reduction of 1.3-4% for those on middle incomes and less than 1% for the 10% with the highest incomes.

    The third chart, referred to above, shows households grouped according to expenditure, not income. To my mind, it’s nonsensical to treat someone with a large income but a small expenditure as “poor”, as Paul is doing. But if that’s how Paul wants to define poverty, let’s see what the consequences are. The final two charts of the IFS presentation show the overall effects of the budget on households grouped by Paul’s preferred method – in 2012-13 and 2014-15 respectively. And the overall effects are that the bottom 10% lose more than any other group as a percentage of their income in 2012-13, and more any group _except_ the top one in 2014-5.

    In other words, however you manipulate the figures to try to make some aspect of this budget look less regressive, it is clear that overall the poor are among the hardest hit. That’s not a “fair” budget in my view.

  • Anthony Aloysius St 27th Jun '10 - 4:17pm

    “The impact of George Osborne’s emergency budget on the poor has been revealed in a study that finds the country’s least well-off families face cuts equivalent to 21.7% of their household income.”

    Of course, this is taking into account the plans for general cuts in public spending, not just the specific tax and benefit changes treated in the IFS presentation. As I’ve been saying all along, these huge cuts in public spending are bound to hit the poor hardest, and the effect will dwarf the 1% or 2% of regressive tax and benefit changes we’ve been discussing so far.

  • Philinlancs 28th Jun '10 - 3:22pm

    “Like in Scotland a minority government would have to wheel and deal to get a budget through. It actually does a lot to restore power to Parliament.”

    This is exactly the point I made further up the page when I argued that the right course of action the Lib Dem leadership should have taken was to force the Tories into a minority government. Instead Lib Dem policies are watered down by coaltion agreements.

    “Like in Scotland a minority government would have to wheel and deal to get a budget through. It actually does a lot to restore power to Parliament.”

    Exactly, CowleyJon. This would have been my choice of democracy and I think exactly the result the voters asked for. Of course none of the main parties wanted a hung parliament but that is what I voted for in the hope that Lib Dem values would counter the Nasty party.

    Again, the reason why I am so dismayed at the Lib Dem leadership is that knowing full well they were “King Makers” suddenly careers became more important than principles. I did not wish to see a coalition with the Labour lot either. Such a coalition would have been a “coalition of losers”.

    Like a lot of people in the UK who were made redundant (private sector) since the banking crisis hit the UK economy there is a realisation that there are bad times ahead. My family and I have been living the nightmare for the past 18 months on a severely reduced houshold income.

    What I hoped for was that any cuts would be introduced gradually but what we have witnessed over the past few days is a slash and burn mentality without much thought for the consequences on the long term viablity of any growth in the UK economy.

  • Anthony Aloysius St 28th Jun '10 - 4:13pm

    Surprised not to see any comment here about this. Perhaps I missed it.
    “A handful of Liberal Democrats have threatened to send a strong signal of intent towards their own coalition government today by seeking a vote against part of last week’s Budget.
    Incensed by what they regard as a regressive rise in value added tax, the five rebel MPs have signalled that they will vote in Parliament tonight against the Budget resolution that concerns the VAT rise. Specific duty changes in the Budget must be passed via such resolutions within 10 days of Budget day.
    Bob Russell, the Lib Dem MP for Colchester, said he believed that he and four colleagues would vote against the tabled change from 17.5 per cent to 20 per cent.”

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/8ed2619c-8251-11df-9467-00144feabdc0.html

  • George Kendall 28th Jun '10 - 5:39pm

    @CowleyJon
    “Of course if we had stayed out of the coalition and let a Conservative minority government out forward a budget we would have been able to vote down the VAT increase”

    I’m afraid the scenario you paint assumes the Tories would have allowed that to happen.

    What-if debates are always unsatisfactory, because hindsight is very limited. We can’t be *sure* what would have happened if we’d done something different.

    That said, I think we know what the Tory strategy would have been.

    A minority Conservative government with Lib Dem support would have introduced some scaled down cuts, but they’d have campaigned that this wasn’t enough, that Lib Dem refusal to grapple with the deficit was risking a Greek-type crisis. They’d have steadily fed information painting the previous Labour government as wasteful, and carried on pouring money into their campaigns in marginal constituencies.

    We’d have taken equal blame for the cuts, and, as now, our opinion poll ratings would have fallen. And we, and Labour have no money, so we’d be unable to counter the ongoing Tory campaigning.

    When we were at our weakest, the Tories would have provoked a crisis and called an election.

    The Tories would hope to be returned with a working majority.

    The above strategy has risks for the Tories. If things went badly, that second election could result in a return of Labour to government. It is, of course, possible that there’d be another balanced parliament, but I think that’s unlikely.

    For the Tories, if we weren’t prepared to agree to a long-term plan to reduce the deficit, the scenario you paint is the worst of all situations: responsibility, without the power to sort out the deficit. They’d definitely be looking to get out of it as soon as possible.

    Our leadership was only too aware of this, which is why they formed the coalition. They knew a minority government would be short-lived, we’d come out badly in the following election, and it’d do long-term damage to the case for balanced governments in future.

  • Anthony Aloysius St 28th Jun '10 - 5:43pm

    “They knew a minority government would be short-lived, we’d come out badly in the following election, and it’d do long-term damage to the case for balanced governments in future.”

    The different being that a coalition may not be short-lived, I suppose.

  • @George Kendall

    “A minority Conservative government with Lib Dem support would have introduced some scaled down cuts, but they’d have campaigned that this wasn’t enough, that Lib Dem refusal to grapple with the deficit was risking a Greek-type crisis. They’d have steadily fed information painting the previous Labour government as wasteful, and carried on pouring money into their campaigns in marginal constituencies.”

    Interesting arguement George but the Tories with Lib Dem support are announcing more cuts and more ideas virtually every day since the GE. Yesterday and today we had IDS’s proposals regarding moving unemployed council house tenants to more affluent areas whilst at the same time putting the existing local families in these areas at an unfair disadvantage in the waiting lists. Another brilliant Tory tactic. Norman Tebbit will be proud!

    Every time one of these ill thought out headline grabbers gets announced the Lib Dems get tarred with the same brush and the Tories must be rubbing their hands in glee. The Tories are playing the biggest “what if” card and you don’t see it. What if the Tories are hell bent on splitting the Lib Dems. Announce unpalatable proposals (preferably every other day) and this will risk (more guarantee) that somewhere down the line the Lib Dems will be the architects of their own destruction due to inevitable in-fighting as the slash and burn cuts take hold and cause untold misery for low income families.

    Just because the Lib Dems and the Tories are involved in a “Holiday Romance” does not mean that the Tories have declared a truce on the marginals. Naive! The Tories will already be building up their forces on those marginals if they have half the brains that I think they posess. You said yourself George that neither Labour or the Lib Dems have the cash to fight the Tories. Looks like Lib Dems are finished then!

    This “Greek type crisis” thing is a load of b****cks and simply Tory terrorism to get voted in. The UK economies capacity to get itself out of the mire it’s in is in far better shape than the Greek economy. George Soros would almost certainly agree with me on that point.

    The Lib Dems look like being killed off in political terms by the death of a thousand cuts (no pun intended) even if the coalition runs to term. No government goes on forever and one day the Lib Dem leadership will have to account not to the party but to the voter. What if all these cuts really do force a double dip recession and all the ills that such a scenario will entail for a generation. Nick won’t be so smug then but there again he’s alright, he’s got “loadsamoney” to coin a quaint eighties phrase.

    What name change are the party going to choose at the next re branding, Dim Lems perhaps?

  • there is a new documentary out called Shed your tears as you walk away about those that were left behind in Hebden bridge post thatcher. The lib dem leadership view seems to be shut your eyes and walk away. How can you do this? The rhetoric is even more vicious than Thatcher.

  • Philinlancs 29th Jun '10 - 2:38pm

    @coalition apologistas

    One other reason why I voted Lib Dem below and which I am also angry about.

    Scrap Trident, like Nick Clegg said he would and campaigned on that particular platform. Will save billions on it’s own (reputedly £100 billion over the term of the project not to mention the hidden costs of over-run that has blighted all MOD procurements over the past decades).

    Sorry. I forgot, your new “bezzie” mates the Tories will hate you for such a stance! I foresee a policy U-turn coming along to a floating voter very soon in the near future. Over to you Nick…….more lies and deceit I assume?

    The Lib Dem leadership will soon announce that due to the very real risk of a Greek style economic crisis that they have agreed, along with their coalition partners, the Conservatives, to renew “Trident” as the best guarantee of defence against such a scenario.

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