LibLink: Mark Pack – The missing ingredient from Liberal Democrat conference

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The Voice’s Mark Pack has been guesting over on the Huffington Post again, this time writing about what he thinks is missing from the Birmingham conference agenda:

There are many weighty issues on the agenda for the Liberal Democrat autumn conference in Birmingham, as well as some potentially significant debates overthe party’s medium term strategy and policy outlook. There is also, however, a curious omission: tax.

The word tax is not completely absent from the agenda, but aside from a reference in one motion calling for the party to look at its tax policy as part of a big policy review, there is nothing about what the country’s overall tax system should look like.

Yet even a cursory following of political news will notice how often the question of changes to the UK’s tax system come up. The big risk for the Liberal Democrats is that a relatively modest pace of policy development following that one brief reference on the agenda leaves the party caught flat-footed as events overtake it.

You can read the full piece here.

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7 Comments

  • john stevens 1st Sep '11 - 11:11am

    I agree with MP. This is a curious and most regrettable ommission. Tax is becoming increasingly central to the debate about low growth.

  • Sadie Smith 1st Sep '11 - 11:17am

    We do need a thorough look at tax. I hope someone is taking a comprehensive look at it. There are lots of bright ideas floating around separately.
    Although I would like it to start this month, there is a case for leaving it until there is more stability and it is possible to judge the effect of recent changes.
    Raising the tax threshold remains a key priority, but it is policy. A bigger rise next time could give extra money to the people most likely to spend it. But that is tactics and down to Ministerd.

  • Andrew Duffield 1st Sep '11 - 7:13pm

    ALTER submitted a motion calling for a further commitment to shift tax off income and onto unearned wealth (via raised income tax thresholds and an extension of existing policy on SVR to residential sites – i.e. a national LVT), but FCC rejected it, I believe because th Party has another tax commission imminent. Fair enough I guess.

  • Nigel Quinton 2nd Sep '11 - 10:55am

    The tax change I would like to see back at the forefront of our policy is the removal of higher rate relief on pensions contributions. This disappeared on entering coalition without any real debate that I saw internally, and yet this was projected in our manifesto to raise significant revenue – enough as I recall to negate the need for tuition fees or (substitute here whichever you think is the higher priority for spending!)

  • Betty Harris 3rd Sep '11 - 8:36pm

    We should raise much more Council Tax by introducing many more bands for property. The highest band is set ludicrously low at the moment so the hugely well-off pay the same as the moderately rich.

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