I’m sure most of you will have already played with the the FT’s online deficit buster. So too has Adam Boulton, but when he asked Mandy to give some of his own brutal preferences, he got a prolonged smackdown, culminating in the undeniable “neither the IFS nor the FT are standing in this election”.
The point being …. what? If I said, say, “The intergovernmental panel on climate change says the world is warming up” is this refuted by “the IPCC is not standing in this election?” The FT and the IFS are calculators, and what Mandy seems to be saying is that ‘we don’t have to accept mathematics if we don’t want to’. Labour’s strategy: to find a new kind of mathematics – perhaps based on restaurants?
In today’s report, the IFS estimates that the Conservatives would plan to cut spending by £57bn a year, in today’s money, by 2015-16. The Liberal Democrats would cut by £51bn by 2016-17, and Labour would need to find cuts amounting to £47bn by 2016-17 … None of the parties has revealed more than a fraction of what this would involve. True, the IFS thinks the Liberal Democrats are “slightly less bad” than the other parties in the amount of detail they have provided to the voters.
But in addition to this compliment, Chris Giles reports that “the IFS clearly likes the Liberal Democrat tax plans the best, calling their plans “far-reaching” and praising the reduction in distortions.” This is precisely the point I was trying to make to Dan Roberts in the podcast – it is not about how difficult it is for analysts to work out the winners and losers from a tax change, but how easy it is for the users to use the tax system. You and me, not the IFS’s eggheads, who love a challenge anyway.
Maybe all the parties are relying on Lloyds and RBS quintrupling in share price? So far so good.
Finally, I don’t trust the look of the BBC’s swingometer – it only allows you to swing one thing at a time. So I am beginning to build my own – see the link below. Quick observation – is everyone listening – this voting system seems really unfair! I mean, so many of my bold inputs get a Lib Dem seat number of, say, 80, despite 28% of the vote. Someone should be told!
(seriously, this is very beta. Allow macros. Tell me of obvious howlers. it has only Lib Dem COnservative Labour seats from 2005, no boundary changes.).