Professor John Martin looks at the Liberal Democrats attitude to the future of the EU.
Very wealthy must pay more tax
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg put down a firm marker to the Conservative Opposition in the Coalition this week, proposing that the wealthy should shoulder a greater burden of the economic pain in this time of “economic war”.
In a wide-ranging interview with Nick Watt in Wednesday’s Guardian he said:
“If we are going to ask people for more sacrifices over a longer period of time, a longer period of belt tightening as a country, then we just have to make sure that people see it is being done as fairly and as progressively as possible.
“While I am proud of some of the things we have done as a government I actually think we need to really hard-wire fairness into what we do in the next phases of fiscal restraint. If we don’t do that I don’t think the process will be either socially or politically sustainable or acceptable.”
Nick is calling for a “time limited contribution” from the very rich.
“If we want to remain cohesive and prosperous as a society, people of very considerable personal wealth have got to make a bit of an extra contribution.
“In addition to our standing policy on things like the mansion tax, is there a time-limited contribution you can ask in some way or another from people of considerable wealth so they feel they are making a contribution to the national effort? What we are embarked on is, in some senses, a longer economic war rather than a short economic battle.”
In the Guardian interview the Party Leader also reiterated the Liberal Democrat commitment to no third runway at Heathrow Airport. The party will be debating a motion at Federal Conference in three weeks time. The Liberal Democrats want UK aviation policy to be based on five key principles: accessibility from north and south; growth within UK carbon budgets; minimal impact on the local population; minimal impact on the global environment and maximum ‘hub airport’ potential.