The Lib Dem conference that’s currently taking place hasn’t revealed very many concrete plans yet, but one of the big announcements that the party are pushing, apparently with backing from the Treasury and George Osborne, is their intention to crack down on tax avoidance, hopefully raising an extra £4bn in revenue for the government.
It’s all part of the Government’s plan to reduce the deficit, but whilst most of the leg work so far has been made by cuts (the Conservative Chancellor has even cut the highest rate of tax, rather than keep taking it to pay off the country’s debt) this seems to be a big step in making those who dodge tax pay their way too.
Of course, it remains to be seen how effective the campaign will be and whether it actually will bring in the promised amounts but, as the Lib Dems continue to lose support with their voter base because of their failure to live up to expectations, this is certainly one way for them to claw back their reputation.
The other ideas that have popped up during the conference are making the top 10% of earners pay more than they currently are, and the Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, has been key in promoting this strategy. However, George Osborne has said that he is reluctant to do this and it seems that Clegg’s plans haven’t been discussed with the Treasury yet.
With the Coalition devolving into more and more spats recently, the rallying cries that are being used at the Lib Dem conference are likely to upset Tory backbenchers and put even more strain on the Government, and the higher ups will hope they can focus on the aims they share, such as hitting tax avoidance, rather than bringing the points they disagree upon to light.