The 21 areas where the Lib Dems and Labour agree

by Stephen Tall on July 27, 2014

Miliband-CleggIt’s a few months since I first published my list of 17 policies on which the Lib Dems and Labour now agree. These ranged from including tax-cuts for low-earners, the introduction of a mansion tax, a major council house-building programme, cuts to universal benefits for wealthy pensioners, and an elected House of Lords.

One I highlighted was the likely scrapping of the Bedroom Tax, noting then: “Officially the Lib Dems are committed to an immediate review of the impact of the ‘bedroom tax’ (or ‘spare room subsidy’ as no-one calls it), including looking at what money (if any) has been saved, the costs incurred, and the effect on vulnerable tenants. However, party president Tim Farron has made no secret of his wish to reform / scrap it. Ed Miliband announced at the last Labour conference that any government he led would scrap it.” Things have moved on since then, with the Lib Dems now committed to reforming the Bedroom Tax so that no tenant will lose housing benefit unless they decline the offer of alternative suitable housing.

To those 17, I subsequently added another three in May:

  • increasing the provision and affordability of childcare;
  • a living wage for public sector workers; and
  • private sector rent reforms to encourage three-year leases.
  • And then last month, the 21st area of broad agreement became clear when Nick Clegg announced that the Lib Dems would argue the next government “will be able to borrow in order to fix our creaking national infrastructure” in growth-enhancing projects. Though, as Adam Corlett argued here, the policy is not identical to Labour’s, it is certainly more in sympathy with Eds Miliband’s and Balls’ approach.

    So that’s the up-to-date 21 areas where the Lib Dems and Labour agree. As I pointed out in my Total Politics column this month, “If Labour ends up the largest party in a hung parliament there’s plenty of material for a Lib/Lab pact.”

    * Stephen Tall is Co-Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice, and editor of the 2013 publication, The Coalition and Beyond: Liberal Reforms for the Decade Ahead. He is also a Research Associate for the liberal think-tank CentreForum and writes at his own site, The Collected Stephen Tall.

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    One comment

    “These ranged from including tax-cuts for low-earners, the introduction of a mansion tax, a major council house-building programme, cuts to universal benefits for wealthy pensioners, and an elected House of Lords”

    The Mansion Tax doesn’t go nearly far enough. We need a flat 3.5% charge against all residential property. At today’s selling prices, this only recoups back to the community the value it together creates.

    This would raise enough to scrap VAT, NIC’s, Corp Tax, SDLT, IHT, CT and the BBC licence fee.

    The only major tax remaining a flat 20% on all income.

    The average UK household would be £11,000 better off per year, in their pocket.

    Together with the de-capitalisation of land rents, this would increase housing affordability, as a ratio of discretionary income four fold.

    Capitalised land rents are also the cause of under occupancy and vacancy. So, not only would vacant sites be put to use, but so would a fair proportion of the 1 million empty homes, and 25 million empty spare bedrooms.

    So, that’s the “housing crisis” and “cost of living crisis” sorted out. Without the need to build a single new home for the foreseeable future.

    And only a flat 20% on income would be pretty handy for GDP growth.

    Cutting universal benefits is moronic. It only adds to costs, therefore increases the overall tax burden.

    http://www.citizensincome.org/

    http://kaalvtn.blogspot.co.uk/

    by benj on July 27, 2014 at 9:33 pm. Reply #

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