Sunday, November 17, 2013

Nick Clegg on Andrew Marr: Tories want tax cuts for the wealthy, I want to put £100 back in workers' pockets

Nick Clegg was on Andrew Marr today talking about his wish to see the Government raise the tax threshold by a further £500, putting £100 back in people's comments. If you agree, by the way, sign the petition here.

Without any hint of rancour or peevishness, he put a lot of effort into demonstrating that the Tories favoured tax cuts for the rich while the Liberal Democrats favour tax cuts for ordinary people. He listed the Tory plans - cutting inheritance tax, cutting the top rate of tax, marriage tax breaks, that the Liberal Democrats opposed.

Again he looked relaxed and confident, and also a bit like he'd been messing with the Strictly Come Dancing spray tan machine. What's going on there, I wonder?

I was much happier with his language on the community tensions in Sheffield as well - it was much more consensual and his point on the need for dialogue was not lost this time. He also was absolutely clear that he wasn't going to see any group of people villified.

And, finally, on the age of consent controversy, he said he wouldn't favour a reduction to 15 but talked about the need for much better sex education.

Why, though, do journalists never ask the questions you want them to? An extra £100 to basic rate tax payers is fine but I'm not sure I want it to be the pinnacle of our ambition. It makes the extra £2000 we'd promise for the next Parliament look uninspiring - although you have to see that in the context of more help with childcare, more nursery places for the most deprived two year olds and the like. What worries me, though, is that there are single income households where less than £10,000 is coming in. They won't get that extra £100 and they are really struggling. What can be done to help them?

Here's a storify thingy of mine and others' tweets.

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