Page last updated at 12:39 GMT, Monday, 15 September 2008 13:39 UK

Delegate views: Tax policies

By Gavin Stamp
BBC News political reporter, in Bournemouth

The Lib Dems are pushing for changes to the system, including cuts for low and middle-earners. But what do party members think of the change in direction?

Marie Jenkins

In my mind it is just a swing to the right. It is completely politically driven. We should be having properly funded public services rather than promising tax cuts. Politically speaking, properly funded public services are far more appealing than a four pence tax cut. I remain unconvinced about the reasons for it. If I can hear it is properly thought out and it is more about helping people than getting votes from the Tories I will reconsider my position. But going into the hall I have not seen any evidence that it is anything other than something designed to take votes from the Tories.

Sam Potts

I represent a very rural ward and people are really hurting at the moment. Petrol prices are sky high and the economy is in a complete state of disrepair. What we need to be doing is come up with sensible, properly costed solutions. If we can make savings in public expenditure, is it better for government to keep it or to give it back to people to create their own wealth? It is not just about wealth distribution; it is about wealth creation. I don't think that is such a bad thing.

Hereward Cooke

The tax policies are a change from the past but I have a lot of confidence in the advice that Vince Cable is giving the leadership. He seems to be achieving the right balance between effective public expenditure and the reduction in taxation for those that can least afford to pay. I was in favour of a higher tax for for the wealthy and the penny on tax for education but times have moved on. People do want to have more control over their lives and do not necessarily want everything to be centrally provided. Giving more power to the people, which must be one of the key Lib Dem messages, ties in with a reduction in taxation. We are a very radical, balanced party. If it a question of getting a better balance between public expenditure and taxation, that must be in keeping with our best traditions.

Graham Langley

I don't see one should be against the policy just because it is different. Subject to one or two little tweaks it will get my support. The timing is important and it is a question of trying to cover any gaps. Sadly whatever policy you have someone is going to fall foul of it somewhere. You are always going to have people arguing that the party is going in one direction or another. We have to go into the area which is appropriate at the time.

Jenny Brown
Although I do have reservations, I think it is the way forward and it is something no other party is prepared to speak about. As a party, the Lib Dems are not natural tax-cutters but it is sensible in the current economic circumstances and it does agree with my views on the better-off paying more in tax.

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