First, we had the strange emergence of Vincent Cable’s “Mansion Tax” at the LibDem Party Conference (where the proposal came as something of a shock to LibDem MPs and candidates fighting seats in the more well-heeled parts of the country). This was followed this morning on Radio 4’s Today programme by Nick Clegg (or whatever his name is) doubling the rate of the Mansion Tax and its threshhold in one deeply unarithmetic manoeuvre (expertly dissected by Tom Harris and even getting a good kicking from Iain Dale).
And, as if that was not enough, we now have even more evidence of the hugely sophisticated research that goes into the drafting of Liberal Democrat policies.
He is also Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group on the Local Government Association. However, today he was grandiosely styling himself as “Leader, Lib Dems in Local Government” in a letter to The Guardian. In it he revealed how Nick Clegg was planning to achieve the “savage” cuts in public expenditure he has promised. The solution is to go for civil servants and “a massive cull in their numbers”. Apparently, the Lib Dems “believe that £3.5 billion could be saved and service delivery would be improved”.
This is obviously impressive stuff. And the sophisticated research on which this conclusion is based? Councillor Richard Kemp can tell us:
“As someone who spends too much time in ministries I am painfully aware that they are overstaffed.”
So now we know. Doesn’t it fill you with confidence? And to think they want to go into a coalition with the Tories after the next General Election.