“I could have written it myself”

March 12, 2013 6:53 am

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…

  • Dave Postles

    Well, there’s a surprise.

  • kb32904

    The LDS have already agreed with the tories to vote against the proposal.

    The govt amendment is the worst I have ever seen & I hope the Speaker refuses to call it (as is his right):

    “Line 1, leave out from ‘House’ to end and add ‘notes that this coalition government has cut income tax for 25 million people, taking over 2.2 million low income individuals out of income tax altogether, while at the same time increasing taxes on the wealthy, including raising stamp duty on expensive properties and restricting tax reliefs; further notes that both parts of the coalition continue to support tax cuts for people on low and middle incomes; notes that the part of the coalition led by the deputy prime minister also advocates a mansion tax on properties worth more than £2m, as set out in his party’s manifesto, and the part of the coalition led by the prime minister does not advocate a mansion tax; and further notes that the top rate of income tax will be higher under this government than under any year of the previous administration and that the rich are now paying a higher percentage of income tax than at any time under the previous administration, demonstrating that it presided over an unfair tax system where the rich paid less and the poor paid more in tax than now, meaning nobody will trust the opposition’s promises on tax fairness.”

    I hope Labour remind the electorate of the LDs refusal to back the motion on mansion tax at every given opportunity.

  • charles.ward

    When the Lib Dems went into coalition with the Tories Labour treated them like traitors and attacked the LDs even more viciously than they attacked the Tories.

    Is it any surprise that when you steal their policy and attempt to split the coalition it doesn’t work?

    Of course not, everyone can see this has been put forward purely to embarrass the LDs making them vote against something they had to give up in the coalition negotiations.

  • charles.ward

    When the Lib Dems went into coalition with the Tories Labour treated them like traitors and attacked the LDs even more viciously than they attacked the Tories.

    Is it any surprise that when you steal their policy and attempt to split the coalition it doesn’t work?

    Of course not, everyone can see this has been put forward purely to embarrass the LDs making them vote against something they had to give up in the coalition negotiations.

    • Dave Postles

      Let’s see now. What reprisal did the miserable, snivelling, little termites take against the Tory failure to support HoL reform? Oh yes, they voted against the Tory proposal for boundary alterations, risking the unity of the Coalition. They’re quite capable on their own of splitting the Coalition.

    • Dave Postles

      Let’s see now. What reprisal did the miserable, snivelling, little termites take against the Tory failure to support HoL reform? Oh yes, they voted against the Tory proposal for boundary alterations, risking the unity of the Coalition. They’re quite capable on their own of splitting the Coalition.

Latest

  • Featured Gordon Brown to announce departure as an MP “within days”

    Gordon Brown to announce departure as an MP “within days”

    Former Labour leader and Prime Minister Gordon Brown is set to resign as MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath “within days” according to a report from the Sunday Mirror. Brown, who played a key role in the Scottish referendum campaign this year – giving a barnstorming speech on the eve of the vote that defined the case for the union. Brown’s rumoured departure follows his long-time ally Alistair Darling’s decision to quit Parliament in 2015. The Sunday Mirror reports: “Gordon Brown will […]

    Read more →
  • News Scotland Findlay says information going to party members for leadership vote is “insulting”

    Findlay says information going to party members for leadership vote is “insulting”

    Neil Findlay MSP, who is running to be leader of the Scottish Labour Party, is calling on the Labour Party to clarify what information will be given to members with Leadership ballot papers. At the moment it looks as though the booklet with candidate statements in it only lists the nominations each candidate received from Parliamentarians and not from Constituency Labour Parties, trade Unions or socialist societies. In response to this, Findlay has released the following statement: “Over the last […]

    Read more →
  • Comment It’s Ukip that offends working class sentiment

    It’s Ukip that offends working class sentiment

    After this week’s Twitter row at the Rochester by-election, I am using my keynote speech to the Labour East Regional Conference today to say that it is UKIP who truly offends working class sentiment and represents a party which is fundamentally un-British. Today I am lucky to serve as a Euro MP but, like many in our movement, I grew up on a council estate living in poverty, so don’t need any lectures from UKIP about snobbery. First, we can’t counter UKIP […]

    Read more →
  • News Balls says money raised from banking fines should go to the NHS

    Balls says money raised from banking fines should go to the NHS

    In a speech today at Labour’s East of England regional conference in Ipswich, Ed Balls has announced that £1bn raised from banks who are fined for manipulating the markers should go to the NHS. He is calling on George Osborne to include this in his Autumn Statement, due to take place on the 3rd December. This also comes after many health care professionals said due to funding cuts, “the NHS and our social care services are at breaking point.” Balls […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Scotland Join the 1,000 – building a movement for Labour’s future in Scotland

    Join the 1,000 – building a movement for Labour’s future in Scotland

    Last Tuesday I stopped by a Team Findlay phone bank in Glasgow. I was expecting to see a half dozen people making calls. There were close to 40. And that was just in Glasgow. More people were hitting the phones from Aberdeen to Ayrshire and from Dundee to Dumfries to take part in what we’re calling ‘Call 4 Change’. It’s been like this since my campaign kicked off two weeks ago. We launched ‘Neil 4 Scotland’ in the Miners’ Welfare in […]

    Read more →