Laws: Lib Dems still thought best time for cuts was 2011

Joey Jones reveals that former-treasury secretary David Laws said the rhetoric on deficit reduction had been "hyped up" and that concessions gained from the Conservatives in other areas forced a Lib Dem u-turn.

This morning, the deputy political editor of Sky News, Joey Jones, revealed that former Chief Secretary to the Treasury David Laws told him the Lib Dems, at the time of the coalition negotiations, actually still thought the best time to be imposing spending cuts was in 2011 – “when the economy would be picking up” – a view in line with Labour and against that of the Conservatives.

Jones also reveals that Laws told him the rhetoric on deficit reduction had been “hyped up”, that it wasn’t as important as all that, and that concessions gained from the Conservatives in other areas forced a Lib Dem u-turn on the speed of deficit reduction.

Laws described the £6 billion in cuts as “reckless” before agreeing to them once in Government. Jones adds that Laws argues the Lib Dems had to agree to the speed of deficit reduction in return for £10,000 tax allowance, no further cuts to inheritance tax and funding for the pupil premium.

Laws told Jones:

“Obviously our natural position was that the speeded up deficit reduction should start in April 2011 when the economy was likely to be better grounded in terms of recovery.”

The same timetable espoused by Labour. Watch it:

This morning’s revelations sow further confusion over precisely when Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg changed his mind over the scale of deficit reduction. The deputy prime minister maintains that it was the situation in Greece, coupled with a warning from Bank of England Governor Mervyn King, who is said to have told him:

“If you don’t do this, then because of the deterioration of market conditions it will be even more painful to do it later.”

Elsewhere, The Independent reports another defection from the Liberal Democrats to Labour. Andrew Lewin, the youngest Lib Dem PPC in the general election, quit after saying the party was being forced to swallow:

“… a virtually unreformed Conservative agenda.”

Lewin is the first parliamentary candidate to have defected, and follows a long line of councillors who have defected to Labour from both the Lib Dem and Conservative parties since the formation of the coalition.

19 Responses to “Laws: Lib Dems still thought best time for cuts was 2011”

  1. Kasch Wilder

    RT @leftfootfwd: Laws: Lib Dems still thought best time for cuts was 2011: //bit.ly/d5XvTJ

  2. Stace

    RT @leftfootfwd: Laws: Lib Dems still thought best time for cuts was 2011: //bit.ly/d5XvTJ

  3. Duncan Weldon

    RT @leftfootfwd: Laws: Lib Dems still thought best time for cuts was 2011: //bit.ly/d5XvTJ

  4. Jose Aguiar

    RT @leftfootfwd: Laws: Lib Dems still thought best time for cuts was 2011 //bit.ly/aJPUAg

  5. Christopher Leslie

    RT @leftfootfwd: Laws: Lib Dems still thought best time for cuts was 2011 //bit.ly/aJPUAg maybe Laws isn't so bad after all

  6. David Benge

    @leftfootfwd Laws: Lib Dems still thought best time for cuts was 2011: //bit.ly/d5XvTJ >> Moot point in year cuts did not ruin recovery

  7. SSP Campsie

    RT @leftfootfwd: Laws: Lib Dems still thought best time for cuts was 2011: //bit.ly/d5XvTJ

  8. David Mills

    RT @leftfootfwd: Laws: Lib Dems still thought best time for cuts was 2011: //bit.ly/d5XvTJ – interesting. Will we hear from Mr Laws?

  9. Cara

    RT @leftfootfwd: Laws: Lib Dems still thought best time for cuts was 2011: //bit.ly/d5XvTJ

  10. Toque

    RT @leftfootfwd //bit.ly/d5XvTJ >>> The Lib Dems are puppets //flic.kr/p/8Rrnod

  11. Shamik Das

    RT @leftfootfwd: Laws: Lib Dems still thought best time for cuts was 2011: //bit.ly/d5XvTJ

  12. Jordan Hall

    RT @leftfootfwd: Laws: Lib Dems still thought best time for cuts was 2011: //bit.ly/d5XvTJ

  13. Will Straw

    New confusion on when LibDems changed their mind on economy. David Laws says Clegg's Greece rhetoric was "hyped up" //bit.ly/d5XvTJ

  14. David Wearing

    David Laws, man of honour, martyr de nos jours, says LibDems hyped deficit fears as part of coalition deal //bit.ly/d5XvTJ RT @wdjstraw

  15. Liam McKee

    RT @davidwearing: David Laws says LibDems hyped deficit fears as part of coalition deal //bit.ly/d5XvTJ RT @wdjstraw" #ukpolitics

  16. Wendy Maddox

    RT @leftfootfwd: Laws: Lib Dems still thought best time for cuts was 2011: //bit.ly/d5XvTJ

  17. John Ruddy

    @Altany have you seen this – david laws said they still thought the time to cut was next year //bit.ly/9QAtE4

  18. Mr. Sensible

    The Liberals have got themselves in a right mess over this.

  19. Mike

    It just shows what an unprincipled bunch of power grabbers the Lib Dems are. The only consolation is that they will be finished as a party at the next election.

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