Isabel Hardman Isabel Hardman

Anger at government incoherence on spending and debt

David Cameron had hoped that the UK’s £650 million contribution to the Green Climate Fund wouldn’t get much attention in the week that the Tories are going head-to-head with Ukip in Rochester and Strood. But there it is, in the newspapers today, with angry quotes.

It is being billed as a threat to the Tory fight against Ukip, but some MPs think it has a wider resonance. One grumbles:

‘Why is Cameron one minute promising in the Guardian to not let up in tackling our debt and then the next splashing £650 million on a UN green fund? He’s like the guy who, when on a night out with people he is trying to impress, throws all reason out of the window and starts buying rounds of champagne!’

As I blogged earlier, one of the challenges for Labour is to argue that bad news in the Autumn Statement is down to the government, not ill winds from the global economy.

Though Ed Miliband’s party would be unlikely to argue the toss about development funding for tackling climate change given its own stance on these issues, it may be able to pick up a theme of incoherence from the government which is capable of talking tough about the deficit and the debt while not necessarily matching its own rhetoric. The party is already trying to do its own pitch-rolling before the Autumn Statement by attacking the government’s overspending on welfare. It will be looking for other opportunities to undermine ministers’ rhetoric, when they’re not doing that themselves.

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