Weekly Parliament Roundup: 27/11/13-4/12/13
George Osborne released an Autumn statement on which was said to concentrate on delivering a responsible recovery. The statement aims to turn the political conversation back to the economy and to emphasise the fact that we are making considerable improvements as our growth forecast is upgrading and how we are now borrowing less.
Coalition action on Energy Bill Crisis
Recently, there have been Coalition plans to reduce energy bills by an average of £50 per year. In addition to this, the cost of insulating homes will be spread over a longer period and there are plans for a new £1000 incentive scheme given to new home buyers to help them insulate their homes. The government is hoping that this plan will turn attention away from Ed Miliband’s proposed plans to resolve the cost of living crisis which he has not failed to emphasise upon successfully for the last few months.
However, there are many rising issues associated with the plans and the most important one is that the coalition government have not yet made it clear on how these plans will be acted upon and is currently less clear compared to Miliband’s plans. Also, the £1000 incentive is apparently going to be paid off by extra tax avoidance and the £50 will still be paid by the taxpayer. If this is so, how will the government’s proposal be helping individuals if the money that will be supposedly ‘reduced’ from their bill has actually come out of their own pockets anyway?
At the beginning of the coalition it was quite obvious that despite their differences, the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats had the potential of creating an effective and stable government. The two parties have currently been letting their differences get the better of them and both parties think they’re going all the way to 2015. The Conservatives have been stressing to the Lib Dems that if they talk about what they’ve stopped them from doing and keep creating and strengthening their own agenda, the government will look weak and divided. The union that was immensely strong is beginning to break down as Nick Clegg has finally begun to stand firmly on his own two feet since he has been insisting that the Liberal Democrats crucially need to have their own agenda.
Labour’s silence on the economy
The Cost of Living Crisis has been Labour’s anthem for the last few months and Miliband has not allowed the issue from escaping the Tories’ minds. Even though the Labour party have been trying to make effective plan proposals to solve the issue, they haven’t said a word about the economy. It is hard to identify exactly why this might be but in according to David Cameron, the main reason why they aren’t talking about the economy is because it’s recovering. This might be true but it must be said that Labour has avoided being attacked by the opposition about the recovery of the economy because of their concentration on the Cost of Living Crisis. Yes it’s been like Miliband’s ongoing rant but it has worked in regards to turning attention away from the fact that the coalition government are actually improving the economy, without much of their input.
PMQs-Liberal Democrats vs. Labour
This week’s Prime Minister Questions was answered by the Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg as David Cameron visits China. The Deputy PM faced some grilling questions from the opposition, especially from Deputy Labour leader Harriet Harman. Mr Clegg was asked by Harriet Harman this winter’s energy bills will be lower or higher and he answered that they would be higher if the coalition government didn’t take the action that they have. He also stated Harriet Harman’s party’s economically illiterate policy was ineffective and that they aren’t able to control energy prices. To add, Clegg also highlighted their inability to stand up to trade union paymasters but Harman hit back by telling Clegg to leave it to labour to handle its party members, especially since some of them used to be his.
Surprisingly, without mentioning the Conservatives, Clegg fired back at the opposition by saying that without the Liberal Democrats, there wouldn’t be a recovery and they didn’t suck up to the banks like labour did. Evidently, we are beginning to see a stronger and more independent side of Mr Clegg which is willing to stand firm by Liberal Democrat policies. However, the opposition still see him as weak and this is shown through Harriet Harman’s reference to Nick Clegg as ‘Cameron’s little helper’ on her recent website post.