“The Lib Dems are sticking to the Coalition’s deficit reduction programme” Why wouldn’t they?

Yesterday an amazed BBC was telling us that the delegates at the Lib Dem Conference are bravely sticking to the “tough” deficit reduction programme of the Coalition, despite their dislike of it. What a lot of disinformation in the same short news piece.

What is there not to like for a Lib Dem who wants to put up tax rates on the rich, increase state spending and increase benefits for the poor? The Coalition has followed exactly that policy.

The Lib Dems have been very good at claiming credit for the higher Income tax threshold, a policy supported by both Coalition parties. It has also claimed credit for the higher pupil premium for students from disadvantaged backgrounds, again a policy backed by both Coalition parties in their manifesto promises. It has left the idea that other nastier unspecified policies were the work of the Conservatives.

So far the government has done the following:

It has increased current public spending by £57 billion a year over 2 years, or more than 9% in cash terms, ahead of inflation
It has increased benefits by more than 8.5% over two years
It has abated the cuts in capital spending inherited from Labour, and is looking at ways to expand capital spending by the state
It has endorsed or imposed higher tax rates on earning, on buying expensive homes, on rich Nom Doms, on capital gains, on non food consumption, on foreign holidays, on driving and on employing people
It has greatly increased overseas aid spending
It has pursued a policy of very dear green energy
It has transferred powers to the EU and increased our spending on the EU budget
It has agreed to borrow an extra £550 billion over the life of this Parliament, an amount higher than the total state debt in 2004.

If I were a Lib Dem I would be delighted with it all, save the leadership’s unfortunate decision on tuition fees which they did not have to make.

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  1. norman
    Posted September 26, 2012 at 5:46 am | Permalink

    It has dragged hundreds of thousands of the ‘aspirational middle class’ ‘ hard working families’ ,etc. into the middle 40% tax bracket

    It has threatened to withdraw the one benefit that that group receives (not that I think they should receive it, but you can’t simply take take take all the time and not expect people not to grumble. Sure take it, but give a little back as a tax cut or raise the middle threshold)

    If I were a Conservative I’d be searching around vainly for the sight of one conservative fiscal policy that has been implemented.

    • Mark W
      Posted September 26, 2012 at 6:42 am | Permalink

      The LibDems have been getting away with claiming the £10k threshold as no Tory minister will speak out about lower direct taxes being a long time trait of Tory ideology.

      The 40% threshold is on the way to becoming the new standard rate of tax.

      I’m assuming that the benefit you are referring to is child benefit. My personal beef with this is that it as a full frontal assault on families with a stay at home parent. A dual income household can have a higher income, £20k free of tax and £60k approx taxed at 20%. And still keep the full benefit. Shame on you George Osborne.

      This single issue and the EU referendum are the reasons I’m switching to UKIP in general elections as well as Euro elections.

      Child benefit, scrap it altogether or keep it as it is.

      • Disaffected
        Posted September 26, 2012 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

        Scrap it. Having children is a personal choice and a responsibility that comes with having them is caring for them in every respect.

        • uanime5
          Posted September 26, 2012 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

          If children become delinquents because their parents didn’t have enough money to look after them then they become the problem of society. It’s far cheaper to pay child benefit than for social workers, prosecutions, and prison.

          • APL
            Posted September 27, 2012 at 7:57 am | Permalink

            uanime5: “If children become delinquents because their parents didn’t have enough money … ”

            Money is rarely if ever a significant factor in the upbringing of a child.

            It is always the behavior of the parents, the emotional environment the child experiences during its formative years which determines the outcome of the child’s development.

            Some adults are not fit to be parents regardless of their wealth.

          • alan jutson
            Posted September 27, 2012 at 9:19 am | Permalink


            We pay at the moment and still have the problems you outline.

            If lack of cash was the real problem then many of us aged over 60 would all be delinquents.

            Far better if the parents can give, love, care, some discipline, and encouragement for educational success, and the work ethic.
            Money is not as important as these.

          • Cliff. Wokingham
            Posted September 27, 2012 at 9:51 am | Permalink

            It is even cheaper, and better for society, if single, young women, with no means of supporting their off spring, do not reproduce in the first place. Until we make it morally unacceptable for young, single girls to get pregnant and have these children, they will always be an expensive problem for our nation.

          • waramess
            Posted September 27, 2012 at 10:11 am | Permalink

            Then maybe we should all go on benefits, after all the government can always print the money, can’t they?

      • alan jutson
        Posted September 26, 2012 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

        Mark W

        Child Benefit.

        Keep to just two children for everyone, then its simple.

        • Bazman
          Posted September 26, 2012 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

          What if you have ten by mistake?

          • APL
            Posted September 27, 2012 at 7:58 am | Permalink

            Bazman: “What if …”

            Two by mistake maybe. Ten, gross negligence.

          • alan jutson
            Posted September 27, 2012 at 9:21 am | Permalink

            Simple, you pay for eight yourself. !

      • Jerry
        Posted September 26, 2012 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

        Agreed about Child benefit issue, and I would suggest that it is kept. It was never meant to be a “benefit” as such -means-tested or otherwise, the idea was literally to take from one hand and give to the other (at source from the wage earner, to the child’s carer [1]) the rational was that many husbands/fathers were in control of the money and thus might leave the mother of their children without enough to care for the child [2], the benefit was thus set at enough to keep child in food and cloths each week. Whilst such times should have passed no one can be sure that all mothers do have access to the household finances as they should, what is more this problem could happen at any level of society so the government simply can’t say stop it for one and keep it for another.

        [1] at the time this happened to translated into father to mother

        [2] it wasn’t unusual for some men to either gamble or drink the house keeping before they even got home on pay-day

    • Electro-Kevin
      Posted September 26, 2012 at 7:00 am | Permalink

      Norman – Few would mind paying the tax if it were spent wisely and was being used to get us out of this hole.

      As it is a whole new tranch of people are being classified as ‘privileged’ when they are nothing of the sort. This includes police inspectors, heads of departments in schools, senior nurses … As I have stated on these pages over and over – this bracket is not living the high life.

      There seems to be great enthusiasm to penalise these people financially and – worst of all – weight against them when it comes to the rationning of things such as higher education.

      That critical point at which people take on the extra responsibilities of leadership is bad enough without having to consider their families becoming WORSE off for their efforts.

      The money needs to be raised/saved from somewhere. There is an appetite to cut the state but this in itself is no easy fix as so much of our private sector is dependant on state salaries.

      Whatever we do we MUST back the right people and be on their side.

      • lifelogic
        Posted September 26, 2012 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

        If it were spent wisely alas it never is.

        It is spent very, very inefficiently by “experts”, on things that usually the tax payer did not even want. Often it is just handed out to friends, relatives, the green industry or similar (after suitable lobbying of course) or it is spent on buying votes not bailing our the PIGIS, the EU or augmenting the feckless.

    • lifelogic
      Posted September 26, 2012 at 10:53 am | Permalink

      “One conservative fiscal policy that has been implemented?” The only one I can think of is the small increase in the personal allowances but even their if you earn over 100K you loose all the allowance.

      It is more tax, borrow, waste and deliver fewer and fewer (if any for many) “services” in return every single time.

      • Mark W
        Posted September 26, 2012 at 11:24 am | Permalink

        The increase in allowance is wiped out if you are in the 40% band, as it has been lowered to compensate.

        The removal of all allowance at a £1 for £2 earned over £100k has an effect of becoming a hidden tax band of 60%. They can’t even be honest about it either.

        • lifelogic
          Posted September 26, 2012 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

          60% plus NI at 2%.

        • The PrangWizard
          Posted September 26, 2012 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

          This also affects pensioners who earn more than £24,500 too. £1 off the allowance for every £2 earned above that figure. This is a gross injustice. Old Labour Socialism is on the march with the LiBDems. They must be resisted, but where is it? Seems to me that the Tory leadership either likes what they say and do or are running scared, especially Cameron. There are some honourable exceptions however, and strength to them, but I implore them, speak out more.

      • nicol sinclair
        Posted September 26, 2012 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

        @Lifelogic. I am surprised at you; I had expected better.

        ‘Lose’ not ‘loose’.

        Did you use an iPad/Smart Phone or some other useless device that is unable to ‘guess’ your intent or did you attend school in the 70’s, 80’s or 90’s? If you used an electronic gadget that has ‘predictive text’, I forgive you – just!

        I get fed up with those who cannot communicate in English…

        • Disaffected
          Posted September 26, 2012 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

          Everyone makes typo’s, you need to get a life if it is so important to you.

          • JimF
            Posted September 26, 2012 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

            typos not typo’s

          • GrammarGorilla
            Posted September 27, 2012 at 5:42 am | Permalink


            Rubbish. Lifelogic’s post was difficult to read & had to be solved. You are simply posing to us.

            Lifelogic, it’s ‘there’ in this case. ‘ Their’ is for talking about possession. If you were at school from the late 60s onward it is not your fault.

        • Jerry
          Posted September 26, 2012 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

          I get fed up with those who cannot communicate in English…”

          People living in glasshouses should not throw stones “nicol sinclair”, even I know that names should start with Capital letters.

          Sorry if my irony radar has failed but as one who suffers from Dyslexia (and no, a spiel chocker is not always of any use) I do get fed up to put it mildly with people who ‘nick-pick’ about spelling and grammar when they obviously have understood perfectly what was typed.

          Oh and apologies to Mr Redwood for taking this even further off topic but…

        • lifelogic
          Posted September 26, 2012 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

          Spelling is, I agree, not my strongest point, but I was working at speed in between earning a living, with a rather small screen and without my readers – my schooling was in the 60s and early 70s. It is thought only notation (the equivalent of accent to the spoken word) and you clearly did understand full well what I meant.

          Shakespeare had about 50 ways of just spelling his name. I wonder if having a single “right” spelling is not a bit top down socialist, as insisting on a single accent would surely be. Especially a spelling system as irrational, archaic and arbitrary as English.

          • lifelogic
            Posted September 26, 2012 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

            A bit like being told we can only use metric measurements.

          • lifelogic
            Posted September 26, 2012 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

            Sorry “though” not “thought”!

      • a-tracy
        Posted September 26, 2012 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

        Increases in personal allowances from 2008/09 personal allowance (pa) £6035, Higher rate (40%) on taxable income over £34,800:
        2008/09 pa £6035, 40% £34,800
        2009/10 pa £6475, 40% £37,400
        2010/11 pa £6475, 40% £37,401, 50% (over £150,000) *
        2011/12 pa £7475, 40% £35,001, 50% over £150,000
        2012/13 pa £8105, 40% £34,371

        * For 2010/11 onwards reduce personal allowance by £1 for every £2 of adjusted net income over £100,000.

      • Bazman
        Posted September 26, 2012 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

        Are you in favour of Mit Rommeny’s idea of opening windows in jets? Did concord have them or did absurd health and safety rules put a stop to them?
        How about ticket prices for aircraft being surcharged for overweight passengers? Why should a six year old child pay the same as a 25 stone adult? Much less fuel needed is an indisputable fact and shows absurd inequality at work.

    • Disaffected
      Posted September 26, 2012 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

      I thought Abu Qatada was going to be deported when his final appeal failed. It has, why is he still here, Tory lacklustre action? Even went through the wretched ECHR- that Cameron was going to get rid of- another failing of the Tory inaction. Hot air and no action Cameron.

      • lifelogic
        Posted September 26, 2012 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

        Say one think do the other. They are denying with their mouths what they are clearly doing or not doing with their hands.

    • Acorn
      Posted September 26, 2012 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

      ADMIN, sorry to interrupt this thread. JR can you get your web guy to increase the RSS FEED for COMMENTS, ten comments is not enough nowadays as your site attracts a lot more comments than it did in the early days. It’s the price of success fortunately.

  2. lifelogic
    Posted September 26, 2012 at 6:32 am | Permalink

    Your list is correct and hugely depressing. You could also add the increased pointless regulations such as the silly gender neutral insurance rules, the new enforced pensions (which will further reduce tax home pay for the private sector), paternity leave and countless other inconveniences and absurdities for business and individuals. The absurd subsidies for wind, pv, electric cars, trains, the excessive building and planning regulations. The absurd HS2 and lack of a new runway at Heathrow and Gatwick.

    Above the lack of sensible and competitive banking, to enable the private sector to invest and be able to do its job.

    • lifelogic
      Posted September 26, 2012 at 7:26 am | Permalink

      Once again the BBC coverage of the Libdems (unlike UKIP who received virtually no coverage at all) was absurd. The BBC do not deal in facts they deal in fairy stories and made up narratives appeals to envy and unfairness. A world of unscrupulous landlords and businessmen robbing everyone and cheating on their taxes. Of absurdly contrived “human rights”, of ever more non democratic EU and over priced “green” energy and silly green gimmicks.

      Life is not and never will be fair. Can the BBC just get over it. People need to do the best they can with whatever talents they have. What is fair about BBC pay and pensions levels for example? One hundred thousand BBC licence fees from the poor just to pay for just one second rate person’s BBC pension. Not to mention the nearly 500 personal service companies they had (not for tax reasons of course).

      • lifelogic
        Posted September 26, 2012 at 8:43 am | Permalink

        Yet another pathetic interview by, BBC radio 4, with Ed Davey (another dreaded Oxford PPE graduate) this morning. Along the lines of Mr Davey is there anything you would like to impart to the nation on the huge global warming problem and green energy ……………thank you very much Mr Davey.

        No questions regarding the lack of any recent significant warming (despite the increasing C02 level), no pointing out that the solutions he proposes are absurdly expensive and by and large do not even save co2. No pointing out that the small increase in temperature over the last 100 year is entirely normal in an historical context.

        I assume he will keep pissing tax payers money down the drain while many elderly shiver and die this winter.

        One is left wondering if he is so stupid and hooked on the green religion that he actually believes the nonsense he enacts or if he is doing it for perceived political advantage or some other even more sinister reason. Mind you half the Tories active in this area are just as bad with their “consultancy” incomes.

        Reply : I don’t suppose he was asked why there is so much more South Pole sea ice this year, either.

        • lifelogic
          Posted September 26, 2012 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

          He was hardly asked anything sensible or challenging.

        • wab
          Posted September 26, 2012 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

          Reply to reply: Mr Davey is no scientist and has no clue. On the other hand, the naive and uninformed skepticism of Mr Redwood (also not a scientist) is also not so good. We could definitely do with fewer humanities people running the country.

          Three seconds of googling would lead you to the following, to put some perspective on the Arctic versus Antarctic question:


          (The y axes in the first two charts unfortunately do not start at 0, but here this makes the Antarctic case more dramatic than it should be, relative to the Arctic case.)

          Conclusion: the phrase “so much more South Pole sea ice this year” is misleading.

          • lifelogic
            Posted September 27, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

            I am a not a humanities graduate (physics)

            The change in temperature change in the last 140 years is not remotely inconsistent with proven historical natural variations.
            On balance the evidence is that slightly warmer is probably better anyway.
            The idea that you can predict a chaotic system like the climate for 100 years by atmospheric c02 levels is patently absurd to any sensible scientist. You do not have 99%+ of the information required anyway and even then you could not do it. Lottery balls are far simpler to predict say 30 seconds later.
            The solutions pushed wind/pv do not, in the main, save c02 anyway and the cost is far worse than benefit given when they do.
            Removing (or preventing) c02 from the atmosphere is not the best way to cool the earth anyway – even if we had too.
            It is clearly a religion and has all the characteristics of one. A future heaven (and hell for all if you do not do as you are told by your betters who might spend £1M+ of you money on their personal transport PA.)
            The people who believe it are nearly always non scientists who believe the BBC because they feel unqualified to question it (or scientist in the pay of the scare exaggeration religion).

        • Bazman
          Posted September 26, 2012 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

          But much less in total than previous years and still shrinking. The US navy are looking at the problems and advantages this shrinking will produce in coming decades. Hardly a bunch of hippies.

          • Lindsay McDougall
            Posted September 27, 2012 at 11:11 am | Permalink

            The Russians have a huge economic interest in shrinking Arctic ice. It will mean that the sea route off Russia’s northern coast can be negotiated without the use of ice breaker ships.

    • Bob
      Posted September 26, 2012 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

      Reported on order-order dot com:

      “LibDem President Tim Farron has unveiled the party’s new tax avoidance legacy scheme. Rich delegates were plied with red wine and chocolate gateaux in the Grand Hotel’s Empress suite as Farron and his team explained how wealthy donors could reduce their inheritance tax bills.”

      This from the party that took money from convicted fraudster Michael Brown “in good will”.

      How can anyone take them seriously?

      • lifelogic
        Posted September 27, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

        Nobody does do they?

  3. A.Sedgwick
    Posted September 26, 2012 at 6:42 am | Permalink

    In short it couldn’t be much worse under Labour.

    • Disaffected
      Posted September 26, 2012 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

      It is the same as Labour. All Ed has to do is keep quiet and at the election point out the Tories followed their policies and used their former ministers for key policy reform. Job done. The only way to help the Tory party, and change other mainstream parties, is to vote UKIP. The voter does not have nay choice other than Labour policies or Labour policies and socialist Europe.

  4. Pete the Bike
    Posted September 26, 2012 at 6:42 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood could you just clarify, in the light of the policies you have described, exactly why it is worth voting Conservative? Or at all?

    • Paul
      Posted September 27, 2012 at 12:15 am | Permalink

      I think the lack of a reply to such a straightforward question says a lot. JR is not daft, I think maybe even he is now realising there is no point at all in voting Conservative under their pro-EU anti-democratic leader. True conservatives will vote UKIP.

      • lifelogic
        Posted September 27, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

        They certainly will at MEP level they will surely come second to Labour.

  5. NickW
    Posted September 26, 2012 at 6:55 am | Permalink

    If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck and looks like a duck; it IS a duck.

    What we have is a Lib Dem Government, and that isn’t what we voted for and it isn’t what the Country needs.

    And, can we have some plain blunt speaking about our coalition partners at Conference please? The Lib Dems showed no constraints about trashing their coalition partners at every opportunity and there is therefore a tactical imperative that the Conservatives should do the same. If someone punches you on the nose, you either hit them back or you lose the fight, and fighting is what the coalition has degenerated into.

  6. oldtimer
    Posted September 26, 2012 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    The more time that passes, the more persuaded I am that this coalition government is rotten to its core. Clegg and his close colleagues are one part of that problem. Cameron and his close associates are the other part.

    • Disaffected
      Posted September 26, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

      Spot on. Vote UKIP if you wish to bring about change.

      • Jerry
        Posted September 26, 2012 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

        Vote UKIP, get Labour and all the things you really don’t want, if you think Mr Cameron is a europhile just wait and see what a real europhile looks and feels like to your wallet!

        UKIP can’t win seats, they have shown that over and over in the last ten to twenty years of trying, has that little fact of life escaped you, the only thing UKIP are good at is taking votes from the Tories, allowing other (europhile) parties win.

        • Vanessa
          Posted September 28, 2012 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

          Just wait and see!!!

  7. Caratacus
    Posted September 26, 2012 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    This Coalition Government has also continued the inexorable socialist tread towards a huge client voter base who will never vote for any party who threatens their life of state support. I suspect that the number of people who are prepared to vote for the drastic steps necessary to get this country back on to a more secure financial footing will now, and for the immediate future, be outnumbered by those who fear precisely this course and will vote against it. Fortunately for them, the three main political parties are agreed on this socialist doctrine …

  8. sym
    Posted September 26, 2012 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    I congratulate you Sir on the brilliant summary of Coalition policies. In other words, Labour Reloaded. Clearly, there’s no difference between the three main parties; all are equally incompetent and harmful to this country.

    • Bob
      Posted September 26, 2012 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

      “Clearly, there’s no difference between the three main parties; all are equally incompetent and harmful to this country.”

      See “The Collectivist Conspiracy” on YouTube.

  9. Colin D.
    Posted September 26, 2012 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    How easy it is for the Government to throw borrowed money around!
    This profligacy is only going to be brought home to the voters when you MPs insist on a focus on the ever growing overseas debt – a millstone round our children’s necks – instead of Osborne’s ‘deficit reduction’. Deficit reduction is just a smoke screen to give the impression of ‘doing something’, but it is really a way of hiding the awful reality that things are getting far worse, not better.

  10. profoundly_disturbed
    Posted September 26, 2012 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    The tone of your post seems to suggest surprise.

    No offence intended.

  11. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted September 26, 2012 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    JR: “If I were a Lib Dem I would be delighted with it all”
    How do you feel as a Conservative? Do you feel betrayed as we who voted for your party do? Don’t use the excuse of coalition as it was Cameron who forced it into being and he is Prime Minister and your party has the majority in the coalition. What the coalition has shown is that Cameron is not a Conservative, he would be happier leading the LibDems and the voters in this country have no real choice amongst the three main parties who are all tax and spend socialists. Your leader has just committed us to spend more money we don’t have on overseas aid. Does he have the faintest idea about the economy? Listening to the daily claptrap from politicians fiddling whilst the country goes to hell is both depressing and annoying. What are you and your colleagues going to do to stop the rot?

    Reply: I mAke clear what I think would work to spur recovery and improve the government of the country. I vote against the government in EU matters when they allow a further transfer of power or money to the EU. I vote for a referendum.

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted September 26, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

      Yet again my comment is awaiting moderation when many later ones have been posted. I’m beginning to think you don’t want me to comment.

      • Mark W
        Posted September 26, 2012 at 4:45 pm | Permalink


        How unfortunate that you are right.

        No representation without taxation, the only way out of this mess.

      • Mark W
        Posted September 26, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

        My other comment has gone to wrong place, but the awaiting moderation is possibly explained by a number of things.

        Maybe they appear to moderator last first and if JR moderates himself he has other things to do with his day before he can get through them in one sitting. Therefore early posts come in later. This has happened to me a couple of times. Seems an innocent reason to me.

        reply That is what happens

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted September 26, 2012 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply

      Sorry but that isn’t enough. We need action not words. You know what is happening with the economy and you know what needs to be done. You are a Conservative MP, how can you bear to continue to support this mendacity and incompetence?

    • Lindsay McDougall
      Posted September 27, 2012 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

      What you don’t do – and can’t do because of the nature of the Treaty of Rome and all that follows – is to claw back from the EU powers already conceded. Only a renegotiation, mandated by a General Election manifesto, can do that.

  12. Lord Blagger
    Posted September 26, 2012 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    Equally, the BBC said there would be MORE cuts.

    There haven’t been any cuts in spending. Spending is up in real terms.

    So there is your basic problem.

    People think that the debts are 1 trillion. People think that the problem is solved by a bit more borrow and spend, and taxes on other people. After all that is what politicians tell them. It’s what the BBC repeats.

    Hence the importance of coming clean on all the debts. Only when people realise just how much debt the government is in, and what their share of it is, will there be change.

    However, you won’t come clean on that, so there won’t be a change.

    Yet another broken promise.

  13. Roger Farmer
    Posted September 26, 2012 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    The next two years are about Conservative party survival. The lib/dems are clutching for a futur and see it in a liason for after the next election with Labour. Meanwhile they will act as a Trojan Horse preventing as far as possible the Conservatives from being conservative. My prediction is very few lib/dems after 2015 and a Labour victory.
    If the Conservatives continue on their current path the above is a given. If they wish to come storming back then they need to listen to the concerns of the electorate and take the following steps.
    1. An in out vote on the political aspects of the EU. By all means continue with a trading arrangement, but the UK quite unequivocally needs to control it’s political futur,
    2. Block all future immigration except on the most humanitarian grounds. The EU aspect of it can be dealt with in time. No one would choose to come if we were not so stupidly generous. Business people and desirable professionals can come in on visas.
    3. Sort out government expenditure which continues to rise. Vastly reduce the involvement of government in our lives. This might then make it possible to look after those who really need it in a much better way.
    4. Serious support for british business via de-regulation and by making finance available.
    5. An audit of foreign aid to ensure it only goes to enhance the lives of those in real need. Put an end to it as a business for those who live on the back of it.
    6. Following a rejection of political EU other matters such as CAP, Fisheries, Human Rights etc.,can be quickly dealt with.
    Only then will the electorate come back to the conservatives. If they fail to act, look forward to at least five years of the millipede and the sliding of the UK into insignificance.

    • Jerry
      Posted September 26, 2012 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

      As you said, the LibDems will block such action been taken, Mr Laws -I think it was he- was right when he said to the LD conference that some Tories keep forgetting that they don’t have a majority, you managed to do so within six lines of typing…

      But talking of your bullet points, indeed most of them will appeal to the Tory and would-be/would’ve-been Tory voter, so perhaps they can be found a home in the next Tory manifesto?

    • JoolsB
      Posted September 26, 2012 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

      The only way the Tories will get this lifelong Tory’s vote back is if they address the English Question which discriminates against Englands young, England’s sick and England’s elderly. If Cameron did that we wouldn’t need the Lib Dums and England could call itself a democracy.

      Only UKIP are offering a referendum on both the EU and the English Question and therefore only UKIP deserve our vote. Maybe ‘there’s Scottish blood in these veins’ Cameron, who thinks we’re all sour little Englanders for wanting equality with the rest of the UK, thinks wooing Salmond at the continued expense of us English, whose votes he thinks he can take for granted, will get all those nice Scots voting for him come the next election – delusioned or what???

  14. alan jutson
    Posted September 26, 2012 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    Ah Yes, everyone should thank God for the Lib Dems who have saved the Country from the nasty Conservative Party.

    This is the message loud and clear which has been broadcast for the past 12 months, and will be broadcast even more over the next 2 years as we come up to the next General Election, they keep it going on a regular basis by briefing against any difficult decisions at regular intervals, by proposing ever more soak the rich (in reality anyone who pays 40%tax) proposals.

    In short everything this government do that is regarded as positive is down to the Lib Dems, everything that is considered bad is down to the Conservatives, but the dear old Lib Dems always did their best.

    The Conservatives will have a real problem here if they are not able to counter the above arguments.

    My wife who takes little interest in day – day politics other than when it comes the time to vote, is now taking an increasing interest and making rather more verbal comments to me about the state of the Country and some of the more stupid ideas which are being proposed (by all Party’s).

    In short she is suggesting that the economy is the biggest problem to solve, and that the government should concentrate on the large problems and forget about all of the marginal stuff.
    Taxation needs to be reduced to encourage work to pay,
    The Country needs to live within its means and not borrow.
    Benefits should be for the real needy, and not for a way of life option.
    It should always pay to work.
    It should pay to provide for your future (save)
    Foreign Aid should be abolished
    So called Green/alternative energy if it is not cost effective, should be dumped.
    Education policy has to reflect a requirement to work and earn a living.

    My wife thinks I am wasting my time blogging on the internet and engaging in comment with politicians, as it will not make the slightest difference to the way we are governed, instead she will simply take her revenge, and have her day at the ballot box.
    I disagree on this last paragraph and hope against hope, that if enough of us continue to feed information, views and comments into the media, then something may just rub off (I do believe you take a view on some of those comments made here John), but my wife is not often wrong.

    If my wife has started taking an interest in politics, I can assure you that things must have reached an all time low level in her faith in their so called competence.

    • Disaffected
      Posted September 26, 2012 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

      Alan, if it is any comfort the sentiments echo similar views held by my wife. My son, on the other hand, says we have a polyarchy where politicians are are all the same and pretend to wear a different badge; they are in politics for power and greed and are not interested in the public’s view at all- he will not waste his time to vote.

      • forthurst
        Posted September 26, 2012 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

        They’re not all the same; look at the choice for US President:


        Actually my choice would be either Ron Paul or Merlin Miller: who? Well, Merlin does say he would re-investigate 9/11, so obviously a news blackout would have to have been de rigeur.

      • oldtimer
        Posted September 26, 2012 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

        Your son is very perceptive.

      • Wonky Moral Compass
        Posted September 26, 2012 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

        Your son has a point. There’s hardly a fag paper’s worth of difference between the mainstram parties these days, is there?

      • lifelogic
        Posted September 27, 2012 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

        Your son is largely right, some are driven by religion or other beliefs, often mad and self contradictory beliefs, some are sensible, honest and rational like JR but the majority just see it as a good career. They alas tend to take control and run things, with their interest to the fore. Even it they do kid themselves that that is not what they are actually doing.

        If you pay a doctor enough he will usually find a good sound medical reason to remove both your legs. It is just the same in the state sector and politics.

    • uanime5
      Posted September 26, 2012 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

      The problem with reducing taxation to make work pay is that the lowest paid pay almost nothing in income tax or NI yet still need to claim benefits in order to survive. So further reductions in income tax or NI won’t have any effect.

      • Mark W
        Posted September 27, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

        Negative taxation at low earnings per hour worked then. That is a cost and could lead to deliberate abuse by some employers, but it has to pay to work.

      • Richard
        Posted September 27, 2012 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

        Wrong yet again, look at the figures:-
        You pay income tax at a rate of 20% up to £35,000
        You get a personal allowance of £7475
        You pay tax (and some NI) if you earn above this amount per annum.

        The min wage is £6.08 per hour so if you work just a 35 hour week this is £212.80 per week, which is £11,066 per year
        Therefore on min wage you would still pay tax of approx of £718 (plus NI)
        If you were on the average salary of approx £25,000 you would pay approx £3600 tax per annum and NI
        So plainly an increased personal allowance of say £10,000 would be good for even those on the min wage.

  15. Bob
    Posted September 26, 2012 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    LBC radio has been broadcasting charitable appeals for the Air Ambulance, yet we have a ring-fenced and increasing foreign aid budget.

    Shouldn’t it be the other way around?

    • Jerry
      Posted September 26, 2012 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

      Bob, same applies to the RNLI

  16. Mike Wilson
    Posted September 26, 2012 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    There must be some mistake surely?

    The list of things the government has done … must surely have been done by a Labour government?

  17. Mike Wilson
    Posted September 26, 2012 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    On a more serious note, are you all so drunk on power you are just going to sit there and meekly let this carry on?

  18. Bob
    Posted September 26, 2012 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    “Yesterday an amazed BBC was telling us that the delegates at the Lib Dem Conference are bravely sticking to the “tough” deficit reduction programme of the Coalition, despite their dislike of it. What a lot of disinformation in the same short news piece.”

    The BBC?
    disseminating disinformation?
    surely not?

    End the licence fee system, making people pay to be misinformed is an intrinsic part of the spiral of self destruction that afflicts the UK.

    The state is bloated and out of control, as is the BBC.

    • nicol sinclair
      Posted September 26, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

      Hear hear!

    • Bazman
      Posted September 26, 2012 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

      The fee is a red herring and you know it.

  19. Timaction
    Posted September 26, 2012 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    Everything you say is correct. So when are there going to be Conservative policies and values? Not with Cameron and Osborne in charge. Liberal Socialists both. They have no understanding of Tory hopes, asperations, ideas. A hand up not a hand out.
    Everyone out here, outside the bubble, has noticed and there is no way the traditional Tory voters will vote for these leaders again.

    • nicol sinclair
      Posted September 26, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

      ‘asperations’ – see my comments to Lifelogic above.

      • Richard
        Posted September 26, 2012 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

        Sorry to sound pedantic but shouldn’t the “n” and the “s” letters of your name be in capitals?

      • NickW
        Posted September 26, 2012 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

        Nicol; are you being a bit pedentic?

    • Bazman
      Posted September 26, 2012 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

      If you have a foot on your head as a young man might have different aspirations as the usual ways such as career and education are closed and the odds are stacked against you.This idea that you can study your way out of the ghetto is for the birds. For many their upbringing brings them down as they do not have access to the MCSSS.

  20. Bob
    Posted September 26, 2012 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    So Cameron says that Andrew Mitchell’s habit of intimidating underlings “must never happen again”.

    Well, what would be the best way to guarantee that outcome?

    Sack him.

    • lifelogic
      Posted September 26, 2012 at 11:11 am | Permalink

      “Intimidating underlings” is surely the main job description for a Chief Whip.

    • zorro
      Posted September 26, 2012 at 11:24 am | Permalink

      Cast Elastic seems incapable of doing the right thing, and don’t forget that he and Mitchell are in the ‘equestrian’ order and must stick by each other, don’t ya know…..?


      • zorro
        Posted September 26, 2012 at 11:26 am | Permalink

        Janet Daly wrote an interesting article in the Telegraph the other day saying that, in her experience, this was not an isolated incident……Anyway, Mitchell may never be a pleb, but he can always be a prat!


    • nicol sinclair
      Posted September 26, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

      @Bob. Ignore him. That is more painful.

    • Nina Andreeva
      Posted September 26, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

      Presumably the copper involved in the incident will resign/be sacked? This is because the next time he is up in court, a defence brief will remind the jury that his recollection of events then was some what at variance to what was accepted by the Prime Minister after his chief whip had looked him ‘squarely in the eye’. If he does not go,Dave should remember that it was exactly nearly forty years ago to the day that a the cover up of a minor criminal offence led to Nixon’s downfall

      Going back on topic Dave said he should become Prime Minister because he said he would be “good at it”. Looking at his top 8 achievements above John, will you be listing them on your leaflets during the next election?

    • Mark
      Posted September 26, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

      I though that’s exactly the Whips’ job – intimidating underlings…

      However, it may be best – like a surgeon – to choose your practice subjects carefully.

    • uanime5
      Posted September 26, 2012 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

      Given Cameron’s judgement on Andy Coulson, Liam Fox, and Jeremy Hunt don’t expect any sackings.

    • Mark W
      Posted September 26, 2012 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

      The chief whip should have swanned through the gates in the back of a limo. No problem then. The police making him get off his bike is just the police being what they are today. Jobsworths in yellow high viz vests bossing everyone around. They just love shutting roads when someone stubs their toe on a curb. I’m glad someone finally gave them a but stick back.

      Why can’t a bike go through the gate?

  21. frank salmon
    Posted September 26, 2012 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    If ever there was a reason to vote UKIP….

    • Ashley
      Posted September 26, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

      Surely the big question here is why a Conservative Chancellor is enacting such ruinous social democratic spending policies at such a desperate time and therein lies the reason why so many now feel UKIP is the only party worth voting for.

    • Christopher Ekstrom
      Posted September 26, 2012 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

      Right. Whatever was left of the Tory party prior to Cameron is long gone! UKIP is the future.

      • Jerry
        Posted September 26, 2012 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

        What was said of the socialist left in 1984, entering an eternity of opposition, I fear with all the in-fighting (between the Conservatives & UKIP) that the right might be on course for that medicine too…

        Some on the right sure do like cutting their own noses off!

        • Christopher Ekstrom
          Posted September 27, 2012 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

          Or just join in the socialist Fun: no thanks, Wally.

          • Jerry
            Posted September 28, 2012 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

            Of course, how stupid of me, UKIP will win the next election and form the next government, out of nothing they will win between 200 and 300 odd seats…

            Even to be a player in the next coalition they need to do 100% better than any previous Westminster election, that is they need to get at least one MP!

  22. Mike Stallard
    Posted September 26, 2012 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    Joined up with your remarks on China yesterday, I do not think that the coalition policy is the right one at all.
    Do you?
    I mean, how is it really dealing with the underlying problem that China is the one holding the means of production while we in the West have held – and are busy printing – the capital investment? Now we are broke and heavily in debt, we face penury.
    I should know – I was brought up dirt poor in the decaying CofE in a huge, cold, decaying and out of date Vicarage. Old money versus new money. We in the West are old money: China is new money.
    And the government is doing what precisely?

  23. Steven Whitfield
    Posted September 26, 2012 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    It’s not surprising that the Liberal Democrats looks so smug. They get to basque in the glory of reversing the ‘Tory cuts’…meanwhile the Conservatives will carry the can when the money markets get jumpy. How could the Coalition be so Leadership be so foolish….and the opposition from the Conservative ‘right’ so ineffective ?

    • nicol sinclair
      Posted September 26, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

      ‘ How could the Coalition be so Leadership be so foolish’ – see comment above to Lifelogic…

      • Nina Andreeva
        Posted September 26, 2012 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

        I would have thought that you would have instead picked up his use of the word “basque”. However as some MPs have been known to dress in an out of the ordinary fashion its use is probably OK

  24. waramess
    Posted September 26, 2012 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    I guess it all points to a complete failure of the Tory promses on deficit and debt and has resulted in a government by deceit.

    That may be ok by the LibDems but how about the rest of us

    • nicol sinclair
      Posted September 26, 2012 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

      ‘Tory promses’ ditto as to Lifelogic.

  25. They Work for Us
    Posted September 26, 2012 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    Reality was summed up on the Today programme by Frank Field this morning.

    “Since the war successive governments have knowlingly spent more money than they were raising in taxes.”

    Thus they have inflated and debauched the currency. It is no surprise that people are not saving , the only real value of your money is what it is worth now, so why not spend it. What would happen if every spent all their money each month and all their savings as a measure to avoid Govt sponsored inflation.

    If we assume for illustrative purposes the value of the pound against the US dollar post war (ignoring the fact that the dollar has also inflated) then we see:!

    post war £1 = $4, 1960’s £1 = $3, 2006 £1 = $ 2012 £1 = $1.5

    How can we advise our children to save in a currency that Govts will inflate.

    • lifelogic
      Posted September 26, 2012 at 11:15 am | Permalink

      Perhaps even better to look at its value relative to a basket commodities metals, oil, gas, grain, land and the likes.

      Not hard to see which is the basket currency.

    • zorro
      Posted September 26, 2012 at 11:27 am | Permalink

      Lenin would have been proud of them in their efforts to debauch the currency….


    • Electro-Kevin
      Posted September 26, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

      This is why houses have become such an important commodity in Britain. Overcrowding is not the main issue for their unaffordability – it’s the lack of faith in money.

      • Steven_L
        Posted September 26, 2012 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

        It’s people taking out massive loans to buy houses that has created so much money. But it’s the end of the line, debt deflation is upon us.

    • A different Simon
      Posted September 26, 2012 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

      Yep and the U.S. have been doing enough printing of their own and can get away with it because they are a military super power .

      I had a discussion with someone where I pointed out that UK wages were amongst the highest in the World so the problem must be due to the excessive cost of living .

      He did not dispute that the cost of living was high but made me question my confidence in currency exchange rates in an environment where Libor and almost everything else is rigged .

      He was basically saying that if the value of a pound was artificially inflated we might not be earning as much as we think .

      We should all remember that Britain hasn’t had it’s financial crash yet . All it’s done is pretend , extend and put off . When our crash does come it is likely to be devastating .

      2 or 3 years down the road when lack of pensions provision in the private sector rears it’s head and our borrowing costs rise , including on debt denominated in currencies other than Sterling , the desperate hit the streets what is a pound going to be worth 30c , 40c ?

    • nicol sinclair
      Posted September 26, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

      ‘every’ – everyone?

      • DaveK
        Posted September 26, 2012 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

        You missed “knowlingly”.

    • Nina Andreeva
      Posted September 26, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Permalink


      When I think of Frank Field and a couple of other MPs (no Lib Dems spring to mind amazingly enough) who seem to live in the real world. Have you not thought of getting together to form a sort of “No more bullshit” caucus in the HoC that transcends the current party leaderships and gives the voters something to be less cynical about?

      Reply Mr Field and others from Labour do from time to time make common cause with Conservatives on matters of common concern. This is certainly true on EU matters, where there are a few Labour Eurosceptics. None of us wish to create a new cross party party, nor are there enough potential members of it to make it even worth considering.

  26. Disaffected
    Posted September 26, 2012 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    JR, spot on with your financial analysis of a wasteful government. Cameron had an open gaol and cleared the cross bar. Not once, but on many occasions in two and half years. He has about another year and then the count down for general election, preceded by the European elections that will cause him and your party much harm.

    One flaw in your piece is that the Tory majority led government also supports all that you claim not just the Lib Dems, presumably for the Tory modernisation agenda that none of your supporters want. Two other flaws in your piece that you missed off are: mass immigration policy continues and a soft on crime approach without any changes to the ECHR, as promised by Cameron.

    Your supporters do want politics cleaned up, they do want the aloof arrogant persona weeded out, the born to rule elite clique ie Cameron/Osborn, the hypocrisy, self serving greed. I note Cameron is abroad again when his mates appear in court.

    How can Danny Alexander make claims about tax avoidance when he knows many of his colleagues in the Lib Dems were investigated internally, albeit very poorly, and one is back in cabinet after being found guilty by the useless internal parliamentary mechanism and the sheer number who flipped flopped their second homes to max out expenses and avoid tax. If he forgot, 302 MPs were overpaid or fiddled their expenses. This demonstrates an epidemic and a culture of greed. None of them have a right to speak about bankers or anyone other sector in society in such a disparaging way while taking no action, keeping silent when they knew it was happening. This is aiding and abetting by any standard.

    • lifelogic
      Posted September 26, 2012 at 11:18 am | Permalink

      Any many influential MPs have large vested interest from “Lobby” companies. Particularly the Green Lobby who are very, very keen on getting heaps of tax payers cash handed to them for nothing.

      • oldtimer
        Posted September 26, 2012 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

        It would be helpful if known connections were publicised. Are the well known few just the tip of an iceberg? Is there an expenses type scandal lurking in the background?

        It is too much to hope that there is an investigative journalist still left – especially into this particular subject.

    • Mark W
      Posted September 26, 2012 at 11:28 am | Permalink

      They love bashing bankers. The left revel in it. But who was borrowing all this subprime money. Do the borrowers take any responsibility in this or should they be treated like children incapable of knowing they couldn’t repay loans.

      You could argue that government has been used to bail out banks that threw money at the poorest. Kind of like Pre distribution of you like

      • wab
        Posted September 26, 2012 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

        “Do the borrowers take any responsibility in this or should they be treated like children incapable of knowing they couldn’t repay loans.”

        Of course the borrowers should take some responsibility. Presumably you have thousands of examples in the UK where this has not happened, if you are so worked up about it.

        But the information asymmetry was (and still is) vast between bankers and ordinary punters. The bankers should take most of the responsibility and the blame for what happened. Bankers are happy to claim all the credit when their gambling pays off, and evidently not so keen to take responsibility when their gambling does not pay off. And being bankers, they get massive bonuses whether their gambling has paid off or failed.

      • uanime5
        Posted September 26, 2012 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

        Well the banks have to take some responsibility for giving people 120% mortgages, and combining good and bad mortgages to create triple A rated assets that they then sold. Neither of these are the borrowers’ fault.

    • Winston Smith
      Posted September 26, 2012 at 11:56 am | Permalink

      Next May will be a shock to the Tories. Ukip are standing in all council seats in the agrieved Home Counties. Plus, many Independents are set to stand. They will lose hundreds of seats, many by default to the ludicrous LDs. Well done Cameron.

    • nicol sinclair
      Posted September 26, 2012 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

      ‘302 MPs’ – almost 50% of the buggers… Moderate this if you will, but, it’s true…

      • lifelogic
        Posted September 26, 2012 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

        And did many of the others really not know what was going on!

    • JoolsB
      Posted September 26, 2012 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

      Danny Alxander flipped his homes ( what impact did this have on a potential capital gains tax liability-ed)and now the hypocrite has the nerve to preach to everyone else about tax avoidance. Maybe he should start the ball rolling by paying back what he owes the taxman from the money he made on his taxpayer funded home.

  27. Peter Geany
    Posted September 26, 2012 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    It has done everything I expect a conservative government not to do. I resent all the Tax I pay whilst there is so much waste. My attitude would change if I thought fore one second our money was being spent wisely.
    Capital projects on electrification of rail are a waste. Much cheaper and more productive ways of achieving the same ends.
    Winds farms are a chronic waste. If we are to invest it should be in real cutting edge like high speed broadband, Thorium reactors etc.
    To get the economy going we need to drop personal taxes massively, and NO more QE.

    • nicol sinclair
      Posted September 26, 2012 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

      ‘fore’ = FOR

      • peter geany
        Posted September 26, 2012 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

        Yes I knew the instant I pressed post but there is no edit and being a simple engineer I’m not well equipped to proof read like an expert. But I can do all sorts of clever things that most people can not even begin to understand. Such is my burden.

    • nicol sinclair
      Posted September 26, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

      Thorium reactors? Spot on the money, Peter Geany.

      • outsider
        Posted September 26, 2012 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

        Dear Mr Sinclair,
        I doubt that there is such an expression as “spot on the money”. Are you perhaps conflating “Spot on ” and the American expression “On the money”?

    • outsider
      Posted September 26, 2012 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

      Dear Peter Geany,
      I agree but sadly we no longer have the industrial/research capacity or scientific skills needed to engineer thorium reactors. Electricite de France, our sole supplier of atomic power, does not seem interested. So we should have to wait until Chinese or Indian firms were willing to supply and then on the remote hope that one of the big German or Spanish power generators was willing to take the risk. That is how bad things are. We simply can no longer do what you suggest.

      • Peter Geany
        Posted September 27, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

        I’m not as pessimistic as you about our engineering ability. We would have no issues developing a thorium reactor over and above the technical issues that exist. Our issue is solely that the corporate-banking-civil serpent idiots that make all the decisions.

        The reason the French are not interested as they make all their money from reprocessing uranium as do we. There is nothing in a thorium reactor for the military or the pseudo privatised nuclear industry. As for engineering that just takes those who are prepared to use their brains, rather than those only interested in power.

        • outsider
          Posted September 27, 2012 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

          Dear Peter Geany,
          Who is “our” in this context. I want you to be right but cannot offhand think of any remaining British organisation, private or public, that has the financial and technical capability to undertake this kind of big, expensive engineering project. Can you? And frankly, I cannot see a case for the Government to finance such work if there is no company in the UK to make the kit. It is no good just having great engineers. They have to do the work in some corporate setting. Twenty odd years ago, that would have been several candidates (eg BNFL, the CEGB, the Atomic Energy Authority, GEC, the British Nuclear Corporation) but not today.

  28. Manof Kent
    Posted September 26, 2012 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    As a life long conservative I have never been so disappointed as now -with this government.
    In 2015 our debt will have risen to £1.3+trillion.
    Interest payments alone at 3% will be £40 billion a year.
    If our ‘bankers’ lose confidence then we could very quickly be into the 6% range and £80 billion a year.
    We have denuded our armed services -no aircraft carrier-no wonder Kirchner is saying the Malvinas is a global problem -decolonisation – usual anti British rubbish.

    Instead of stripping out numbers from the military we should be doing this to the 500000 extra civil servants appointed by GB.

    Beginning with those with ‘climate change’ ‘equality ‘ ‘gaymarriage’ in their job titles.

    But it is the political language being used that annoys me constantly.

    I thought there would be a change of tone from new labour-speak to what is necessary in the national interest ie eliminating the deficit in this Parliament [the reason for having the Coalition]

    Sadly the deemed consensus still holds sway and there is no one apart from our host and some other very bright sparks on the back benches who show any appreciation of what is best in the national interest.

    How will it all end up ?
    Public school boys ‘born to rule’ have cocked it all up ,how very disappointing.

  29. James Reade
    Posted September 26, 2012 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    “It has increased current public spending by £57 billion a year over 2 years, or more than 9% in cash terms, ahead of inflation
    It has increased benefits by more than 8.5% over two years”

    For the nth time, can you please acknowledge the cyclical nature of these numbers?

    In those two years, the economy has lurched back into recession. Thus, spending is bound to rise, as are benefits. Unless you’re advocating an economy in which we just stop bothering to pay any kind of unemployment benefits?

    Reply The economy has generated nearly 1 million extra new jobs, so your point is wrong.

    • lifelogic
      Posted September 26, 2012 at 11:20 am | Permalink

      Not “any kind of unemployment benefits” but benefits and a taxation system that gives a real incentive to work.

    • zorro
      Posted September 26, 2012 at 11:31 am | Permalink

      What John says is true, unfortunately the useless Coalition government has been unable to prevent foreign nationals taking the vast majority of these jobs. So we have more immigration, and still paying out shed loads in benefits!….Hopeless!


    • Cliff. Wokingham
      Posted September 26, 2012 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

      Dear John,

      Regarding your reply.

      You state that over One Million new jobs have been generated: I would prefer that rather than stating the number of new jobs, yourself and the media stated the number of new man hours generated because, many people that I know are now working only part time. For example, in my former profession, One nurse would work a basic Thirty-seven hour week. Some times, when replacing a nurse that had left, the trust would take on Two part time nurses, each working Sixteen hours. Labour would boast that an extra person is now in work but, in reality, the number of hours of actual nursing was reduced from 37.5 hours down to 32 hours and once handovers were taken into account, the actual number of productive hours reduced even further.
      Are you therefore, able to confirm that these “extra” jobs are based on full time posts, or are they just another example of Labour type semantics and spin that our once great party use far too often under Mr Cameron’s leadership? As a member of your constituency, I thank you in anticipation of your reply.

      Reply The extra jobs are a mixture of full time and part time. There is overall an increase in hours worked, as I understand it.

    • JoolsB
      Posted September 26, 2012 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

      Whilst benefits have risen above inflation, the age related personal allowance for pensions has been frozen. It won’t affect pensioners on benefits or wealthier pensioners but as usual those in the middle, mostly on non-index private pensions. Unforgivable.

      • JoolsB
        Posted September 26, 2012 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

        I meant to say age related personal allowances for pensioners.

        • waramess
          Posted September 27, 2012 at 10:22 am | Permalink

          You just got there before Nicol could press her “post”button

    • Bazman
      Posted September 26, 2012 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

      Many of the jobs are low paid and part time and lifelogics incentive to work and stay in work is desperation engineered by the removal of the benefits system and low taxes for employers to exploit this pool of cheap labour. A pool he could not even tread water in.

      • Mark W
        Posted September 27, 2012 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

        How do you know Lifelogic couldn’t tread water in this pool. I used to work with a brush and shovel on a Sunday to get cash together when I was starting out. I conserved energy but not whinging or assuming the world owed me anything my brow didn’t sweat for.

    • Lindsay McDougall
      Posted September 27, 2012 at 11:14 am | Permalink

      For the nth time, James Reade, can you tell me what the length of this economic cycle is? Because if it doesn’t have a periodicity, it ain’t a cycle.

  30. MajorFrustration
    Posted September 26, 2012 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    But can we afford it?

  31. Winston Smith
    Posted September 26, 2012 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    We have continuity New Labour Govt. LibLabCon will offer no solutions, just more socialism. Nobody in Govt and very few in your Party are listening to you, JR. You have to offer real alternatives to the voters and that has to be outside the Conservative Party.

  32. Leslie Singleton
    Posted September 26, 2012 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    The trouble is you cannot so much blame the Liberals for the twaddle they talk because it is at least what you would expect of them and the BBC for that matter. It is what the Conservatives are saying and doing and not saying and doing that is the mystery. How can they be pushing for increased overseas aid at a time like this, never mind of course the hard to credit homosexual “marriage” etc. They have looked like children on the economic public relations front and allowed themselves to be portrayed as deep and fast cutters when in fact everything still going up.

  33. Glenn Vaughan
    Posted September 26, 2012 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    Your excellent summation of what this government has done so far presents an overwhelming argument for not supporting the Lib Dems and/or Conservatives at the next General Election.

    As the Labour Party would be the worst of all choices amongst the major parties, that inclines me toward UKIP which seems to be the trend amongst disillusioned voters.

    As for UKIP not being a force in this current parliament, that will change at the next election provided the electorate votes for its candidates. Nothing complicated with that proposition.

    • Vanessa
      Posted September 26, 2012 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

      Well said, and I am going to support UKIP at the next election too. There IS no alternative.

  34. Barbara
    Posted September 26, 2012 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    Norman – exactly. Is it time to start calling it the ‘Liberal Democrat-led Coalition’?

  35. Johnnydub
    Posted September 26, 2012 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    And John, this is precisely why the economy is not recovering….

    NO tax cuts, no regulation cuts, just more statism and corporatism…

    My god, why vote Tory and get more Labour policies? You should be ashamed…

    • zorro
      Posted September 26, 2012 at 11:34 am | Permalink

      No excuse now to avoid voting Tory….It is the only way they will change. On current form, we have nothing to lose.


    • A different Simon
      Posted September 26, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

      UKIP is an obvious alternative but take a look at the YPP (Young People’s Party) too .

      The existing 3 main parties have shown an inability to evolve with the times and will go the same way as the dinosaurs .

      They are so embroiled in their 3 horse race that they won’t notice the unfavoured challengers coming up the outside .

      Time will simply make them obsolete as new parties will emerge with more in common with the younger generation .

  36. Sue
    Posted September 26, 2012 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    Yes, well done!

    Bad news for U.K. politicians clinging to the notion that the nation’s AAA debt rating indicates a clean bill of financial health. Morgan Stanley expects the British budget shortfall to earn the dubious distinction as Europe’s largest in 2013-14, surpassing even the deficit in troubled Greece.

    Really, I thought NuLabour were awful, but the coalition has exceeded my worse nightmares. Can a government be anymore clueless? I don’t think so, or perhaps now you have given yourselves the right to steal as much of our wages as you can, you just don’t give a damn what we think anymore?

    Thanks, for giving away our democracy and bankrupting our country. Time to change politics completely. Representative democracy obviously doesn’t work, we need Direct Democracy.

    • Steven Whitfield
      Posted September 26, 2012 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

      Agreed Sue… -I fear times are going to have to get much ,much worse economically before those that cling to the old political party’s out of nothing more than a misplaced loyalty admit they are wrong.
      Being on the right side of the argument is pointless if the political system is crafted to exclude views beyond that of a narrow politically correct elite.

  37. Daniel McKean
    Posted September 26, 2012 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    I’m a little lost on howthe Lib Dems have endorsed higher taxes “on non food consumption, on foreign holidays, on driving and on employing people” – and have the Conservatives opposed such an endorsement?

    Reply: The Lib Dems like Air Passenger Duty and petrol/diesel tax as green taxes, and voted for the VAT and NI changes

    • Disaffected
      Posted September 26, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

      JR you did not answer the question. Why has the Tories gone along with it? Why do the Tories want gay marriage forced through before the end of this parliament it is in neither parties manifesto? Tories are as much to blame if not worse because they have the majority, Lib Dem poll ratings are so low they could not do much else if the coalition collapsed- so why are the Tories doing all what you say above in contrast to what they pledged to get our votes?

      Reply: Conservatives are in a minority, as are Labour and Lib Dems. You have to ask Conservative Ministers in the Coalition why they went along with all these items. I support the Coalition’s original stated plan of getting rid of the structural deficit in 5 years, 80% by spending cuts.

      • zorro
        Posted September 26, 2012 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

        John, what have they said to you about their reasons for doing so (assuming that you have asked them those questions)? You are in a better position to get a reply for your constituents who are rather perplexed by these ‘priorities’…..


      • oldtimer
        Posted September 26, 2012 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

        Mr Letwin is a strong advocate of higher Air Passenger Duty. In his mind, according to Boris Johnson who reported the conversation in one of his Daily Telegraph columns, the express purpose is to discourage the lower orders from flying abroad for their holidays. It is part and parcel of Mr Cameron`s green measures; as such it is as much “Conservative” as it is LibDem.

      • Mark W
        Posted September 26, 2012 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

        Gay marriage is a red herring to wrong foot social conservatives into looking like refugees from the Victorian era. The church and social conservatives should endorse gay marriage in church. The uptake would be low and their smearers would be dumbstruck.

      • Bazman
        Posted September 27, 2012 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

        Not planning on any gay marriage are you disaffected? So what is it to you?

  38. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted September 26, 2012 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    Unlike you, I take the trouble to correct cash numbers for inflation, using the GDP deflator inflation index since it is macro-economics that we are dealing with. These are the key numbers:

    In the 2012 budget document, once you correct for inflation, total public expenditure in FYR 2013/14 is planned to be 1.4% less than in FYR 2011/12 (I wouldn’t dare say what the outcome in the current FYR will be). This plan is linked to the assumption that there will be 0.8% real GDP growth in 2012/13 and 2.0% real growth in 2013/14. If there is no growth, tax revenues will be less and the required reduction rises to 5%. These are not cuts in projected increases. These are real cuts in real money. They reflect real reductions in resources allocated to State activities.

    When the Chancellor presents his next public expenditure review, he will need two quarters of GDP growth behind him if he is to retain credibility with the markets. He should postpone presentation until January.

    Clegg was prattling on about pain in 2015/16 when being interviewed. It’s not about never never land, Nick, it’s about the coming financial year.

    Reply So do I. So far current public spendign has risen by more than prices. You also need to take into account the public sector wage freeze,as wages are the main cost excluding benefits.

  39. JoolsB
    Posted September 26, 2012 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    The Lib Dums seem to get their own way on everything, all obviously with the approval of our Liberal Prime Minister no matter how much it is stifling recovery and crippling those in the middle.

    John, when are the true Conservatives in the party like yourself going to stand up and be counted and have the courage to give Cameron and all the other Liberals in his inner circle the heave ho because not to do so means England, God help us, will have a Labour Government thrust on us in 2015 whether we want one or not because one thing is for sure, with Cameron and Cleggie at the helm, the party is doomed.

  40. Jonathan Munday
    Posted September 26, 2012 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    Your facts are correct your logic inescapable…

    so when will take your own advice and lead (or if you think you are un-electable, plot with someone prettier) a coup to take back the Party.
    Or lead a new Gang of Four to re-brand UKIP

    • Mark W
      Posted September 26, 2012 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

      In fairness JR did put his job on the line in 1995 and the spineless around him cowered out of sight when they should have followed his lead.

      I wondered prior to 2010 whether half the green nonsense from Cameron was to get in, then release common sense. Wrong, he’s a social democrat. The gamble for real conservatives is whether to stick with the Tory party or break away. If people like JR break, it would most likely leave them losing their seats at the next election. Staying in also looks doomed as the Tories look like losing power so it’s 1997 all over again. The only possibility, and its slim odds, is to vote UKIP to cause the Tory party to implode. This will mean another term of Labour, possibly more, but this coalition is no better.

  41. Alan Hill
    Posted September 26, 2012 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    “………The Lib Dems have been very good at claiming credit for the higher Income tax threshold,……..”

    The LibDems are pretty good at claiming credit for anything regardless of whether or not they had anything to do with it. We’ve got a LibDem councillor who’s a past master at this much to the fury of other councillors parish and district.

    • Mark W
      Posted September 26, 2012 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

      This is a bit like Vince ‘I saw the crisis coming’ Cable. Apart from he never said anything many others were saying before, which were stating the blindingly obvious. There’s no evidence of any real foresight, only him smiling and playing up to the wise safe routine after the event. He’s a lucky man

      • alan jutson
        Posted September 27, 2012 at 9:41 am | Permalink

        Mark W

        My thoughts entirely.


        He will only really smile when he is in bed with Labour.

        • Mark W
          Posted September 27, 2012 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

          Indeed he will. He’s a true blood red socialist

          • outsider
            Posted September 27, 2012 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

            Plenty of us were saying it but Vince Cable was the only front-bench spokesman among the three parties to bang on about mortgage lending and the credit boom before the bust.
            To be even more controversial, I think he would have been more successful than the incumbent Chancellor at cutting the deficit, to which he is committed. One may not like many of his views ( he clearly has no interest in deregulation or the impact of a “mansion” tax) but at least he knows what he is talking about on the economy, has a better understanding of how organisations work and is much better at putting the essential messages across to ordinary people.
            He would not, I think, have allowed the “omnishanbles” Budget to see the light of day. And I do not think it would have contained a “mansion” tax in anything like the original form, for all the party conference rhetoric.

            Reply Not so. The Conservative front bench regularly pointed to excessive lending and borrowing as a problem, as we did in the Economic Policy Review document issued before the Crunch.

  42. Denis Cooper
    Posted September 26, 2012 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    “It has increased current public spending by £57 billion a year over 2 years”


    “It has agreed to borrow an extra £550 billion over the life of this Parliament”

    go together, and it seems to me that both reflect the moral hazard of QE.

    If a Chancellor can always arrange to indirectly borrow more money from the Bank of England, rather than having to convince gilts investors to lend him more money, then obviously he is under less pressure to restrain his spending and reduce his budget deficit.

    And he is doing this through letters of authorisation such as this one dated July 5th:


    which could be summarised as:

    “Dear Mervyn

    We agreed that if I needed more money you would arrange for me to get it, so please go ahead now and print up another fifty billion.



    When he’s run through that £50 billion tranche of QE money, probably some time in November, will he be able to borrow enough from gilts investors without having the Bank there buying up previously issued gilts at the same time as the Treasury is selling new gilts, or will he be arranging for another £50 billion tranche?

    If the latter, will he break with precedent by asking MPs to approve that decision through a vote before he sends the letter of authorisation, or will he just inform them that he’s done it?

    And do any MPs care enough to insist that he must seek their prior approval for the next tranche, and any subsequent tranches?

    • zorro
      Posted September 26, 2012 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

      I have said for a while now that they will be north of £500 billion QE by 2015. Once you start, it’s very difficult to stop….


  43. Steven Whitfield
    Posted September 26, 2012 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    The question is…what are the Conservative Mp’s that read Mr Redwood’s catalogue of failure going to do about it. Are they going to call for a halt to continuity Brown or will ‘Thrasher’ Mitchell squash any rebellion ?. May I sussgest an appropriate response to any strong arming should be a phrase ending in the word of ?

    • zorro
      Posted September 26, 2012 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

      ‘off’ even……


  44. Steve Cox
    Posted September 26, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    Proof positive, if any were needed, that Cameron should be in the Lib Dem party, not leading the Conservatives. This government, like all failed (and soon-to-fail) left wing governments clearly believes that it knows far better than we do how best to spend our money. Together with the bloated QE foolishness (that will sooner or later wreak further havoc on savers and pensioners and ordinary wage earners when it causes inflation to soar, debasing our currency further,) these policies ensure that capital is not being allocated efficiently, and on an absolutely massive and unprecedented scale. Hundreds of billions of pounds is effectively being invested according to the state’s whims and political pork barrelling, rather than according to where market forces would believe that it could be most profitably employed. Is it any wonder at all that the economy is still on the rocks? Saint Vince’s £1 billion bank to lend to SME’s is completely irrelevant, even if it ever sees the light of day which I doubt. And don’t be fooled by the sugar rush that will come with the Q3 GDP figures, after the distorting influence of the Jubilee and the Olympics they are bound to look good.

  45. Frances Matta
    Posted September 26, 2012 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    Probably why so many of now say “I used to vote Conservative.”

  46. Max Dunbar
    Posted September 26, 2012 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    You are absolutely correct but this does not give any comfort to your supporters. What are you going to do and what are we supposed to think when you list all the failings of your own administtation in this way?

  47. Bert Young
    Posted September 26, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    No-one should be surprised at so-called “claims” from party political conferences , they are platforms for personality contests . Most sensible observers digest what they see and hear , turn it over , and then reach their own conclusions .

  48. BobE
    Posted September 26, 2012 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    The LibDems have lost …
    The pensioners vote,
    The student vote,
    The Rich (anybody earning over 50k!!) vote,
    Anybody on benifits vote,
    Any disabled person vote.
    In 2.5 years time they will vanish.

    • JoolsB
      Posted September 26, 2012 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

      Would suggest the Tories have also lost the pensioners’ vote and the students’ vote. Osborne introduced the dispicable Granny tax and as for the students, it’s unforgivable that the Tories who rely on England for their support, are happy to see England’s students be the only ones to face £9,000 fees. What has Cameron done about Salmond’s blatant discrimination against students from England? EU students study free in Scotland, Welsh students pay £3,200, only the English pay £9,000. Not a peep in protest from Cameron. You can also add the Tories have lost the vote of English student’s parents too who are hopping mad at this apartheid against their young by the party they voted for.

    • Jerry
      Posted September 26, 2012 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

      Indeed, to be replaced by Labour or Green MPs, be careful of what you wish for…

  49. Vanessa
    Posted September 26, 2012 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    What a mish-mash of idiotic policies, probably all driven by their junior partners (LibDims). What on earth have you got to be proud of? This country is still in a mess financially and this govt has done absolutely nothing to help the economy grow. We, the people, make an economy grow, not government, and you have done nothing but pour away our hard earned taxes into hideously inefficient ideas which most of your rich toddlers seem to think are a good idea, including INCREASING aid to countries which are growing at a himalayan rate and we are not.

  50. Antisthenes
    Posted September 26, 2012 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    Austerity what austerity? Ok there is some but not by substantial cuts in expenditure as there should be but by the shrinking pound in the pocket, not for the public sector though their spending is rising generally with inflation. The plan to reduce the debt is obvious Western governments are going to inflate it away. Grand plan or perhaps not as once inflation takes a grip it is very hard to control and the consequences in the end are the same and without having tackled the root causes of the problem.

  51. Denis Cooper
    Posted September 26, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Permalink
    • Bob
      Posted September 26, 2012 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

      “Nick Clegg: public spending is out of control”

      Has he told the PM??

  52. harry
    Posted September 26, 2012 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    Not to mention David Cameron virtually ignoring any calls for English recognition,it is UKIP for me from now on,after looking through their developing policies no- one can say they are a one-issue party, the two big things (for me)are out of Europe and An English parliament something none of the three main parties are prepared to listen to.

    • JoolsB
      Posted September 26, 2012 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

      Totall agree Harry. Cameron can’t even say the word England, let alone recognise it. He’s all for self-determination for the rest of the UK, world etc. just not the English. Not only are UKIP offering to address the unfair way in which England is governed but they are the real Conservative party now.

    • JimF
      Posted September 26, 2012 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

      UKIP isn’t a one-issue party.
      Look at Grammar Schools (return of)
      Look at energy policy
      Look at simplifying income taxes
      Look at simplifying benefits
      It’s rolling back the present Labour Liberal and Conservative policies
      It is perverse that this site constantly discusses and agrees the policies which are essentially of UKIP but under a different and wayward banner.

  53. Derek Emery
    Posted September 26, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    Public sector net borrowing is increasing by over twice the rate it was under New Labour and at about 9% pa as you say. See UK national debt statistics at http://www.economicshelp.org/blog/334/uk-economy/uk-national-debt/

    The debt is on course to reach around 100% of GDP by 2015 when the election takes place. Labour will have a field day with the figures. It places us only 2-3 years behind the US which has reached 100% today.
    The UK figure ignores the separate massive UK private sector debt and the UK total debt is second in the world only to Japan’s.

    The west has been in a state on of growth, no de-leveraging for around 5 years see http://www.zerohedge.com/news/five-years-great-financial-crisis-no-growth-no-deleveraging

    As debts relentlessly increase with no or low growth the risks for the west’s sovereign debt lenders increase. At some as yet undetermined date their nerve will snap once they realize the west is in a king with no clothes scenario. Things will happen very quickly then.

    Loans will become too expensive to afford and monetizing the debt will be the only option as defaulting is even worse. Once one of the bigger dominoes starts to fail it will likely trigger a chain reaction as other sovereign debt lenders will realize they are in a similar position. In the unlikely event that the US went down first the rest of the world would be affected instantly due to it being the world’s reserve currency. The IMF declared the US bankrupt back in 2010 and nothing has improved since then.

    Their can be no easy get-out for the west. Fossil fuel reserves are running down and becoming more expensive which is recessionary in itself. Aging demographics affect many western countries and western wages salaries and pensions are very much higher than in the rest of the world for the same skill levels.

    Monetizing the debt will lead to a large drop in living standards reducing the cost differential for labour in the world.

    Western politicians are doing everything to avoid monetizing debt but they have lost control due to the ever burgeoning size of their debt combined with negligible growth no matter how much extra borrowed money they throw at it.. The play is now in the hands of lenders and once they lose their nerve…….

  54. Iain Gill
    Posted September 26, 2012 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    they have enforced religious segregation on our children in their schools, they have given billions away to other countries which dont need it, they have rubber stamped confetti like production of ICT work visas decimating the british workforce, they have denied patients any choice of medical service and forced people to accept the worst healthcare in the western world, they have stood silent while open discrimination against the accents of the working classes of this country takes place, they have subsidised housing in areas where there is no chance of jobs ever reappearing and forced poor people to stay in areas away from the jobs markets, the have endorsed the polically correct wine bar think of the chattering classes and forced …
    but then so has the rest of the political class and all have failed the people of this country

  55. Bernard Juby
    Posted September 26, 2012 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    If the Government has done all of these things then why the Hell do the majority call themselves Conservatives???

    • JimF
      Posted September 26, 2012 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

      Because they think they’re being “nice”
      And they think “nice” = electable (courtesy T May)

  56. Matthew
    Posted September 26, 2012 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

    The Lib Dems received a good deal in joining the coalition.

    They were given senior positions in government and had their referendum on PR.
    I suppose they bet the farm on a recovery coming and would catch the rising tide of public support.

    Now that the recovery hasn’t turned up they’re resorting to dirty tactics. Inferring that they’re sharing a house with right wing fanatics and only they can keep them in control. With the exception of Dr Cable – he’s been projecting these views since the start. His behaviour has been disgraceful.

    Now they’re pressing for more wealth taxes, indicating that they won’t agree to any further (?) reductions to welfare without a mansion or asset tax. It doesn’t seem to occur to them all this has been tried before and didn’t solve our economic difficulties.

    Big mistake by Mr Cameron.

    • NickW
      Posted September 26, 2012 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

      The Liberal Democrats have a well earned reputation for dirty campaigning, outright lies, distortion and personal attacks.

      Those of them in Government are no different to the unprincipled charlatans involved in their local campaigning.

    • uanime5
      Posted September 26, 2012 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

      Firstly the referendum was on AV, not PR.

      Secondly when has a mansion tax been tried in the UK and what were the results?

      • alan jutson
        Posted September 27, 2012 at 9:50 am | Permalink

        uanime 5

        We had a window tax many years ago, so people bricked up windows.

        Given that many people in the country are property rich but cash poor, what would you do if they could not pay their mansion tax, force them to sell it !
        Force them to puchase a lower value property which would mean forcing them to pay stamp duty, and sell off some furniture so they could fit in a smaller house.

        Many people have budgeted in advance for their old age, with savings and pension provision, a new tax introduced simply for political purposes, simply buggers up those calculations completely and creates a personal deficit.

        My council tax is already 50% of a standard rate state pension.

        • uanime5
          Posted September 27, 2012 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

          I believe the standard solutions for not being able to pay the mansion tax are downsizing, equity release, and getting a lodger.

          • outsider
            Posted September 27, 2012 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

            Dear Uanime5,
            Downsizing and getting a lodger are just the solutions envisaged for subsidised council house tenants who will no longer be given any social security allowance if they have spare bedrooms. It caused outrage, rightly in my view. Being taxed out of the home you saved up and paid for out of wages over 20 years would in my view be even worse.

          • alan jutson
            Posted September 27, 2012 at 10:15 pm | Permalink


            Surprised at your solution, I would have thought:

            The last thing to do is sell your house to get money, because then you disqualify yourself from any benefits on the grounds of your savings.


            What you do is use up all of your savings, and then claim benefits, council tax and all of the other allowances, because your house value does not count against you.

            Thus you could pay a mansion tax until your savings run out, and then supplement it with benefits you get paid. Thus you pay the state taxes due , then claim it all back in benefits, its a crazy World !!!!!!

    • JimF
      Posted September 26, 2012 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

      It’s also convenient cover for Team Cameron that they can blame the LibDems for “having” to talk about higher taxes, higher borrowing. The whole thing has a very 70s Callaghan-Wilson feel to it, keeping the little people happy with their smooth talk, but a hint of seriousness.
      And the LibDems won’t let the “poor” suffer before the “rich”. So naive. Who suffers when fuel and food costs surge beause of extra borrowing and QE?

  57. Steven Whitfield
    Posted September 26, 2012 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    #9 is curiously omitted from the list as it is such an important matter.

    It has kept net migration above 200,000 per year.

    That’s another reason to keep the Lib Dem tail of the Coalition happy….however unfortunate the consequences might be for those that might wish to fill some of the ‘1 million new jobs’ that have been created since the Coalition started.

    Mr Redwood…is there anything of substance for Conservatives to feel happy about with this Coalition ?

  58. Jon
    Posted September 26, 2012 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    The Conservatives are getting the flack for the cuts but are they really making the cuts, worst of both worlds getting criticised for it and not actually cutting enough which may be restricting private sector growth.
    Are there cuts to state overheads overall or is that also going up. I can get increase in capital but what about the routine running costs of each dept.
    Nick Clegg is getting a bit of reputation, he talks about cutting bus passes etc for millionaire pensioners but to make any impact it needs to affect more people than that. He’s not quite being upfront.

    Channel hoping I saw a Lib Dem speaking at the conference, she was chairperson of the EU finance committee. It was frightening, one her sheer lack of knowledge and two her zeal to transfer the trade in the City of London to Frankfurt and Paris, 20% of our economy which also pays for a lot of public services. Its all fuel for UKIP and a losing the next election.

  59. Jools
    Posted September 26, 2012 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

    If Clegg was honest he would list some of the nasty things that the Coalition has done with his approval – tacit if not explicit

    * Forced the upload of Summary Care Records with our sensitive health care data – without a chance for us to opt out – a broken LD promise.
    * Forced telecoms and internet companies to log our phone and net use, which the Libdems promised wouldn’t be done ‘without good reason’ – a broken LD promise.
    * In the Legal Aid and Sentencing Bill, allowed a line whereby courts could deprive those able to prove their innocence in court from being reimbursed with their reasonable legal expenses.
    * Accepted the ‘right’ of ECHR judges to tell us to give votes to prisoners
    * Pushed through draconian vehicle clamping legislation
    * Voted against an EU referendum (in spite of their pre-election stance and Clegg’s waffle about ‘giving power back to the people’.

    A really nasty bunch to go with the tax fascists – anti-liberal and anti-democratic.

  60. uanime5
    Posted September 26, 2012 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

    The Lib Dems are claiming credit for the higher income tax threshold because it was their policy before the election, unlike the Conservatives. If you’re going to claim that any party that voted for this policy should be given credit then Labour would also be able to claim credit for it.

    Wasn’t most of the increase in benefits due to them being index linked, for example last year they increased by 5.2% because inflation was 5.2%. So in real terms they’ve barely increase.

    How have the Conservatives “endorsed or imposed higher tax rates on earnings” when they voted to reduce the 50% tax rate and were calling for it to be abolished? Are you referring to the Conservatives’ lowering of the 40% tax rate so fewer people would benefit from the higher income tax threshold?

  61. Steven Whitfield
    Posted September 26, 2012 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

    To add to the list of failure, the coalition has also failed to substantially reduce net migration. It still stands at 200,000 + per year.

  62. mick 346
    Posted September 26, 2012 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

    “It has increased current public spending by £57 billion a year over 2 years, or more than 9% in cash terms, ahead of inflation”

    We wanted the budget cut.

    “It has increased benefits by more than 8.5% over two years”

    The welfare state is too large and unaffordable already.

    “It has endorsed or imposed higher tax rates on earning, on buying expensive homes, on rich Nom Doms, on capital gains, on non food consumption, on foreign holidays, on driving and on employing people”

    Excellent news increase the cost of employing people… at the same time your trying to increase the number in the workforce.

    “It has greatly increased overseas aid spending”

    Charity begins at home?

    “It has pursued a policy of very dear green energy”

    Wasted public money for……?

    “It has transferred powers to the EU and increased our spending on the EU budget”

    EU governments have horrendous debt yet the UK and other nations need to increase contributions, surely they see the irony in that.

    “It has agreed to borrow an extra £550 billion over the life of this Parliament, an amount higher than the total state debt in 2004.”

    And how much of that’s going to be wasted?

  63. Barbara Stevens
    Posted September 26, 2012 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

    I’ve watched the coverage of the Lib Dems today. Dismal, self appreciating, boring, and full of waffle by the barrowful. The main feature Mr Clegg, who appeared to be pleading for support; was dismal in its portrayal. Its content, nothing. Nothing new, nothing to offer, but how could they. We see Tories in Yellow.
    Mr Redwood, I wonder what the Tories have done in the past two and half years, for it seems the Lib Dems have done it all. Oh I forgot, Cameron has done well, he’s given our money away like smarties to all and sundry, by the billions, for foreign shores. While we all know, our own suffer indignaties and loss of income and cuts so severe they may die of cold or lack of good food come this winter. Justifiy that please Mr R and Mr C.

  64. Steven Whitfield
    Posted September 27, 2012 at 12:33 am | Permalink

    It’s interesting to compare the Coalition’s dismal record with Uncle Redwood’s clear headed approach to fixing the economy. If George Osborne and Mervyn King cannot learn from the mistakes of the past they are doomed to failure.


  65. Steven Whitfield
    Posted September 28, 2012 at 12:25 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood,

    You have talked about the Coalitions economic policy…. but what is your view on possible outcomes of the financial crisis for the UK ?. I suspect economic conditions (inflation, exchange & interest rates etc.) could deteriorate very quickly indeed so it seems sensible to discuss the various scenario’s however unpleasent they might be.

    This must ofcourse involve some crystal ball gazing but we know that the trend is for spending increases above inflation, very low growth and that another £550 billion will be added to the national debt by 2015.

    How many more years can government sustain 9% increases in public spending before debt repayments (and the level of QE needed to service them) become unmanageable ?.

    Reply: I will return to this topic regularly, as I have done in the past. My view is that public spending is too high and needs to be better controlled. I have identified areas where it could be lower, and will speak more about these at party conference. The increase in debt is likely now to be above the £550 bn 5 year forecast from the last budget, given the current trends of increased spending with falling tax revenues on wealth and income. The government also needs to tackle the fall in revenues, as we have discussed.

    • Steven Whitfield
      Posted October 4, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

      Thanks Sir John,
      I hope you will give a wake up call to your colleagues that still believe they only need to ‘keep pumping money into the economy until the recovery is self sustaining’. This isn’t a compassionate policy ..it is a policy that will lead to national humiliation and economic failure.
      550 Bn is an awfully big overspend..and for what ?. so that Mr Clegg and Mr Cameron can flaunt their virtue ?. As a nation we must have gone absolutely mad to allow our leaders to drag us to the edge of economic disaster.

      Why can’t the Chancellor and the legions of well paid treasury officials decide how much the country can afford and then stick to that budget ?

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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