Wednesday, 22 April 2009


No responses posted on the biggest LibDem blogs so far (13:40) but here is my take on a few points which may not be covered by the heavyweights. (There is a pre-budget round up by Ali G at Freedom Central.)

Savings disregard for pension credit: a £4000 increase is not nearly enough when safe long-term investments are paying 1% a year or worse.

Subsidies for off-shore wind are mis-directed. Money should be put into the potentially more productive and certainly more reliable technology of tide and wave power. I can see why the chancellor is putting money towards wind-farms: the technology is mature, so installations can be up and running relatively quickly; and they are extremely visible. They demonstrate that something is being done: not necessarily the right thing, but something.

Combined Heat and Power: why wait until 2013 before giving the tax relief?

£100 million for energy-efficient new-build: will a pro-rata amount come to Wales (as explained by Peter Black) and how much will stick to the fingers of the Plaid/Labour government? Why is it being announced as for local authorities when this government, following the Thatcherite lead, is forcing coucils to divest themselves of housing stock, both in England and Wales? Will social landlords get a share of the (rather small) pot?

Update 14:00 BBC-2 has just got around to showing part of Nick Clegg's budget reply. It is all very well to say that the whole speech was shown live on BBC-Parliament, but how many viewers who will be very interested in what Liberal Democrats have to say routinely view BBC-Parliament, even if they have the facilities? Actually, I find the considered responses of the Treasury spokesmen on day 2 of the budget debate more instructive, and I hope Vince Cable will be given due coverage.

Further thought 14:25: no mention of Trident. Loads of savings there.

15:00: Going shopping and possible research into responses to the increase in beer tax in The Green Dragon.

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