“I could have written it myself”

12th March, 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 News Unite back Jeremy Corbyn to be Labour leader – with Andy Burnham as second preference

    Unite back Jeremy Corbyn to be Labour leader – with Andy Burnham as second preference

    Unite the Union has announced that they are backing Jeremy Corbyn to be Labour’s next leader. The union, one of the biggest in the country, have come to this decision following a debate of the union’s executive committee (which is made an elected body of 63 men and women from workplaces across the UK). This comes after a multi-union hustings on June 30th and consultation with members’ elected representatives from across the union. The union will tell members that the […]

    Read more →
  • Featured News Shadow Chancellor: Labour’s aim should be to run a surplus in normal times

    Shadow Chancellor: Labour’s aim should be to run a surplus in normal times

    Chris Leslie has said Labour’s aim should be to run a surplus in “normal times”. In an interview with the Sunday Times, the Shadow Chancellor argued that this was important for Labour to gain economic credibility: “This notion that Labour just wants to throw money at issues, that’s not where we should be at all. I think Labour should aim to run a surplus in normal times if the economic circumstances allow. We’re past £1.5 trillion in terms of national […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Featured To win in 2020, we need to beat UKIP in the south as well as the north

    To win in 2020, we need to beat UKIP in the south as well as the north

    We know that we’ve got our work cut out to win a Labour majority government in 2020. Without a major recovery in Scotland we’ll need to win around 100 additional seats in England and Wales in less than 5 years’ time on an average swing of around 10%. We must take almost all these constituencies from the Conservatives because there are next to no Lib Dem seats left to squeeze. And, as I’ve set out before, we can’t tackle the […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Defeat doesn’t make us defunct

    Defeat doesn’t make us defunct

    It’s frustrating when protests and demonstrations are shrugged of as a meaningless waste of time and those who pick up a placard and participate are faced with accusations of ‘disillusionment’ and of being ‘sore losers’. The thousands of people who took to the streets of London (and in cities across the country) on June 20th had every right to do so. Yes, Labour suffered a cataclysmic defeat at the ballot box resulting in the Conservatives prevailing as the ‘winning’ party […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Featured The EU Referendum could do to Labour in England what the independence referendum did in Scotland

    The EU Referendum could do to Labour in England what the independence referendum did in Scotland

    The issue of Europe rarely stirs Labour’s soul. The current attitude of ‘we’re moderately pro mainly because the antis come across as a bunch of swivel-eyed fruitcakes’, has not served Labour badly, partly because it chimes with the majority view. Despite two decades of daily derision and drip-feed EU hostility from a small group of mostly foreign media-owning billionaires, poll after poll has shown a majority in favour of staying. But while leadership contenders tiptoe cautiously round this subject, in […]

    Read more →
Share with your friends










Submit