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“We will not have to raise VAT” — Lib Dems

From N Yorke

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Back in April the Lib Dems said:

"Liberal Democrats have costed, in full, our proposals for tax cuts. We can tell you, penny for penny, pound for pound, who pays for them. We will not have to raise VAT to deliver our promises. The Conservatives will. Let me repeat that: Our plans do not require a rise in VAT. The Tory plans do.

"Their tax promises on marriage and jobs may sound appealing. But they come with a secret VAT bombshell close behind.

"So if you??re on an ordinary income, you have a choice. If you want your taxes to rise: vote Labour or Conservative. If you want your taxes to fall: choose the Liberal Democrats."

From Liberal Democrat Voice

I realy don’t know what to say…

From Graham Barker

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Nigel, if you really don’t know what to say then perhaps the best thing would be to say nothing at all. We are all where we are, not where we would like to be or even where we thought we might be. This is not a time for petty, backward-looking political point scoring. Let’s at least try to be positive, pull together and drag ourselves through this mess, whoever or whatever caused it.

From N Yorke

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

I don’t know what to say as I didn’t vote Lib Dem, I would really like to hear the voice of those that did.

This and many other policies were explicitly and clear put forward by the Lib Dems before the election. Given the now extraordinary nature of their relationship they are building with the Tories I think saying nothing at all is not an option. I suspect no Lib Dem supporter voted with the intention of propping up a Tory Government. This isn’t backward looking point scoring; it’s about honest debate and dialogue with the electorate.

I find nothing to be positive about it the proposal that are coming out of the Conservative/Lib Dem Government at the moment and will certainly not sit back and say nothing.

I really would like to hear more from the Lib Dems themselves on these points.

From Paul Clarke

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Nigel, thanks for posting the Fib Dems laughable about face on VAT but I suspect like me you are not surprised that they say one thing and then do another. They have built a party nationally and locally on telling people what they want to hear rather than what their policies really are. Remember Calamity Clegg standing next to VAT saying no rises in VAT? Flash forward to him saying thank you to Call Me Dave in the Commons after the VAT rise is announced. Nauseating even by their standards as is Danny Alexander popping up in the Commons so enthusiastically announcing savage cuts.

Graham, here’s a newsflash for you… millions of us are “not in this together”. Millions of us didn’t vote for ConDems VAT rises, attacks on the public sector and the welfare state, the loss of 35,000 police officers, “free schools”, freezing of child benefits, freezing of public sector salaries and — this is really petty but sums up the ConDems — taking free swimming off kids and OAPs. For your information I am now at least £500 a year worse off which I didn’t vote for. Hardly in this together.

Nigel, I’m sure you noticed an unnatural period of quiet from our local Fibs. I’m assuming they are ashamed of their support for the ConDem government or if not they should be. Still, this is what happens when you vote yellow and get blue.

BTW… the description of Calamity Clegg as a Tory glove puppet is an insult to the integrity of glove puppets.

From Mick Piggott

Wednesday, 30 June 2010

So Graham thinks we are all in this together. Well, for your information, Graham, I wasn’t consulted on whether the banks should so recklessly gamble with our nation’s money (and that of other nations!) that they brought the world’s economies to the brink of collapse. I wasn’t consulted as to whether the country should indebt itself to the tune of hundreds of billions of pounds to bail them out. I was never consulted as to whether it was fair for a rich and powerful elite to continue enriching themselves and to pay proportionately far less or no tax on their ill-gotten gains than us ordinary mortals do on our modest incomes.

And thus I don’t see why the hell we should pay so heavily to bail out the debts of the rich. Of course we’re not all in this together! If I had been consulted I would have said, "Tax the rich! It’s their debt, not ours. Make them pay!' And by the way, a proper Labour government would have done just that, and argued forcefully for such a policy, and won the support of a huge majority of the population.

If you claim we’re all in this together, then you are, without doubt, arguing in favour of (to use an old-fashioned but true expression) grinding the faces of the poor. Because, as is plain to see, that is what the ConDem government has in store for us, damn them.

In reply to my comment to Tony Buglass, that my criticisms of New Labour are not just about Gordon Brown, he says, "whatever you say, Mick, I’ve noted a lot of anti-government stuff over the last few months has actually been anti-Gordon stuff". What I was trying to get across, and I think consistently, is that “New” Labour policies have been the problem, and these have been promoted and implemented by Blair, and Brown, and the whole of the Labour Government and the parliamentary Labour party (who at best, kept silent when they saw the government doing wrong). I believe that the current crop of candidates for party leadership, who raised no objections when they were most needed, would basically continue the same rotten tradition: foreign wars, sucking up to the bankers and the rest of the capitalist class, privatisation, cruelty to refugees who have already suffered torture and worse; the list goes on, so many betrayals of what the socialist and trade union movements stand for!

I do agree that some good came out of the Labour government: the minimum wage, reduced waiting times for hospital treatment, the money spent on repairing our old, formerly crumbling schools. But that good is now all under threat. And New Labour shares much of the responsibility for this, by failing to challenge the power of the ruling class: the railways and utilities should have been re-nationalised immediately after the 1997 election, the banks should have been allowed first, to collapse, and then nationalised without compensation, wealth taxes should have been increased enormously and so on. Vast sums of money would not have had to be borrowed and repaid, services and employment would not have had to be slashed. Rather than meekly buckle at the first hint of Murdoch press criticism, rather than be terrified of the word “socialism”, the Labour Party should have taken the lead in confidently, even aggressively, fighting for these policies. At the very least, many, many people who voted for the Lib Dems in the mistaken belief that they were more progressive than Labour (a rotten confidence trick that has now been so cruelly exposed) would have stayed with Labour, and we would not now be faced with the consequences of this foul Tory regime.

OK, no doubt I will now be told to let it go, to move on, to prepare for the next general election (assuming they are still allowed in five years’ time) and I agree that we do need to move on, but not at the expense of losing the lessons of recent history. I still believe that it was mostly the disastrous bad aspects of New Labour that handed the election to the Tories, as well as the usual Tory lies and this last time, the dishonest campaigning and subsequent abandonment of all their principles by the Lib Dems. If we are to prepare for a better future under a Labour government we can be proud of, we must learn the lessons of our recent past.

I hope the whole Labour and trade union movement will unite in bringing about the early collapse of this evil, treacherous government, and the election of a Labour government that will re-embrace the old Labour movement principles that created the NHS and nationalised the railways and the utilities; and begin the process of rebuilding a fair, just and humane society. (I trust I’m not a lone voice in the wilderness?)

From Andrew Hall

Friday, 2 July 2010

Surely Graham is right. We are all in this together.

We live in a democracy. We all had a chance to vote. Surely we have to accept the outcome even if it isn’t the one we wanted? Or am I missing something about our democratic process?

To try and distance yourself by saying “I wasn’t consulted” on such and such a matter, is weak and smacks of sour grapes. Can you imagine the chaos if everyone had to be consulted on every matter that went before the House? Utter nonsense.

In a situation that probably none of us really wanted, you can be part of the solution or part of the problem. I guess Graham Barker falls into the former category and Mick Piggott into the latter.

From Jacob G

Monday, 5 July 2010

To say that we are all in this together is incredibly naive. Political influence and how that serves self interest — someone is always getting richer at the expense of someone else getting poorer — is not a democratic process. As I have said in another forum thread, Clegg is a puppet and nothing more. Wake up!

From Andrew Hall

Friday, 2 July 2010

Jacob G, I think this thread is more semantics than politics. Well at least that’s the way I view it and I imagine Graham does too.

We’re all in this together. Well provided you aren’t going to withhold the extra 2.5% VAT or miraculously avoid some of the inevitable cuts in services, yes we are, like it or not. I didn’t vote for what we have, and I’m sure you didn’t, but we’ll have to put up with it for the next five years. So we’re all in this together.

From Graham Barker

Monday, 5 July 2010

If anyone cares to read my original post, the expression “we’re all in this together” does not appear. It’s near enough what I meant though. I might qualify “all” to exclude bankers, some of whom I would dearly like to see imprisoned, whipped, stripped of their possessions, pushed over a cliff in a barrel half full of sharp stones, and sold off for pet food. But in terms of numbers, they’re statistically insignificant.

So we are indeed all in this together, and getting back out of it will take a lot more than empty and predictable political posturing. That’s the point I originally wanted to make (and did, actually). If some on the unelectable left want to sulk their way through the next few years, fine. But it may help if they do it quietly, while the rest of us concentrate on more productive matters, like figuring out how to make the best of a situation where a 2.5 per cent VAT rise will soon be seen as a mere pinprick.

From Paul Clarke

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Andrew, not only is your view that we are “all in this togther” hopelessly naive but really quite dangerous. It buys into the myth that the national debt is actually the end of the world and therefore any cuts to frontline services and the public sector are therefore acceptable.

You seem to have little grasp of the democratic process. We do not have a government of national unity (like in World War 2) so there is now an opposition who are perfectly entitled — on our behalf — to oppose the most savage cuts for a generation carried out the Tories backed to the hilt by their yellow puppets.

It is worth remembering the Condems spent 13 years in opposition hammering at Labour — on issues like the national minimum wage which they both opposed — and that it is entirely right in a democracy.

So Andrew, let’s look at how I’m in this together with the Condems:

- 40% of cuts — nope not in this together with the Condems

- 715 schools not being rebuilt — nope see above

- 35,000 less police officers — nope see above

- 600,000 public sector workers on the scrapheap — nope see above

- getting rid of free swimming for kids and oaps — nope see above

- paying £500 extra tax — nope see above

I could go on and on but you all get the point. This is a naked attack on the public sector and the welfare state by a coalition who believe that the private sector will create new (less well paid)jobs as if by magic.

So you will forgive me if I exercise my democratic right to say no to all of the above and oppose them in any which way I can as I did in the 1980s.

Still, the Lib Dems have got their pound of flesh with the AV vote. I hope they think it is worth it when they are wiped out in the next election because nobody likes turncoats who say one thing and do another.

But Andrew I will give you credit for at least trying to justify the cuts unlike our local Lib Dems who are maintaining an errie silence. I look forward to their next Hocus Focus leaflet when they are standing outside a school that is not being rebuilt looking sad/ happy/ concerned (delete as applicable).

From Graham Barker

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Paul — You might like to consider adopting a less patronising tone. Speaking just for myself, if I had to judge whose “grasp of the democratic process” was firmer and more mature — yours or Andrew’s — there wouldn’t be much of a contest.

From Paul Clarke

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Graham, good to see you wheel out the ye olde patronising/immature jibe rather than take on the argument.

I now realise it is immature to post some real Condem policies that could lead to a double dip recession rather than just make a bland assertion we should just put up with savage cuts because we had an election.

So I look forward to hearing your views on those cuts that will impact on all of us.

It was certainly not my intent to patronise anyone in my last post but looking back I agree that saying someone doesn’t have a grip on politics was a cheap shot. So my apologies to Andrew for any upset.

From Mick Piggott

Thursday, 8 July 2010

May I just refer back to Andrew Hall’s assertion, regarding the outcome of the election, that “Surely we have to accept the outcome even if it isn’t the one we wanted?”

So we have to just lie down and let the steamroller flatten us, do we? Remember, the Nazis first came to power by winning an election, but that didn’t make it right or acceptable… No, democracy means you are allowed to resist a bad result. Especially so when extremely damaging policies are to be implemented which the “victors” failed to spell out in their election campaigns.

Mr Hall thinks that I am part of the problem. Well, actually, as a pensioner, I can inform him that I worked all my adult life and now I am retired and living on a State pension. Much as I search my ageing memory, I can’t think of anything I did that in any way contributed to the country’s current problems. I didn’t gamble and lose billions of pounds of other people’s money, for instance, nor did I become rich by exploiting and ripping off ordinary people. I think you will find, my right-wing reactionary correspondent friends, that the ruling class that you so assiduously defend were the people who did that. They just want the rest of us to pay for it, that’s all.

Maybe you guys would like to send a donation from your own money to the ConDem government?

From Paul Clarke

Friday, 16 July 2010

I really must apologise for misleading HB readers when I suggested the Condems were going to cut 35,000 police officers.

It now seems that the figure could be as high as 60,000 according to a review carried by a former Chief Constable for Jane’s Police Review.

This comes on a day when crime fell yet again thanks to the measures introduced by the previous government.

So watching “Call me Dave” getting up in the house rightly slagging off the morons who think “Moaty” is a hero was particularly sick. Under the Condems the local police will struggle to find a taxi full of firearms officers to track murderous pillocks down.

I will also struggle to find a West Yorkshire copper to drag local Fib Dems out of their bunker to finally comment on the cuts their government is making.

BTW… it’s good to see our right to see a cancer specialist within two weeks going.

From David Telford

Monday, 17 October 2011

Response to Paul Clarke

It's interesting that you say you are £500 p.a. worse off after the VAT increase. If that is true, I must say you must be pretty well off or at least have pretty rich tastes. For you to be £500 worse off due to std rate vatable items (mainly luxuries with some exceptions) you will be spending in excess of £20,000 per year on luxury items.

If it's really an issue to you, may I suggest you transfer your spending away from such items and consume less. If you feel you shouldn't have to, I can only say that most people would consider the very well off should contribute the most considering the economic position in which we find ourselves.