Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The cost of Labour's Failure

When I am asked why Conservative governments are unpopular, I usually answer "Because they've had to do unpleasant things to clear up the mess left by Labour governments."

Today the Conservative/Lib Dem coalition will have to dish out one of the most painful doses of medicine ever inflicted by a British government in order to clear up the worst mess ever left behind by a former British government.

National Debt doubled - the last Labour government borrowed more than every previous government in history put together

The worst deficit ever left by a British government - this year HMG will borrow £140 billion, more than Britain spends on the NHS

More interest to pay on the national debt - £25 billion a year, more than Britain spends on schools, not to pay back the debt but just to service the interest on it. And if we don't get a grip that amount will keep on going up.

This situation cannot be allowed to continue: failure to take firm action now would condemn us to the sort of meltdown which has happened to Greece.

The government will be forced to announce today measures which nobody likes and things which no politican, least of all David Cameron, wants to do.

But everyone who is hurt by one of the measures announced today should remember the identity of the real culprit, the man who inherited a golden economic legacy of a full treasury and strong non-inflationary growth, but whose whose catastrophic failure to keep borrowing and spending under control over thirteen years made today's pain inevitable.

Gordon Brown.

2 comments:

Tim said...

You describe the meltdown in Greece. This would be the country where some of its fabulously wealthy and patriotic citizens have managed to salt away over 300 billion euros in Swiss bank accounts through a combination of tax avoidance and evasion.

Funny thing - up until about 2007, there was no talk about Britain being in debt - then the banksters wreaked their havoc and the rest is history. As usual it's been all about privatising the profit and socialising the debt.

Chris Whiteside said...

To be fair, Tim, both the Conservative party and a number of respected independent analysts have been expressing concern about both the size of the UK national debt, and the rate at which it was increasing, since well before 2007.

For example, our platform for the 2005 election included a promise to use more than half of the efficiency savings we were proposing to make to cut public borrowing.

Indeed, I can recall that the IFS, who by no means always agree with the Conservatives, praised us for taking that line, agreed with our concerns about the level of national debt, and said that we had the most responsible economic policy of the three major parties.