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Andy Millne

The Party Leaders Debate

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Is everybody watching the debate then? When do the phone lines open?

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Is everybody watching the debate then? When do the phone lines open?

Clegg got far too easy a ride: "I agree with Nick". Actually they didn't but were jockeying to look the most consensual. Almost looked as if they were both making a pitch for an alliance, anticipating a hung parliament. rolleyes.gif

Gordon was his usual master of BS, but got away with a lot of it due to Cameron being too rehearsed, and nothing like aggressive enough. Too many spin doctors on both sides, but Labour's probably earned their money just by advising Gordon to avoid going into his well worn routines, which Cameron is practised at poking holes in. Cameron would have been better off throwing away the script and being more reactive.

The "None of the above party" currently leads in the debate! biggrin.gif

ITV easily the ratings winner: viewing figures will surely be a lot less for the next two!

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Looked far too contrived with all three offering platitudes which doubtless they will break as soon as the election is over. And I don't think Alistair had to be so OTT!

Nick did pull something off, I think he looked and sounded smarmier than even Dave achieved! If these guys are the pinnacle of the political elite in our country, God help us, I wouldn't let any of them run a raffle.

When any of them says, 'The British People' you know what you are about to hear is a condescending lie! I lost count of the number of times 'brave' was used when describing our troops, which just cheapened the content after the first one. Do we really need to be told that I would have thought that was a given.

Take the prompts away, take the scripts away and let 'normal' people question them about stuff they know nothing about, like how much is a loaf of bread, how much does a pair of school shoes cost, how much is the bus fare for a 3 mile trip?

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I thought it was all too rehearsed and neat and I don't think it was really a debate but more of a chance for all 3 leaders to give well-planned statements. I really hate 'sound-bite-speak!' And why bother with an audience at all if they aren't allowed to respond to anything? A bit of an anti-climax, I'm afraid.

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Well we have had the first of the political 'events' with more sound bites and spin applied than is really necessary. We do have the manifestos now to look though so let's look at the economics behind them and leave the hype to the leaders!

There is the very real problem of UK fiscal debt which Vince Cable has described as the elephant in the room. With each of the main parties having about a £30B hole in their manifesto budgeting it would seem none are willing to be honest and willing to explain their spending pledges. At best they seem to be willing to discuss about £10b worth of savings but that isn't telling the whole tale by any means and will inevitably lead to a change in policy AFTER the election WHOEVER gets in. If we extrapolate the figures further we can clearly see the need for about £37B of real cuts to achieve even the present government's deficit targets by 2013/14. It would therefore seem that we are not being told the whole truth about public finances and will lead to a further loss of confidence, an already fragile confidence, in our elected leaders. Even the much lauded Vince Cable is complicit as he wrote the Lib Dem figures! One further small comment I would have is why are all the main parties committed to raising the foreign aid budget by £4B a year until 2013, surly it is now a case of charity begins at home?

If we look over the last 13 years of a Labour Government, and remember this is just a fiscal overview, we can see they have raised the tax take by around £31B per annum but also raised public spending by a greater amount, even before the recent crisis, which now leaves us with a figure of 48% of GDP being devoted to public spending. Had this been applied judiciously we might have had other options now other than to 'pension off' a large part of that workforce, which by the very act adds to the economic burden the country must carry. In other words they have put money into public sector backroom jobs and salary increases instead of modernisations and front line services which now produces an economic imbalance. Adding to this tale of woe is the fact that the Institute of Fiscal studies has estimated that in its view there has been falls in efficiency of £42.5 billion over the period of Labour's tenure. Labours record of actually keeping its manifesto pledges is somewhat lacking in credibility shall we say and it's recent promise not to raise the higher rate of income tax then actually doing so would seem par for the course!

The Conservatives have given rather patchy information about how they will 'eliminate the bulk of the deficit over the term of the next parliament'. They have said they will apply an 80%/20% formula with 80% being cuts and 20% increased taxes to reduce the structural deficit and give the same result as Labour about 1 year earlier. Anyone old enough to have gone through the last Conservative government might be interested to know that Ken used a 50%/50% formula. As with other promises by the other parties we have to ask how can taxes be cut when revenue into the treasury is needed, i.e., the promised scrapped of the NI rise.

The Lib Dems would seem to have said they will be the highest raising tax party as a way of demonstrating their transparency. All well and good but looking closer we see the same flaws and holes in their proposals as the other two parties have! Some of their proposals look at first glance to be worthy of consideration as with the £10 grand starter rate for income tax. However looking to see how that will be paid for and applied would seem to be driving us into the realms of wishful thinking with phrases like, less tax avoidance and evasion?

In conclusion it would seem we are being cajoled into thinking we are in a better fiscal position than we really are and cuts in services and tax rises will be modest. I hope no one is thinking that and we all realise very tough times lie ahead whichever party gets in. What is happening now is actually a disservice to our democracy not empowering it!

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what a load of bulls dangly bits! it was like watching trained chimps at the zoo!

56516619_1b88442c63.jpg

remind you of anything! :lol:

one thing, made me more certain that they'll definitly not be getting my vote! :D

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Almost looked as if they were both making a pitch for an alliance, anticipating a hung parliament. rolleyes.gif

Which has carried on into this morning...

Speaking to BBC Manchester, he [David Cameron] said it was a good opportunity to speak to people in their homes about the big issues, adding that Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg had "a very good debate".

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Is everybody watching the debate then? When do the phone lines open?

I watched it, and am still chuckling at the idea that David Cameron has met a black man :lol:

Edited by mobius
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I thought it was all too rehearsed and neat and I don't think it was really a debate but more of a chance for all 3 leaders to give well-planned statements. I really hate 'sound-bite-speak!' And why bother with an audience at all if they aren't allowed to respond to anything? A bit of an anti-climax, I'm afraid.

WHOLEHEARTEDLY agree far to tame and so not genuine... :angry: I was frankly dissapointed but I think Slick Nick came over better than Cameron and that scottish guy with a breathing problem :o

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I watched it, and am still chuckling at the idea that David Cameron has met a black man :lol:

Cameron's notes

post-1-12714441366352_thumb.jpg

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I watched it, and am still chuckling at the idea that David Cameron has met a black man :lol:

Same - it was totally unnecessary.

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...

In conclusion it would seem we are being cajoled into thinking we are in a better fiscal position than we really are and cuts in services and tax rises will be modest. I hope no one is thinking that and we all realise very tough times lie ahead whichever party gets in. What is happening now is actually a disservice to our democracy not empowering it!

Any sensible person will avoid tax where feasible and the people who they are targeting can and will put their wealth outside of any governments clutches. I think we are already very close to what will be tolerated by many, so rather than increasing tax take it's possible that further grabs could be counterproductive. Either way any Lib Dem delusions on this score are doomed to fail miserably. Both the main parties know this, but the conspiracy we have to keep the bad news out of the debate lets Clegg get away with the Lib Dem nonsense. If it had been possible to "soak the rich" any more Gordon would already be doing it!

As for the bigger picture: well... if the politicians are right about concealing the true picture we're doomed to government by the most skilled liars, and the best outcome we can hope for is that the most skilled liars are also the most skilled economists.

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Any sensible person will avoid tax where feasible and the people who they are targeting can and will put their wealth outside of any governments clutches. I think we are already very close to what will be tolerated by many, so rather than increasing tax take it's possible that further grabs could be counterproductive. Either way any Lib Dem delusions on this score are doomed to fail miserably. Both the main parties know this, but the conspiracy we have to keep the bad news out of the debate lets Clegg get away with the Lib Dem nonsense. If it had been possible to "soak the rich" any more Gordon would already be doing it!

As for the bigger picture: well... if the politicians are right about concealing the true picture we're doomed to government by the most skilled liars, and the best outcome we can hope for is that the most skilled liars are also the most skilled economists.

GGG,

It's called Laffer Curve Theory where a graph is drawn with tax rates set against actual revenue raised. It is supposed to produce a parabolic arc with a high point signifying the optimum point at which tax rates should be set for income raised. Start with zero tax rates and the return is zero, at the other end put 100% tax rates and the revenue is zero again so somewhere in-between there are rates which will produce the biggest returns.

Personally I think it more likely to have a lot of steps involved. I also think a 20% VAT rate will still be on the left hand side of the graph while a 50% income tax rate is probably on the right hand side.

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