In recent days the media has reported that Labour and its leader Ed Miliband are not catching up the Tories in opinion polls. It is a good job that an election is not on the cards then. Currently the Tories are enjoying an increase in their support but the Lib Dems have fallen way back in popularity. In a way they have made themselves appear to be insignificant with no clear policies, by tying themselves in with the UK Tories.
At the last UK election Clegg was called by many the "kingmaker" His popularity was on a high and he had performed well in the UK's new televised political debates. The Lib Dems did not poll as high a percentage of the vote as they had hoped and in the end chose to partner the Tories. Mr Clegg's standing since then has plummeted.
Today, January 26, 2012, it has been reported that Mr Clegg has been talking about the plight of many who struggle to keep their heads above water, as far as finances go. Too many people have endured salary cuts or pay freezes, plus in real terms their wages have lost a great deal of value. Nick has said that the government needs to bring forward its planned tax changes. In 2015 tax thresholds are set to change but Mr Clegg wants that to happen now.
In a speech at the Resolution Foundation Clegg said that he, "wanted the government to go "further and faster" in raising the personal tax allowance to £10,000. The government is committed to raising it to £10,000 by 2015, and it was assumed it would do it in stages over the next three years". If inflation continues on the same path those changes in 2012 will be pointless.
Tory ministers have tended to view Clegg's words, to suit themselves. They seem to believe that he was happy with their proposed changes over the next few years but simply wanted cost of living increases brought forward.
Either way Nick Clegg is damned. If the Tories agree to his proposals many will feel that it was a set up. A ploy designed to give Clegg's falling popularity a boost. If the Tories ignore his appeal it will seem that he has no clout and is just a puppet of the Tories. All in all the Tories seem determined to ensure that Mr Clegg does not claim ownership of any positive changes.
Nick will not be flavour of the month with the Tories though after proposing Mansion House taxes and more. A great deal of what he said makes sense and would mean a fairer system. Obviously the Tories will not want this. Read his speech at the Guardian blog here