As Liberal Democrats build our manifesto for 2015, one key policy is already being promoted as a flagship measure – continuing to raise the income tax personal allowance to £12,500. While there’s little doubt that raising it to £10,000 in this Parliament was a significant, liberal and popular achievement, we should proceed with caution in going yet further – particularly in light of the often-unwelcome consequences and alternative options, as set out in an
The SLF welcomes yesterday’s warnings from Nick Clegg that he aimed at Tory Chancellor George Osborne
. Speaking at a press conference in Whitehall, Nick Clegg referred to Tory plans to make a further £25bn of cuts to the welfare budget as a ‘monumental mistake’ and went on to outline ideological differences between the two coalition parties on issues like fairer taxation.
At the Liberal Democrat Conference a few weeks ago in Glasgow there were many important debates on taxation, the environment, nuclear weapons and most notably of all, on the economy. The Social Liberal Forum in particular argued passionately to amend the economy motion. Perhaps, the most important progressive highlight for social liberals was the housing benefit debate. The Conference passed a strongly worded
Curtailing (to one day), let alone abolishing, Spring Conference would weaken the party. It would do that through seriously reducing the opportunity for accountability and democratic debate within the Liberal Democrats.
Internal democracy strengthens and unites us as a party.
The commentariat has expressed surprise that there has been more dissent amongst Conservatives over the coalition than amongst Lib Dems. That is not because there are not many in our party unhappy about co
Germany is another country. I am a great sceptic about those who want to extrapolate from history or other cultures obvious messages. How many mistakes have been made in foreign policy because foreign secretaries believe they are at another Munich moment ?
However, we must be prepared to learn what we can in the absence of exact cultural and historical parallels. The FDP humiliation in the recent elections does not teach us everything but it teaches us something.
**September 15th UPDATE**
The SLF's amendments
to tomorrow's economic policy debate have rightly attracted attention from party members, the leadership and the media.(Amendment 1 (future economic strategy) will be moved by Naomi Smith and summated by David Howarth. Amendment 2 (for homes and jobs) will be moved by John (Lord) Shipley, Summator Paul Holmes).
In an inte