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Probably the tax policy. Am glad our conference is last.

Not surprising given that Clegg spent his entire speech spouting off all sorts of populist yet contradictory policies. He's everything the left likes to pretend Cameron is - another pseudo-Blair, no real policies of his own, not genuine - it would be nice to think that his behaviour makes other politicians look good, but I suspect it will just cast cynicism and doubt over the whole lot of them.

Vince Cable's do-no-wrong treatment by the media at large is also irksome. I like Vince but he is not right about everything.

Vince Cable's do-no-wrong treatment by the media at large is also irksome.
Nick Clegg apparently is taking paternity leave soon, and as Deputy Leader, Vincent Cable will be acting leader and especially not that parliament will be in session again soon added to the likliehood of continuing problems with the Global Financial System for the forseeable future, and Vincent Cable's amazing knack for being at the right place at the right time for him to be fairly central to media debates he could well be the politician most on the media in coming months.

Christ, what happened to our 52% ?

If a new Labour leader announced the sort of tax policies trailed by Clegg this week we'd be in B I G trouble.

Now Gloy Plopwell really WILL be "stupendously excrited..."!!!! Make the most of it Gloy, Old Bean!

The Lib Dems have made a big mistake - in trading 15 minutes of glory and a couple of good headlines in the right-wing press for longer trouble amongst "middle england" when the DETAIL of thier tax plans come to light.

Andrew Neil interviewed Lembit Opik and asked the questions all centre-right minded people would ask - WHAT IS RICH?? Most people broadly agree the "rich" should pay more in tax than the "poor" - but when we find out what the Lib Dems mean by "rich" it will hit them hard. My suspicion is they don't mean people like David Beckham, Alan Sugar, Richard Branson, etc!!!

This speech was classic Lib Dem. The headlines don't match the meat of the speech never mind any small print that is traceable (there appears so little that so far it seem that it is as yet unwritten).
The major underlying theme of the speech seemed to herald a bigger emphasis on Government wealth redistribution and thereby confirming the Liberal Democrats are really Socialists and not very Liberal. If god help us they were ever given teh opertuity to enact their policies, what little they will reduce in Government spending on services is bound to be wolfed up by increased Bureaucracy as all those in the South West who have experienced Lib Dem Councils will attest.

90% of people better off!

I do hope I'm not in the 10% who won't be!

" WHAT IS RICH?? Most people broadly agree the "rich" should pay more in tax than the "poor" - but when we find out what the Lib Dems mean by "rich" it will hit them hard. My suspicion is they don't mean people like David Beckham, Alan Sugar, Richard Branson, etc!!!"

That's a question that nobody ever seems to satisfactorily answer! The truth is that most people consider it to be anyone who has (a) substantially more money than them and (b) a life they believe to be easier than theirs!


Good question, Sally Roberts. We tend to define being "Rich" by income but, in truth, it is really more to do with wealth (i.e. assets).

This came home to me some years ago when we (parents) were asked to cough up to fund Girls Day School Trust bursaries to replace assisted places scheme killed off by the socialist government. The headmistress explained that the award of bursaries would depend not only upon the parents’ income but also their wealth; she said that the income assessment criteria had been a flaw in the “assisted place” scheme run by the government since many quite rich people were able to arrange their affairs so they had relatively low incomes.

This set me thinking that, perhaps, it might be desirable to reduce income tax and institute some sort of wealth tax to offset this. Inheritance tax is a type of wealth tax but can be very unfair in the case of, say, a dutiful daughter who has stayed at home to look after her aging parents or the well published case of the two elderly sisters living in the family home which the survivor will have to sell to pay the inheritance tax when the first dies. Furthermore, inheritance tax is only really paid by the middle classes as the seriously wealthy can easily find ways of avoiding it.

For a start, we could go back to some form of rates which levies tax on the owners of property rather than those who live there. Other forms of wealth tax might be difficult to collect and might drive money overseas but has anyone any ideas? BTW, I envisage a wealth tax of, say, 0.5% with a threshold of, say £100,000. This could be used to raise the income tax threshold and introduce a flat rate of income tax (i.e. abolish the higher rate).

Clegg has tried to copy Cameron and he has added the perception of tax cuts into the mix. As others have said the idea of LibDems actually cutting the real burden of tax is very remote indeed. They wish to introduce local income tax and in doing so, to make it add up, the middle classes will be hit. They are also very strongly into environmental taxes which given the zeal in which they hold this issue will actually mean more taxes. They fall into the general trap of thinking they can raise revenue from taxing the rich but there are not enough super rich so it will mean everyday professional people in reality. Also the super rich manage their affairs to avoid tax and if they can't they leave the country. Its very tempting to hit the super risch but it maight also be counter-productive as if they avoid the tax we have less overall tax take and if they also run businesses and leave the country we have a potentially declining economy. Returning to the issue of tax, I am finding many people from all backgrounds now sick of the level of taxes especially as they now understand far better that its not improving public services very much. The balance still has to be right but ceratinly we need to move to reduce the burden on businesses so they can fight back and generate jobs. We also need to move twoards reducing the burden on the low paid.

So take your pick - Mori or You Gov?

Hell of a gap.

I don't think the Lib Dems tax cuts are going to stand up to serious scrutiny and Clegg was not brilliant.

I do wish that Cable would get Paxoed. He has a lot to answer for.

To wolvesjohn @ 3:17 & Old Hack @11:12

Part of the difference between those two polls is the way the 2 companies weight people's likelyhood of voting.
Nevertheless LD did get a bounce.
Labour seem to be making their conference purely a sustained attack on Cameron, rather than saying what they want to do. This is a **** strategy. We should mention the other parties as little as possible in Birmingham. There won't be any time to mention them in a discussion about the problems and our proposed solutions.
One last point, in that YouGov we are equal with the other two parties combined.

Give people what they want - tax cuts - and they will even vote LibDem.

There's a conclusion to be drawn from there.
I wonder what it is?

If I remember rightly, we got something like a 14 point shift after our conference last year. This is a tiny blip if ever I've seen one. The figures will go back to normal once people realise the LD figures are plucked out of thin air, and when they remember that Clegg is an arse.

The Lib Dems are and always will be the Party of protest.

As I understand it, "rich" means those who (where it applies) have a joint gross income of £50,000.

It is an incredibly low threshold which would hit many "middle income families" and we should be shouting it from the roof tops

" don't think the Lib Dems tax cuts are going to stand up to serious scrutiny "

Does that matter if they have caught the public mood?

Listening to Any Questions and Question Time it seems the Conservatives are firing blanks where the economy is concerned, their critique of Brown and his economic record is at best limp and incoherent. It says some thing when Ming Campbell can make a more telling attack on Brown's economic record than the Conservatives, with Andrew Mitchell on Any Questions no more than a bit player who spent most of his time agreeing with Shawn Woodward.

Have the Conservatives spent so much time trying to be 'nice' that they are now completely ineffectual?

Anyone who thinks that the Tories will sustain a 52% lead in the polls between now and the general election is living in JK Rowling-land. Nick Clegg has started a debate about the the future level of taxation and spending priorities that the Conservative Party avoids at its peril.

Faced with an an economy already in recession the public is unlikely to be convinced by politicians chanting mantras about "sharing in the proceeds of growth...". This week's events in the City will result in a shrinkage in the financial services sector, (a sector that generates more than 10% of GDP) and this will have an impact on the rest of the economy for the forseeable future. So, what are Messrs Cameron and Osborne going to do to convince the voters that they are capable of managing UK Plc?

Carlisle Mack, I agree, looking at the carnage that's taken place in the city one can't help but feel the economic policy that's been followed up till now is bust. When you get a bubble that's popped, as in housing, or as in the case of financial services blown up in your face, it takes sometime for things to sort themselves out, and it would be very rash to believe we will be able to set out on the same course all over again. With two key legs of the UK economy on life support (property and financial services) and going to be on life support for sometime, you must wonder what is going to pick up the slack? For myself I am blessed if I know, but one thing I am pretty sure of its going to take one heck of a lot of planning and a clear idea of how we are going to restructure our economy and finances.

So is there any politician or political party with a clue as to how to do this? Depressingly all I see are political minnows who came into politics as career politicians never expecting they would have to enunciate a vision that was significantly different to what has gone before. But here we have a political class barely able to comprehend what has taken place, and certainly clueless what is going to be needed, and they are going to lead us to this new future? Oh dear!

well - we do seem to be getting ourselves a little wound up - but not surprising really - we have to hand it to Clegg - he is saying here would be tax cuts - we are not - why not?!!! Somebody asked me the other day - what are our top 3 priorities - ashamed to say I could not answer - we need more substance - otherwise someone like Clegg is going to pop our big baloon - what are our top 3 priorities?

They'll soon be back at 17%. A little conference bubble.

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