Skip to main content

Swinson and Lib Dems have ‘learned nothing’ from austerity backlash

JO SWINSON’S defence of austerity shows that the Liberal Democrats have “learned nothing” from the devastation inflicted by their coalition government’s spending cuts, Momentum said today.

Lib Dem leader Ms Swinson, who has said that she’s ready to become prime minister and has historically backed Tory austerity, indicated earlier this week that a government led by her would be more regressive than the current administration.

In an interview during her party’s conference in Bournemouth she refused to apologise for spending cuts and mocked PM Boris Johnson’s government for claiming to end austerity.

Meanwhile she failed to rule out another parliamentary pact with the Conservatives.

She defended austerity by saying that MPs have had to make “tough choices” on taxation and spending decisions.

On Chancellor Sajid Javid’s claims that the Tory government would end austerity after almost a decade, Ms Swinson said that he was “suggesting they’re going to have a magic money tree.”

A Momentum spokesperson said that Ms Swinson’s endorsement of austerity shows that the Lib Dems are “a Tory-lite party.”

They said it was “remarkable that after the misery caused by austerity — made possible with Lib Dem support — Jo Swinson refuses to distance herself from the debunked economic policy.

“Instead, she repeats the mantra of ‘tough choices’ and ‘magic money trees.’ This party has learnt nothing.”

Disabled People Against Cuts (Dpac) co-founder Linda Burnip told the Star: “Fortunately the ‘Fib Dems,’ aka the Yellow Tories, led by Jo Swinson have no chance of being elected.

“They will not have to make any decisions other than how many vile homophobic ex-Tories they want to allow into their party.”

Former Tory PM David Cameron was also condemned today after his new memoirs revealed that he regrets not making deeper and faster spending cuts when he became prime minister.

In the latest extract from his memoir published in The Times, he writes that he should have imposed austerity earlier on in his coalition years with Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg.

The United Nations poverty envoy last year said the 2010 coalition and subsequent Tory governments had inflicted “great misery” with “punitive, mean-spirited, and often callous” cuts.

Mr Cameron said he dismissed objections from “hysterical” people who criticised his government for policies that led to destitution of people claiming benefits, increases in the number of people using foodbanks and rising levels of homelessness and inequality.

His memoirs say: “Those who were opposed to austerity were going to be opposed — and pretty hysterically — to whatever we did.

“Given all the hype and hostility, and yes, sometimes hatred, we might as well have ripped the plaster off with more cuts early on.

“We were taking the flak for them anyway. We should have taken advantage of the window of public support for cuts when it was open.”

In trying to defend the actions of the coalition government Mr Cameron also said: “You’d think we’d reinstated the workhouse.”

Dpac’s Ms Burnip said: “The utter hypocrisy of millionaire David Cameron saying his government should have cut deeper and faster will not be lost on disabled people who have been thrown into deep and enduring poverty.

“Nor would it be lost on the surviving relatives of the many thousands of disabled people his vicious cuts have pushed to their premature and unnecessary deaths.”

Labour’s shadow chancellor John McDonnell said: “Cameron clearly has no idea of the scale of human suffering his austerity cuts inflicted on our communities.

“This confirms how cut off this privileged class of Tories are from the everyday lives of our people.”


We're a reader-owned co-operative, which means you can become part of the paper too by buying shares in the People’s Press Printing Society.



Become a supporter

Fighting fund

You've Raised:£ 12,481
We need:£ 5,519
7 Days remaining
Donate today