With the news that we are officially in a double-dip recession period LINK it is becoming clearer that the Tory Liberal economic policies are fundamentally flawed. Yes, they inherited a large deficit, but they also inherited a growing economy.
Cutting too far too fast has recklessly damaged the UK’s good prospects of getting our economy moving again. So far, the Tory Liberals have increased unemployment by
Slashing jobs in the public sector on the unsubstantiated claim and risk that jobs will miraculously appear in the private sector to make up for the rise in unemployment in the public sector
Increasing VAT which has an impact on a business’ take home profits, meaning that they have less profit available to employ people and expand
The VAT rise also impacts on consumer spending and disincentivises businesses
Scrapping the Future Jobs Fund which equips young people to be work ready. Indeed the long term impact of this has also been ignored by the Tory Liberals. Even if there is a lack of employment opportunities in the country, it is important that these schemes are invested in so that people are equipped with the skills they need and are work ready for when the economy does recover and there are jobs for people to go into.
Unemployment should never be a price worth paying. The immediate and long-term impact of worklessness is far worse than pursuing an aim to get rid of the deficit in four years. The Tory Liberal Government have made this their priority and ignored the impact that this damaging course has on ordinary people.
The VAT rise also had a detrimental impact on inflation. Naturally, it costs more to buy products because there is more tax paid on spending money. This leaves less disposable income to the individual and what’s more, wages are not going up with inflation. People are being squeezed with higher costs and lower income.
This brings me to my final point on the deficit, which has increased under this Tory Liberal administration – LINK
Growth is a key component to tackle the deficit. Without economic growth, it becomes difficult to address the deficit. This has been the Tory Liberal Coalition’s main failure. There is the issue of the Eurozone crisis that the right wing Government will point to. However, slashing public sector jobs with a front loaded approach and the VAT rise are policies of the Government’s own making.
The Tories are out of touch with ordinary people and their stance on the 50% tax rate at this very moment in time is testament to that. The Liberals aren’t bothered about issues such as employment, jobs, the economy, crime and the NHS – this is proven with how easily they flipped their position on these what I consider core issues. They are far more concerned with the House of Lords and the electoral system and appear more principled on these issues than ones that have a more profound impact on people.
The Guardian has published results in detail for the Alternative Vote referendum held on Thursday 5th May 2011. The No vote won with 30,941 (54.77%) in Brent rejecting the AV system to elect our MPs and 25,551 (45.23%) voting Yes. Turnout in the London Borough of Brent was 30.78%.
This Thursday, I will be voting No in the referendum vote to change the way we elect our MPs.
I don’t see why people who voted for a candidate who came bottom in a contest should have equal footing with the votes of people who voted for the top two candidates. The principle of one person one vote, does not exist with AV.
AV signals a shift from favouring most popular candidate to favouring the least unpopular. MPs will not reveal their true beliefs and convictions as they would be scared that 50% of people in their constituency will not support them anymore.
Many find it hypocritical that the Labour Party and Conservative Party both use elements of AV to elect their leaders but the Tories and many from Labour are not supporting this system to elect MPs. However, using this system to elect your Party leader where voting is a vote among colleagues and there is a broad agreement with ideology between all candidates up for selection, and selecting an MP where people up for election have radically varying ideologies is completely different.
To put it simply, I have no worries whatsoever that someone who voted Diane Abbott in the Labour leadership contest in 2010 had equal value to people who voted Ed Miliband or David Miliband. But I have an issue when it comes to electing MPs and people who voted for the British National Party having their vote eventually counting for equal value with people who voted for either of the top two candidates.
I also disagree that AV will end safe seats for life. I believe that it will get end some seats being safe, but I also believe that it will create some safe seats. For example, if we take the results of Brent Central at the last election which you can see here (LINK), under AV, Brent Central is likely to be a safe Lib Dem seat once Tory votes are redistributed rather than a hotly contested marginal where MPs can genuinely be held to account.
I agree that there is a case to change from First Past the Post, but AV is the wrong change. I feel there are more proportional systems out there, like the one we use to elect our London Assembly which keeps the constituency MP to voter link on a First Past The Post basis, but also has a strong element of Proportional Representation with a top up list vote.
I could go on, but I hope this Thursday, you will all go out and join me in voting No to AV.
Nick Clegg dismissed the alternative vote (AV) system proposed by the Prime Minister as “a baby step in the right direction”, and said he would not settle for “a miserable little compromise thrashed out by the Labour Party”.
– The Times, 22 April 2010
Chris Huhne said: “Gordon Brown has undergone a deathbed conversion to electoral reform now that defeat is staring him in the face, but the alternative vote does not give voters enough power.”
– Daily Mail, 3rd February, 2010
“Only the Single Transferable Vote in multi-member seats would abolish MPs’ meal tickets for life, and we will fight to amend this proposal to give people a real choice for a more significant change.”
– Lib Dem Press Release, 1st Feb 2010
Now they will be offering a referendum on it, it is no longer a miserable little compromise.
Voters have always been cynical about politicians who make extravagant promises only to renege on them a few months later but never in recorded history has a party betrayed every principle it ever stood for as the Liberal Democrats have done since May 6th.
Before the election, the Lib Dems supported Labour in not wishing to cut too fast too soon for fear of a double dip recession. Now they have supported the largest cuts package in the western world. Before the election they described Tory plans to increase VAT as a ‘secret VAT bombshell’ but they have since voted to increase VAT to 20%. Before the election, they gave a commitment to universal child benefit but they have since supported scrapping child benefit for some middle income families but not others. For years, they promised to abolish tuition fees; indeed it was the subject of Sarah Teather’s maiden speech. Now they are in favour of doubling tuition fees. In March this year, Sarah Teather berated the Tories for planning to abolish subsidised rents for Council and housing association homes; now they support new council tenancies at 80% of market rents and the abolition of security of tenure for those tenants. During the election, the Lib Dem Leader Nick Clegg described the alternative vote system (AV) as “a miserable little compromise”. By September he was saying that “AV is infinitely fairer than what we have at the moment”.
Brent Council’s Labour Leader, Councillor Ann M John, OBE has compiled a brief list of Lib Dem quotes made in the run up to the May election all of which have been comprehensively disavowed in the five months since the election.
I will be publishing extracts from the list which is entitled ‘The Fib Dems in their own words’ on my blog page over the next few weeks
Councillor Ann John said:
“The Fib Dems are the harlots of British politics. They will say anything and do anything to get into government. In less than six months they have betrayed every policy they fought the election on. They give all politicians a bad name”.