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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Answering the critics

As the Liberal Democrats rise in the polls everybody and their dog is out to misrepresent and attack us. So here is a response to some of the things that we have been accused of:

The Liberal Democrats WILL NOT SCRAP CHILD BENEFIT. This accusation is not true.

The Liberal Democrats WILL NOT SCRAP TAX CREDITS. We are focussing benefit on the families who really need it by changing the arrangements for relatively higher earners. Combined with our tax changes, no one currently on tax credits will be worse off - indeed at the very least they will be £155 per year better off.

The Liberal Democrats WILL NOT SCRAP THE HEALTH IN PREGNANCY GRANT. This accusation is also not true.

The Liberal Democrats WILL SCRAP THE CHILD TRUST FUND (BABY BONDS. The money freed up by doing this is helping us to cut school class sizes. Baby Bonds are completely different from Child Benefit. Baby Bonds were introduced by Labour in 2002. The Government contributes £250 when a child is born and another £250 at age 7. For people on low incomes the amount is £500. Given the economic circumstances we do not believe the Government can afford this, we will scrap Baby Bonds but will not touch past contributions.
True, and also

the Lib Dems WILL NOT scrap nuclear weapons. We simply want to rule out a like-for-like replacement of Trident and would keep 'minimum deterrence' although we don't yet have a policy on what that actually means.
Peter, don't worry, your party is winning, according to an unweighted poll:

The only thing that nick Clegg has puzzled me with recently is in not making it clear that we are not a unilateralist party - if he had said that we will retain the current deterrent but just not replace it straight away at the cost of £100bn he would have dflated all of those ; you are a danger to national security; claims.
To be fair I think he made that clear subsequent to the first debate
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