No policy is perfect nor can it ever deliver only the desired outcomes; unintended consequences are a fact of political life. However the several drawbacks of raising personal income tax allowances raises the question of whether it is the right policy to frame the fairness of the Liberal Democrats, their successes in Government and their future objectives.
The architect of Britain's modern welfare system, Ernst Bevin, once remarked in an interview that not only did he dislike the phrase but that in fact he believed in no such thing as a welfare state. For the sick and the elderly full provision must be made but of the unemployed Bevin argued that only the bare minimum to 'keep body and soul together' should be provided.
Minimum alcohol pricing is the right step towards reversing the increasing trend of drinking at home, although some doctors claim that the base price is too low. On beer duty, however, it appears pubs will have to dig into their own pockets again for the next round. The Treasury is certainly not buying it.