Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Clegg on the economy

I've just had an email from Nick Clegg's office about economic policy. There was a time when if a Liberal leader sent a public letter out it would be about constitutional reform or something. It is a sign of how far we have travelled that we are now concentrating on the 'main' issue and thanks to Vince Cable, Ming Campbell and Clegg we have adopted a clear and distinctive approach and stuck with it even when it wasn't fashionable.
Interestingly even the Spectator website has recognised this and it is certainly well worth a read. Clegg gave a major speech last night which seriously addressed the big issues that face us not just in Britain but throughout the world. You can find the speech in full here
I know some in our party have struggled with the commitment we gave to tax cuts under Ming. My gut reaction has always been supportive. I guess this is because I am convinced that the switch away from personal taxes to green tax is essential and it is one which for all his talk about Green issues Cameron is afraid to make that switch-which is possibly why we are having a lot less 'Green' talk from him. Secondly I approve because the tax proposals are redistributive. After Labour's major gaffe over the 10p tax band which hit the poor very hard and their total failure to make the most wealthy pay their fair share it is refreshing to have a clear policy which unashamedly seeks to improve the financial lot of low and middle income people. Finally anyone who has observed the vast sums that the Labour government has wasted knows that when individuals have to tighten their belts so must the state.
Here in Sefton how much has been wasted on re-organising the NHS and then re-re organising it? How much was wasted on the 'barking' proposals to re organise the Police Force? How much has been waste on IT schemes that have never performed ;the NHS one, ID cards etc all of which have spiralling costs. And sadly how gullible are the bureaucrats who always seem to support the latest hi tech scheme? As someone who has spent more time than is healthy looking at all the targets and all the attempted micro management of local government that New Labour has come up with, you can't help thinking that they've too much of our money if these things are a priority