Secretary of State for Scotland Michael Moore has been talking to the London Evening Standard about such subjects as varied as beach volleyball, the independence referendum and taxes.
On the latter, he was clear where Liberal Democrat priorities for the Budget lie:
“The simple equation is that we think the priority is to help those on the lowest incomes to get as much support as they can,” he said. “Clearly that is going to have to be paid for and we think it is fair that those who have the broadest shoulders should be the ones who contribute to that. That is a reasonably straightforward equation that’s accepted across the country.”
His call will increase pressure on the Chancellor to agree to look at Lib-Dem proposals for a tycoon tax, particularly if he wants to soften child benefit cuts for upper earner households or lift the 50p rate from £150,000-plus earners.
Mr Moore said the aim should be “a bigger contribution from those who are the wealthiest and that we get that score card more fairly drawn out”.
Liberal Democrats were “pushing hard” for measures to help hard-pressed families, he said, including faster progress towards the party’s pledge to take everyone earning under £10,000 out of tax altogether.
These comments are one reason why we should actually wait and see what happens in the Budget on Wednesday and not get jittery about speculation in the press about the 50p tax rate going. Whatever happens, we have to look at the whole package together.
Mike fielded interesting questions about the view his office would get of the Olympic beach volleyball, taking place in Horseguards Parade. You can read how he responded here.