LibLink: David Laws on the government’s economic policies

Over in The Guardian, David Laws yesterday has this piece:

Of all the challenges which confront the coalition in 2011, none is more important than the economy. This is also the issue where the biggest political dividing lines are drawn. Ed Miliband is betting that economic recovery will be derailed, and while trying to reconcile many divergent views in his party, he has generally taken the position that cuts should be delayed and that high tax rates (including the 50% tax rate) should be retained. Ed is getting all the big economic decisions wrong, and leading his party into an economic policy cul-de-sac.

No sensible person would forecast the economic future with absolute confidence. But it seems highly likely that 2011 will be the year in which the coalition is proved right on economic policy – a tough year, but one in which we decisively turn the corner towards better times.

You can read the full piece here.

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19 Comments

  • No sensible person would forecast what will happen, but David Laws goes pretty damn close, takes all the credit for the economy in 2010, which was growing before the change of government and feels the cuts are the best decision the coalition made, even though they were completely at odds with what the Lib Dems were saying before the election.

    Has he moved officially to the Tory party yet?

  • I’m afraid that David Laws is one politician that I will take no notice of on in any financial scenario as I have no trust in his judgement or indeed his actions.

    However Cameron likes second-chancers as they remain eternally grateful, loyal and compliant.

    http://blogs.mirror.co.uk/maguire/2011/01/who-else-will-cameron-give-a-s.html

  • @anthony – can you give me the url of Labour’s economic policies? Only I keep on looking and I can’t find them.

  • God bless David Laws.

  • “God bless David Laws” Just what we need, another person who was caught with their hand in the till. As for the article, what a joke. You (Lib Dems), are allowed to tinker around the edges by giving Fathers unpaid time off etc, yet you bury your heads in the sand at the systematic destruction of the NHS by pro privatisation Tories. Shameful.
    @Rich, why dont you send some money to the multi millionare David Laws, he must have been short of a few quid to put in a false expenses claim for housing, a claim he did not have to make in case you have forgotten, just as you have forgotten your mannifesto and soul..

  • I see no Iceberg 20th Jan '11 - 1:13am

    I think the cynics have this wrong and what the public and everyone else wants to hear as Labour and Conservative MP’s and Lords head towards jail for expenses thieving is wise financial advice from David Laws.

    No sensible person would forecast the economic future with absolute confidence. But it seems highly likely that 2011 will be the year in which the public won’t care about the economics of MPs expenses while they are suffering.

    We also have much to learn from David and his relaxed attitude to such matters as the Liberal Democrat election campaign which was in total agreement about the reckless speed and depth of the cuts for which he now castigates Ed for getting all the big economic decisions wrong, and leading his party into an economic policy cul-de-sac.

  • Andrew Suffield 20th Jan '11 - 1:55am

    the Liberal Democrat election campaign which was in total agreement about the reckless speed and depth of the cuts

    No, it wasn’t. This has been done to death. The LD position was always between Labour and the Tories on this issue. It most certainly did not ever agree with Labour’s proposals.

    the systematic destruction of the NHS

    Doesn’t look very destroyed to me.

  • @Andrew Suffield. [The NHS) “Doesn’t look very destroyed to me.” ……..Not yet, but just wait until Lansley (my MP) has had his Tory mits on it – backed up of course by the Lib Dems. This seems to me the most puzzling aspect of Clegg’s strategy. What right-minded non-Tory politician would want to be associated with a Tory party about to “marketise” the NHS? Suicide. I suppose the answer is simple; Clegg is not “Non-Tory”.

  • Chris Riley 20th Jan '11 - 8:41am

    @John,

    I don’t know if you remember an event that took place last May? It was called a ‘General Election’, and at it the electorate concluded quite firmly that it had had quite enough of Labour’s economic policy. As a result – unless you’re a lot less confident in the Coalition than I am – Labour current economic policy is completely irrelevant as they won’t get to implement any of it until 2015 at the earliest by which time the Coalition intend the country and its economy to be rather different.

    Instead – and I’m not clear if you’ve noticed this either – the people implementing the country’s economic policy are the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats. The latter have a long tradition of open and intelligent discussion of ideas from a rather less nakedly partisan perspective than Labour and the Conservatives, and as you’re on their website, it’s not really on to evade discussion of those ideas as if you’re uncomfortable with them by summoning up irrelevancies like the economic policies of a party who are in no position to implement them and whose current job – and do you really want me to go into another patronising explanation of the role of Her Majesty’s Opposition? – is not to pretend that they’re in any position to implement policy when everyone knows that they aren’t, but to hold the Government to scrutiny.

    Thanks for reading, and have a nice day.

  • No sensible person would forecast the economic future with absolute confidence. But it seems highly likely that 2011 will be the year in which the coalition is proved right on economic policy

    Oh, the irony.

    David Laws may be regretting writing this already. In the week where inflation took a massive, worrying jump…when youth unemployment is at its highest ever level… when interest rates look poised to rise…

    One of the lessons of Gordon Brown’s Chancellorship has to be “don’t take credit too early”. It looks like Lib Dems just can’t help themselves – Norman Lamb telling us “we’ve fixed the economy” must surely be the stupidest thing said since “I pledge to vote against”…

  • I see no Iceberg 20th Jan '11 - 9:29am

    “No, it wasn’t.”

    Ah, you’re talking about what Nick thought in private while he wisely and unashamedly kept the entire electorate and his own MPs and activists in the dark about something so trivial as his economic strategy. Either that or he was telling an untruth to cover his shame at giving up yet another red line to the Conservatives. And we know he wouldn’t do that, don’t we ?

    “Nick Clegg: I changed my mind on spending cuts before general election
    Lib Dem leader says he was in favour of a faster programme of deficit reduction before the general election – even though he did not publicly back the idea

    Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrat leader and deputy prime minister, has admitted that he changed his mind about the timing of spending cuts prior to the general election, despite publicly telling the electorate weeks before the poll that early deep cuts would be “economic masochism”.”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/jul/29/nick-clegg-changed-mind-cuts

  • The New Statesman has an article discussing why David Laws may regret being so triumphalist this early into the Coalition.

    http://www.newstatesman.com/economy/2011/01/public-sector-services-data

    Remember – the Coalition has but one strategy. Cut public spending, hope the private sector bails us out and rely on exports.

    It is deeply, deeply worrying.

  • toryboysnevergrowup 20th Jan '11 - 12:39pm

    “a tough year, but one in which we decisively turn the corner towards better times”

    I suppose it depends on whether you are one of the 45,000 added to the jobless figures this week or whether you are one of David Law’s old friends receiving their banker’s bonus.

    Making such a comment, which is a clear hostage to fortune, clearly demonstrates that Law’s political judgement has not improved snce he left office.

  • Laws makes a good point that the Coalition government’s prompt action on the deficit has reduced the rates which the government pays when it borrows meaning more money can be spent on useful services and less gets paid into bankers pockets.

    Whether the overall economic strategy was right or wrong we will probably have to wait another 24 months or so to be sure.

  • toryboysnevergrowup 20th Jan '11 - 2:50pm

    @Richard A “Laws makes a good point that the Coalition government’s prompt action on the deficit has reduced the rates which the government pays”

    But both you and Laws fail to notice that Gilt yields have started to rise strongly in recent months because the market is expecting a slow down in UK growth.

  • He is the Laws!

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