14 March 2013

“Liberal Democrats are different”: Nick Clegg, Libdem 2010 election manifesto

The 2010 Liberal Democrat manifesto promised to introduce a mansion tax. At the Eastleigh by-election the other week Nick Clegg, Libdem leader, called for a mansion tax. On Tuesday 12 March the Commons debated a straightforward Labour motion calling on the government “to bring forward proposals” for a mansion tax “at the earliest opportunity” ( Hansard 12 March 2013 column 162 onwards).

Well, truly the Libdems are different. Shedding credibility, not one Libdem MP voted for their party’s own policy; those present and voting, forty nine of them, voted against the motion which called for the introduction of a mansion tax. The three Cornwall Libdem MPs voted against this motion and voted for the Tory Libdem government amendment (text at column 174) which routinely criticised Labour and described the government parties’ at-odds views on a mansion tax, an amendment which Labour’s Chris Leslie rightly pointed out “neither called for a mansion tax nor did anything to help secure one”.

On March 12 the Libdems displayed tribalism and inconsistency; they voted against implementing their own policy. Really, why should anyone believe them when they promise whatever?

Libdem 2010 election manifesto, page 14, speaks of “Introducing a Mansion Tax at a rate of 1 per cent on properties worth over £2 million, paid on the value of the property above that level.”

“49 Lib Dems voted against the mansion tax. The rest of their party were absent. So not one Lib Dem voted for their own policy.” @labourwhips