Piotr Brzezinski is a JD / MBA student at Yale University and the former Head of Digital Government at Policy Exchange
Only a few weeks after Nick Clegg’s ‘No Plan B’ conference speech, it has become abundantly clear that there is, in fact, a Plan B. Without wavering from its commitment to deficit reduction, the government has recalibrated across the board; witness Plan B:
- No new tax cuts: The longstanding assumption has been that the government, having cut spending in its early years, would cut taxes before the next election. George Osborne’s pre-conference interview, however, emphatically ruled out any such pre-election tax cuts.
- Credit easing: Details remain to be revealed, but the premise of credit easing is clear: the government will enable loans to the private sector and retain assets as collateral so that, by feat of accounting magic, increasing lending now doesn’t add to the state deficit.
- More QE from the Bank: Just after the conference ended, the Bank of England announced another round of quantitative easing to goose demand and protect banks.
- Go-slow green regulation: As others have noted, the Chancellor’s speech also marked a clear change of emphasis on environmental regulation—no longer does the government seem to promise ‘green at any cost’ policy.
- More aggressive deregulation: Lord Young has returned to reinvigorate a deregulation drive that—planning and localism reforms aside—risked stalling; plans to limit industrial tribunals are hopefully a sign of things to come.