Liberal Democrat leader whose “not in charge” of the country when David Cameron mind is understandably elsewhere after the birth of his new child, has defended the coalition government's analysis of the Budget.
Mr Clegg said a report by the Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS), which said the Budget has hit poorest families the hardest, was "by definition partial".
"It does not include the things we want to do to get people off benefits and into work,"
If the government plans were to create millions of jobs. Clegg, would in any case be talking about an aspiration surely? No government plans could guarantee they would bring employment unless they created jobs by a form of Roosevelt’s New Deal (as opposed to the last governments version in the UK which was just a slogan and little more than an attempt to put a plaster on a gaping wound.).
Indeed it is interesting that in The Orange Book: Reclaiming Liberalism (Liberator) 2004 that (Four of the contributors of which are now part of the coalition government). Clegg argued that the freeemarket was the solution to our social problems. As opposed to the original “Orange book” “We can conquer Unemployment (1929) in which The Liberals under David Lloyd George had campaigned on a comprehensive programme of public works. Not to dissimilar to the New Deal, and in many ways more imaginative that Labours position at the time.
The main thrust of the current coalition government is to" help people back to work" by cutting benefits which is somewhat in tune with the ideas of the latter Orange book . The fact that there are very few jobs for people forced of benefit and the reluctance of employers to take on the long term unemployed eludes them.
Clegg was a cheerleader for the last budget, and you don’t have to be an economic expert to realise who would be the real victims of George Osborne policies then and the IFS report confirm our suspicions..
Can those on the Left of the Lib-Dems who were opposed to the latest Orange book and have still have some vestige of believe in social liberalism and honesty such as those in the Beveridge Group. really carry on in a Party that is becoming indistinguishable from its coalition partners?