Budget speech

My budget intervention and speech are available as text in the “Debates” section of this site. Videos of each are available below:

My intervention: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iaMHh8PYalc

My speech: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CAvGP_vdy0s

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  1. alan jutson
    Posted March 19, 2015 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    A speech which contained much common sense, and logical explanation.

    Quite why many of your party members, so called reporters and financial experts, cannot explain things as simply as you manage John, I simply do not understand.

    Cameron is missing a trick by not using your obvious financial talent and understanding, but then is has shown such a poor lack of Judgement in so many who he has engaged, it is no surprise you have not had the call.

    • agricola
      Posted March 19, 2015 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

      Good leadership, in any sphere, has the courage to make use of the best talent at it’s disposal. Such leadership needs the challenge of surrounding itself with testing alternative thinking with a view to providing the best outcome. Too much emphasis these days seems to be placed on colleagues who stay on message, even when the message is of questionable validity. Who for instance within government is really questioning our membership of the EU or alternatively providing really cogent reasons for it. From outside the bubble it appears that government is drifting . Because it is the PM’s desire to stay in, and there is no one among his choice of ministers who articulates otherwise , the subject is not debated or put to a strict analysis.

      • Hope
        Posted March 22, 2015 at 11:13 am | Permalink

        Cameron is diagonally opposed to JR. Look at the people Cameron surrounded himself with and ask what would be the position if we were unfortunate enough to have him as PM again? The only hope for the party I. Such circumstances would be to oust him ASAP.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 19, 2015 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

      In general do the opposite of the Cameron direction and the party will not go very far wrong, he is at least reliably wrong. This on the fake greenery, on his 299 tax increases, his EU & IHT ratting, on giving Clegg equal TV billing, on his free at the point of rationing, second rate NHS, on grammar schools, his childish enforced equality agenda, on Libya, and Patterson and Gove, on his token women ……

  2. Lifelogic
    Posted March 19, 2015 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    Good speeches but could have been far better had you been defending a good visionary budget rather than this pathetically wet Labour light, private pension and bank mugging one.

    I just heard BBC think Stephanie Flanders on the daily politics suggesting “The City” was not sure which party they wanted to win the election due to the EU referendum uncertainly. She must mix with a very unrepresentative selection city people if she thinks that for one moment.

    No one trusts ratter Cameron to ever hold a fair EU referendum anyway and a large proportion of the city would want out (as it would be in the interest of most businesses and the restoration of any real UK democracy). The last thing they want is rent act voice of the state sector unions Ed Miliband – even if Cameron is almost as dreadful.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 19, 2015 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

      Still less if it Miliband and the SNP.

  3. Ian B
    Posted March 19, 2015 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    A good speech.

  4. Bert Young
    Posted March 19, 2015 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    Yes , a very good follow-up speech . Having control and understanding of the detail made nonsense of the interruptions ( the Scot was made to look rather silly ). I have long admired JR’s economics and I do wish he had a place at the table where the ideas are turned over and priorities established . Westminster lacks the punch he can deliver .

    • Mondeo Man
      Posted March 20, 2015 at 9:36 am | Permalink

      Agree, Bert.

  5. JoeSoap
    Posted March 19, 2015 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    The explanations are very good, but why do you find it necessary to kow-tow to Labour’s policies by basically saying when questioned by them “that’s what we’ve done”? There is really no point in shooting Labour’s fox by following their policies, because you end up losing the votes of your core support.
    Follow Labour on NOT eliminating the deficit, NOT reducing immigration, putting up taxes and increasing spending by £60 billion by all means, but expect to be called LibLabCon and don’t expect to get the thinkers amongst your former followers to vote for you!

    • JoeSoap
      Posted March 19, 2015 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

      The point is, I think, if you had been able to stand up after 5 years and said you had

      Eliminated the deficit
      Reduced core tax rates on income and capital gains to 20%
      Increased inentives for business relocation here – perhaps 12.5% corporation tax for the whole UK
      Reduced net immigration to tens of thousands
      Had a proper plan for escaping the clutches of the EU

      You might be in a different and better place right now!

      • JoeSoap
        Posted March 19, 2015 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

        PS unlike yours, these are NOT Labour or Libdem policies!

    • Mondeo Man
      Posted March 20, 2015 at 12:31 am | Permalink

      What with shooting foxes and beheading snakes I think the Tories are going to have difficulty shaking off their nasty party image.

    • forthurst
      Posted March 20, 2015 at 1:07 am | Permalink

      “The explanations are very good, but why do you find it necessary to kow-tow to Labour’s policies by basically saying when questioned by them “that’s what we’ve done”?”

      Well, I have watched the speech and in response to that Labour interruption, I anticipated JR’s responding in the way he did as it seemed entirely the correct rebuttal; in fact it was a Labour own goal.

      • JoeSoap
        Posted March 20, 2015 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

        The correct rebuttal if you agree that spending £60 billion in the public sector on more waste is fine, yes. Not if your belief is that we should have balanced the budget by now.

    • Mondeo Man
      Posted March 20, 2015 at 9:16 am | Permalink

      “There is really no point in shooting Labour’s fox by following their policies, because you end up losing the votes of your core support.”

      And I don’t believe there is much chance of converting Labour supporters to Tory. They have a visceral hatred of Conservatism and think on completely the opposite side of the brain.

      There is no mystery as to why the Tories aren’t doing better in the polls and were unable to beat the dire Gordon Brown and unlikely to beat the utterly awful Miliband.

      The political class is not quite so clever as it thinks it is nor the voters (particularly natural Tories) as stupid as the politicians think they are.

      Our intelligence is being insulted.

      We can see that the three main parties are all offering us Blairism. Though few would put there finger on it this is what they mean when they say “They’re all the same.” Basically they’re right.

      Blairism – the spin, the hypocrisy, the deception, the war mongering, the statism, the reconciliation of wealth and privilege with socialism (in the guise of greenism and diversity) … the ‘charity’ and largesse using other people’s money and other people’s futures to pay for it !

      • Mondeo Man
        Posted March 20, 2015 at 9:17 am | Permalink


  6. Denis Cooper
    Posted March 19, 2015 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

    A good speech, as usual; and I agree with Alan above that Cameron would be wise to make better use of your abilities.

  7. oldtimer
    Posted March 19, 2015 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

    I agree with most of the points you made in your speech.

    Where I depart compay is re the 36% of GDP number which has suddenly appeared in the final year of the budget forecast. Others have commented that two or three years of very savage cuts followed by a very sharp increase in the final year does not sound a very sensible way to plan spending. Would you advise a business to plan its operations this way? It seems to me that the final 36% figure has everything to do with presentation (ie to match the Blair/Brown number and deflect the 1930s level jibe by Labour) and nothing whatever to do with a considered spending profile. It is there to serve the purpose of this budget speech and nothing more than that.

    • Mondeo Man
      Posted March 20, 2015 at 12:33 am | Permalink

      Of course the cuts would be better absorbed and less painful if we weren’t increasing the population and spreading resources thinner at exactly the same time.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 20, 2015 at 8:37 am | Permalink

      Agreed, oldtimer, it’s totally ridiculous that the government should adjust its spending plans just to deflect a fatuous ill-founded criticism originated by the BBC. This would presumably have a real long term cost to taxpayers, in terms of the extra interest to be paid on the increased government borrowings. In any case nobody can accurately predict what GDP will turn out to be, and what the level of government spending will turn out to be, in five years time.

  8. Margaret Brandreth-J
    Posted March 19, 2015 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

    I am afraid that you may have delivered but You Tube would not allow you to complete a full sentence without freezing and creating annoying absences.

  9. Jon
    Posted March 19, 2015 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

    Excellent speech and why you don’t have a more key role I don’t know.

    • Bob
      Posted March 20, 2015 at 12:23 am | Permalink


      “Excellent speech and why you don’t have a more key role I don’t know.”

      It might be because JR is not a Lib Dem.

      • Kenneth R Moore
        Posted March 20, 2015 at 8:52 am | Permalink

        Indeed Dr Redwood has been deliberately marginalised by Camerons clique because they do not believe he is ‘on message’ enough to deliver their New Labour light message. He doesn’t hold the ‘right’ opinions, in general prefering the factual to the politically correct truth. This is heresy to the Camerons.

        Shameful Redwood owes them zero loyalty.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted March 21, 2015 at 9:47 am | Permalink

        Exactly Cameron is just a Libdem/Labour person at heart who managed to trick lots of tory MP’s like JR into voting for him by briefly pretending to be an EU sceptic and real Tory.

        He then started his cast iron EU ratting before election and thus threw the election. He is about to fail with this second (also a sitting duck one) unless he changes his stance. The country and voters are crying out for a decisive and real Tory government but non is being offered to them.

  10. Kenneth R Moore
    Posted March 19, 2015 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

    I find myself agreeing with Dr Redwood delivering a much needed dose of reality.
    It would have been good to hear the case for greater reductions in spending (slash spending on international aid and NHS managers for example)….rather than adopting New Labour’s more money solves everything philosophy.

  11. Stevie
    Posted March 19, 2015 at 11:38 pm | Permalink

    Well said.

    If only we had an impartial national broadcaster with a technical monopoly position that could get these facts out, instead of ‘The Road to Wigan Pier’ rubbish.

    You’ll never have a majority whilst facing a hard left coalition opposition (Labour-BBC).

  12. a-Tracy
    Posted March 21, 2015 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    Who is the Scottish MP that intervened and what is his background education/career? I enjoyed your speech, I just about understood what you were saying, no-one I work with knows what to make of our Countries economics, we’re told one thing by Labour and another by the Conservatives but in terms that obfuscate the messages.

    I’m not sure whether our national debt is falling?
    What was the level when you took control? What is it now? What was it in 1997?
    I don’t understand National debt, budget deficit, GDP comparisons. You need to find a way to explain this that I can understand from my expenditure experiences and what most of us experience eg renting or buying a home, car, repayment terms on loans.
    It’s like trying to work out depreciation on assets the government and taxman says it’s one thing when the reality is another.

  13. MikeP
    Posted March 26, 2015 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    Good speech John, and given the interventions and barracking from the Opposition, it’s clear they’ve learnt nothing, have a blinkered view of history, seem incapable of understanding the different financial drivers in our economy and how best to manage them, perhaps through so few having run big businesses.

  • 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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