Sunday, March 14, 2010

Clegg: From "Savage Cuts" to Tepid Cuts

I am a little confused by a line in today's speech by Nick Clegg.

On the subject of reducing spending, he says that the Lib Dems' plan is 'a down payment – a declaration of intent'. Of course, a 'down payment' means a partial payment, like a deposit. In this context, it must mean a reduction in spending now, with more cuts to follow. In other words, doing and not just telling. But a 'declaration of intent', at least in the way Nick Clegg used the phrase today, means a promise to reduce spending in future but not yet.

It is not unusual for the Liberal Democrats to contradict each other on these issues, but surely it is unusual for the Leader of the Party to set out two different positions in just seven words?

And it was only five months ago that Clegg was banging on about the need for "savage cuts". How typcially LibDem that he is now promising tepid ones.


ollie said...

Does it really matter, in the real world, what Clegg says? It's not his decision to make, nor will it ever be.

This media obsession with a hung parliament is getting out of hand now.

No wonder the markets are nervy - it's being fed to them by a media who have stopped scrutinising the governing party.

Max Atkinson said...

But will anyone else (other than you and me for our different reasons) have watched his speech closely enough for such things to matter very much?

Chris said...

Just like Cameron!!!

HM said...

He obviously took note of how the austerity card played out for Cammo.

Man in a Shed said...

Nick Clegg U-turn on financial responsibility is the major mistake of his spring conference.

The danger, as Alistair Darling has said, is that the thin Ice the UK is skating on due to its savage debt death spiral may give way suddenly.

Nick Clegg has put more votes from the public sector for Lib Dem candidate ahead of his duty to his country.

I thought he might be different - but clearly he's just a janus faced Lib Dem.

The Grim Reaper said...

There's only one word that comes to mind when I think of Nick Clegg and it isn't "cut". Although it does sound similar.

Anonymous said...

LDs and Labour are seeking to totally mislead the country about what needs to happen in the future.

This is aided by the govt printing money to pay for its borrowing requirement. As such it is spending massively more than it (we) can afford and indulging in a good old fashioned pre election boom. It thus spins a notion that all is quite easily manageable - under these circumstances it is a wonder the poll gap is not narrower (though it should be realised that the polls vary from 3% to 13% lead).

Mark Senior said...

Vote blue get Osborne - financial ruin for all except cameron , Osborne and their mates .

Newmania said...

Yes Iain but its worse . This the way the Parties propose to pay for the cuts (See Luke )

Labour: 33% tax rises, 66% spending cuts

Conservative: 20% tax rises, 80% spending cuts

Lib Dem: 0% tax rises, 100% spending cuts

So the Lib Dems are promising no tax rises at all, in fact tax cuts for many , as well as no cuts to services until...ummm , the unspecified future.

Were this fiction spun by either of the main Parties the BBC would be tearing it to shreds as would every other commentator.

They disgust me

ukipwebmaster said...

And this is your coalition partner of choice?

Tim said...

Nick and Vince's analysis is that savage cuts in the short term will undermine the recovery, but that in the medium term savage cuts are needed to strengthen the fiscal position, not least to give us the ability to run large deficits as and when the next recession demands.

You can disagree with the position, but it is economically coherent.

tapestry said...

If politicians duck out of taking responsibility for debts, markets inform them soon enough.

This pre-election bidding war is like a game of underwater hockey, taking place while a tsunami approaches.

These socialist fools will be blown away. The British people, who have clearly not yet learned the lessons of debt, will soon be learning them well enough.

Clegg can cluck all he likes. The coming shock will take generations to forget. Clegg will be forgotten within a week.

Peter said...

I guess we will have to wait until the fall out from the budget to know what any of them really think they mean.
In other words none of the parties have a clue what they will promise during the campaign and even less about what to do if they win power.

javelin said...

I think it's worth meditating on the word "bankuptcy"

As an election slogan I would ask to the left "Are you bankrupting Britain?"

As a country we are still spending over 50% of GDP on Government. You simply can't do that without bankrupting the UK.

The left wing needs to feel guilty. That they are spending money we don't have. We are simply putting off the day of judgement.

The most important financial indicator we need to watch is foreign exchange rates - because this is the one Government can't control. Once the Euro sorts itself out the focus will move to the UK. I might expect this all to come a head in the Autumn once the emergency budget starts to unfold and we start to see poor economic figures continue.