• How should Simon Hughes amend the budget?

    June 24, 2010 3:46 PM

    Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats Simon Hughes has announced an intention to amend the budget to promote fairness. He told the Guardian today that:
    When it comes to the Budget next week, we will vote for the budget. But if there are measures in the Finance Bill where we could improve fairness and make for a fairer Britain, then we will come forward with amendments to do that, because th

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  • Did the budget meet my tests?

    June 24, 2010 12:49 AM

    A brief note, reflecting on the criteria by which I proposed we should judge the budget, now it has sunk in:
    • What is the timescale? 5 years, so this is a clear Conservative victory. I am deeply concerned about this, possibly more than anything else, because I think it will damage growth over the next half decade (possibly plunging us back into recession) and thus prolong, not minimise, the pain.
    • What is the proportion of cuts to tax rises? I

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  • How should we evaluate the budget?

    June 22, 2010 12:26 AM

    Regardless of what Liberal Democrats might like the budget to be tomorrow, we always knew it was going to be a compromise between the Lib Dems and Conservatives in government. The Parliamentary arithmetic always meant that the Lib Dems' game plan in coalition was restraining the Tories rather than getting them to abandon their policies altogether. So the issue with the rumours and hints that have been flying around over the past few days is not that the party isn't winning the argument, but th

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  • Intergenerational equity and the perils of groupthink

    June 20, 2010 7:53 PM

    Crossposted from Quaequam Blog! As the implications of what it appears that the coalition is about to do in the upcoming budget sinks in, I have to admit to growing increasingly concerned. No-one - outside of the Labour leadership contest anyway - denies that the structural deficit needs to be tackled or that we don't face some unpleasant spending cuts over the next

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  • Gove a 'romantic idealist'?

    June 20, 2010 6:11 PM

    Plans for so-called ‘free schools’ announced by the Secretary of State recognise the need to improve the education for all pupils; harnessing the enthusiasm of new groups offers the chance to widen community involvement in education. But, like a 1960s child of the flower power revolution, Mr Gove seems more intent on letting a 1,000 flowers bloom than on ensuring a school system fit for purpose and offering value for money in a time of austerity. Schools in England have always been run by a di

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  • Autumn Conference motions 2 - feedback from comments so far

    June 19, 2010 1:07 PM

    Wordles aren't always as useful as they could be, but this summary of comments over the last few days about what topics the Social Liberal Forum should propose motions on at autumn conference seems quite clear: Wordle: SLF Autumn Confer

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  • What motions should we table to autumn conference?

    June 16, 2010 11:15 AM

    Crossposted from the Social Liberal Forum social network. The deadline for autumn conference motions is looming (30 June to be precise), so we don't have much time.  But what should the Social Liberal Forum be championing to get onto the agenda?  Here are some ideas:
    • Secondary education - academies and free schools in particular - appears to be a simmering

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  • Stop wasting money Mr Gove

    June 15, 2010 4:22 PM

    Sign the petition. Ideology rather than efficiency seems to be the Watchword in Sanctuary Buildings, the home of Mr Gove’s Department for Schools. Not content with wasting money on changing the name of his department, the only minister to do so, Mr Gove has rushed out his Academies Bill, or Grant Maintained Schools (Academies) Bill as it ought really to be known. For the Tory academies are really o

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  • Hughes, Bruce and Oakeshott express concerns over Capital Gains Tax plans

    June 14, 2010 11:05 AM

    Following on from the Social Liberal Forum's open letter to Nick Clegg and Danny Alexander about the emergency budget, three prominent Liberal Democrat parliamentarians have echoed our concern on Capital Gains Tax. The FT reports that Lord Oakeshott, Malcolm Bruce and new Lib Dem Deputy Leader Simon Hughes also advisin

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