That’s what Liberal Democrat MP, Stephen Williams said yesterday when asked about Labour’s mansion tax motion, which MPs will vote on today.
But guess what? He and his party are still not going to vote for it.
Surely some mistake, I hear you cry, especially after last weekend’s attempts to position themselves as both trusted guardians of the economy and champions of fairness. But propping up a Government which borrows more for economic failure and crushes those who are suffering most, cannot be offset by warm words in rainy Brighton. It is not only misguided but patronising in the extreme to think the public will buy it.
We’ve also had posturing from Business Secretary Vince Cable who has embarked on a remarkable strategy of singing along to Ed Balls’ economic hymn sheet while playing second fiddle to the Chancellor. What’s the betting that in ten days time, despite impassioned calls for investment, a Plan B and, indeed, a mansion tax, he’ll vote for a Budget that ploughs on regardless with this failing Tory economic plan? An apparent Keynesian at heart, supporting the most short-sighted and economically illiterate strategy this country has seen for decades.
The Lib Dems talk about fairness. To be fair, the mansion tax they have so often touted is fair. Labour’s proposal to use the revenue raised to restore the 10p rate is the right thing to do, correcting mistakes of the past and helping people on middle and low incomes with the crippling increase in the cost of living, a crisis this Government continues to ignore.
But time and again the Liberal Democrats have failed to stand up for their supposed principles – remember the “Tory VAT bombshell” posters, their backing of an unfair and frankly at this point, immoral, 50p tax cut, their continued support for the creeping privatisation of our health service, while tuition fees speak for themselves.
This is a party desperately seeking a differentiation strategy from their increasingly unpopular Tory bedfellows. Labour is today offering them the opportunity to put their money where their mouths are. I’m not holding my breath…