Clegg launches ‘Make it Happen’ with call to cut taxes

by Stephen Tall on July 17, 2008

The party website has a blue mast-head, a youthful leader and a call to cut taxes for low- and middle-income earners: yes, the Lib Dems’ leader Nick Clegg has today launched the party’s new ‘Make it Happen’ policy and consultation document, and made an unequivocal pitch to voters wanting to kick Labour out of office and mistrustful of the Tories’ ability to marry economic competence and social justice.

Nick showcased the proposals on this morning’s BBC Radio 4 Today programme:

Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg has outlined his pledge to cut taxes for low and middle-income people, as part of his proposals to make “Britain fairer”. He said “struggling families” should be paying “much less” tax while “wasteful” government spending should be cut. Among proposals in a policy document is that the NHS should pay for patients not treated “on time” to go private.

Labour and the Tories are committed to the same spending levels but Mr Clegg says they are not “set in stone”. Mr Clegg said his party was looking to make £20bn savings in government spending in order to cut taxes for lower and average earners and bring down the overall level of tax.

And here’s the conclusion of today’s Independent leader column:

Today, Mr Clegg will make a bold attempt to give his party a clear identity once more, with his document Make It Happen. He will introduce a new policy of cutting income tax to 16 pence in the pound, by increasing green taxes and wealth taxes. Adroitly moving into a space that David Cameron has left empty, Mr Clegg will also be announcing that it is his party’s aim to cut taxes overall, something that Mr Cameron will not do in his anxiety to decontaminate the Tory brand.

This is shrewd political calculation by Mr Clegg. It seeks to recast the Liberal Democrats as the party of the small state, liberal in social policy and in economics. It will cause trouble among some Liberal Democrats, who instinctively prefer to tax and spend generously, but we have not heard any better ideas for getting the party out of Mr Cameron’s shadow and making it visible again.

Mr Clegg has a mandate from his party and he deserves an upturn in his party’s fortunes, which has eluded him all these months. Perhaps today will see the start of it.

For what it’s worth, PoliticsHome.com’s ‘politically balanced ph100 panel’ reckons this is canny tactics:

It’s a smart political strategy for the Liberal Democrats to promise tax cuts for people on low and modest incomes. That’s the verdict of the PHI100 on Nick Clegg’s recent speech saying that is how he intends to fight the next election.

A solid majority of the politically balanced panel (sixty two per cent) think that promises like this will give distinction to the Lib Dems and boost their support. Just over a third of the panel (thirty five per cent) disagree. The minority view is that it sounds unconvincing as a policy and will cost them votes.

Unsurprisingly perhaps, liberal panellists gave their unanimous support to Mr Clegg’s move. Less predictably, majorities of left-leaning and right-leaning panellists also think he is on the correct track, and they think this in similar proportions.

So three questions to throw open to LDV readers:
1. what do you make of Make it Happen?
2. what do you think of the party’s move to shed its tax ‘n’ spend image in favour of being the only party committed to low taxation?
3. is this smart politics that will inspire you to campaign for the Lib Dems where you live?

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Anon @ 1.14am:

“Are any of the people enthusiastically welcoming this new lurch to the right old enough to have supported the party when our policy was precisely the opposite?”

Patronizing, much!

For the record, yes, I am and I supported them then as well. But, like that other great Liberal, “when the facts change, I change my mind; what do you do. sir?”

We have gone through an entire decade of living proof that the welfare state’s main institutions have reached the point where throwing money at them is just not delivering proportionate benefits. We have gone through a decade of ever centralizing government, whose fiscal policies have made the tax and benefits systems even more complicated than ever, yet has failed to make any large inroads into the distribution of wealth or opportunity. A decade of a government that has thrown billions at their friends in the QUANGOcracy with little perceptible benefit and much duplication, and at outrageously statist illiberal projects like ID cards and NHS databases.

I see lots of opportunity there for a liberal alternative that delivers leaner, more efficient, less intrusive government balanced with ensuring people have more of their money in their own pockets, rather than in the hands of big-statists. And I see little contradiction personally.

by Jock on July 18, 2008 at 1:34 am. Reply #

I’m concerned that we are responding to anonymous critics who describe our actions with the language of our opponents.

Gavin Esler let himself and Newsnight down with the presentation of the subject by falling into the old-fashioned inadequate rhetoric of wing politics, and all those who copy this flat-earth mode of understanding politics only highlight their simplistic explanations which do nothing to satisfy public needs and demands.

This is a general problem in society where communication standards on even flagship operations like Newsnight fail to do more than appeal to the lowest common denominator, and to some extent I’m a little disappointed that Clegg didn’t challenge this preconception during the course of his interview.

Secondly the post-rationalisation that anyone who casts their vote for the LibDems is not actually supporting the LibDems also needs challenging for its ludicrous idiocy.

All our representatives are in place having won their elections with more votes that their opponents – no party can presume to take public opinion for granted by suggesting support is anything but conditional. The fact is that votes for LibDem candidates are votes for LibDems: it is our job to grow the numbers of votes cast our way.

The facts are that there will always be taxation and there will always be spending. The political differences between the parties are over how the levels and balance will be spread our across the economy and society.

We have a clear framework of principles for how we decide the details of our policy proposals which are based upon increasing the fairness of imposed burdens, by decreasing the unfairness created by artificial distortions and restrictions and by looking at ways to improve natural sustainability through getting the balance right under any particular circumstance.

There is absolutely no inconsistency in our approach over the years – even if this has meant our opponents have been able to paint our flexibility over the specifics as incoherent or bad accounting.

But why should anyone listen to our opponents considering their track records over generations – the only good ideas they have had are the ones they have stolen from us, and they’ve only gone wrong when they’ve taken the opportunity to pervert our principles.

by Oranjepan on July 18, 2008 at 2:42 am. Reply #

On a side note Clegg is reassuringly human, which goes down well in this neck of the woods and I think will allow him to grow as a person in the public consciousness: he is neither too slick or too flawed in style, yet he remains resolute if not quite as forthright as he might be on camera.

He is clearly growing in confidence on the floor of the commons and is overcoming many of the limitations of his current position, he can clearly grow equally as much in stature as he becomes more familiar through television.

I am more optimistic about our prospects under his guidance by the day.

by Oranjepan on July 18, 2008 at 2:49 am. Reply #

Cutting taxes is not a lurch to the right. Just as increasing taxes doesn’t mean redistribution in favour of the poor.

Most rightwing tax cuts (Bush, Regan etc) have been aimed squarely at the rich and have been paid for by ballooning budget deficits.

One of the reasons why the party needs to be more general is not so the sums don’t add up, but so they do! The 1p on income tax for education was a product of it’s time, to persist with it in the face of all the other tax rises since
(including 1p on national insurance) makes no sense. Setting out an exact amount for any tax change is soon superceded by events.

There is a big difference between saying we wil scrap ID cards (saving approximately x billion) and we will make a 5% effiency saving at the home office without even indictating how.

by Mouse on July 18, 2008 at 4:53 am. Reply #

Frankly, I just wonder how representative all these comments are of the active membership of the party.

Part of the reason for my “patronizing much” question about age is that my impression is that most of the enthusiastic “economic liberals” who post here are quite young and relatively new to the party.

I am 45, and I think I’m right in saying I am the second youngest of the 50ish members and deliverers in my ward.

Just out of curiosity, are any of you eager beavers older than I am?

by Anonymous on July 18, 2008 at 8:48 am. Reply #

To be fair Anon @ 8.48am I was going to make a point about ages too though from another angle – that those of us (I’m 41) whose first political memories (more or less – mine was actually writing to an education minister called “Shirley” about the unfairness of collective punishment at prep school in 1978!) are of the Thatcher regime have now seen a whole “cycle” if you like of, on the one hand, rampant “beggar thy neighbour” lopsided capitalism and, on the other, “throw all you’ve got at it” tax and spend of Labour, even if has not been the socialist “enemy” of old from that quarter.

And so the job of forging a distinctive alternative is tempered by those experiences.

However, I would turn your question around slightly, and wonder why those older members of the party who can remember that far back have allowed to disappear, over the years, a very real liberal alternative, based on our post-war to late seventies policies of “ownership for all” – the redistribution of capital and financial assets to labour and away from capital, “citizens income” and such like which really did offer a liberal alternative to socialism, state capitalism or the corporatarism we’ve seen over the past nearly thirty years.

Simple fact is that we have also witnessed over the last decade how the “left” even if they abandon such schemes as wholesale public ownership (which was always an inferior outcome than the Liberal party vision of individual, personal, widespread, ownership of the means of production) remain obsessed with control and “only I know best” spending policies that have really not delivered.

It seems to me that this paper is only a start, albeit quite a good one, that it does not delve sufficiently into our real liberal past to rediscover some genuine innovations in the way we “redistribute” (naturally more than coercively) that actually, I believe may have been ahead of their time but are now possibly “of the moment”, just as some of them were the last time we held power nationally nearly a century ago.

by Jock on July 18, 2008 at 9:20 am. Reply #

Public spending has doubled over the last decade. There have been some good results of that. There is also higher taxes and lots of waste. Adapting policy in light of all that has happened is logical to me.

I would like to hear those who think that tax and spending policies should be the same as 10 years ago explain why they think these huge changes do not make much of a difference to what policy should now be.

I am with Keynes – ‘When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?’

by Steve on July 18, 2008 at 9:28 am. Reply #

Firstly – David Allen: Hello!

To respond to several points here: as pointed out, tax cutting is not right wing per se. I applaud what appears to be a genuine attempt to move in a more Liberal direction.

To respond to David’s specific point:

“Many of our supporters will share John D’s views, and will intuitively feel that “economic liberal” just means “right wing Tory”. If we are not to lose their support, we have work to do. We have to prove our commitment to fairness as well as to freedom.”

“Economic Liberalism” was a term misappropriated and misapplied by the Thatcher administration. Conservatives aren’t really Liberals in this sense and applied economic liberalism selectively in favour of conservative ideals.

I would also challenge that “many of our supporters” would “feel this instncitively”. Mostly our support base is more moderate than many of our activists. The challenge for our leadership is to retain this (excuse me for the term) “moderate right of centre” support whilst garnering support from the less wwell-heeled sectors of society.

Income tax cuts for the less well off is a good start.

by Steve Travis on July 18, 2008 at 9:39 am. Reply #

🙂

I think that’s a key quote for helping to sell this kind of policy development that could be seen as a major realignment but which in reality is liberal pragmatism. Which is why I beat you to using it Steve, at half one this morning…:)

by Jock on July 18, 2008 at 9:40 am. Reply #

Steve:
“Public spending has doubled over the last decade.”

Any chance you can justify that claim?

by Anonymous on July 18, 2008 at 9:49 am. Reply #

Central government, total payable, expenditure was £297bn in 97 and £502bn last year. Not quite doubled to be sure, but that does not include all the hidden debt in PFI schemes and so on over that decade, so it must be getting close to doubled. More importantly, perhaps though, are the big ticket items like health and education where spending has gone up vastly in both cases but delivered less than a proportionate amount of benefit.

by Jock on July 18, 2008 at 10:03 am. Reply #

But, of course, as a percentage of national income, public spending now is virtually identical to what it was when Labour came to power in 1997. And is lower than it was under Major in the mid 1990s, and definitely lower than under Thatcher in the mid 1980s.

by Anonymous on July 18, 2008 at 10:09 am. Reply #

On other issues are there any other sci-fi geeks upset that it wasn’t named ‘Make It So’…..that’s worth a few more votes surely?

by Nick on July 18, 2008 at 10:31 am. Reply #

To say public expenditure has “doubled” is disengenious in real terms. As a proportion of GDP its not dramatically different to large parts of the post war period.

by Another Anonymous on July 18, 2008 at 11:17 am. Reply #

I do recall a certain “decapitation strategy” – strangely aimed at the opposition

As I recall it wasn’t us that gave it that title, it was the media. Quite simply we targeted the seats that were the most marginal and many of those happened to include the Tory frontbench. We failed in most of them because they saw us coming. We succeeded in one – Westmorland & Lonsdale – because they didn’t and because we ran a brilliant campaign.

We stand a chance of decapitating a few Labour ministers (and former ministers) next time but fortunately no one has described as such in the media.

by Anders on July 18, 2008 at 11:41 am. Reply #

“…falling into the old-fashioned inadequate rhetoric of wing politics… this flat-earth mode of understanding politics only highlight their simplistic explanations which do nothing to satisfy public needs and demands.”

Absolutely! As Alfred Sherman said in “Paradoxes of Power”:

“Consideration of this issue has been clouded by reliance on crude antithesis like ‘left’ and ‘right’… We should long since have been liberated form shibboleths inherited from the parade of the Estates on the Versailles tennis court in 1789. True, the ‘left’ for the most part is still captivated by the belief that the acquisition and disposal of goods and services by the beneficent state will bring prosperity and justice for all. But the growth of state expenditure in Britain actually owes little to socialists… By contrast, ‘right wing’ means little more than being opposed to the ‘left’s’ wonder-cures…”

by Tom Papworth on July 18, 2008 at 11:44 am. Reply #

I am not an economist and so I won’t go in to all the economic arguments of the policy announced yesterday (some who read my argument will probably say that is the problem with it).

For me though it is simple. I was fully behind our proposals to raise taxes in the 1990s as it was the right call at the time as taxes were relatively low and there was a need for investment in specific services such as education.

Now there is a general feeling that taxes are too high, times are tough and that despite huge amounts of investment many services are no better, or at least more money won’t make a difference.

To me it isn’t an argument about whether we are being more truly liberal or not. It’s more about what is right at the time. I am more pro-public sector and using government to deliver services than Nick is and would support a higher tax level than many economic liberals. But I still think this is the right policy at the current time.

We won’t get loads of Tories rushing to vote for us as a result. It is proper campaigning on the ground that will win us seats. But what it does is help build an impression in people’s minds of what the Lib Dems are about. Once it has been fleshed out with specific savings and we have a stronger sense of what we would do about public services I think it will be an even stronger policy.

It is then up to the campaigners amongst us to turn it in to something that is catchy and Focus-friendly.

by Anders on July 18, 2008 at 11:51 am. Reply #

We are entering an economic slow down and perhaps a recession. Tax revenues have started to fall. Unemployment has started to rise (and thus benefit payments). Economic contraction will lead to an increase in aquisitive crime and thus pressure on police budgets. Inflation in adult social services is running at 5% to 8% . The UK has a large and now structural budget deficit and thats before a £100bn of PFI debt is counted.

by David Morton on July 18, 2008 at 12:01 pm. Reply #

“Absolutely! As Alfred Sherman said in “Paradoxes of Power”:”

Good heavens! I suppose we’re going to be told Alfred Sherman was a liberal next.

And perhaps Nick Clegg will go for a photo-opportunity kneeling at the feet of Margaret Thatcher.

by Anonymous on July 18, 2008 at 12:33 pm. Reply #

No. Alfred Sherman was a Tory and a close adviser of Margaret Thatcher. But he is right about our atavistic use of a “Left-Right” axis that is nearly 230 years out of date.

by Tom Papworth on July 18, 2008 at 12:37 pm. Reply #

Nothing I have seen since my last post has helped me apart from the valiant efforts of Anonymous to hold back the tide. The problem is this is putting the cart before the horse. “We are going to cut taxes”. I am up for re-election next year. How do I square this with
1. 100 year backlog on road repairs
2. The local high school needing to teach kids in the corridor next year in a 40 year old school building not fit for purpose
3. Shortage of school places
4. Barely legal minimum support in adult social care with demand growing exponentially
5. Rising land fill taxes to be replaced by expensive re-cycling and other treatment facilities
6. Likely massive cuts in bus services.
7. Withdrawal of support for voluntary sector.

I could go on and on…

But hey a few Tories might vote for me.

by John D on July 18, 2008 at 1:47 pm. Reply #

David at 12.01…

Your concerns about slowdown etc are exactly why in my opinion this must be sold not as a penny-pinching managerial efficiency measure, but a systemic change in the *way* we tax – that, as in 1909, we must ask not just “how much have you got” but also “where did you get it from” and tax those things that contribute most to the uneven playing field that currently gives big advantages to big business and the already wealthy.

For example, the best time to implement a wholesale switch from income to land taxes would be at the bottom of a property market cycle in order for it to have a sustainable buffering effect against future boom-bust type bubbles.

It must not be “savings” that can be characterized as “cuts” by those who don’t share our ambitions, but a tax revolution (I don’t believe a “tax switch” is now enough, given that this is the second summer we have published this sort of policy and nobody even remembers that we did it last year with the “lowest income tax rate since 1916” policy.)

Savings are a turn-off for many as it’s all been said before and never implemented. A tax revolution is a more engaging prospect to me.

by Jock on July 18, 2008 at 1:51 pm. Reply #

Another anonymous at 11.17:

Given that this government have been touting as their achievment the longest continual period of growth in history or whatever it is Gordon keeps saying I don’t think it is disingenuous at all. “Real terms” to me means an overall increase ahead of inflation, not necessarily share of GDP.

The fact is that massive amounts of additional money has been available as a result of that growth and has not produced the sort of benefits the real terms increase in spending ought to have produced.

In that respect what Gideon and Dave (sounds like a good name for an Oxford Ice Cream Parlour!) have been saying about storing up some savings in the good times should have been happening for ten years.

Major’s years were indeed years of higher spending, proportionally speaking, but that has also got to be seen in the context of the bottom of the previous cycle in the early nineties. The fact that we are nearly at those levels at the end of the upward part of the cycle is indeed awkward for anyone wishing to take over managing the economy.

by Jock on July 18, 2008 at 1:58 pm. Reply #

To Steve Travis (hi!) – Well, we can bandy fine words about economic liberalism, about how our free dosh is somehow philosophically different from Thatcher’s free dosh, etcetera – if we want to provoke distrust! The down-to-earth average voter view will be, thanks for the dosh but where’s the catch?

Now don’t get me wrong, we do have perfectly valid reasons for our reversal of policy, it is critical support I am offering. As Anders says, it is the right policy at the current time. It’s just that we mustn’t get carried away. Frying pans and fires come to mind.

Dogmatic, ideological tax policies are what is wrong. Labour’s big-promises-big-plans-big-bills policy is wrong, because it leads to overspend and waste. But the Thatcher-Major cut-cut-cut ideology was equally wrong, and they left government in tatters. Schools and hospitals in a mess. Never enough money to do a job properly. Resources wasted on emergency repairs and rework to put the original botch job right again. For those who take pleasure in being too young to have lived the history – do please read the books. Those who cannot learn from history are condemned to repeat it!

by David Allen on July 18, 2008 at 2:12 pm. Reply #

Mark Littlewood said “this is the best and boldest policy announcement by a Lib Dem leader in some time”.

You might say that having pushed for the policy change your self for some time now, just as I might entirely agree with you, having also wanted us to go down this route for some while too :-).

I don’t expect the party to go down the route of a tax revolution, but I do hope this change could act as a catalyst for us to rediscover some of our neglected & thoroughly subversive economically liberal past, i.e. of asset taxes and ‘ownership for all’. One day proponents of LVT will loose their beards and the whiff of BO.

by Paul Pettinger on July 18, 2008 at 2:33 pm. Reply #

“One day proponents of LVT will loose their beards and the whiff of BO.”

…shaved mine off on joining ALTER and have just been into Crabtree & Evelyn for new supplies, thanks!

by Jock on July 18, 2008 at 2:45 pm. Reply #

Why is everyone so worked up over the tax policy when even if you disagree it there are loads of other proposals in the document to be pleased about?

Examples include:

Leading the way on nuclear disarmament (hardly a right wing policy)
State investment in high speed railways
Devolving local health services
The ‘pupil premium’

All of these suggest a centre/centre-left approach rather than a sudden leap to the right.

by James Shaddock on July 18, 2008 at 2:50 pm. Reply #

“One day proponents of LVT will loose their beards and the whiff of BO.”

A characteristic of the statist social-liberal tendency, surely?

by Andrew Duffield on July 18, 2008 at 2:52 pm. Reply #

James at 2.50, two / three of your example policies require or imply higher state spending. These sit uneasily alongside a policy of overall spending cuts!

by David Allen on July 18, 2008 at 3:22 pm. Reply #

Jock, congratulations on helping kick start beard reform within LVT circles. Andrew, I didn’t say proponents of LVT wore sandals, a stereotype I’ve always associated with the old left. Many LVT proponents do however some times come across as (very well meaning) policy geeks, rather than communication specialists.

by Paul Pettinger on July 18, 2008 at 4:50 pm. Reply #

Oh dear, somebody mentioned “state support for high speed railways” – time to crank up Crewe Gwyn.

I hope this is going to be properly thought through :-

High Speed Rail Links CAN be :-

a) energy inefficient
b) huge consumers of limited funding
c) beneficial to the wealthy (who tend to make long-distance rail journeys) at the expense of the less well-off (who tend to make shorter rail journeys, or use buses).

Do hope somebody is thinking this through.

by crewegwyn on July 18, 2008 at 5:02 pm. Reply #

John D at 1:47

I share your concern that we must have a properly funded state sector … but I am convinced that cutting the overall burden of taxes as well as – and this is crucial – making them fairer in terms of ability to pay. This is in sharp contrast to the Tories whose plans are always utterly self-serving though all dressed up in pseudo-liberal economic language.

Labour may have spent a great deal more but their best idea seems to have been that if they throw enough money at a problem some will eventually stick. Well it doesn’t. More than anything this is where Lib Dems have to distinguish themselves from Labour.

Caring, yes. For a fairer society, yes. For a properly managed state sector, yes. For wasteful spending, NEVER.

by Gordon on July 18, 2008 at 5:34 pm. Reply #

“..this is crucial – making them fairer in terms of ability to pay.”

Gordon, the crucial thing our party finally appears to be grasping is that “ability to pay” needs to relate to unearned asset wealth at least as much (and ideally much more than) it relates to productive earnings. That is the key to shifting the tax burden off the poor.

And as the poor become financially emancipated of course, welfare state dependency becomes less necessary.

Our long-term “management” strategy should be to reduce the need for state management of individuals altogether – setting people free, economically and socially.

by Andrew Duffield on July 18, 2008 at 6:30 pm. Reply #

John D wrote:
“The problem is this is putting the cart before the horse. “We are going to cut taxes”. I am up for re-election next year. How do I square this with
1. 100 year backlog on road repairs”
[6 more items snipped]

Actually, I’d be interested to see some more reaction from Lib Dem councillors.

What do they think of this target of cutting government expenditure by 3-4%? Do they think cuts of that size in local government spending could be achieved without harming public services? Or is local government supposed to be exempt from the cuts (which, of course, would imply they would be correspondingly deeper elsewhere)?

Or do they take a more cynical view – that there’s no danger of this policy doing any harm or incurring any unpopularity, because it’s never really going to be implemented?

by Anonymous on July 18, 2008 at 7:18 pm. Reply #

Since when did we become Tories ?

by Spanny Thomas on July 18, 2008 at 8:49 pm. Reply #

Wanting to cut taxes & improve the economy! While this is classic liberalism it is officially “illiberal & incompatible with party membership”. Mr Clegg must be expelled forthwith.

by Neil Craig on July 19, 2008 at 12:36 pm. Reply #

“While this is classic liberalism it is officially “illiberal & incompatible with party membership”.”

No it isn’t.

Accusing fellow party members of being fascists might well be, but nothing you have said (at great great length!) on this site comes close to providing any evidence for these sorts of claims from yourself.

You have repeatedly called various Liberal Democrats fanatical, near-Nazi supporting right-wing extremists.

I am not surprised if people found that such views were not compatible with you being a member of the party yourself.

by Steve on July 19, 2008 at 1:18 pm. Reply #

Steve such classic liberal views have been officially described by the party as “illiberal & incompatible with party membership”.

That is a simple statement of fact, publicly on record & I ask you to retract your claim.

On your 2nd point – I have stated that the party & party members supported (ex-)Nazis openly committed to & engaged in genocide in Croatia, Bosnia & Kosovo. Do you deny that the party supported these people, that they were in several cases unrpentent ex-Nazis who served Hitler, that they were publicly committed to genocide & were engaged in same? If not then everything I said is truthful. If so on what particular point do you dispute.

If you do not dispute the facts what is your basis for saying anybody unwilling to censor evidence of genocide should not be allowed to be a member of the “Liberal Democrats”?

by Neil Craig on July 19, 2008 at 1:52 pm. Reply #

This is the right thing to do. I am a Lib Dem councillor in a Labour controlled authority in Northamptonshire (there’s only one – you work it out). It frustrates the hell out of me that so many councillors from all parties get taken in by the argument that lower taxes mean spending cuts as if all spending cuts are wrong. Its about priorities! Local government is inefficient. No doubt about it. National government is too. The easy way to cut spending is to attack front line services. The more difficult way, but the correct way is to tackle the inefficiencies, reduce bureaucracy and to decide what are priorities and what are not. e.g are public art and the promotion of tourism really priorities when compared to having well maintained roads and a cheap, efficient railway system? It is possible to expand front line services and cut taxes. I’m not saying its easy, but it is possible.

by Chris Stanbra on July 19, 2008 at 2:14 pm. Reply #

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