Monday, September 15, 2008

Lib Dem Tax Cuts

Traditional BIG GOVERNMENT Lib Dem

You've got to welcome tax cuts. Even if the Major says they're only doing it in a last desperate bid to win back Guildford. And even if it's painfully obvious that most Lib Dem members fundamentally disagree with the whole idea.

This is an Act of Decisive Leadership. Mr Clegg has stepped up to the plate.

So which hospitals will he close? Which schools? Which planet saving green projects will he stop? Which groups of deserving poor will he cast out into the snows?

The answer is none!

It's all Good News. He's not going to do any of those things! Because he's had this brilliant insight - and you'd better sit down - the government wastes billions of pounds every single year! So all you've got to do is cut the waste, and hey presto, you've got £20bn to hand out in tax cuts.


The only pity is that someone hasn't thought of this before.


No, of course, here on planet Earth the LDs will never have to implement any of this, so in that sense it doesn't matter.

But credit where credit's due - this is an important moment in terms of the tax and spend landscape. It's a public confession from the Big Government LDs that tax cuts must have primacy over more spending.

And while their waste reduction plan is no more realistic than Gordo's ridiculous Gershon programme (see previous blogs), upfront tax cuts are a well established route to slimmer government. Back in the 80s it was known as "starving the beast".

But much better than a few disembodied tax cuts would be the establishment of that third fiscal rule - the one that directly limits the growth of public expenditure (beloved of BOM and blogged ad nauseam, eg here).

True, it's a bit strong for Clegg. But we still live in hope that one day George will take it on...

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