A few initial impressions from an economics layman:
1) Won’t the concessions to the poor like the raise in the personal allowance be completely swallowed up by the VAT hike/working benefits cuts?
2) Why a cut in corporation tax when Labour left corporation tax lower than it had ever been?
3) Could we not cut the deficit by closing down offshore tax havens? In fact, why no mention of tax havens at all?
4) Given that Obama recently wrote to all G20 nations warning against a slash-and-burn approach, on top of the BP debacle will this not damage our relationship with America?
5) In fact, isn’t the slash-and-burn strategy a massive gamble anyway? Economists like Paul Krugman and Martin Wolf have warned that the right approach is Keynesian pump-priming to stimulate the economy. Wolf’s recent open letter to Osborne (worth the free registration) ends: ‘So remember this: the imposition of futile misery is not an act of wise policy, but rather a sign of folly.’
6) The example of Canada in the 1990s does not hold because it had a prosperous America to trade with and this softened the austerity blow. The UK is next to the eurozone, which is fucked.
7) How do the Lib Dems sleep at night?