Tag Archives: budget 2014

The Independent View: Pensions reform – the right to advice is right

citizens adviceDuring the Budget last week George Osborne announced the right to free and impartial face-to-face advice in the context of pension reforms. On a day where we saw other good news — such as encouraging growth forecasts and falling unemployment figures — it was a poignant reminder of how vital advice is for anyone facing major life decisions at any time in their life.

We know more than most how invaluable quality advice is. This year is our 75th anniversary and, over the past 12 months, Citizens Advice helped more than …

Posted in The Independent View | Also tagged , and | 6 Comments

Eric Avebury writes…Society cannot afford to scrap the alcohol duty escalator

Alcohol and Ulcerative ColitisLast week’s Budget saw the Chancellor renege on the Government’s commitment to tackle the problem of cheap alcohol by scrapping the alcohol duty escalator. This move is a step that society simply cannot afford; not only will these duty cuts result in a shortfall of £290 million to the Exchequer when Osborne admits we are still going to be in deficit until 2018, but with the cost of alcohol harm in the UK exceeding £25 billion each year, our public services – particularly the NHS – can’t cope …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 11 Comments

Opinion: Pensions move could negate the whole point of pensions saving

George Osborne’s announcement that people with  defined contribution (money purchase) pensions could take the lot as a lump sum on retirement kills several birds with one stone. First, it most definitely attracts the grey vote because the idea of getting your hands on your whole pension pot on retirement is very appealing.

But this also looks like a reaction to mounting evidence, including from the Financial Conduct Authority no less, that annuities are not good value for money. Defined Contribution schemes allow retirees to buy an annuity (your pension) on the open market, but the schemes provide a default annuity which …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 29 Comments

LDVideo: Vince responds to the budget (and takes on Labour “hubris” in the process)

Business secretary Vince Cable was on his feet in the Commons on Thursday, providing his response to budget. His speech has already proved something of a hit, not least for his deft responses to point-scoring interventions by Labour MPs, including with the Voice’s Stephen Tall.

You can watch (and read) Vince in action below.

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 6 Comments

Call Clegg: Proud of Budget, help for parents, taking on Ed Balls and “silly” Shapps and keeping Scotland in the family

call cleggAnother good Call Clegg this morning with one question from Philadelphia on Scottish independence. The caller asked if David Cameron should resign if Scotland voted yes. Nick didn’t get into that, but he said he fervently hoped that Scotland would stay in the “UK family of nations” with more powers.

One criticism of the budget is that it only helps working parents, not those who choose to stay at home. Nick expressed his admiration for those who make that choice, but he said that so many had said to him that …

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 7 Comments

Liberal Reform response to Budget 2014

Liberal ReformLiberal Reform had this to say about the measures contained in yesterday’s budget:

Liberal Reform welcomes much of this year’s budget, which once again has a clear Liberal Democrat thread running through it. From income tax to pensions, the changes announced by the chancellor come from Lib Dem thinking.

There is one area where we would liked to have seen further progress, and that is on housing.

Posted in News | Also tagged | 27 Comments

“I thought it was a spoof” Danny Alexander on Shapps’ “patronising” Bingo tweet

Proof, as if we needed it, that Liberal Democrat and Tory mindsets are very different can be seen from Danny Alexander’s reaction to Grant Shapps’ “Bingo”poster.

 

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 11 Comments

Social Liberal Forum response to Budget 2014

Social Liberal ForumThe Social Liberal Forum’s Gareth Epps responded to yesterday’s budget over on the SLF website:

Much of this year’s Budget comes as little surprise. With a tight fiscal background and given George Osborne’s penchant for playing to the gallery, so much is predictable. Ditto the widely-trailed coalition announcements on the income tax threshold (where Nick Clegg has been desperate to stop the Tories claiming credit for the policy they opposed in 2010) and childcare.

Posted in News | Also tagged | 13 Comments

LibLink: Danny Alexander: We ignored siren voices in the Tory party on 40p tax rate to give £100 tax cut for all

Screen Shot 2014-03-19 at 19.44.37To write for the Mail once might be considered unfortunate. To do so twice in three days has to be considered careless. Mind you, Lady Bracknell would no doubt have read that paper.

Danny Alexander follows on from Sunday’s article with this piece on how the Liberal Democrats stopped the Tories from confining tax cuts to the rich alone. First, a little differentiation:

We’ve forced it onto the agenda at every Autumn Statement and Budget and by April this year will have delivered a tax cut worth £700 to 25 million working people.

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged | 15 Comments

Opinion: Expansion of apprenticeships shows that Liberal Democrats are the party of young people.

Made by apprentices reception License Some rights reserved by ApprenticeshipsAs someone who believes tackling long-term youth unemployment and giving opportunities to young people should be the Liberal Democrats’ next great mission in Government, I very much welcome the news in the Budget of new measures to grow the number of apprenticeships in our economy.

These initiatives are set to create 100,000 more apprentices which is fantastic news for young people in communities up and down the Country.

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 13 Comments

Some first thoughts on the Budget

George Osborne with Red Box, Budget 2012So the Chancellor has just sat down. Here are my first thoughts on the Budget.

Nick gets his Workers’ Bonus

The personal tax threshold rises to £10,500. I doubt it was anything to do with the petition being pushed on social media in the last few days. This was down to the hard work of our ministers staying on message, in volume, over time, in budget negotiations. Nick Clegg has stuck with this through the entire Parliament and given us a very tangible promise kept – and more. “I am proud of what we have achieved”, said Osborne. Aye right.

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 54 Comments

Why not scrap the annual Budget?

Budget 2010 photocallOne of my top 3 suggestions for this year’s budget was: “Scrap the absurd twice-yearly cycle of Budgets and Autumn Statements.” It wasn’t an original idea – the economist Tim Harford suggested it a couple of years ago, arguing “It may be an enjoyable political platform but there is no economic justification for the annual kaleidoscope of trivia.”

Tory peer and Times commentator Danny Finkelstein has tooted the same horn today:

I think one of the most useful reforms the Chancellor could make is to scrap the annual

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 6 Comments
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  • User AvatarMalcolm Todd 21st Aug - 3:16pm
    Also two people for Wales: but I note that neither Willie Rennie nor Kirsty Williams is a Westminster MP, so presumably they are to be...
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    Two people for Scotland? Presumably Jamie is just defence?
  • User AvatarDennis Wake 21st Aug - 2:37pm
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    My hope will be that Tim Farron pushes the case for a radical regional development policy. As things stand we are now currently behind the...
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