Clegg and Farron say Liberal Democrats fairest in tough economic times

nick clegg eastleighThere was a double dose of senior Lib Demmery on yesterday’s World at One with Nick Clegg and Tim Farron both talking about the local elections. Firstly, Nick on the Liberal Democrats making fair decisions in challenging economic times:

Everybody knows money is tight and that local councillors have done and will continue to have to make savings. The question is who can be relied on to do it most fairly. You certainly can’t rely on either Conservative or Labour parties if you look at their local records. I think the Liberal Democrats locally have proved themselves to be a party which is responsible and tough enough to deal with the economic issues we’re facing but to do so as fairly as possible.

Later on, Tim Farron took part in a panel with Hilary Benn and Grant Shapps.

You can listen to him here from around 28 minutes. On Liberal Democrat prospects in the elections, he was optimistic:

There’s no point in pretending we haven’t had a bad couple of years. But in 2012 we saw a real comeback against Labour in places like Hull, Newcastle and Sheffield where nobody would have predicted that.  If you look at local government by-elections, we are making net gains which is quite staggering. No-one would imagine that is the case but it is and I’m bound to point out to you Eastleigh. It demonstrates that where we have a base and where we’ve got strength, the Liberal Democrats are still capable of winning. These are not going to be easy elections but we are proving we are winning again and there’s a lot of confidence about.

Tim was then asked how he felt about the Conservatives claiming credit in their campaigns for the Liberal Democrats’ flagship tax policy.

Well they know it’s popular and it’s the one thing people mention on the doorstep more often than anything else is that they realise that the Liberal Democrats have won this massive victory for them, an extra £600 in their pocket and that’s hugely significant. But just on Council Tax benefit, it’s interesting that Liberal Democrats are doing the right thing in difficult times. Where I’m sitting now in Kendal, where the Liberal Democrats run the District Council, what we’ve done is stick up the second home council tax for very wealthy people who don’t live here and nobody is getting any cut in their Council Tax benefit whatsoever.

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  • Why are wages and employment rights being cut by the coalition,is it to make Britain more competitive? Or is there another reason?

    I have been reading this and have been wondering myself.What do you think?

  • Compare wages, and we see the UK average wage measured by the EU is well below other major European countries, and below the average of all the EU27 countries.

    Not much of a rise for those on the bottom.

    The national minimum wage is to rise by 12p an hour to £6.31 for adults and by 5p to £5.03 for 18-to-20-year-olds from October, the government has announced.

    But granted,politicians of all hue gave themselves a big rise.The people at the top are getting wealthier.Taking in inflation,not much so those at the bottom.

  • daft h'a'porth 20th Apr '13 - 5:29pm

    If only politicians would publish translating dictionaries of the terms they like to use, then we could figure out what they are attempting to reference when using terms like ‘fairness’. As it is, we can only watch and wonder.

  • Mark Inskip 20th Apr '13 - 7:20pm

    And OECD Labour Costs (as shown in the graph) are an average cost of labour per unit of output and are calculated as the ratio of total labour costs to real output, so a combination of labour costs (not just wages or salary but other items such as employee and employer taxes) and productivity. So if you can have high salaries combined with low employment taxes and high productivity in one country giving a lower labour cost than another country with lower salaries combined with higher employment taxes and low productivity.

  • Scandal of firms that dodge paying the minimum wage

    Although it is supposed to be illegal to pay staff below those levels, employers are using a variety of ruses to sidestep the rates

    The Government’s Workfare Schemes: 10 Facts

    The Government is not “paying them… through benefits” to work, as the Deputy Prime Minister has claimed today. Jobseekers allowance ranges from £53.45 to £67.50 per week. It is paid for one specific (and obvious) purpose – to support people whilst they seek employment. It is not remuneration for work, and even if it were it would mean that people on Back to Work schemes would be getting paid as little as £1.78 per hour, often whilst working for some of our biggest retailers. Many of those retailers are now realising that such a scenario is unacceptable and have either pulled out of the schemes or demanded that the Government thinks again.

  • Mark Inskip 20th Apr '13 - 7:47pm

    @ Pete B
    It’s good to read that the government is planning “tough new measures” to combat abuse of the minimum wage. I do wonder why Labour didn’t stamp out these abuses when it was in power.

  • Tell me Mark Inskip, why the references to the Labour party? The are not the subject of the debate, the actions of the coalition goerntment are and whether the support of them by the Lib Dems makes them ‘fair’.

    Saying, as you seem to be, that it’s ok to put those policies into place because the Labour party have done/would do much worse doesn’t cut it. Are you seriously saying that the penalties that this government have placed on the disabled, the unemployed and the poor are fair? Do you support them?

  • We do not need pressure put on these employers to pay the minimum wage. What we need is for them to pay a liveable wage. That is the way to reduce the welfare budget by making the money grabbers pay, not kicking the victims.

    Also a rent cap and not a bedroom tax.

  • Simon McGrath 21st Apr '13 - 7:39am

    @Tony Greaves “Overall there is a clear drain of resources away from northern/urban areas to southern/suburban/rural areas”
    Actually of course there is a vast drain of resources from London and the SE to the rest of the UK. The question is should there be slightly less money being shipped from the affluent parts of the UK . Which is rather different.

  • Michael Parsons 21st Apr '13 - 1:03pm

    Lib Demmery or Lib Dimmery? As a liberal I find these “orange book men” increasingly sickening, and will not vote for them on their present showing, a decision I suspect many hitherto loyal supporter increasingly share. If I wanted Tory rats in power I would vote for them first-hand, not via their accomplices.

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