Thoughts on politics and life from a liberal perspective

Monday, 19 January 2009

Ken Clarke's disingenuity on VAT cut

I just heard Ken Clarke being interviewed on 5 Live on my way home.

He came across pretty well as always and was able to bat away the questions about the Euro as I would have expected.

He was challenged about his apparent support for the 2.5% VAT cut which he had advocated prior to Brown/Darling announcing the policy themselves and his defence was that he said he had been in favour of it if we could afford it which he then went on to say we could not. He then pointed out that he did not vote for the change in the Commons. He blamed the Labour spin machine for the misrepresentation.

This is fair enough as far as it goes, however this is pretty disingenuous. Cameron and Obsorne's main objection to the policy has been that it would not work (which I agreed with and posted about here), and as that has started to be proven they have been pushing this point over and over again. So in fact this is in direct contrast to Clarke's position which is that he thought it was the best option for a fiscal stimulus. Even if it could have been afforded, Cameron and Osborne would have been against it. So the new Shadow Business Secretary is diamatrically opposed to his leader and Chancellor's policy on a major plank of the response to the economic problems and has not backed down from the position, just deflected it on a technicality.

I look forward to further contortions!

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