The Budget has been delivered and all the allegations against this Government of being profligate in its spending have been borne out with borrowing estimated to be £660 billion over the next four years – which is simply ridiculous. This figure is calculated on the basis that growth will be 3.5% in 2011 which at the moment seems wildly optimistic.
Reverting to its natural instincts the Government is proposing to increase the top rate of tax to 50% for those earning over £150 000. This is symbolic more than an attempt to get spending under control and is designed to appease the left wingers in the Labour Party and pressure the Conservatives.
One thing which never changes is the outcome after a sustained period of a Labour Government. All Labour Governments spend as though there is no tomorrow and tax until the pips squeak and leave the country’s economy is an absolute and utter mess. Gordon Brown’s is no different!
First the Germans and now the French. There seems to be a queue of politician’s abroad wanting to attack Gordon Brown’s economic policies. No doubt we’ll see Downing Street twist this story to try and explain that this wasn’t aimed at Brown and he is still regarded everywhere as the saviour of the world economy!
Fraser Nelson at the Spectator has produced this excellent analysis of the effects of all the economic measures announced by Gordon Brown in recent months. It’s essential reading and another indicator to show the ineffectiveness of Brown’s economic stimulus and proves that Brown has no idea what he is doing except announcing measures for the the sake of a few days publicity and in the hope of an increase in the polls.
Hat tip: Coffee House
The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has today painted a very gloomy picture on the state of UK finances in the years to come with a prediction that it will take 20 years for UK debt to return to pre crisis levels and that £20 billion worth of tax rises or spending cuts will be necessary to achieve the improvement in the public finances set out in the PBR.
This forecast is in effect confirmation of this campaign video released by the Conservatives two weeks ago in that future generations will be straddled with debt left behind behind by Gordon Brown and his incompetent Government. Despite the plethora of gloomy economic news including job losses and record numbers of house repossessions, Gordon Brown refuses to acknowledge that he hasn’t ended economic boom and bust, a point put to him at today’s PMQ’s by David Cameron.
According to the Office for National Statistics:
‘The number of unemployed people increased by 131,000 over the quarter and by 290,000 over the year, to reach 1.92 million (the highest figure since the three months to September 1997).
More worryingly ‘there were 530,000 job vacancies in the three months to December 2008, down 69,000 over the previous quarter and down 153,000 over the year. This is the lowest figure since comparable records began in 2001.’
We now have uncontrolled debt, rapidly rising unemployment, sterling losing value on a daily basis, property prices down by 20% and Government introducing policies such as VAT cuts and bank bailouts that simply aren’t working. Gordon Brown has made a complete mess of the economy and his claim that the UK economy is well placed to weather the ‘global downturn’ is palpable nonsense.
Despite billions of pounds having been pumped into the health and education systems during the past 12 years by the Labour Government, the quality of service in both areas remains unsatisfactory. Two stories which show the wastefulness of the Labour era have been highlighted this week. The first is the failure of 340 000 children to attain 5 GCSE grades A-C including English and maths with one in seven schools, a total of 440 failing to ensure that at least 30% of their pupils got five A*-C GCSEs. The education education education mantra has been assigned to the dustbin as far too many children continue to receive an inadequate education.
The second is the news that Britain has fewer hospital beds per head of population than almost any other European country, with half as many as Lithuania and Hungary. This is a terrible indictment on Labour’s wasteful spending. Most people didn’t need to see official statistics to know that hospitals are always short of beds – their personal experience will have confirmed this. But it is a deeply worrying and depressing statistic that shows how reckless this Government has been in dealing with the health service.
Value for money isn’t something this Government has understood. It has spent like an addict without ensuring the appropriate increases in the delivery of services. Bureaucracy has been bloated and we are now left with so much Government debt that it will take this and the next generation to pay it off without having the high quality services that the borrowed money should have delivered.
Nick Clegg, Leader of the Liberal Democrats thinks David Cameron not matching Labour’s spending plans is ‘economic madness’ adding that this was ‘the surest way to push this recession into a slump….of course you have to borrow money for long term investment so that Britain comes out as a fairer and more sustainable economy…To say now…that we should take lots of money out of the economy would be a way of sending us from recession into full blown slump.’
This shouldn’t surprise us. The Lib Dems need to maintain their reputation for financial incompetence and what better way to show it than supporting Gordon Brown’s plans for binge borrowing and ensuring we all face huge tax bills later!