Home > Lib Dems > Are we sending the right message

Are we sending the right message

September 11, 2006

Apparently we are urging people to think red and vote yellow according to this piece in The Times – but are we really sending the correct message? According to this piece Sir Menzies ensured that the policy review was refocused to make tackling poverty and unfairness core policy themes. An aim which I would entirely support. However, at the same time we have proposals from the tax commission going to the annual conference which drop the commitment to a 50p rate of tax. I understand the argument that there are better and fairer ways technically of making the wealthier pay more. What concerns me is whether or not we will be able to sell that on the doorstep having made a commitment to redistribution and then promptly given up the 50p rate

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Categories: Lib Dems
  1. Oxonian
    September 11, 2006 at 9:07 am

    Tony – I think the important thing is for us to be on the front foot about the fact that the *new* package is 3 times MORE redistributive than the old (2005) version. The capital gains tax changes also mean that we’re taxing *waelth* as well as *income*, and hence doing more about wealth inequality. A better package all round …

  2. Tony Ferguson
    September 11, 2006 at 9:30 am

    I absolutely understand the position with regard to the package as proposed and I agree that we need tom push this. My concern is that in a sense we are saying that philosophically we are the party of redistribution and therefore attempting to send a message to Labour voters and in particular (in my mind) old Labour voters that we are the party they should be voting for. I am worried that we will struggle with a very complex message whereas the 50p rate is simple to communicate

  3. Tristan
    September 11, 2006 at 12:41 pm

    In my view we should not be a party of redistribution.
    We should be a party which taxes those can afford it (ie not those on low incomes who are currently taxed in the name of ‘redistribution’) to provide funding for essential public services. Ideally, everyone would be able to pay for their own health care, education etc. but I don’t see that ever happening, so the state must provide funds for those essentials (which we can in this rich society).

    Redistribution of wealth by the state is doomed to failure, complexity and increaseed beaurocracy and has the added disadvantage of eroding individual freedom (which is the central tenet of liberalism).

    As for targetting Labour voters. We should be appealing to them, but not by trying to be labour but by showing we a Liberals and winning the argument for Liberalism as a means to help people rather than the statist views of Labour (and often the Tories).

  4. MsDemmie
    September 13, 2006 at 3:56 pm

    Is there a simple to read website available where the Lib- Dem policies are available – issue per issue ?

  5. Tony Ferguson
    September 13, 2006 at 5:43 pm

    I would suggest starting here

    http://www.libdems.org.uk/party/policy/

    but if you need something specific and cannot find it I will dig further or blog about it and some kind soul will point me in the right direction

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