Tag Archives: budget 2013

Opinion: Osborne’s mortgage scheme is the worst of both worlds

Perhaps the best outcome from the Chancellor’s budget announcement that the UK Treasury is to underwrite billions of pounds worth of mortgages has been the muted reaction to it.

In a budget which was distinctly underwhelming, the Chancellor must have hoped that his latest attempt to ‘get the banks lending more’ would be hailed in the same way that previous populist capitalist measures, such as the ‘Right to Buy’ scheme were.

Most economic decisions are empirical, and there are valid points to make on either side of any argument.

But the Chancellor’s plan has nothing to recommend it. It will do …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 54 Comments

Nick Clegg’s Letter from the Leader: “Behind the Budget – economic analysis, confidential briefings and cottage pie”

Nick Clegg’s latest letter to supporters focuses on this week’s Budget taking us behind-the-scenes of how it was developed, and highlighting the Lib Dem successes alongside the challenges still facing the UK.

libdem letter from nick clegg

Agreeing the Budget is a long and painstaking process.

It started at the beginning of the year, with a presentation by the Chancellor to the Quad (that’s me, him, the PM and Danny Alexander). The information is confidential enough that everyone in the room – even the PM – has to give back the print outs at

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Don Foster MP writes… Housing at the heart of the Budget

House building fell dramatically following the financial crisis and hasn’t yet fully recovered. Last year 118,900 new homes were built in England. But with the number of households predicted to grow by 232,000 a year for the next 20 years and thousands currently unable to get onto the housing ladder, we need to build more than double that each year to keep up with demand, but we also need to tackle the sluggish housing market. That’s why housing was at the heart of the Budget yesterday, with more help for first time buyers and more money for affordable homes.

The …

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Party groups respond to the Budget

As one might expect, groups within the Lib Dems are united in welcoming George Osborne’s announcement that the coalition will deliver the Lib Dem policy of a £10,000 income tax personal allowance next year, earlier than previously expected. Both the Social Liberal Forum and Liberal Reform also agree that the chancellor needs to be more ambitious when it comes to stimulating economic growth, though the groups diverge somewhat on how to do so.

First up, here’s the SLF’s response:

The Budget contains some welcome measures, especially on childcare costs and raising the personal tax allowance to £10,000 next year. The

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Budget 2013: Osborne crosses fingers and hopes ‘steady as she goes’ will come good by 2015

George Osborne with Red Box, Budget 2012Move along, nothing to see here… This was a steady-as-she-goes budget at a time when the economy is anything-but-steady.

Of course as Lib Dems it’s great to welcome the final push towards lifting all those paid less than £10,000 out of income tax. As my Co-Editor Caron Lindsay notes here, this is a policy direct from the front page of our 2010 manifesto to the Coalition’s budget. That’s no mean achievement — we know that because the Tories keep trying to claim it as …

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The Independent View: Osborne’s small beer budget

There are, at most, 777 days until the next UK General Election. Today’s Budget was the last real chance to introduce measures that will have time to create a real impact before then. This, however, was not a Budget designed to alter the path of the economy in any dramatic way:  the Coalition has never veered far from the course set at the Spending Review almost three years ago. Instead, this was a narrow Budget, full of small measures.

That is not to say that this Budget is not important in terms of the next election. Small as its measures were, …

Posted in Op-eds and The Independent View | 2 Comments

Danny Alexander MP writes… Budget 2013: putting Liberal Democrat principles into practice

Today’s Budget delivers Liberal Democrat policies to help families with the cost of living and invest in the future of our economy, while making responsible choices to deal with the financial problems Labour left us with.

The announcement that the Coalition will increase the personal allowance to £10,000-one year ahead of schedule-is a huge victory for the Liberal Democrats. At the last General Election, we made big tax cuts for people on low and middle incomes the centre piece of our manifesto. We have delivered that promise-helping deliver a strong economy in a fairer society, so everyone can get on in …

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Devils, details and the tax threshold beyond 2014

There is no doubt that today is a very good day for the Liberal Democrats. The party has delivered a major pledge from its 2010 manifesto, as this infographic from Mark Pack shows:

Mark Pack graphic on tax pledge


This is not an idea that fell out of the Orange Book. It came from Elizabeth Jewkes, an ordinary member. I wonder how she feels today. It goes to show that being a member of this party can give you opportunities to make a real difference to people’s lives.

To deliver on such a pledge …

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