Having done a few stumbling minutes on News 24 (I don’t enjoy sounding like a cheerleader) ….

… here is my bit about the LD manifesto on Cif at the Polls

The Guardian’s stable of writers seem very positive too.

As you know, I am sceptical about their bank bashing, and there are plenty of things in the manifesto that look like aspirations rather than promises – but that is the case with all.   I am also very uncomfortable with their claim that Labour have made tax less fair.  This is the first redistributive government in decades, there are better charges to lay at their door.   I like the LD  £10k threshold policy;  even if it doesn’t hit the bottom 10% directly, it improves the aspirational incentives for them.  But the bottom 10% ‘pay high taxes’ only because their even higher benefits are not counted as negative taxes.

The IFS has been reasonably positive on their overall tax offering.  But I also come down on their side about the fairness of the tax system – and what Labour have done for this.

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One thought on “Elsewhere on the manifesto …

  1. I thought that the IFS were being a bit harsh, to be honest. The Lib Dem line on tax under Labour is true, although it does not take account of tax credits it’s still true to argue that expenditure on taxation takes up a large proportion of the income of the poorest, irrespective of where that income comes from. The extra money in the pockets of those people that results from the tax cut will be appreciated just as much as an equivalent increase in tax credits would have been.

    I didn’t see any Lib Dems arguing that Labour’s overall impact on fairness had been negative. It’s pretty widely accepted that Labour have ameliorated what would have been a much more rapidly-growing inequality gap, but the Lib Dem proposals seem to be intended to go further than Labour have in redistributing to the poor and to the middle at the expense of the rich. The Fabian objection is that this does not reduce the gap between the bottom and the middle, but I’m not sure how it would be possible to do that without creating problems of incentives and marginal tax rates. I think the main reason that the Lib Dems haven’t been praising Labour’s record is that a) this is an election and Labour can do that for themselves and b) Labour are fairly unpopular. The fact remains that their progressive reforms are taken as the building blocks for the Lib Dems’ even more progressive position, surely?

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