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Autumn Statement: Lord Oakeshott claims George Osborne dances to donors’ tune

5 December 2012

The Liberal Democrats are keen to use today to show that Coalition works, but Lord Oakeshott is in a less charitable mood. I’ve just had a chat with him about George Osborne’s explicit rejection of the mansion tax in his statement today as ‘intrusive’. The former Lib Dem Treasury spokesman in the House of Lords says:

‘I’m not withdrawing anything I have said about the Tories and the mansion tax. Intrusive is exactly what taxes on high-end tax dodgers have to be. George Osborne has performed a screeching handbrake turn on Tory donors’ orders.’

Nick Clegg’s aides have been trying to labour the proalition point in their briefings , though. A source close to the Lib Dem leader said this afternoon that this was ‘another example of the two parties working together, taking difficult decisions to fix the economy’.

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They are even trying to steer away from gloating too much over the rise in the personal tax allowance, which is generous of them. When I asked whether the Lib Dems could say that the policy wouldn’t have made it into the statement, or indeed the budget, without them in government, the source said the party was proud of the decision, especially as they had it in their manifesto, but didn’t try to claim ownership of the policy. I suspect the party will at some point try to argue to its grassroots that this policy would never have seen the light of day without Clegg’s involvement.

But Lib Dem HQ is in the doghouse for failing to toe this proalition line. A briefing sent out from the party press office said:

‘The only tax cuts the Conservatives support are ones for the very rich. At the General Election, their priority was to cut inheritance tax for millionaires. In the Coalition, Liberal Democrats have blocked these plans and instead we are cutting taxes for millions.’

Whoops! Clegg’s people weren’t fans of that, saying: ‘I think that’s something HQ have sent out in error… The Conservatives have fully embraced the Lib Dem policy of tax cuts.’ The source said a revised briefing note would be on its way.

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Show comments
  • paulus

    Usual limited rubbish from the demwits, and who elected this Oakeshott ? how has he ended up as the voice of the dimwits ? we can only hazard a guess that when Clegg called for the HOL to be abolished as it was unacceptable for peers to have a voice in policy making he was thinking about this man.
    He reminds me of a squeeky glove puppet, with his tortured,constipated naysaying.

  • Jules Wright

    Anything that riles the man-child Oakeshott is A Good Thing Indeed.

  • John Guest

    Someone remind me,has Oakshott ever been elected to any post , other than within the LibDems party machine?

  • Andy

    Oakshott is an idiot and a complete waste of space. He is always on the TV, usually full of bile and hate and self regard. Pathetic man. As to the LibDems they deliberately put out the press release and then said ‘Oh it was a mistake’. Liars.

    • Dimoto

      I would like to request a little transparency from Hardman:
      Did you actually ask that unelected, meddling nonentity for an interview, or did he ‘demand to be heard’ (his usual modus) ?

    • 2trueblue

      He is on the lsit of ‘rent a mouths’, and seems to be very available.

  • FirstPassThePostStinks

    Adam Boulton looks rough today.

    • Dimoto

      At one stage Boulton said: “you’re demanding more tax from the multinationals, and lowering the corporate tax-rate to 21%, it doesn’t work, does it ?”
      I think the bloke needs a long, long, rest.

    • romanlee

      Do you think he should ask Charles Kennedy for advice next time he interviews him.

  • HooksLaw

    Libdems showing how childish they are. If Oakshott is unhappy then the statement is a good one.

  • 2trueblue

    Until the Libdums show that they are unable to grasp the situation, shut up, and think of the country rather than their own egos. Or until Liebore get back in power.

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