Fraser Nelson said:
...the Lib Dem leader say he'll end the structural deficit with 100 percent spending cuts (not the 20 percent tax rises, 80 percent cuts combo that the Tories advocate), but he even heaps praise in Lady Thatcher. More, he describes her as something of an inspiration: just as she took on vested interests in the 1980s, so he will take on the banks now.
Allegra Stratton said:
...Clegg...goes further than the Conservative party in courting economic liberalism, by saying he would end the structural deficit with 100% spending cuts, as opposed to the 80% cuts the Conservatives have proposed. The government plans the most significant increase in taxes â one third tax rises and two-thirds cuts.
Conservatives: Tax increases: 20%. Cuts 80%.
Labour: Tax increases: 33%. Cuts: 67%
Liberal Democrats: Tax increases: 0%. Cuts: 100%
Also important in this area are the parties positions on Europe, with the Tories most Euro-sceptic, the Lib Dems most Euro-phile and with Labour somewhere in the middle but tending more towards the Lib Dem position.
What is interesting about the Lib Dems' proposal to tackle the structural deficit is how it highlights the shift to the right in party thinking. For a long time the social democrat wing of the party was in the driving seat (as personified by Charles Kennedy). Now with Clegg and the 'Orange Book' faction in the ascendancy, it seems like market, classical liberalism is back with more force than most people would have thought possible.