Thursday, July 17, 2008

LibDems plan £20bn cuts to Health & Education

If the Tories had proposed the document launched by Nick Clegg today, to reduce tax and cut the overall level of government spending, then my blog post title is exactly what Labour and the media would have run with.

In fact, no matter what Hague, IDS or Howard said about taxes, Labour would translate that directly into numbers of nurses sacked or children in a class. But now, I believe that things have changed; firstly people have accepted that we are taxed too much, secondly people know that Labour's throwing money at public services hasn't worked and thirdly people know there is so much waste in public services that you can cut tax, reduce spending and not impact on frontline service delivery.

So well done Nick Clegg - you are saying what people are thinking and I strongly urge the Tories to make clear their committment to cutting tax and reducing waste. Now is the time to do this. But is it too late for Cameron with Clegg moving onto this turf?

No - for two reasons Principally the tax cut, less government gene is in every Tory and people know we are committed to it, whereas the LibDems seem to have discovered this after being thrashed in by-election after by-election. And also, if Cameron said this then his party would cheer him to the rafters; when Nick Clegg does it the left of his party nearly choke on their breakfast cereals. Clegg may have to fight for this every step of the way with his own party.

So Cameron still has time to make this issue his own.


Anonymous said...

When asked why I bothered joining the Lib Dems I recently explained that third party politics is as much about winning the argument than necessarily winning power. This lays down a gauntlet to all parties.

1. The best approach to supporting the low paid and give incentives is to tax them less.

2. The government cannot spend it's way out of a slump - at this stage fiscal policy change and spending cuts can ease pressure on the economy. A budget deficit is a threat to us all

3. Progressive politics can be about a smaller state and a lower tax burden.

4. There is nothing empowering or progressive about setting people up to fail in a big tax & benefit trap.

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Anthony Butcher