• Raising the income tax threshold - proceed with caution

    January 17, 2014 4:45 PM

    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

    Read more

  • The Social Liberal Forum agrees with Nick

    January 07, 2014 2:31 PM

    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. Nick’s mes

    Read more

  • Liberal Democrats and the Bedroom Tax

    October 07, 2013 12:14 PM


    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

    Read more

  • Playing Fair with Workfare?

    October 04, 2013 12:21 PM

    So today we learn that Nick Clegg does approve of Osborne’s Workfare, even though it so blatantly contravenes Liberal Democrat core values. He claims it can be justified as being something that will help people, despite the evidence being to the contrary. What is most d

    Read more

  • It may already be too late to save the Liberal Democrats

    September 30, 2013 11:51 AM

      New research by the Institute of Government has produced a very welcome study, looking at the fate of junior coalition partners, in coalitions around the world – and the lessons which can be learned by the Liberal Democrats. To summarise their findings:  
    1. Smaller parties can only distance

    Read more

  • The future of Spring Conference

    September 30, 2013 9:58 AM

    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

    Read more

  • German Lessons

    September 25, 2013 11:47 AM

        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.  

    Read more

  • After Conference.......

    September 23, 2013 1:21 PM

    In case you missed it - Gareth Epps reflects on Federal Conference On Left Foot Forward - After Glasgow: What did the left get out of the Lib Dem conference? On Huffington Post - A Pyrrhic Victory?
  • SLF amendments strengthen economy motion

    September 14, 2013 8:27 AM

    **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

    Read more