Danny Alexander MP writes… Spending where it matters

Our number one priority in Government has been to fix the economic mess we inherited from Labour. Today, we set out a Spending Round that delivers Liberal Democrat priorities on investment and improving our public services while making responsible choices to deal with the financial problems Labour left us. It demonstrates that the Liberal Democrats will remain firm in our commitment to tackling the deficit, but fair in the way we go about it.

When we entered Government in May 2010, we inherited from Labour an economy that was on the brink. We set out a plan to get our economy on the road to recovery by dealing with the largest deficit of our peacetime history. Three years on and the deficit is down by a third, 1.3m private sector jobs have been created, and by keeping interest rates low we have helped businesses and homeowners across the country. Over those past three years it is the Liberal Democrats who have worked in Government to deliver a stronger economy and a fairer society. Whether it’s Vince Cable delivering one million more apprenticeships, or Nick Clegg’s relentless focus on creating jobs outside of London through the regional growth fund, or my own role in the Treasury where next April we will have delivered a £700 tax cut to over 24m people, the Liberal Democrats have demonstrated that we are a party that can be trusted to manage the economy. But continuing to do the right thing means taking tough decisions about the future.

Our current spending plans only cover the period up to April 2015 – one month before the General Election. It doesn’t matter whether it is one month or one day, the Liberal Democrats will not allow this country to slip back into economic uncertainty. That is why we are setting out plans today for the amount of money we will give to departments in 2015/16. Unlike previous Spending Rounds, we are only setting out plans for one year. That means that at the General Election we can campaign on our priorities without being tied into decisions about departmental spending for a whole Parliament.

Our economy is starting to recover, but we still have a long way to go. The Liberal Democrats are committed to finishing the task, creating jobs and making Britain’s economy strong again. As part of the Spending Round, we are reducing the amount departments will have to spend in 2015/16 by £11.5bn. Getting to that point has involved making some tough choices about how we spend taxpayers’ money. But by spending less money on Whitehall admin and taking difficult decisions on things like public sector pay, we can spend more money in areas to provide growth and protect key services like the NHS and schools.

We will deliver £5bn of further efficiency savings through stopping wasteful spending, transforming services such as HR administration and IT support. And by ensuring that the Government acts effectively as a single customer when it buys goods and services, we will be able to save £1bn a year. Liberal Democrats have long argued for the long term benefits of investment in infrastructure. So we will reinvest £3bn of the money saved from departments to increase capital spending plans by £3bn per year from 2015-16 – that’s a total of £18bn over the next Parliament. This will boost investment in infrastructure to support economic growth at the same time as ensuring a sustained reduction in the deficit. You’ll hear more on that from me tomorrow when I will set out in Parliament the detail of the long term capital plans for each department and how we will prioritise investment in infrastructure to deliver a stronger economy in a fairer society.

The Liberal Democrats have been clear that we will not balance the books on the backs of the most vulnerable. That is why this Spending Round includes proposals to keep our promises to protect health and schools spending in real terms, continuing with the Liberal Democrat pupil premium to provide extra funding for deprived pupils, delivering on Nick Clegg’s proposal to provide 40% of disadvantaged two year olds with 15 hours of free childcare, and sticking to our promise to spend 0.7% of our GNI on international aid. As I announced on Monday, we will be investing an additional £200m as part of a massive expansion of the Coalition’s groundbreaking Troubled Families programme to provide intensive help to 400,000 families to get to grips with their problems and change their lives for better. And we are also investing an extra £2bn from the NHS for local health and social care systems to meet the needs of older and disabled people, including a £1bn incentive to improve the way services are delivered. This extra money will help health and social care to work more closely together in local areas to deliver better services to older and disabled people, keeping them out of hospital and in their homes for longer.

Cutting public spending is never easy. And yes, we have to make tough choices. But the worst thing to do would be to burden future generations by not tackling the debts that Labour left us. If we want to protect our party’s economic credibility, that is just not an option. That’s my message for today. Tomorrow’s message will be about delivering on Liberal Democrat priorities for investment when I’ll be setting out the decisions we have taken on infrastructure to make Britain’s economy strong again.

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  • “Nick Clegg’s relentless focus on creating jobs outside of London through the regional growth fund” is certainly good news, but with so many of the party’s MPs, members and voters in London it’s a shame that it’s presented in language which sounds so dismissive of a part of the country where millions of people live and work.

  • jenny barnes 26th Jun '13 - 1:35pm

    “When we entered Government in May 2010, we inherited from Labour an economy that was growing by over 1%”
    there, fixed that for you.

  • jenny barnes 26th Jun '13 - 1:36pm

    “expansionary fiscal contraction” – rubbish in theory, doesn’t work in practice.

  • Well Mark perhaps all the capital expenditure in London may help soothe their worries

    A despicable performance by our PM at PMQ today – truly brings him role into disrepute and a similarly unpleasant speech by the CoE

    Clegg looked truly sick during the whole of the speech.

    Do you not feel embarrassed?

  • Jonathan Featonby 26th Jun '13 - 1:45pm

    Be interesting to know what those people who lose their jobs are supposed to do for the seven days they have to wait before being eligible for support. Food and rent are generally quite important.

  • Anthony Hawkes 26th Jun '13 - 2:32pm

    Stephanie Flanders , the well known BBC radical says, “Bottom fifth have lost more from cuts to tax credits/benefits since 2010 than top fifth, not just as share of net income but in cash terms.”

    I am so glad that we will not balance the books on the backs of the most vulnerable.

  • Peter Davies 26th Jun '13 - 2:52pm

    If you’ve been working for years, you probably have more than a week’s buffer. The real problem is if you take a job on trial and it doesn’t work out. Two weeks pay for three weeks lost benefit is a risk you really don’t want to take when you are already broke.

  • @Peter Davies
    The size of the ‘Payday’ loan sector suggests there are an awful lot of people who won’t have enough money to tide them over the 7 days (longer of course before their application goes through and they get the cash). Presumably the govt expects illegal loan sharks to plug the gap. I can’t believe this is going to save much money. It’s measures like this that show just how out of touch the cabal of posh boys at the top of govt are with the ordinary realities of life.

  • David Wilkinson 26th Jun '13 - 4:01pm

    Just read Osbourne’s comments about job ssekers, who cannot sign on for 7days abnd they must go to the job centre once a week.
    This shows what a complete burke this man is with no grasp of what life is like for those who are out of work and have to sign. For many people to get to the job centre is an expensive journey by public transport out of reduced JSA, a plan to strave people into any work.
    I know that Tories are evil beggers, but it really sickens me to see Clegg and Alexander so called Liberals doing as much damage to the poor and weak in our soceity and telling us what a grand job they are doing.
    I really look forward seeing the pair of them signing on. or on a zero hours contract.

  • If anyone is still in doubt surely they must realise that this is not a coalition government; its a tory government. Clegg and co have betrayed us and liberalism. The Orange bookers are our version of the militant tendency only our lot have taken over, at least for the time being.

  • Steve Griffiths 26th Jun '13 - 4:40pm

    I must say I was surprised at the not signing on for seven days issue; well there’s nothing like kicking a person when they’re down. The Liberal and Lib Dem parties that I knew would have shouted very loud about this, but of course they actually believed then that “no one should be enslaved by poverty…”.

  • Can’t sign on for seven days after losing your job?
    Disabled, either mentally or physically, and lost your benefit entitlement?
    Sanctioned for the pettiest of reasons?

    Then simply assault someone and get three meals a day and a roof over your head whilst awaiting trial! And depending on the severity of the assault, you may even be able to study for a degree whilst imprisoned. For FREE!!!

    But please don’t harm innocent citizens, there are more than enough politicians to chose from, read ” No Expenses Spared” for reference.

  • Eddie Sammon 26th Jun '13 - 5:00pm

    If the welfare bill was three times as high, you would still get people complain at it being cut, so we should not refuse all welfare cuts just because of the two words “welfare” and “cuts”.

    However having said this, I think we have gone far enough for now, but we are the junior party in a coalition with the Conservatives. I know Nick wants more welfare cuts, but at least he wants to tax the rich more too.

  • Liberal Neil 26th Jun '13 - 5:24pm

    @Anthony Hawkes – you would expect that though, the top fifth wouldn’t be eligible for much in the way of tax credits/benefits to start with.

  • Linda: don’t forget that with the new monthly payment in arrears system, that seven day wait could actually be 38.

    Maelo: brilliant comment.

  • David Wilkinson 26th Jun '13 - 5:50pm

    I wonder if Cleggie and Danny Boy watched Secrets From The Workhouse last night on ITV, it could give them a load of new ideas

  • “The Liberal Democrats have been clear that we will not balance the books on the backs of the most vulnerable. ”
    Danny – this is just a lie.

    Your comments on the BBC say that this will bring the UK into line with other countries and make JobCentre’s more “intensive and efficient”
    Which countries?
    How will it improve efficiency?
    How much money will those efficiencies save?
    Has there been an impact assessment of the 7 day proposals?
    We said no cuts at the bottom without “serious reductions to welfare received by the richest”. UK millionaire pensioners will continue to receive the Winter fuel allowance and whilst those living in Spain will start to lose their WFA from 2015, these proposals will be introduced for JSA claimants from 2014. Why?
    Will you even bother replying to this and engaging with the party membership who have to defend this?

  • Peter Benson 26th Jun '13 - 6:26pm

    When politicians harp on about “Hard Choices”,its not hard for them is it.On their big salaries and generous expenses.Its Hard for those at the bottom,in fact this Government has stuck the boot in to those at the bottom for the last three years.Largely by Mr IDS using dodgy statistics as propaganda.

    Not forgetting those Behind Closed Curtains type speeches or Nick Cleggs Alarm Clock Britain speech.

  • @ Hywel writes of Mr Alexander ‘Will you even bother replying to this and engaging with the party membership who have to defend this?’. Of course, he won’t. The leadership have contempt for the membership, they have forgotten their place and need to be put back into it. We are liberal DEMOCRATS after all. Of course I won’t be defending any of this. When I canvass I am happy to condemn this leadership; my party, and it is mine, has been hijacked by a cabal of right wingers who despite liberalism. More of us need to condemn these lot, not defend them and what they are doing. Clegg is an enemy.

  • In 2010 we had a nascent recovery and the deficit was coming down. In fact the majority of the deficit reduction happened in 2010/11 while the Coalition was largely still following Labour’s spending plans. In the first year – 2011/12 – that the Coalition had full budgetary control the deficit was 120 billion which is where it has remained ever since. The Coalition’s economic policy is a comprehensive failure. The dismal proposition the govt advances now is – We can’t help make your life better but we can make someone else’s worse.

  • David Wilkinson 26th Jun '13 - 7:52pm

    Just watched the BBC coverage of Osbourne’s speech, at least Clegg in parts did have dencency to look at the cracks in the ceiling when Jeffery was speaking unlike Danny Boy who wasnodding along with warm words of encouragement for Wrecker Osbourne.

    Danny comments about improving the job centre, hell that will go a laugh with those signing on, Danny a person who really is not in it together with the masses. We can ask Danny what he thinks of them after May 2015.

  • @AndrewR
    “In 2010 we had a nascent recovery and the deficit was coming down.”

    The recovery, such as it was, was borne of an explosion in the previous year of the deficit of 3 percentage points of GDP. The deficit was exploding, not coming down.

    Labour left an economy dependent on massive expansion in the government’s deficit in order to grow at all. That, in anyone but the most hardened Labour supporter’s eyes, is exactly what Danny Alexander says: a mess.

    “The Coalition’s economic policy is a comprehensive failure. ”

    So no mention at all of all the other factors affecting the UK economy like the Eurozone crisis crippling our exports, the need to fix an utterly broken banking system, a household sector utterly submerged in debt, an overgrown financial sector and shrunken manufacturing sector, high oil and commodity prices?

    No, in your books, none of that has had any bearing on the performance of the UK economy. No instead, it’s all down to the fact that the Coalition has cut a few billion more than Labour said it would. Of course it is.

  • RC
    The central economic task the Coalition set itself was to reduce the deficit. It has missed every single target it set itself. The deficit is not coming down. There is a word for that and it starts with ‘F’. Incidentally I don’t believe Labour would have done a lot better. There are other political and economic options other than being a cheerleader for the red team or the blue team.

  • Mike Nicholls 26th Jun '13 - 10:00pm

    In his article Danny Alexander says “And we are also investing an extra £2bn from the NHS for local health and social care systems to meet the needs of older and disabled people, including a £1bn incentive to improve the way services are delivered.”
    This is a somewhat enigmatic statement. It would appear that money is being transferred from Health to Social Care, More money for social care is very welcome, but at the same time this funding is not protected. If as is widely predicted councils will have to find 10% cuts then it is doubtful if SC can escape a proportion of the cuts. SC is the highest spending of the council departments. School budgets are simply passed through the council, who have no control over this money. It therefore follows that it is difficult to maintain the funding of SC. Even if whole council departments were closed down say, Arts an d Libraries and Public Protection it would still have little noticeable effect on the SC budget,

    And yet, if we continue to narrow the care that is provided, it will hugely increase the demand on the NHS and in particular DGHs. By providing improved community support for carers it would be easily possible to reduce stays in hospitals and care homes by between 1 to 2 months. Far too often SC is providing emergency support. rather than preventive support. There is much talk about support for carers, but where is the money for this to be found? I find it significant that all too often SC does not appear in the media as a main stream activity of councils, All too often the public confuse to confuse Social Care with Social Security. And of course we have all been brainwashed to associate Social Security with scroungers.

  • A Social Liberal 26th Jun '13 - 10:39pm

    I echo the sentiments voiced by Dave above. When the phrase ‘muscular liberalism’ reared its oh so ugly head after being buried well over 100 years ago I knew that the ‘Liberal’ had vanished from the Liberal Democrats, that the ‘economic’ side of the party had sneaked up and dispatched any sense of social justice from the hierarchy.

  • For those who are hoping Clegg will vanish like a bad dream in 2015 and the party will magically revert to what it was before he took over, the pertinent question is how many of the current parliamentary party will publicly oppose this appalling stuff. Sadly, I’d guess it will be only the usual small handful.

  • How very depressing. You all appear to agree with me. Ever since the banking iceberg was first spotted, our captain and senior officers have been polishing the brass deficit , and organising The Olympic Orchestra, while the deck seems to be sinking beneath our feet.
    We need Alexander, Clegg and Cable to (I’ve just noticed that not even the Liberal Voice spell check recognizes Clegg!) to lead us to the pumps, and inspire us to rescue SS Great Britain from a Titanic accident which will result from an ever increasing deficit due to a stagnant economy.
    Rather then making loyal government servants redundant and then hitting them at their point of need, they should be being attracted into some industry that the Government is helping to expand and which can earn money by exporting or saving imports. Agriculture could help as operations that could help wildlife are quite labour intensive while contributing to exports or import saving, but they have chosen to close down British Agriculture. But what other industries are still owned by the UK?
    Perhaps we should start another war and kill off any of our own side who still have the energy to care about our Government?

  • I’m failing to see who – beyond the top trump leadership Orange Book cabal in the Lib Dems – will hang onto their seats in 2015 espousing policies like these.

    I’m a Labour voter and interested citizen, and the few Lib Dem members I know IRL seem to be either fizzing or ditching their memberships. They’re all good people who feel utterly sold out, and I cannot but feel pretty sad for them. I come here sometimes looking to see if they might have commented – I know at least one of them used to but she appears to be absent now.

    Ah well, good luck with getting rid of your own Militant Tendency; I share your pain.

  • Jonathan Featonby 27th Jun '13 - 9:52am

    Lots of responses to Sarah Teather’s facebook post on the 7 day announcement https://www.facebook.com/sarahteather/posts/10152986311170226

  • @Jonathan Featonby
    It appears to be missing or faceache has a problem showing the link…

  • These further reforms to welfare are truly despicable.

    There is no logical reason to make people wait 7 days before being able to make an application for unemployment benefit. This is purely right wing ideology to appease the right and bash the poor and vulnerable.

    Benefits are moving ever closer to “online applications” so why is it logical to make people wait 7 day’s before being able to start the process? it is not as if Job Center + centers would require more staff to handle the applications {in person} as more and more people claim online.

    I am also deeply vexed at the cap on welfare spending which is going to include those in receipt of ESA & DLA or PIP as it will now be called. The only way this CAP would work would be for the DWP and ATOS to continue to “wrongly” assess people as fit for work and chase targets to reduce the number of claimants. Not only will it result in a lot of unnecessary stress and suffering to sick and disabled people, it will increase the amount of appeals in the tribunals, clogging the system up further than it already is and in the long term cost the tax payer even more money by the increased spending for the DWP and the Justice department to hear these appeals.

    I thought the Liberal Democrats could not shock me anymore with the abhorrent onslaught on the most vulnerable people in society, but clearly I was wrong.

    Nick Clegg has clearly been talking a load of bull when he said no further cuts on the poor to balance the books.

    It’s just another lie, why on earth would anyone believe another word he says and vote for Libdems in 2015.

  • It must be being so cheerful that keeps Alexander going. Today he has been given the role of announcing some new projects but will no doubt not mention student grants and the much vaunted pupil premium. When can we get out from under the Tories?

    Are the Australiian Labor Party on to something?

  • David Wilkinson 27th Jun '13 - 12:17pm

    Danny have you slashed spending in Parlaiment by 10% like local government? I just love this story in the Sun. of how our betters think of themselves. That £12K is nearly the amount 4 people on JSA will get.
    I hope that no Lib Dem MP will be asking for a painting.

    A TOP Labour MP sparked fury last night over her plans to pose for a £12,000 taxpayer-funded vanity portrait.

    Read more: http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/politics/4985979/Dawn-Primarolo-taxpayer-funded-portrait.html#ixzz2XPjbJQRA

  • Dave Eastham 27th Jun '13 - 12:19pm

    “The Liberal Democrats have been clear that we will not balance the books on the backs of the most vulnerable” D. Alexander at https://www.libdemvoice.org/danny-alexander-mp-writes-spending-where-it-matters-35087.html

    Danny this statement of yours above, shows you really don’t have a clue. I am appalled. As others have pointed out, the introduction of the seven day “pause” before, to use a traditional term, being able “sign on”, is doing exactly that which you claim not to be doing. Whilst it is not clear yet exactly how this is going to work. One thing is sure, far from saving 250 million quid, the knock-on social effects and unintended consequences, are almost certainly going to cost more to the economy as a whole. I would be fascinated to see any Risk Assessment done on this measure.

    I thought the Party went into Government to put a stop to these episodes of typically mean spirited un-evidenced pure mealy-mouthed Tory spitefulness?. To use that good old Lib Dem term, it’s Illiberal!. And please don’t give me that old guff about The-Tories-are-bigger-than-us-Guv-what can-we-do?. Not this for sure.

    That said, a good post from RC above, reminding us all of what was facing the Country in 2010 and why there was no other option but to go into Coalition. And No cheering for the Blue of Red team from round here either, AndrewR . I quite agree there are other options, as many have pointed out on the pages of LDV in the past and continue to do so..

    For a thoughtful comment on this seven day nonsense, you might like to see this from the TUC,
    http://touchstoneblog.org.uk/2013/06/seven-days-wait-for-family-and-housing-benefits-for-unemployed-claimants . But there again you may not.


    Dave Eastham

  • And whilst Danny and George were keeping our eyes focused on their dazzling shell game involving £11 billion of previously announced money, Osborne, quietly gave …….$70 billion…!, to the banks in a relaxation of the banking rules.
    Stop watching the shells, there is no pea under any of them. The real game is elsewhere, off stage.

  • David Allen 27th Jun '13 - 1:14pm

    What the “seven-day nonsense” is claimed to save us, £ 1/4 billion, is pretty small beer by comparison with the numbers John Dunn has just quoted above. I don’t believe the primary aim has been to save money. It has been to show Mr and Mrs Angry that the Coalition is keen to hurt claimants. That is what Mr and Mrs Angry want, because they are mean-spirited, spiteful people. They are the sort of people who are not happy in their lives, but get buoyed up when they see that there are some poor b*stards who are in an even worse pickle.

    Osborne will happily harvest their votes for the Tories. If all else fails, let’s appeal to cynicism – What is there in it for the Liberal Democrats?

  • Just to expand on my last comment, it’s possibly worth outlining just what that £70 billion ‘bank funding relaxation’, is.?
    Given that regular QE is soon to be ‘tapering off’, there is an expectation of interest rate rises in the next 18 months. This £70 billion, (relaxation), is a sweetener, to the banks, with a note from Osborne and Carney, saying “please don’t ramp up repossessions as mortgage payers struggle over the next 2 years”.
    In short, a back door, £70 billion, subsidy to mortgaged home owners, who will get very, very cross in 2015, if their homes are on the line?
    As an aside. Isn’t it strange that the poor and vulnerable can only have as many bedrooms as they need, but if you are up for buying a new 4 bed property, you can have all the government cash you want, backstopped by the taxpayer, and no questions asked as to whether you actually need 4 bedrooms or not ?
    Also glad that the queen won’t have to wait 7 days, nor will she be evicted from the 230 bedroom Buckingham Palace, with a 5% increase in her benefits, to £38 million !

  • Nick Russell 27th Jun '13 - 1:49pm

    My worry is that all the hard work and pain you propose will all be swallowed up by the ludicrous £50bn waste of HS2.

    The NAO is only the latest assessor to highlight the appalling and unconvincing business case – even accepting its premises, many of which are highly dubious. Their proposed alternatives to improve East and West Coast routes and build a world class broadband infrastructure are both more economically justifiable and more environmentally sound.

    Are the Liberal Democrats taking leave of our senses? We must refuse to support this waste of tax revenues that will negate all the other benefits of the hardships we are enduring. Please mobilise our MPs to vote it down!

  • richardheathcote 27th Jun '13 - 3:14pm

    All this is so jobcentres find it easier to hit the 5% sanctions target they are set behind the scenes. how do people live with 6 months sanction from benefits?

  • Libdems, a right bunch of ‘see you next Tuesday’s’. Discuss.

  • Ryan Dungallon 27th Jun '13 - 5:31pm

    Danny Alexander as usual defending the indefensible. Amusing to see him sitting nodding agreement to Osborne’s speech like the Churchill advert dog. But then again he is a bit of a Tory poodle so I suppose it was quite appropriate.

  • “the pertinent question is how many of the current parliamentary party will publicly oppose this appalling stuff. Sadly, I’d guess it will be only the usual small handful.”

    Just one, as far as I’ve seen so far.

  • David Evershed 27th Jun '13 - 8:30pm

    Spending £40bn on a capital project which has no business case is irresponsible.

    Just because HS2 is an infrastructure project does not make it a good thing when the business case is so poor.

    It’s another example of MPs wanting the PR of a prestige project rather than spending the same amount on more worthwhile schemes.

  • David Evershed :
    I agree. And another way of presenting the same sentiment, is to say that HS2 is a completely pointless project, that nobody wants, but it will create wages, for otherwise unemployed construction workers, thus lowering the unemployment count, and enrich the profits of several construction companies balance sheets, which are probably, the same construction companies, that add to the coffers of the Tory party.
    There,… same point,.. different angle.

  • Simon Hebditch 28th Jun '13 - 10:23am

    Is a Lib Dem sell out on Trident replacement coming soon? When will people in the party realise that Clegg, Alexander and Laws are not in the coalition because it was inevitable or even preferable to a Tory minority administration. They are in it because they believe in the central policy and direction of the coalition programme which is a Tory construct. They also want to engineer a further Lib Dem/Tory coalition beyond 2015.

  • I despair seeing the negative comments about HS2. This is absolutely essential for the FUTURE. In 30 years time it will be much mre necessary and if we continue to fiff anf faff over it now, time will be lost, we owe it to our children and future generations. I suspect the same negative arguments were put forward in the 1830s and 1840s when the railways expanded so fast. HS2 should have been started in the 1980s, costs would have been much lower, but it wasn,t, we MUST not miss the boat again.
    There that will stir some folk up.

  • @Theakes
    Except it improves access to some regions leaving others stuck with a service that is far below that already available to those who will benefit from HS2.

    I live and run a business in West Devon, we have shocking transport links and see all the expenditure focused elsewhere. We are already seen as a backwater for investment and this plan will put is further behind.

  • HS2 is a shockingly expensive vanity project which ever-improving virtual communication will render irrelevant long before it is built. We must be mad – literally mad – to think that it is a sensible use of £40bn. Even if we had this £40bn available just for rail transport (which as a country we don’t) there are a hundred other smaller (read: less politically sexy) schemes that would more equitably improve accessibility, rather than duplicating one of the leading rail arteries.

    I had hoped we would not fall for male-appendage waving projects like this in Government.

  • A Social Liberal 30th Jun '13 - 10:35pm

    @ Maelo

    Actually this article in the Huffington Post by Ramesh Patel (a conservative, no less)shows that the line put out by the coalition in general and Alexander ad nauseum about it all being the fault of Labour is just an attack tactic based on half truths and sometimes not even that.


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