The Lib Dem press office has just issued a press release about today’s PMQs. In it, he accuses Gordon Brown of deliberately misrepresenting Lib Dem policy on tax and spend:
On numerous occasions you have deliberately misrepresented Liberal Democrat economic policy in the House of Commons, claiming that we propose a Â£20bn cut in public spending:
As I have repeatedly made clear, Liberal Democrat policy is to identify Â£20bn of Government spending which is either wasteful or ineffective and to re-allocate it to Liberal Democrat priorities in areas such as education and care for the elderly.
If there is money remaining once Liberal Democrat spending priorities have been met we propose to increase the funded tax cuts we are already offering to those on low and middle incomes.
Is Gordon Brown deliberately misrepresenting party policy? Of course he is! But the fundamental problem here is that Clegg hasn’t repeatedly made our policy clear; quite the opposite. What’s more, it had another opportunity at PMQs again. Brown made the accusation after his first question and Clegg did not respond, instead robotically going into his second question. Yet this was a pretty predictable accusation to come from Brown; so why wasn’t Clegg better prepared?
It really is time Clegg got his act together on this issue. It’s been a problem for months now and he can no longer afford to let it get in the way of our broader message.