I thought Nick and Vince did a really good job launching their tax policy. The themes of fairness and efficiency were apparent, and they dealt with some awkward questions quite well.
You can watch the whole event here. In fact, make a note of uk.youtube.com/centreforum for hours and hours of policymaking fun.
I think Nick’s confidence on financial matters is infinitely higher than a year ago: remember that fiasco on state pensions? In fact, it was often he providing the technical details, not Vince, and he looked perfectly comfortable with the most interesting question: the one from Dow Jones about the markets being nervous about a Hung Parliament (22% likelihood).
There was also a rather convenient question about Zac Goldsmith and Non Doms. The Lib Dems have really gone on the attack over this one, and quite right; there is no excuse for tax avoidance. If you make the decision to do anything that avoids tax, you are saying “this £X should be paid for by someone else, not me”. And if you are wealthy, you are saying “someone else poorer than me”. Not exactly “we’re all in this together”, is it?
PS. Googling Zac Goldsmith, it’s funny that tax matters are not foremost amongst the searches . . . maybe he has had other things on his mind? I’m a liberal, sure, but remain unconvinced that this has the makings of a good constituency MP:
*I found the event nerve-wracking – because at the beginning I was asked to occupy a seat at the front, where a bulging leather bag was preventing a perfect 10 of interested looking attendees gazing up at the lectern. So I shifted the bag (after protesting) and sat down. About 10 minutes into the event, a tap on my shoulder and a rather annoyed looking Carole Walker of the BBC was pointing out how this was in fact her seat. I hope Carole was mollified by being one of the people called upon to pose a question (from the third row), but if she is reading, please accept my apologies. It was the wrong call.