Clegg: time for Government to cut taxes now

Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg – following on from his Independent article last wek – has once again spoken up for the need for the Government to put the needs of ordinary people to the fore. Here’s how PoliticsHome reports Nick’s appearance on BBC Radio 4’s The World At One at lunch-time:

Mr Clegg responded to the news that the government is seeking a promise from the banks to ease lending to small businesses. He said: “Anything that stops loans being called in against small and medium-size enterprises is welcome.”

He also argued that similar guarantees should be obtained in the housing market: “We also want to make sure that repossesion of people’s homes is only ever used as a last resort.”

But the Liberal Democrat leader also emphasised that the government needed to take more action to support consumers in the real economy: “If the government wants to maintain public support for that approach they also need to show they’re taking a proactive apporach to helping people. They need tax cuts….and action to make sure energy bills don’t remain at the very high level they currently are.”

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14 Comments

  • David Allen 14th Oct '08 - 6:06pm

    Vince Cable: “The shock many people have experienced will also force them back to more sober and careful management of money. … I suspect that the national mood will be increasingly intolerant of self-indulgent, anti-social behaviour. There will be a strong reaction against binge-lending, binge-spending and binge-drinking. … I hope, and expect, that we shall now develop better priorities in Britain: sustainable wealth creation rather than churning finance.”

    Nick Clegg: “If the government wants to maintain public support …. they need tax cuts”

    When are we going to realise that the public just cannot make sense of mixed messages? While Vince is rightly claiming the moral high ground, what Nick is offering – to a confused, and hence uncaring, nation – is promises, freebies, and giveaways.

  • There’s nothing liberal about libertinism. It’s only when people restrain themselves, & discipline comes from within, that we can have a grown-up liberal society rather than one dominated by authority.

    We banished the ideas of responsibility, sustainability, respect for other people & what have you during the good times. Reminding us that we have to create sustainable wealth rather than living on wishful thinking is no bad thing. You have to work for what you want in this life, & if you can’t afford it, don’t have it.

    There is, after all, no point in keeping up with the Joneses, & those who live for esteem (“prospectors”, cough, sneeze) should be made to realise that pursuing other people’s approval is pointless & will never make them happy.

    I’d like to see you try & call me a conservative of any variety, but I agree with those Vince Cable statements as listening to him will restore health to society. Decent people can live in a liberal world, so let’e have some decency. 🙂

  • Before anyone starts, I wasn’t attacking libertarians, I was talking about libertines, who thrived between 1997 & 2007 & whose attitudes include spending money they don’t have, emulating others & pursuing people’s approval at all costs.

  • Also before anyone starts, I have a low income, & behave accordingly. I have never used a credit card or had any debts, & I’ve had very little materially, but I knew these things would be bad news because one day the party would be over & now it is.

  • Julıan H stıll ın a cafe bla bla bla 14th Oct '08 - 6:39pm

    ‘everyone else is going to have to live a bit more like I do, a bit more like Vince describes’

    I’m not. Same wage, same rent, same aversıon to responsıbılıty… what’s all the fuss about? Long lıve the bınge! [/fate temptıng]

  • I haven’t got a mortgage either. I can’t afford things so I don’t have them. But I’ve learnt to focus on the things that are important, which don’t include gadding around Thailand on the plastic or sticking a pointlessly flash car on the house.

  • Yes, I’m prone to a bit of hectoring myself. I should probably be kept away from campaigns: I dread to imagine what I’d do if someone on the doorstep contronted me, especially if s/he held one of the opinions I find most offensive 🙂

  • Thanks all for your responses! Well, I guess Vince was rather laying it on with a trowel. Perhaps understandably, in the circumstances. After all, it’s better to call yourself “Dr Doom” than “Mr Slight Twinge”. I suspect Vince only included “binge-drinking” for poetic reasons and because “binge-lending” on its own would have sounded a bit odd. He was surely gunning for the libertine bankers and millionaire city slickers, not the public at large.

    As to whether he should pipe down and let Nick push his (libertine?!) message of tax cuts instead: Well, it’s Vince who has done all the groundwork on the debt mountain and its consequences. It was Vince who got it right, and now is the right time to say so.

    I can assure you that if our leader was a raving tax-and-spender and (s)he was hogging the limelight with propaganda for a-penny-in-the-pound-on-income-tax, or whatever, my reaction would be just the same as my reaction to Clegg. And that is, “Button it! Wait for the financial situation to stabilise, so that you can decide what tax policy might actually work, instead of doing economics by guesswork. Don’t just peddle a dogmatic viewpoint that you decided on in what, in economic terms, was a different era. Go back, rethink, and update your ideas in the light of reality, as any responsible leader should be doing. And next time round, think harder about a consensus approach. Don’t be a splitter.

  • I cannot for the life of me see why Lib Dems want income tax cuts. It is the only progressive, redistributive tax we have. Cutting it would be a regressive measure. Besides, the basic rate has already been cut by more than a third in the last 30 years, and where has it got us. We should cut VAT instead.

  • Clegg's Candid Admirer 18th Oct '08 - 7:17pm

    Any news on the magic £20bn yet ? have we worked out how we are paying for it ? No wonder he got no coverage for his Economic speech.

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