"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

What We Voted For

Or, at least, what we're getting from the Con-Dems/Cleggerons/push-me-pull-you:

Economic measures for an agreement which has deficit reduction "at its heart"
• £6b in year cuts in non frontline services subject to the advice from the Treasury and the Bank of England (Con)
• Scrapping of national insurance rises (Con)
• A substantial increase in personal tax allowance from April 2011 with a focus on low and middle income earners, with a "long term goal" of a £10,000 personal tax allowance. There is no timetable for this, but there is a promise to make further 'real term' steps each year towards this objective.  This is described as a "funded increase".  It will be funded by taking the money the Conservatives had planned to use to increase the employee threshold for national insurance, and by an increase in capital gains tax for non-business assets to bring it closer to the level of income tax.
• Marriage tax allowance. The LibDems  have agreed to abstain on this, which gives the Conservatives a chance of getting it through.
• Measures to boost economy in key areas such as low-carbon industries and investment in infrastructure. A green investment bank, a smart grid, retention of energy performance certificates while scrapping home information packs.
LibDem pledges that have been dropped
• Tax relief for higher rate pensioners will not be pursued
• Mansion tax
Conservative pledges that have been dropped
• Raising the threshold on inheritance tax which is described as "unlikely to be achieved in this parliament".
LibDem priorities that have been secured

• Referendum to bring in some form of alternative vote system. Coalition members will be subject to three-line whip to force the legislation for a referendum through, but they will be free to campaign against the reforms before referendum.
• New pupil premium to be introduced, steering more funding to schools for every child they take from poor homes. Both parties back this policy, but the LibDem version attaches more money to it.
• Reducing the tax burden on low earners. This could go some way towards the LibDem aim of lifting tax threshold to £10,000.
• A wholly or mainly elected house of Lords.
• More equal constituency sizes
• Fixed term parliaments, including this one. The next general election will be held on the first Thursday of May 2015. Legislation will mean such agreements can only be broken by an enhanced majority of the House of Commons (55% instead of 50% + 1).
Tory priorities that have been secured

• A cap on immigration and an end to child detention immigration controls (the latter was a LibDem proposal).
• Welfare reform programme to be implemented in full.
• School reform programme providing all schools are held accountable.
• A commitment to maintaining Britain's nuclear deterrent.  Renewal of Trident will be scrutinised to ensure value for money.  LibDems will be free to continue the case for alternatives.
• The government will make no proposals to join the euro.
• No proposals to transfer new powers to the European Union.
• A referendum lock will ensure that any proposal to transfer new powers must by law be put to a referendum.
Areas that were already in agreement will see a major programme of civil liberties
• A great repeal or freedom bill to scrap the ID card scheme and the national identity register and the next generation of biometric passports
• Extending the scope of the Freedom of Information bill to provide greater transparency
* Adopt protections of the Scottish model for the DNA database
• Protecting trial by jury
• Reviewing libel laws to protect freedom of speech
• Further regulation of CCTV and other items
Areas of opt outs for either party
• LibDems will be free to maintain their opposition to nuclear power while permitting the government to put forward the national planning statement for ratification by parliament so that new nuclear construction becomes possible.
Banking reform
• A banking levy will be introduced.
• Bonuses will be tackled.
• A "more competitive banking industry".
• More credit to flow to businesses. The proposals of the respective parties will be looked at before deciding which is the better one.
• An independent commission will be set up to consider Lib Dem proposals to separate retail and investment banking and the Tories' proposals for a quasi separation. An interim report will be published within a year.
• The Bank of England could be given control of macro prudential regulation and oversight of micro prudential regulation under proposals to be put forward.

I'll post   (see update) the new list of Ministers/Departments when the dust has settled a bit more and everything's a little clearer.  Some sort of National Security Council is being established with the aim of bringing security/defence/intelligence under one Foreign & Commonwealth Office bod's umbrella. UPDATE: Actually, there's a more comprehensive list of what's in and what's out here, in the Daily Mail, though you'll have to scroll more than half-way down the page to find it.

In the meantime, here are the videos of this lunchtime's news conference with the dynamic duo.  The first video has the speeches and the second two have the Q&A session:

Part 2
Part 3
Vids courtesy of Swiss Bob at The Daily Politics


* Deputy PM: Nick Clegg (Lib Dem)
* Chancellor of the Exchequer: George Osborne (Cons)
* Foreign Secretary: William Hague (Cons)
* Home Secretary, Minister for Women & Equality: Theresa May (Cons)
* Defence Secretary: Liam Fox (Cons)
* Health Secretary: Andrew Lansley (Cons)
* Scotland: Danny Alexander (Lib Dem)
* Northern Ireland: Owen Paterson (Lib Dem)
* Wales: Cheryl Gillan (Cons)
* Work and Pensions: Ian Duncan-Smith (Cons)
* Business: Vince Cable (Lib Dem)
* Education: Michael Gove (Cons)
* Energy and Climate Change: Chris Huhne (Lib Dem) TBC
* Communities and Local Government: Eric Pickles (Cons)
* Justice Secretary and Lord Chancellor: Ken Clarke (Cons)
* Attorney General: Dominic Grieve (Cons)
* Chief Whip: Patrick McLoughlin (Cons)
* Chief Sec to Treasury: David Laws (Lib Dem)
* Transport: Philip Hammond (Cons)
* Environment, Food & Rural Affairs: Caroline Spelman (Cons)
* Culture, Media & Sport:Jeremy Hunt (Cons)
* International Development: Andrew Mitchell (Cons)
* Minister for the Cabinet Office & Paymaster General: Francis Maude (Cons)
* Minister of State, Cabinet Office: Oliver Letwin (Cons)
* Minister of State (Universities and Science): David Willetts
* Minister without portfolio: Baroness Warsi (also Conservative Party chairman)
* Leader of the House of Commons & Lord Privy Seal: Sir George Young (Cons)
* Leader of the House of Lords: Lord Strathclyde (Cons)
I think that's the full list now - I don't think I've missed anyone.

ConHome's summary, for the record


  1. We found ourselves nodding our heads at the appointments so far, none as outrageous as we've experienced over the last 13 years.

    Interesting snippet from the BBC's piece about Danny Alexander

    "There will also be a commission on a possible English Assembly and to look at the West Lothian question - whether it is right for Scottish MPs to vote on policies which affect other parts of the UK. "

    It's tucked away in their Scotland section, no link to it from their 'Politics' page.

  2. I have an uneasy feeling Mrs R but I'm holding fire because surely it must be better than what we've had.

    Yes, the English votes - Cameron's Cons had it in their manifesto I think - certainly they said it was up for discussion as something which needed to be resolved urgently.

    Alexander seems a decent sort of guy so should do well as Scotland Minister - most of them seem okay in their way with the exception of Chris Huhne (Environment & Climate Change) who I don't like one little bit :-)

  3. Good find, Mrs R! Woohoo!

    I'm also uneasy, GV. Yes, this lot is better than New Labour, but did anyone get what they voted for in this election, apart from the Lib Dems?

  4. Hi Fausty - many LibDem/Cons voters aren't happy with the arrangement at all. It seems churlish to criticise so soon but ever since the first tv debate there was one cry in the media - hung parliament! Now we've got it so let's see how it works in practice. They may be able to do something about the basics such as crime, civil liberties, welfare but we're still going down the green, EU route. I think Cameron gave too much away but don't know why.


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