Thursday, July 17, 2008
A Topsy Turvy World - Cameron or Clegg on tax?
Arriving home in the early hours from the Liberal International AGM last night I heard the news about Nick's plans to cut taxes on 5 Live. This novel idea was not news to me, it had been discussed at FPC last week, which elicited my (measured!) response that whilst I had no problem with cutting taxes at the bottom end, I was concerned about where the cuts would be coming from to pay for such cuts. Presumably this was rushed out in response to David Cameron's "we may have to put taxes up" comment. Has the world gone completely mad?????! I arrived at work this morning to be greeted by a jokey comment from my boss (who happens to be a former Labour minister) about what was happening. It has elicited the expected response - Nick will cut taxes but he doesn't know as yet where the cuts will come from. THIS IS WHAT MAKES MY BLOOD BOIL!!!!!!! Of course I am a great supporter of Nick, but he knows and I know, this does not extend to supporting policies that potentially undermine all the promises we are making about the changes we would make in public policy terms, the pupil premium, ending child poverty, covering the cost of private health care……….need I go on? If Nick had identified something he wouldn't be doing anymore (I have made plenty of suggestions, Trident for example could be a big chunk of his savings -and maybe the silver lining of this premature promise is that we could offer the electorate a choice, Trident or tax cuts?) then I think he would have been in a much stronger position. We are in grave danger of falling into the unjustified stereotype of being opportunist. Whilst I respect the fact that many fellow bloggers are jumping for joy at this announcement, I am afraid, I am very afraid…...what happened to the party of 1p for education and the 50p tax rate, a recognition that quality services cost money? My position hasn't changed, but I fear my party's has.