Tag Archives: budget 2011

Gordon Birtwistle MP writes… My response to the Budget

For me, this budget goes some way towards rebalancing the economy. The last Government left the country in almost financial ruin and have come up with no credible policies in opposition. The chancellor had very little to play with in his budget but I think the steps he is taking are the right ones.

This was definitely a budget influenced by Lib Dems. It was pleasing to see how many of our policies made an appearance in the budget, particularly the increase in the personal allowance over the next three years.

The budget also provided confirmation of the go ahead of the …

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The Budget: the Liberal Democrat influence

Earlier today the Liberal Democrat Press Office’s Phil Reilly tweeted, “Income Tax cut – from the front page of the @libdems manifesto to the pockets of 25m taxpayers”.

Certainly better to pick from the front page than the back page, as announcing a barcode would have been lacking a little in interest (except, perhaps, to one of my former economics lecturers, who once tried to persuade us that the checksums on barcodes matched up with a warning from the Bible and predicted an imminent Second Coming).

That however wasn’t the only major policy was a distinct Liberal Democrat flavour to it. So too was the news about pensions. As Stephen Williams MP put it, “Proposals for a £140 flat rate pension, together with the Lib Dem commitment of restoring the earnings link, will ensure our pensioners get a fair deal”.

HM Treasury logoBoth of those announcements were unsurprising, but one decision that had been up in the air was over the Green Investment Bank and how much power it really would have. George Osborne’s previous strange absence from the debate was put to rest when he announced a series of pieces of good news on the Green Investment Bank: starting a year earlier, £2 billion more in funds and, crucially, it can borrow. As Paul Waugh put it “Big victory for Cable”, not to mention Chris Huhne and Nick Clegg, who had taken the lead in settling the internal debate over how much powers to give.

Amongst the details was success for the long-standing Liberal Democrat calls for water rates relief in the South West, though overall the details did not add up to a particularly green budget, Green Investment Bank aside. The IFS’s initial analysis is that, “The Chancellor also insisted that green taxes will rise as a proportion of total receipts. This remains the case on current Treasury forecasts, but by the narrowest of margins”. Some of the non-financial measures, such as the new standard for zero-carbon homes, give the Budget a greater overall green tinge than the pure financial numbers show. How deep that tinge is will depend on how measures such as the presumption in favour of sustainable development pan out when the details are settled.

Here’s the email from Nick Clegg to party supporters about the Budget:

Today the coalition government has announced a budget that will return the UK to sustainable and balanced economic growth and which puts helping Alarm Clock Britain at its heart.

We are increasing the income tax threshold by £630 to £8105; lifting hundreds of thousands of low income earners out of paying income tax and putting £126 back in the pockets of low and middle income earners. This is in addition to the last budget that took nearly a million of the lowest income earners out of tax and made millions of hard working individuals £200 better off. We are making a real difference in people’s lives – from the front page of our manifesto to people’s back pockets.

Alarm Clock Britain will be further helped by the measures we have taken to give motorists a fairer deal. We are shifting taxation away from the pumps and onto the broader shoulders of the oil companies instead – with fuel duty being cut and taxation on oil companies rising.

At the same time we are making the wealthy pay their fair share with increased measures to tackle tax avoidance, higher charges for non-doms and a special tax on private jets. This budget also places green growth front and centre – the Green Investment Bank will begin operation next year with £3bn of capitalisation, delivering an additional £18bn of investment in green infrastructure by 2014-15.

We were left a toxic economic legacy by Labour with a record deficit and debt. Under Ed Balls Labour have no answers and solutions to the mess they left. The difficult decisions we have taken in government have rebuilt confidence in Britain’s ability to pay its way, kept interest rates lower than they would otherwise have been, and have provided the stability that business and individuals need to invest in the UK’s economy.

There are no easy decisions in this budget. But we are delivering a budget which will mean that that those who can pay more will; and those who are working hard to make ends meet will get a helping hand. This budget is progressive, green, liberal and what our country needs at this time.

Earlier in the day Danny Alexander took to YouTube to talk about the Budget:

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The Budget: discussion thread

Discuss away…

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LDVideo: Danny Alexander on the Government’s priorities for the budget

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It’s sooooo old fashioned to wait to hear a speech before you decide you disagree with it

It’s boring and slow and tedious and old-fashioned to wait until you hear what someone from another party says before deciding whether or not you agree with it, isn’t it?

So hats off to those forward thinkers in Manchester Labour party who haven’t had to wait for the Budget to put down a motion for the forthcoming council meeting:

Motion – George Osborne’s Budget
Council notes the damaging impact of George Osborne’s budget on the people of Manchester.
Councillors: Leese (proposer), Karney (seconder), Priest, J Battle, N Murphy, Evans, Andrews

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Jeremy Browne writes… Britain can’t afford to avoid radical change

‘One of the things the RSPB are calling on you today to do is to not cut funding for nature conservation. Can you promise that despite the 30% cuts to your department, you won’t cut nature conservation costs?’

In a typical week earlier this month, the Radio 4 Today programme, having set itself against police reforms the previous day, had just found yet another deficit denial frontier. And it was only Wednesday.

Labour official spokespeople are the same: Exhibit A, DCMS Shadow Minister Gloria De Piero writing on why we should not reduce the arts budget in Total Politics magazine last month:

‘It

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LibLink… Danny Alexander: We are on course to deliver all four of our manifesto priorities

Four key Lib Dem manifesto commitmentsAt the start of Budget week, Danny Alexander writes at Comment is Free that the coalition government is about more than balancing the books, but about enacting reform with a foundation of economic recovery.

He returns to the commander’s intent of the Liberal Democrat General Election manifesto, restating its four key policies –

  • Fair taxes that put money back in your pocket
  • A fair chance for every child
  • A fair future, creating jobs by making Britain greener
  • A fair deal for you from

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