Here’s what I told House Magazine about the tasks for the Liberal Democrats over the next year:
Political parties usually know what they think should be the most important issues to talk about. But in a democracy it is the public that gets to decide what they are. As was the case for the last year, that means for the next year any sensible political party has to concentrate on the economy.
For the Liberal Democrats that means a tricky balancing act, for it both requires a functioning Treasury team and government policy (which means working with the Tories) and also pushing the different Liberal Democrat economic perspective and priorities, especially on investment in housing and renewable energy (which means arguing with the Tories).
Alongside that, the party will need to maintain an effective and distinctive voice on tax – showing how the party wants a tax system that both helps pay for vital services and also produces a fairer society. With the party’s headline policy of a £10,000 income tax allowance secured and with the odds heavily stacked against the Tories agreeing to a mansion tax, the party must find other tax policies to force through the 2013 Budget process, so that the outcome is one with measurably makes the country fairer in the way the Lib Dems want and the Tories are disinterested in.