Opinion: Is the rethink on the Bedroom Tax too little, too late?

Clegg axe bedroom taxThe Removal of the Spare Room Subsidy (the ‘bedroom tax’) has not met its intended outcomes. This has led to an apparent U-turn by the Liberal Democrat leadership, based on evidence published in the interim policy evaluation. This report highlighted the economic hardship experienced by those affected and that the accelerated demand for downsizing has been difficult to meet.

It is to be applauded that Liberal Democrats appear to have responded to evidence which suggests that the policy isn’t working. Also to be welcomed is the intention to exempt disabled people from the policy. But it is indefensible and incomprehensible that they were not exempted in the first place. In its relatively short implementation period, this policy has caused unnecessary hardship for many families.

Suggestions have been made by senior Liberal Democrats that it is not the guiding principles of the policy that are wrong, but merely its implementation. The proposal that only those who refuse ‘suitable’ smaller accommodation will be affected is still of concern and may not address the flawed assumptions on which the policy was based and which have led to its failure to meet its intended outcomes. These assumptions include the availability of good quality housing and the assumption that people are easily able to move outside their existing travel-to-work areas and networks and find alternative or additional work. Such issues were highlighted by NGOs prior to the policy’s introduction and could no doubt have been evidenced through a decent feasibility study using existing data. Such flawed assumptions pervade other Coalition welfare reforms.

Many in the party hope that the U-turn is a response to the concerns voiced by grassroots members via the party’s democratic process, which latterly has appeared weakened. However, the party leadership would have been wise to have listened to such concerns before introducing such an ill-conceived policy which has further tainted the party. It has resulted in the party not only appearing to be subsumed by Conservative ideology, from which the leadership is now attempting to distance itself, but also being blamed disproportionately for its fallout.

Though the rethink is welcome, these small concessions will inevitably be viewed in the context of the continuing strategy of the Coalition to reduce the size of the welfare state, as well as welfare reform and welfare-to-work agendas that continue to penalise the disadvantaged. The most recent Conservative-led plan to delay benefits claims for five weeks is the latest example.

The U-turn is likely to be too little and much too late to help the party regain voters’ trust. Hopefully there is still time, if the courage is there, to limit the damage caused by this and other welfare reform policies to which the party is still committed.

Read more by or more about or .
This entry was posted in Op-eds.
Advert

42 Comments

  • Joshua Dixon 21st Jul '14 - 12:02pm

    Absolutely spot on.

  • Richard Dean 21st Jul '14 - 1:05pm

    What was the original reason for having this tax? Were people refusing adequate accommodation in order to get larger houses? Were councils misallocating?

  • Mick Taylor 21st Jul '14 - 2:38pm

    Let us not forget that the rules we are now proposing already apply to tenants in the private sector. (Introduced by Gordon Brown) It is surely right in principle to have the same policy in both the public and private rented sectors.
    The principle of not paying for more bedrooms than a family needs out of benefits is surely correct. The mistake [and I said so at the time] was not to have the same policy in the public sector as already existed in the private sector, namely that it came into force when someone moved or was offered more appropriate sized housing. Taxpayers should not have to pay to support people in larger houses than they themselves in many cases can afford. The party’s current plan would be that the change comes into force when a family are offered a home with less bedrooms AND refuse to take it.
    The pity is that our ministers didn’t stand out for implementing the policy in the way that Clegg and Alexander are now suggesting, not that the policy is wrong in principle.

  • Kevin White 21st Jul '14 - 3:33pm

    The Bedroom Tax should not be tinkered with, it should be abolished. Clegg and co fail to understand the need for maintaining not breaking up community and family infrastructure and support, to recognise the needs of non-resident parents and their children, and they seek to take away benefits from people who are seeking employment. They perpetuate the Idea that benefit recipients are somehow a sub-species. They should stop messing about and demand the scrapping of the Bedroom Tax fullstop.

  • ErnstRemarx 21st Jul '14 - 3:36pm

    ” The proposal that only those who refuse ‘suitable’ smaller accommodation will be affected is still of concern and may not address the flawed assumptions on which the policy was based and which have led to its failure to meet its intended outcomes. These assumptions include the availability of good quality housing and the assumption that people are easily able to move outside their existing travel-to-work areas and networks and find alternative or additional work. Such issues were highlighted by NGOs prior to the policy’s introduction and could no doubt have been evidenced through a decent feasibility study using existing data. Such flawed assumptions pervade other Coalition welfare reforms.”

    Those are the least of the assumptions, ignoring the effect on fosterers, carers and notably the disabled. All the information was there, had anyone bothered to think it through clearly. Or, perhaps they had, realised the likely outcomes, understood about the paucity of suitably sized dwellings for those being compelled to downsize and thought, oh well, collateral damage, but the Mail likes it and it fits in with the vile rhetoric about ‘shirkers’ and ‘scroungers’ who have to rely on social security (I refuse to call it welfare).

    If the LibDems had had a scrap of scruple at the parliamentary level, they would refuse to work with the Tories on their odious ‘welfare reforms’, unsupported as they are by evidence or proof. Apparently, the parliamentary party – and one or two LibDem activists – are more than happy to go along with IDS’ “beliefs”.

  • The bedroom tax is an example of the sort of London-centric Westminster government policy that would never have been contemplated in an independent Scotland. The fact that it was imposed on Scotland against our will, against any measure of common sense and without taking any account of the structure of Scotland’s social housing stock demonstrates just why we need a YES vote in September’s referendum to free us from the “no nightmare” of having such hopelessly inappropriate policies imposed on us by Westminster in the future.

  • I think its fair space equals need whats wrong with that Scotland has a third of the land and what 8% population maybe they require space less! when population goes 75-80 million and people are living under bridges or park benches the idea of fulfilling need not what people like may come back and haunt us.

    I am older and also think this should apply to pensioners why should a couple have 5 bedrooms for only 2 people, a family needs that house, the pensioner 1-2 bedrooms at most

  • Can someone please tell me how the brainwashing has made people believe that no one ( unless rich) should have space?

  • Richard Dean poses an important question: one possible reason is that tenants were allocated housing in previous years for slightly different circumstances, e.g. they may have had children who have now left home, or simply that pattern of available housing simply didn’t match the demand.

    This is how the policy problem seems to have been constructed, i.e. as mismatch of supply that needs restructuring. As the Government has said, the RSRS aims to “make the best use of our limited social housing. This change helps families who live in overcrowded accommodation to find a new home and helps reduce the number of people on waiting lists.”
    https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/271013/housing-benefit-factsheet-1-removal-spare-room-subsidy.pdf

    This makes sense in theory. But unfortunately it’s not a problem that can easily be solved by requiring people to pay extra for a spare room that is deemed ‘not necessary’ (especially given that social housing tenants tend to be more likely to be in receipt of out-of-work benefits and at higher risk of poverty) in the hope that the right kinds of housing in the areas in which they are needed will be available for them to move to.
    See: http://www.jrf.org.uk/publications/impact-welfare-reform-social-landlords-and-tenants

    The response by Rob G to a previous post is helpful in highlighting the differences between Labour’s Local Housing Allowance and the RSRS. As I understand it, the needs of disabled people for extra rooms were protected under the LHA:
    https://www.libdemvoice.org/opinion-the-bedroom-tax-a-great-socialist-policy-40012.html#comment-292172

  • Mick Taylor 21st Jul '14 - 7:53pm

    Far too many people writing about this issue simply don’t accept any changes to welfare at all.

    In effect what they are saying is that it’s perfectly acceptable for a family on benefit in public sector housing to live in a bigger house than an identical family in the private rented sector or indeed a family who own their own home and that the taxpayer should foot the cost of giving them more bedrooms than their family size justifies.

    Now I accept that the implementation of the public sector part of this policy has been appallingly handled and that we need to provide more houses and flats of the right size. However, to argue that asking people to move into an appropriately sized house when it becomes available is somehow an attack on the poor is both wrong and politically inept.

    For heaven’s sake wake up and smell the coffee. A change of mind by the Lib Dems in response to evidence is surely to be welcomed and supported. Far too many people and newspapers depict policy changes (or U-Turns) as somehow a sign of weakness, instead of one of reasonable adults behaving sensibly.

  • Simon Hebditch 21st Jul '14 - 9:19pm

    A very coherent position, Jo, on a social policy disaster for the Lib Dems. It is more than annoying that many don’t seem to realise that exactly these objections were lodged at the time. Social commentators and social welfare experts predicted the outcomes we have now seen.

  • Mick Taylor I think it is you who should “wake up and smell the coffee”. Of course, we can all go round doorsteps, as I have no doubt you have, and get the same old tabloid – generated anti – “welfare” stuff (skivers, nothing wrong with them, on the sick I don’t get any of the benefits X down the road is getting etc). It is YOUR job, as a Lib Dem to counter this stuff, not to say that this is the agenda we have to accept. We do, as liberal, and Liberal Democrat politicians, have a responsibility not to accept populist stuff. Of course, as in any situation (at work even!) people skive etc. As I get to listen in more detail to these stories, I often discover that those being talked about in these terms are not liked by the person doing the talking for totally unrelated reasons. Perhaps you can give some thought to how you will deliver this on the doorstep – if you wish I can have conversations on this with you, as like you, I have been at this game for a long time. But one thing I can say, all you will achieve is to let Tory and selfish thinking win. Now that, I don’t think is what you or I went into politics for, is it?

  • emily davey 22nd Jul '14 - 8:06am

    I work with tenants, councils and housing associations in this area. There are several problems
    a) in some parts of the country people were deliberately put into too bigger houses for housing management reasons ie to create a mixed community.
    b) In other areas of the country there are no properties for people to down size into therefore they are accruing arrears and the judges quite rightly will not grant possession on the grounds of arrears accrued solely through bedroom tax if they did there would be all sorts of challenges
    c) the shortfall in rent caused by the bedroom tax is coming off the housing benefit bill but it is not being paid by the tenants it is being passed on to the councils and housing associations who have to carry a debit on their accounts. For housing associations this may affect their ability to borrow on the private market and build more properties.
    d) we have not seen the worst of it yet because the shortfalls are comparatively small and the arrears take time to build up to the level at which councils and HA will book people into court and add to their debts.

  • Ian Hurdley 22nd Jul '14 - 8:34am

    I believe that a report was published recently, though I cannot be more specific, showing that the downward pressure on room sizes in new builds for the ‘affordable’ market over recent decades – largely at the cost of storage space – means that number rooms is itself an unreliable measure of whether people have too much space for their needs. I believe that this same report sets a minimum living space per person, independently of the number of rooms. Surely this would be a better, simpler and fairer measure than the current measure; it should also include the reassurance that non one will be asked (let alone, required) to move into a property which does not the minimum living space per person.

  • I have been reading the messages since I made my last comment, maybe a compromise could be reached I certainly are not remotely rich I have 1 bedroom how about giving me an allowance that people who have more space want paid for from my taxes. If the new idea of letting people have want they want not what they need put me down for wanting a bit more money please oh and can I have my home repairs done for free as well.

  • Ruth Bright 22nd Jul '14 - 9:30am

    A good debate Jo. One quite interesting aspect of this is the ignorance about how council housing is allocated. A tenant who goes into the points based bidding process for a new property cannot bid on a property larger than their assessed need.

  • Allocation of council housing varies through out the country in areas of high demand Ruth is right but in arears of low demand as some housing officers say to me they are just happy someone is living in the properties even if there is not a job or a local service to be had

  • Ruth Bright 22nd Jul '14 - 1:19pm

    Thanks for that Emily . This seems to indicate that the policy was wired up wrongly for areas of low demand AND areas of high demand. A feat indeed!

  • Tony Rowan-Wicks 22nd Jul '14 - 3:26pm

    Government on the back of an envelope comes to mind

    How was the parliamentary party bamboozled into supporting so many nutty ideas?
    The membership was telling them to consult with us but they carried on regardless.

  • Matthew Huntbach 22nd Jul '14 - 9:24pm

    Energlyn Churchill

    Here is the letter that I wrote to Nick Clegg after the ‘Bedroom Tax’ u-turn:

    Dear Nick

    The Liberal Democrats’ support for the ‘Bedroom Tax’ symbolised everything that is wrong with your leadership of the party. Under your stewardship the party has taken an approach to policy that is hypocritical at best and deeply illiberal at worst. Your recent ‘about turn’ on this policy is emblematic of both these failings.

    But what do you mean by “The Liberal Democrats'”?

    There was no vote in the party to support this policy. It may have been that the Parliamentary Party, or at least some of them, supported for it as part of the compromise that has to happen within a coalition, but that does NOT mean the whole party, all its members, has come to support it as official party policy. So can we please STOP using language that implies this?

    Same applies to so many other things. The word of Nick Clegg is NOT party policy. Just because Nick Clegg and some of the MPs support something in Parliament, at the moment as part of the coalition compromise, it does NOT mean “The Liberal Democrats” meaning all of us in the party support it. I am fed up with these attacks aimed at all of us members of the party which just assume we are some sort of Leninist party, where every member follows The Party Line without question, and The Party Line is whatever The Leader says it is this week.

  • Giselle Win 23rd Jul '14 - 6:39am

    Mick Taylor, you are misguided in suggesting the Bedroom Tax brings parity of policy between the public and private rented sectors. The legislation brought in by the Labour government with regards to extra rooms only applied to new tenancies. It was never applied to sitting tenants. This is the greatest injustice of the Bedroom Tax, that it was shovelled on to everyone in the social housing sector no matter how long they had lived in their properties, or what their personal circumstances. If people are offered the choice of a smaller property covered by housing benefit or a larger one paid partly from their own pocket at the start of the lease, they get a fair chance to make a decision based on what they need and what they can afford.

    The root problem is not people living in properties that are deemed ‘too big’. The root cause is the total failure of any government since Thatcher to build any new council housing, whilst simultaneously selling off the council housing stock that already existed. Vague attempts to provide new ‘affordable housing’ do nothing to solve this. We need new rented council housing as an alternative to private renting. It works in Germany, why not here?

  • Giselle I agree . We have had a succession of finance – based policies with the aim of hoping that the demand for a public rented housing sector will just go away, it seems to me. Under Thatcher, and since, Governments have used the housing benefit system to substitute for such a policy. The massively unfair thing about this Government is that it has tried to withdraw / reduce large parts of housing benefit without restoring the public housing sector, at the same time as “the poor are getting poorer, the rich richer”. It has colluded with the tabloid agenda of “skivers v strivers” to create a Thatcher- like divide and rule environment to implement these changes. It is all very well Clegg and others now trying to back off one or two of the most objectionable parts of this policy. Much damage has already been done – we are not going to regain credibility for many years. To rephrase Neil Kinnock, this was done under a Liberal Democrat supported Government – A LIB DEM SUPPORTED GOVERNMENT. It beggars belief.

  • Matthew Huntbach,…

    How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?

    I have been reading your posts for a long time and know how you feel about Clegg, current parliamentary policy, etc. However, Clegg is the Leader of the LibDem Party; LibDem MPs are the ‘voting face’ of the party and, if they are not carrying out the wishes of the majority of LibDem members, it was/is down to party members to demand change….

    It has been four years since the coalition was formed…Clegg, et al, are applauded at conferences. After Newark/Local/EU elections how many areas even demanded a vote on Clegg’s leadership?

  • Matthew Huntbach 23rd Jul '14 - 11:11am

    Joe Bailey

    I have been reading your posts for a long time and know how you feel about Clegg, current parliamentary policy, etc. However, Clegg is the Leader of the LibDem Party; LibDem MPs are the ‘voting face’ of the party and, if they are not carrying out the wishes of the majority of LibDem members, it was/is down to party members to demand change….

    Yes, I know and I have been doing so.

    However, I believe the sort of language that has been used throughout, which seems to be aimed at ALL Liberal Democrats as if ALL of us gave UNQUALIFIED support to every policy of this government, is not helping the case of pulling back the Liberal Democrats from the way Clegg is pushing us. There are two factors:

    1) The lack of recognition of the fact that the coalition was forced on us by the Parliamentary balance in May 2010, we were not, and are not, in the position to conjure up a government which is 100% Liberal Democrat in policy.

    2) The lack of recognition of the fact that many Liberal Democrats are unhappy about Clegg’s leadership, feel that he could and should have taken a firmer stand, and feel they he ought not to have promoted the Coalition as if it were the fulfilment of out long term plans rather than a rather unhappy compromise.

    Energlyn Churchill says that the voters do not make the distinction between the party leadership and the party as a whole, and in part I blame the centralised and top-down and undemocratic leadership style of Clegg for that. Also, I think we need to make it more clear that what comes out of a government which is five-sixths Conservative and just one-sixth Liberal Democrat us bound to be more Conservative than Liberal Democrat. Agreeing to it as a compromise is not the same as it being party policy, as it being what we would be doing if we had a majority Liberal Democrat government. However, it does not help if others who can make the distinction carry on using “sloppy language” which encourages the confusion. Also, I do really feel that those of us who are trying to push the party away from the direction Clegg is leading it, and wanting it to make a firmer stand in the Coalition would be able to do so much better if we could demonstrate real outside support for what we are doing. However, when it just seems that whatever we do, we are still abused and insulted as if we were full supporters of every government policy, one ends up thinking “Why bother, the cause is doomed?”.

    The problem with being the junior partner in a coalition is that you will get no thanks from the senior partner, who just resents you for stopping it having full control, but no support from the major opposition party, even when you are trying to stand up for policies that opposition party supports against the senior coalition partner, because it’s much easier for them to use the “nah nah nah nah nah, you put them in” line than anything constructive. Note that Labour has almost nothing constructive to say, it attacks us, but cannot say what it would do if it were in government to resolve the difficulties which government is experiencing now. For example, Labour is getting a big swing from us on the tuition fees issue, but have they said how they would have subsidised universities? No.

  • Matthew Huntbach,…

    1) I disagree that there was no alternative to full coalition. However, there was no need for Clegg, Alexander, Laws, et al, to be so openly enthusiastic about it (Alexander has spent more time on air defending Osborne’s policies than has Osborne)

    2) Lack of recognition? see my ” It has been four years since the coalition was formed…Clegg, et al, are applauded at conferences. After Newark/Local/EU elections how many areas even demanded a vote on Clegg’s leadership?”

    As for yor last two paragraphs…I agree with you. However, it is the electorate (who are really not interested in the ‘niceties’ of politics) that see Clegg, Alexander, Laws as the LibDems and vote accordingly…again ref Newark/Local/EU results..

  • Sometimes I think the Tories & LibDems have treated the coalition as an experiment to try out their most madcap ideas. Then I think of the bedroom tax, or the NHS re-org or the slashing of legal aid, or the slashing of the HMRC budget, or IDS-led implementation of Universal credit… and then I know that’s exactly what they’ve been doing.

  • Matt (Bristol) 23rd Jul '14 - 1:53pm

    Jimble, none of those sound like they started out like LibDem ideas to me.

  • Matthew Huntbach 23rd Jul '14 - 3:37pm

    Joe Bailey

    As for yor last two paragraphs…I agree with you. However, it is the electorate (who are really not interested in the ‘niceties’ of politics) that see Clegg, Alexander, Laws as the LibDems and vote accordingly…again ref Newark/Local/EU results.

    Well, sure. I am very sorry that most of the electorate now just seem to take the Leninist model of political party for granted. In part this is because of the lazy and sloppy way politics gets covered in this country, by journalists and commentators who never step outside the Westminster Bubble. The sad thing is we have a leader whose view of the party he is supposed to be leading seems more like that of those journalists and commentators than that of its members. We should never have elected him, and we should get rid of him. I’ve been saying that consistently since he was first put forward by those journalists and commentators as “obviously the next leader of the Liberal Democrats”.

    But I think if people want the Liberal Democrats back as they were, they need to give some support to those of us working for it. I’m not saying vote for us, or join the party or anything like that. Just make sure that when you criticise “the LibDems” that you do it in a way that recognises what I wrote previously. For example, consider “Jimble” posting just now. What’s the point of what he did? Couldn’t s/he at least give some recognition to those of us within the party who are unhappy about all these things and have made that clear, rather than just writing us all off as gung-ho supporters of it all?

  • David Evans 23rd Jul '14 - 4:41pm

    Of course it is too little, too late. I’m afraid it just looks like another attempt by Nick to try to pretend he wasn’t in favour of something all along. It won’t save him, and it won’t save us unless he goes before May 2015.

  • Matthew Huntbach,…

    I don’t believe anyone thinks that Clegg/Alexander reflect the views of EVERY LibDem member (any more than Cameron and Miliband speak for all their members) but they must speak for the majority (of those remaining) or else why are they still there? Many posters, including yourself (if memory serves), were demanding action on the leadership issue after Newark. What happened?

    Those of us on the ‘left’ (I hate that description) found that there was no place for our views under the ‘New,Improved LibDems’….I had voted Lib(Dem) in every Local/General election (excepting 1997)…It was, more often than not, a futile gesture but I believed that those few cadidates elected acted as the concience of the people and were a thorn in the side of those preaching ‘absolute beliefs’ from both left and right….

    In 2010 the country was disilusioned with New Labour, unwilling to embrace the Cameron?Osborne doctrine and, for once, I thought LibDems could make a real difference….That dream lasted about a week; the rest, as they say, is history!

  • Matthew Huntbach 24th Jul '14 - 10:57am

    Joe Bailey

    I don’t believe anyone thinks that Clegg/Alexander reflect the views of EVERY LibDem member

    You only have to look at the words of “Jimble” just above, and of much else similar that gets posted here to see that what you write above is just not true. We are forever faced with people who write “the Liberal Democrats” and use that in a way that suggests all of us in the party are mad keen supporters of everything this government does.

    (any more than Cameron and Miliband speak for all their members) but they must speak for the majority (of those remaining) or else why are they still there?

    They are still there because of this Leninist political culture we have. If we had a liberal political culture in this country, changing leaders would be no big thing. The leader is just someone chosen to do the job by the members, if the members feel someone else could do a better job, they should be abel to change the person, it should be thought no great thing. However, we have a political culture, encouraged by the Westminster Bubble, which continually reports politics as if political parties were just the tools of their leaders, as if the only role of members is to do what the national leaders tell them to do. Given that is how politics is reported in the national media, most ordinary people who have no great involvement in it just assume that is how it is.

    The result of this way of thinking is that any attempt to discuss a change of leadership if regarded as a shocking thing to do. See the way the national media write up the mere hint of it using dramatic words like “back-stabbing” and “assassination”, and personalise it, so that it is written up all in terms of plots where some other person known to the Westminster Bubble is assumed to be a sinister person behind it all for their own personal motivation. Because this is always what happens, even when party members are unhappy with the leadership, they are reluctant to push forward for a change, and very easily swayed by the line “It will just cause us more damage if we do it”. I know that, because it’s a line I’ve heard time and time and time again from party members who say they agree with me on how bad the current leadership is, but then won’t go forward with the necessary action to get it changed.

  • Matthew Huntbach 24th Jul '14 - 11:05am

    Joe Bailey

    I disagree that there was no alternative to full coalition.

    I’ve argued about this at length in the past. It really has not been appreciated what a difficult position the Liberal Democrats were in given the Parliamentary balance following the May 2010 general election.

    Many people have this idea in their heads that junior coalition partners can be mighty kingmakers, forcing the senior partner to concede to anything they demand. In practice it never works like that. Try looking, for example, at the sorry fate of the Labour Party in the current Irish government, and then at the even sorrier fate of the Green Party in the previous Irish government.

    Please note that “supply and confidence”, often put as the alternative to what we have now means voting for the government’s budget (that’s what “supply” means) i.e. all Tory tax plans to make the poor poorer and the rich richer and all Tory cuts, with no inside influence on them, and also voting for any other government policy which either the government or the opposition choses to tag a “confidence” clause onto.

    However, there was no need for Clegg, Alexander, Laws, et al, to be so openly enthusiastic about it

    Yes, I agree with this, and I’ve been saying it ever since the Coalition was formed.

  • Matthew Huntbach 24th Jul '14 - 11:17am

    Joe Bailey

    In 2010 the country was disilusioned with New Labour, unwilling to embrace the Cameron?Osborne doctrine and, for once, I thought LibDems could make a real difference….That dream lasted about a week; the rest, as they say, is history!

    Well, what did you expect? The people of this country chose to elect 306 Conservative MPs and just 57 Liberal Democrat MPs. If they’d wanted a government that was mainly Liberal Democrat in policy then they ought to have voted mainly Liberal Democrat. But they didn’t, did they?

    If people did not want to endorse the Cameron/Osborne doctrine, then they should not have voted in favour of the electoral system we have which distorts representation in favour of the largest party (i.e. in May 2010, the Conservatives) and against third parties (i.e. in May 2010, the Liberal Democrats). But the people of this country did vote in favour of it, by two to one, in the referendum in May 2011. The main argument put by the supporters of the current electoral system, every prominent Labour politician who chose to take a public position, as well as almost all Conservatives, was that it was good to have distortion in favour of the largest party, as that gives us clear strong government. The distortion in May 2010 ruled out a Labour-LibDem coalition, and so as there was only one stable government that could be formed, one dominated by the Conservative Party, it robbed the LibDems of most of their negotiating strength. By voting two-to-one in favour of this distortion, the people very much DID state a willingness to endorse Cameron/Osborne. They may not have seen it that way, but it follows directly from the logic of the argument put forward by the victorious “No” side in the referendum.

    So again, if you want something, vote for it. Don’t vote for something else and then complain you didn’t get it.

  • Don’t vote for something else and then complain you didn’t get it.

    We are British. Complaining is what we do.

  • Matt (Bristol) 23rd Jul ’14 – 1:53pm – Jimble, none of those sound like they started out like LibDem ideas to me.

    Unfortunately it’s LibDem MPs who have enabled all those policies.

  • Matthew Huntbach – You only have to look at the words of “Jimble” just above, and of much else similar that gets posted here to see that what you write above is just not true. We are forever faced with people who write “the Liberal Democrats” and use that in a way that suggests all of us in the party are mad keen supporters of everything this government does.

    Actually, some of my best friends are LibDems. My issues are not with grassroots LibDems, it’s your MPs that are the problem.

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

*
*
Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?

Advert



Recent Comments

  • Peter Davies
    I'm not sure we should be welcoming the fact that we no longer hold any of Labour's target seats but it might well prove convenient in this context....
  • Lorenzo Cherin
    Neil I think my natural tendency to see the best, gets the better of me on judgement based on youthful inexperience, in that case, on Truss, when a teen. You...
  • Paul Holmes
    Also, as the always excellent William Wallace notes, it is perfectly possible to devise the rules for a second, revising, Chamber in such a way that it is not j...
  • Jeff
    To massively cut taxes only for the richest,… The principal tax cut is the 1% off basic rate which benefits all Income Tax payers. Other ’tax cuts...
  • Paul Holmes
    Any argument in favour of unelected people wielding legislative power is an argument against democracy. For all its shortcomings democracy remains the best alte...