Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Vince & Nick Face Both Ways on NICs

For weeks, Vince Cable and Nick Clegg have come out in support of Labour’s anti-business jobs tax and attacked businesses supporting Conservative opposition to the jobs tax.

• Business community is ‘nauseating’. ‘I just find it utterly nauseating all these chairmen and chief executives of FTSE companies being paid 100 times the pay of their average employees lecturing us on how we should run the country. I find it barefaced cheek.’ (Vince Cable in The Guardian, 10 April 2010)

• Opposing jobs tax is ‘school boy economics’. ‘This is school boy economics. When you have a £70 billion permanent hole in the Government’s finances you simply can’t propose cutting tax revenue unless you spell out exactly how you are going to pay for it.’ (Vince Cable)

• Opposing jobs tax is ‘voodoo economics’ and a ‘con’. ‘Now they [Conservatives] say they’re going to stop the increase in national insurance which of course everyone would like to do but they won’t tell you how they’re going to pay for it. This is voodoo economics it’s just funny money it’s trying to con people into thinking you can have something for nothing. It’s not serious, it won’t work… (Nick Clegg, ITN News on YouTube, 1 April 2010)


And yet, guess what? Today, in their manifesto the LibDems say they would reverse Labour’s jobs tax.

‘…the increase in National Insurance Contributions is a damaging tax on jobs and an unfair tax on employees, so when resources allow we would seek to reverse it.’ (Liberal Democrat Manifesto 2010, April 2010, pg. 97)

Talk about having your cake and eating it! I do hope Saint Vince and Young Nick will be quizzed on this latest example of blatant hypocrisy!

33 comments:

George said...

C4News poll: which party has the most impressive manifesto? Lib Dems leading 56%, Cons 34% Lab 9%

You can't take these people seriously.
I mean, there's flip-flopping, and then there's Fib-Dem policy changes. They will never get into government and they will never wield the reins of power. Voting for them is a waste of time, and a waste of tactical voting as well.

As for Labour, just as bad, lies mendacity ans pin.

Martin said...

How anyone takes a pair of prats like Cable and Clegg seriously is beyond me.

Got to say though Iain Cameron is CRAP as a leader, he needs some balls, when are the Tories going to let the likes of Ken Clarke and David Davies off the leash?

Vote for Liebour is a vote for ID cards and 90 day detention, why are the Tories not hammering that message?

Irene said...

I can't even be bothered to comment!

Torontory said...

Not a chance!

The media do not challenge the 21st Century deity. Well other than John Sopel anyway!

norman said...

Steptoe and Son.

Neil said...

This all goes to show that Nick and Vince are doing well as a double act, as I had hoped they would.

Anything that infuriates Tories shows that they're doing the right thing.

jaybs said...

I have never been impressed with Clegg, he is more like a school boy who feels he is PM potential before he has ever wet his feet.

And for Vince Cable, I can't understand why he has been give such an easy ride, you only need to look into his policy decisions of the last few years to see how many times he has Flip Flopped! with Policy, Yes he is good at making himself look Big and Father Figure to Clegg but not that much real substance.

The Purpleline said...

AS a FX trader I made a career out of selling Cable.

Vince cable is too old and doddery he probably forgot what he said a moment ago let alone in an interview.

Anyway he make Nick the 'Greek' look good.

Thomas said...

No, they’re making two discrete points with regard to the NI increase.

The prior point is that, where tax rises are announced, is sensible and responsible to set out where the money to pay for those tax cuts will be found, rather than relying on amorphous ‘efficiency savings’. This is especially important when there is a mammoth deficit to be reduced.

The second point is that such tax rises should be avoided where possible.

So the Lib Dem position is that the NI increase is a necessary evil, a ‘tough decision’ that must be taken now (to support the primary end of reducing the deficit) but will be repealed when affordable (to support the secondary end of lower taxes). I see no logical contradiction in this.

It might be of interest that the Liberal Democrat manifesto contains both a tax cut and, in concrete terms, how it will be paid for.

Roger Thornhill said...

When I heard the order of Manifesto publication, my first reaction was "LibDems want to read the others first".

Seems I was right.

Paul said...

I think the key thing here is that they say when resources allow, not the tories immediately when it currently can't be funded

tapestry said...

The key point is that it will be spending cuts not tax rises that gets the economy back into balance.

The Lib Dems have only one policy, viz. ''Which way is the wind blowing? Chase it.''

The problem is that Cameron's to windward and they can't get any lift.

tapestry said...

The key point is that it will be spending cuts not tax rises that gets the economy back into balance.

The Lib Dems have only one policy, viz. ''Which way is the wind blowing? Chase it.''

The problem is that Cameron's to windward and they can't get any lift.

p smith said...

How is their position on this any different to the Tory position on the 50% rate for those earning more than £150k?

They are simply saying that they don't have the funds to reverse it now but will do so when revenue allows it.

So in fact their position is entirely consistent and in fact far more responsible than the Tories' pledge of an unfunded tax cut.

In fact, at each point of reckoning in this campaign whether it be the NI tax rise, the promise of a 10p fuel tax cut, the married tax relief and the IHT cut for the rich, the Tories have shown that they are more interested in cheap electoral gain rather than paying down the deficit.

Peter said...

Buttons and Widow Twankey.

norman said...

We the voters in the borough thought that LibDems were making fair points andafter the local elections and when they got the votes and until now nothing promised has happened and we realised that they will say things that we want to hear. LibDems?Slippery as eel. I fear LibDem-Lab pact and if that happens should be fun to see how the Steptoe and Son handle Lord Sleaze who will dump them when the wind direction becomes favourable. Look at what happened to them in Scotland.

Chris said...

The obsession with 'funding' is all nonsense anyway. All predictions about public finances are dependent on a vast range of economic variables which are currently so volatile that the forecasts are virtually meaningless. The treasury cannot even accurately predict next year's budget outturn let alone what will happen in four years time. I do not care if the Tories come up with a better story than 'efficiency savings' on how to compensate for the lack of £6bn NICs increase (which might not be the correct number)or not. It's neither here nor there anyway given the size of the current deficit. The point is that NI is the worst possible tax to increase when you are trying to engineer an employment led economic recovery so it's a stupid idea.

Chris said...

@Thomas says "It might be of interest that the Liberal Democrat manifesto contains both a tax cut and, in concrete terms, how it will be paid for."

The tax cut part is fairly concrete (£16.8bn on current figures) but 'how it will be paid for' is much less so - assuming as it does that hiking taxes has no influence on people's behaviour - they carry on exactly as before and meekly pay up. Certainly not concrete - more sort of porridge I think. It kind of looks like concrete from a distance - if you want it to.

M said...

Vote Lib Dem and you are voting for Labour.

Lib Dems are concentrating their main attacks on the Tories because what they really want most of all is a hung parliament coalition with Labour who are their long time bosom buddies as evidenced at Holyrood.

canvas said...

It appears the Tories are underestimating the LibDems...

The LibDems are in a very powerful position. I think this could be a shocker of an election for Labour and the Tories.

Undecided voters could easily vote LibDem on the day - I'm sure that I will. If the UK wants change - it's there.

Julian the Wonderhorse said...

Did anyone else think "injury lawyers for you" when they saw the Nick Clegg party political broadcast? "you get to keep 100% of the £17 billion tax cut" and all that

Keith Elliott said...

Your post here, Mr Dale, is laughable and indicative of how desperately afraid the Tories (and Labour) are of the Lib Dems.

Looking forward to lots of repeat performances of North Norfolk throughout the UK on May 6th!

Victor, NW Kent said...

The LibDems have principles. If you don't like those principles they have another set ready.

But, I would like to address p.smith. It must be sign of mania or brainwashing for a follower of Brown and Darling to criticise any other party for "unfunded" policies. Labour has had a never-ending stream of unfunded policies since 2000. They simply borrowed more money to cover the shortfall. It is that enormous scale of borrowing - and wastage - that has caused the mess we are now in.

So, to rattle on about an "unfunded" billion or two is pathetic when we have a regime that has an unfunded £170-billion this year.

Jonathan explains it all said...

You over react again Iain.

The quotes say it is not the right time to reverse the NI increase.

The manifesto says the NI increase will be reversed when the time is right.

There is no contradiction here.

Jonathan explains it all said...

You over react again Iain.

The quotes say it is not the right time to reverse the NI increase.

The manifesto says the NI increase will be reversed when the time is right.

There is no contradiction here.

norman said...

If Clegg thinks he will be deputy PM under Brown and can share real power and influence, in the presence of Mandelson and Harriet Harman he is so deluded. If Clegg really thinks that Cable an adviser to John Smith and an Old Labour in Glasgow would side with Clegg when the chips are down in the cabinet instead of supporting his Old Labour buddy Brown, Clegg is so deluded. What about his Mr Bean jibe? Well, a very convincing act indeed!! Lib Dems will keep Labour in power without sharing real power with them. That will be unfortunately the truth. Scottish power sharing experience between LibDems and Labour and Lib-lab pact of 1970s that lead to the Winter of Discontent should alert the voters.

Nigel said...

More to the point, they are promising a 17 (yes, seventeen) billion tax cut, 'funded' by all sorts of dodgy stuff, including several billion due from 'cracking down on tax avoidance'.

This is accounting on a Brownian scale.
Sure, the 'figures add up' - but they bear very little relation to the real world.

And Nick Clegg has the gall to accuse the other two parties of ignoring the parlous state of the nation's finances.

Thatsnews said...

There IS a contradiction.

If the rise in NI is not a bad idea and will not harm jobs, why would they need to promise to remove it at a later date?

It's like some man saying: "I realise that beating my wife is wrong. And, just as soon as my arm tires, I will stop beating her.

Iain is right. They are contradicting themselves.

javelin said...

These are ALL phoney manefestos.

Debt, affordability, interests, savings, cutbacks, tax rises, public sector pension reform etc, etc. These are the REAL issues. I'm feel ill listening to their uber-chiselled, focus group led, marginal vote catching, sunny day scenario sound bites.

We're being fed placebo sweeties by 3 doctors when we can feel the cancerous tumors pressing on our internal organs.

The global investment banks trading floor, where I look after IT risk, has a figure of £250 billion ABSOLUTE MINIMUM in cuts per annum to stop a bond crisis. I'm not hearing this figure being mentioned.

I'm a member if the Conservative Party but I hope it's a hung parliament because none of the parties deserve any power if they don't have the balls to take any responsibility. This drift to sterility is ruining this country.

Unsworth said...

@ Canvas

"Undecided voters could easily vote LibDem on the day - I'm sure that I will"

Of course you are making assumptions as to the real numbers of undecided voters.

As to your voting intentions, yes we knew that ages ago - so what's new?

norman said...

@javelin. A hung parliament will delivery Brown and Mandy in tact for 5 more years. It is a risk we cannot take .

Unsworth said...

@ Javelin

How will a hung parliament halt any 'drift to sterility'?

corporeal said...

The first quotes say it's wrong to promise this because the country can't afford it.

The seconds say it will be done "when resources allow" i.e. when we can afford it.

So both are a perfectly consistent message, we can't afford it.