Tag Archives: budget 2010

Liblink: Nick Clegg on fairness, the Budget and the IFS report

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, writing in today’s Financial Times (free registration required), champions the government’s commitment to fairness and explains why he believes yesterday’s IFS report is asking the wrong questions.

Fairness is about every child getting the chance they deserve, regardless of their background. Poverty and deprivation matter enormously but fairness also demands that what counts is not the school you went to, the jobs your parents did, or the colour of your skin but your ability to move beyond the circumstances of your birth.

…there is a bigger problem with the analysis: it measures the impact of

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Opinion: A Cornish perspective on the Budget and VAT

As MP for the West Cornwall and Isles of Scilly constituency of St Ives, I am fortunate to represent one of the most spectacular and attractive parts of the UK. However, it is also the poorest region in the country. So Budget proposals are critical to many of my constituents who exist with the reality of low incomes and relatively high living costs.

On a positive note, the Budget put forward by the Coalition Government has much to commend it and for the Liberal Democrats, in particular, to be proud of.

It contains policies the party campaigned for, including: an increase in …

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Lib Dem members survey: 68% approve of Coalition Budget, was “good overall for the country”

Lib Dem Voice has polled our members-only forum to discover what Lib Dem members think of the Coalition Government’s budget, and what you make of the Lib Dems’ and Government’s performance to date. Over 350 party members have responded, and we’re publishing the full results of our survey this week.

First, LDV asked: The balance of spending cuts to tax rises announced by the coalition government in its measures to reduce the budget deficit is 77% spending cuts to 23% tax rises. What do you think of this balance?

Here’s what Lib Dem members said:

  • 7% – There should be more

Posted in LDV Members poll | 12 Comments

EXCLUSIVE: What Lib Dem members think of the Coalition Budget measures and that VAT increase

Lib Dem Voice has been polling our members-only forum this past weekend to discover what Lib Dem members think of the Coalition Government’s budget, and what you make of the Lib Dems’ and Government’s performance to date. Almost 350 party members responded, and we’ll be publishing the full results of our survey this week.

First, we asked what Lib Dem members: Do you support or oppose the following budget changes announced by the coalition government?

Here’s what you told us:

Increasing VAT from 17.5% to 20% from January 4, 2011
Strongly Support: 6%
Support: 42%
Total support = 48%
Oppose: 28%
Strongly Oppose: 14%

Posted in LDV Members poll | Also tagged | 71 Comments

Opinion: Hitting who the hardest?

The contents of the emergency budget have been a bitter pill for many Lib Dem activists to swallow. I have to admit that my support for the Liberal Democrats has been mostly on the basis of their commitment to civil liberties, their scientific literacy (Evan Harris is greatly missed!) and their hard work in my local area. I can make no claims about being educated in economics but I like to think my Maths degree qualifies me as basically numerate.

Recently I read The Observer story on the briefing from Tim Horton (of Fabian Society, not doughnut, fame) and Howard …

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No return to two-party politics, but we need to trumpet our successes

A couple of post-budget polls show post-budget combined support for the coalition parties remarkably steady – one at 59% and the other 56%, but with a move from the Lib Dems to the Tories, with Labour also picking up a bit of support  and “others” squeezed down.

Unsurprisingly, the budget is less popular with Lib Dem voters than Tory voters.  It’s less popular with our activists too.  Most Lib Dems recognise the need for tough action to sort out the mess the nation’s finances are in, and Nick and Vince have been talking about it for long enough.

But the measures in …

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LibLink: Nick Clegg and Danny Alexander on the Budget

Writing in The Observer Danny Alexander says,

Labour’s approach of denial and complacency would bring higher interest rates, fewer jobs, less growth, more debt. It exposes us to much greater risks of financial irresponsibility – being forced by others to cut harder, with less care and control. That is the position of some European countries – it must never be Britain’s. There is nothing progressive about the consequences of denial and delay.

The coalition has chosen responsibility. We are restoring order to the nation’s finances, credibility to our position internationally, and confidence in our economy that is essential for growth. Having chosen

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Lib Dem MPs in the news

Lembit Opik is interested in becoming Mayor of London, while The Guardian has a round-up of comments from backbenchers about the Budget. Although all are anxious about one aspect or another, notably they all overall support is as with Annette Brooke:

I don’t like the budget but I dislike the economic situation we find ourselves in even more. The Lib Dems have done their utmost to address the fairness issue. In an ideal word I would not choose to put up VAT. But I was convinced, even at the hustings meeting, that the books were much worse than we

Posted in Conference, London and News | Also tagged , and | 16 Comments

Opinion: A budget to make us angry

Frankly, this Budget is ghastly. There are some consolations such as progress towards the 10k tax allowance, but overall it’s awful.

I don’t blame Labour for everything. While they made mistakes, they were right to bail out the banks. And it is true that most of the pain is due to the international economic crisis.

But Labour did make this crisis worse. After a few years of financial restraint, they flooded public services with money. They should have increased the spending more gradually, and coupled it with reform to improve productivity. Instead, productivity fell. This isn’t hindsight, the point was made at …

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Vince Cable: Why the VAT rise had to happen

With annual borrowing of £160bn and a massive blank where Labour’s plans for deficit reduction should have been, this was always going to be a tough Budget – arguably the toughest since the 1980s. Some extraordinarily difficult decisions have been made to avoid an even worse crisis. Foremost amongst these was the decision to raise VAT from 17.5 to 20 percent.

Through the election campaign, all three prospective Chancellors were asked about VAT, and we all answered in exactly the same way: we have no plans to raise it, but we cannot rule it out. In fact, that was my position …

Posted in Op-eds | 141 Comments

Opinion: Budget Day, and the light at the end of tunnel

It was never going to be an easy day. No-one enjoys having to make the kind of cuts the Coalition had to yesterday, but the consequences of doing nothing would have been far worse. I recall sitting in meetings of the Lib Dem Federal Policy Committee as we were costing the manifesto, and quickly realising that even on the generous economic forecasts of the Labour Government, it would be impossible to deliver every policy that we wanted, due to the incredible mess that the public finances had become.

There are a number of things we can take from the budget, Liberal …

Posted in Op-eds | 49 Comments

LibLink: Vince on the budget

Vince Cable writes in today’s Guardian with his thoughts on the emergency budget.

It should be no surprise that this is such a tough budget. Last summer, in pamphlets and speeches, Nick Clegg and I both prepared the ground for these difficult choices…

Now, to put it bluntly, Britain is much poorer than we thought we were two years ago but we have public spending levels that assume we are richer…

For me a key test of the budget is whether it is fair as well as tough. The budget is shot through with commitments my party fought for: a £1,000 rise

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged | 5 Comments

Nick Clegg and Simon Hughes on the Budget

Nick Clegg’s email to party members and supporters reads:

Yesterday I wrote to you about why we have to take difficult decisions to tackle the deficit and lay the foundations of a fairer society. These are not decisions that any government wants to take but we have no choice except to clear up the financial mess that Labour left us. Today’s Budget takes these difficult decisions in an honest and fair way and with the clear stamp of Liberal Democrat values running through it.

In the past, efforts to tackle a big deficit have always hit the poorest the most. The coalition …

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 74 Comments

Tackling tax avoidance

Thought I’d post up this news release from the Treasury as I’ve seen several people asking questions along the lines of ‘what happened to tackling tax avoidance?”

As set out in the Coalition Agreement, the Government is committed to making every effort to tackle tax avoidance.

The Government will take a more strategic approach to the risk of avoidance to prevent increasing complexity and reduce the need for frequent legislative change. In this context, the Government is tackling long-standing avoidance risks in a way that makes it clear what result the legislation intends to achieve. The Government will continue to shut down …

Posted in News | 10 Comments

The Budget: so, what did you make of it?

The comments thread awaits you…

Posted in News | 218 Comments

The Independent View: A fair, humane and effective asylum system can quite literally be an issue of life or death

Last week, people across the UK celebrated Refugee Week – a time to reflect on the contribution refugees make to their communities around the UK, and celebrating that refugees are welcomed and valued here.

As we approach the 60th anniversary of the UN Convention for Refugees next year, it is ever more important that the new government honour our proud tradition of offering shelter to those fleeing persecution in their own countries. It is clear that the main countries refugees have been fleeing from over the last ten years – Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Zimbabwe, Eritrea – are countries where …

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Nick Clegg: Why we have to do this

Nick Clegg has emailed party members and supporters about tomorrow’s budget (and it’s good to see him continuing to raise the point about Labour’s £44 billion of planned cuts which nearly everyone in Labour is acting as if never existed:

Tomorrow, the coalition government will deliver an emergency budget to bring order back to the public finances. It will be a difficult budget – but remember, as you hear it, why we have to do this.

Labour left our country with a mountain of debt. Every minute that goes by the government spends a staggering £80,000 on interest, that’s over £800 …

Posted in News | Also tagged | 55 Comments

Opinion: Opportunities abound and our opponents have rarely been so uncertain and unconvincing

Alistair Darling’s pre-budget and pre-election speech was well done. Good knock about in which he steered clear of presenting a budget. David Cameron’s response not only rivalled Darling’s in terms of vacuity, on economic policy, but was too angry by half given the emptiness of his own party’s plans and proposals.

Nick Clegg did fine. It wasn’t a riveting parliamentary performance but it was a workmanlike and honest response to the budget speech, and it did what Nick and Vince must have hoped it would do: it got out the LibDem message efficiently and ensured that key LibDem sound bites …

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Low earner Liberal Democrats: what’s the impact of the budget?

Having covered earlier in the week the importance of ‘low earner Liberal Democrats’ to the party’s prospects, how are things looking after the Budget?

One thing Alistair Darling most certainly did not do was to raise the income tax threshold to £10,000, the Liberal Democrat policy that would take millions out of income tax completely and also cut the tax bill for those low income households on higher incomes. Instead, he went in the opposite direction by freezing (i.e. cutting in real terms) the income tax threshold.

(Given the Fabians criticised the Lib Dem plans for raising the basic income tax …

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Memo to the media: Clegg was first on Labour’s stealth tax, as Tories play catch-up

Excuse me, while I discard my customery mode of politness, and begin to vent …

From Nick Clegg’s budget response, 24 March 2010:

Finally, on tax, the other gross disappointment in this Budget was the failure to make our tax system fair. Under Labour, the bottom 10 per cent. pay a staggering 48 per cent. of their income in tax, while the richest pay 34 per cent. The Chancellor took pride in saying today that he would make no big announcements on tax. How can he look at a system such as that and say, “Let’s have more of the same”?

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Daily View 2×6: 25 March 2010

A pleasant surprise this morning to wake up and find that, despite the fact I am doing the Daily View, it is indeed Thursday and not Tuesday! In celebration of yesterday’s Budget, there’s riproaring inflation of the number of posts featured in today’s Daily View. Don’t tell Vince! Is it sustainable? I doubt it, so enjoy while you can..

Thirty years ago, the British Olympic Association (BOA) voted by a large majority to defy the government and send athletes to the Olympic Games in Moscow.  The Conservative government has pressed the BOA to boycott the event in a protest at the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan the previous year. Sir Denis Follows, the chairman of the BOA, said that whilst he was sympathetic to the government’s stance, “We believe sport should be a bridge, and not a destroyer”. 

On this day in 1655 Dutch astronomer Christiaan Huygens discovered Titan, the largest natural satellite of the planet Saturn.  During their 1969 honeymoon, John Lennon and Yoko Ono held their first Bed-In for Peace at the Amsterdam Hilton Hotel.

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Nick & Vince’s Budget 2010 response in full

Missed the Budget? Well, you didn’t miss much. But if you’re wondering what the Lib Dems have to say about it, then look no further.

First up, here’s Vince’s instant vdieo response:

(Also on YouTube here).

And now for the detail, as provided by Nick Clegg’s instant response to the Commons after Alasdair Darling’s budget statement:

Mr Speaker, this Budget has been billed as the preface to the Labour manifesto. Based on what we have seen today. It won’t be a manifesto but an obituary. The Prime Minister may have wanted a “giveaway budget”. What we got was a “given up budget”.

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 1 Comment

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