Archive for the ‘Coalition Government’ Category

Coalition Government

lundi, mai 24th, 2010

Coalition government has some benefits for the Prime Minister:
– It strengthens his pre-election claim to sceptical voters that his party has modernised and indeed has now been rebranded the Liberal Conservatives, as he describes his new government.
– His Liberal Democratic partners are taking joint ownership of hard decisions on spending cuts.
– The coalition agreement also allows him to drop difficult manifesto pledges such as modifying the Human Rights Act, repatriation of powers from the EU and an inheritance tax break for the richer part of society during a budget crisis.
In addition, he still has room to move a little to the right of centre with Gordon Brown having already having shifted Labour a little to the left in cancelling the plans of Tony Blair to reform the welfare state and public services.
The Conservative right has been rewarded with right wingers such as Ian Duncan Smith appointed Minister for Work & Pensions and Liam Fox placed at Defence: the Conservatives have also secured the Home Office with e.g. the immigration amnesty of Nick Clegg having cost the Liberal Democrats many votes.
As a result, party management has become his top priority and having ignored his influential 1922 committee of backbenchers to force through the coalition agreement, he has also forced through a vote for it to accept ministers as committee members who can vote to elect its officers. However, he still needs the support of his party and natural Conservative supporters, not helped by agreeing to raise the income tax threshold to £10,000, paid for by rises in capital gains tax that will e.g. impact second-home owners. (He has even had to subsequently retreat in front of the 1922 Committee back-benchers by agreeing that after all his ministers will not be able to vote in their elections.)
Therefore, he is back talking in the media about mending the so-called ?Broken Society?, being at heart a ?low-tax Conservative? and promising to revisit the contentious issue of the 50% top tax band. This is very necessary loyalty building in the ranks with the Liberal Democrats not always natural partners for the future.