Monday, 28 June 2010

Cable: VAT poster was point scoring

Prior to the General Election, the Lib-Dems positioned themselves as the party of progression. They stood for civil liberties, attacked the renewal of Trident and warned against the ‘bombshell’ of a VAT rise. Distancing themselves from the ‘old’ politics, they were honest and open – and, for many people, they represented a real alternative.

Fast forward six weeks and the Lib-Dems have jumped into bed with the oldest party of them all – a horrible case of political necrophilia. And now the much-loved ‘progressive’ Vince Cable dismisses the Lib-Dems’ pre-election VAT stance as “trying to score a point against the Conservatives”. How refreshing! And are we to assume that all your pre-election promises were examples of “point scoring” which you’ve now dropped?

The Lib-Dems' support of a VAT rise is not just a betrayal, it illuminates them as a party of regression and conservatism. With public sector pay frozen and benefits cut in real terms, the VAT rise will hit the most vulnerable people in society. Furthermore, a 20% VAT rate effectively means that public sector pay hasn't been frozen - it's been cut.

But fear not – the Red Knight Simon Hughes has appeared on the horizon promising that backbench Lib-Dem MPs could seek to amend the budget to make it more progressive. Does that mean that all those who voted Lib-Dem on 6th May will be able to amend their vote too?

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