Thursday, 23 April 2015


The BBC has reported on a report today from the respected Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS) into the plans of the respective parties for reducing the budget deficit. 

The IFS notes that Conservative plans for the next Parliament involve "a significantly larger reduction in borrowing and debt than Labour plans" based on "substantial and almost entirely unspecified spending cuts and tax increases".  Labour had been "considerably more vague" about how much it wants to borrow.

By contrast, the IFS said the Liberal Democrats had been more transparent about overall fiscal plans to 2017-18, saying they were aiming for tightening spending more than Labour but less than the Conservatives.

That's pretty much what we've been saying throughout the election campaign and it endorses our approach to the next Parliament.

The IFS also says:
  • “The Liberal Democrats have been more transparent than the other parties about their overall fiscal plans for the next parliament, in particular setting these out in some detail up to 2017–18, when they intend to achieve a cyclically-adjusted current budget surplus.” 
  • With the exception of the Liberal Democrats (who have spelled out plans up to 2017–18) the main political parties have not been transparent about how much they would cut spending on public services in the next parliament. 
  • The Liberal Democrats have been more transparent about their overall fiscal plans for the next Parliament. 
  • The Liberal Democrats have been specific about their planned overall cuts to departmental spending in the first two full years of the next Pparliament.
  • Unlike the Liberal Democrats, the Conservatives did not mention these cuts in their manifesto.
 So, on budget responsibility don't take it from us, take it from the Institute for Fiscal Studies.

If you vote Lib Dem on May 7th you will get honesty about the budget and a clear plan for paying down the deficit.

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