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 message echoed the SLF amendment to his economy motion that was passed at the Party conference in September that called for the burden of fiscal consolidation to be shifted towards fairer taxes, especially on wealth and land while improving provision for the most vulnerable in society. The SLF has always maintained that those with the broadest shoulders should contribute their fair share to deficit reduction through progressive changes to the tax system and that the burden of deficit-cutting must not be borne by the working-age poor. SLF believes that future governments must be careful not to sacrifice a dynamic economy with rising living standards for the sake of balanced budgets by a set date – especially if this means spending cuts that effect the most vulnerable. Speaking on the BBC’s Newsnight last night, SLF Council member Linda Jack said, “You cannot just look at the cuts without looking at the consequences...Nick Clegg and Danny Alexander agreed to deficit totals...we are a democratic party – wait until our conference makes a decision on our manifesto”. Like all Liberal Democrats, the Social Liberal Forum is very proud of our party’s uniquely democratic approach to policy making and as we enter the run up to the 2014 and 2015 elections, we look forward to further statements from our ministers in government that set out clear ideological differences between us and the Tory Party.
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