So the Tories did want to cut Child Benefit!

www.bbc.co.uk/news/election-2015-32526461

Danny Alexander, effectively Mr Osborne’s deputy in coalition, said he was “lifting the lid” on Tory plans which included limiting child benefit and tax credits to two children.

He claimed his party blocked the move, which he said was worth £8bn.

But Mr Osborne said the claims were three years old, and never policy.

So it did happen, it was 3 years ago but if never actually became policy because the Lib Dems effectively blocked it. Note no denial of the pertinent facts here. Sadly the BBC headline is rather misleading or potentially biased in Osborne’s favour.

An unstable Tory or Labour Government will destroy our economy once again.

www.bbc.co.uk/news/election-2015-32445696

The BBC has the story – see link above.

I particularly like the note that Danny Alexander has written for whomever becomes the next Chief Secretary to the Treasury:-

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“Sorry for the late reply – I’ve been fixing the economy. The deficit halved, jobs up, growth up.

“That’s the Liberal Democrat record. We won’t let you – or the Tories – screw it up.”

Of course this is response the infamous note left by the last Labour Chief Secretary to the Treasury – Liam Byrne after Labour had been kicked out of office in 2010 for their part in ruining the UK economy. His note to his successor said:-

“Dear Chief Secretary, I’m afraid there is no money. Kind regards – and good luck! Liam.”

The Independent – ‘the Liberal Democrats do have a more balanced, pragmatic approach’

The Friday 20th March edition of The Independent newspaper said this about the Lib Dem approach to the economy and the deficit……

Danny Alexander MP

Danny Alexander MP

‘…the substance of what Mr Alexander had to say was much more impressive. Easily dismissed as “splitting the difference” between the Conservative and Labour routes to deficit reduction, the Liberal Democrats do have a more balanced, pragmatic approach to the task. Mr Alexander and his colleagues would indeed try to avoid the worst of the cuts the Tories would inflict on public services, and they rule out tax cuts for the rich, such as on inheritance tax. Unlike Labour, though, they would attempt to protect incentives and not simply ramp up taxes on the middle classes, and borrow more and more to fund an ever-rising deficit.’

Cutting less than the Tories, borrowing less than Labour.

Lib Dems – Cash pledge for mental health

Danny Alexander has said extra funding to improve children’s mental health services will be announced in this week’s budget, aimed at early intervention programmes to stop youngsters from developing serious and potentially fatal mental health conditions.

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The package will also include a doubling of cash for the treatment of armed forces veterans. Peter Wanless, chief executive of the NSPCC, said: “The rising number of children who contact ChildLine because they have mental health issues is deeply disturbing – and just as worrying is the lack of services to help them.” He warned that “we risk leaving a generation on the brink of despair”

The Times says the announcement is a major boost for its Time To Mind campaign, supported by politicians, business chiefs and show business stars. Alan Johnson, the former health secretary, backs the Times campaign in a separate piece for the paper where he says has made the provision of emergency hospital beds for adolescents with life-threatening mental health issues a personal political priority.

The Times newspaper covered this story

With thanks to the LGiU for the lead to this story.

Lib Dem Danny Alexander blasts Osborne over planned cuts

George Osborne has been accused by Danny Alexander, his Liberal Democrat deputy, of planning the “willful destruction” of key public services if the Conservatives win the next general election. In an interview with The Independent, Mr Alexander said the Chancellor would make £60bn of unnecessary cuts by 2020. Claiming that the Chancellor wants to “shrink the state”, he warned that even deeper cuts would be needed to deliver the Tories’ planned “unfunded” £7.2bn income tax reduction. Mr Alexander said that the schools budget, provision for 16- to 19-year-olds, nursery education and the pupil premium for children from low-income families would all be at risk under Tory plans. In contrast, the front page of the Lib Dem manifesto next May would pledge to protect such spending, he said.

The Independent carried this story.

With thanks to the LGiU for the lead to this story.

Lib Dems revise mansion tax

The Liberal Democrats have revised their long-standing plans for a “mansion tax” and would instead impose higher council tax bills on homes worth more than £2m. The switch could give Nick Clegg’s party a better chance of achieving its goal of higher property taxes for the rich if there is another hung Parliament after next year’s general election. The Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, said his party would no longer call for a 1% annual levy on the value of a property worth more than £2m. Instead, it would propose a “modest additional banded levy on top of council tax for high-value properties”. Meanwhile, research by Zoopla has suggested that if a “mansion tax” was introduced then two-thirds of it would be paid for by homeowners in three central London boroughs – Kensington and Chelsea, Westminster and Camden.

Financial Times, Page: 4 Financial Times, Page: 4 The Independent, Page: 16 The Times, Page: 4 Daily Mail, Page: 19

With thanks to the LGiU for this story