June 2010 Archives
Tory Budget a direct assault on the needy and the vulnerable says Vince Cable
Tue, 22 Jun 2010
"This is exactly the slash-and-burn Tory budget we warned about during the election campaign, with tax cuts for George Osborne's corporate friends and a direct assault on the most needy and vulnerable, especially those looking for work or with young families," the Liberal Democrat Shadow Chancellor said.
Commenting on today's budget, Liberal Democrat Shadow Chancellor Vince Cable said:
"Today's budget demonstrates only too clearly the dire consequences of the Tories having won a narrow overall majority in last month's election. They've moved immediately to support their chums in the City with a cut in corporation tax, and they're leaving the rest of us to pick up the tab.
Liberal Democrats had warned throughout the campaign that George Osborne had a £13.4bn VAT bombshell lurking in his back pocket, but we were accused of scare-mongering. It's now clear how right we were, and what the truly regressive price of an outright Tory victory would be for Britain.
As a result of this budget, that price will be paid by millions of the most vulnerable. Those on benefits and struggling to find work as a Labour recession becomes a Tory depression will be forced out of their homes after a year. Hard-working public servants, many still on low pay, will be squeezed. Parents, those with disabilities and the middle classes will not be exempt either.
And the worst is yet to come. Every single department faces early 25% cuts, pure fiscal illiteracy at a point where the economy is still so fragile. Again, we argued that cutting too soon would strangle change, and that's now what we face as George Osborne and his Chief Secretary sharpen their axes.
This ideological savagery will not be forgotten by the British people. When the last Tory government was run out of office they stayed there for more than a decade. This Budget is more brutal even than those put forward by Margaret Thatcher's Chancellors in the 1980s. In 2015, if not before, this government will not just be removed, it'll be shredded."
Oil from BP's blunder keeps pumping into the Gulf of Mexico, causing all sorts of collateral damage, and there's no prospect of it ending soon. It clearly illustrates the direct risks from oil drilling as locations get more extreme, and it matters to Scotland.
In particular, deep-water drilling is due off Shetland, and the industry's record in the North Sea has long been problematic, with another major incident last week. The last administration's proposals for drilling in the Moray Firth will no doubt still go ahead too.
Anyone in their right mind looking at the risks and long-term viability of various energy sources surely has to conclude it's time to start phasing oil out altogether and switching to renewables. That's relatively easy for power generation and demand reduction while admittedly harder for transport, but there are some enormous opportunities going untaken.
American Presidents from Reagan onwards have been committed to empty rhetoric on oil, and have an abject history of failure. They bear the responsibility for the disaster unfolding endlessly in the Gulf of Mexico, along with BP, just as government after government here will do if and when something like this comes to our shores.