Friday, June 18, 2010

The New Labour myth

Amazing how Labour have suddenly jumped on the moral high ground regarding the austerity cuts we're now facing. The fact is, Labour left this country staring bankruptcy in the face. When it came to power, the country's debt stood at £348bn, according to this. In 2004 it was still "only" £347bn, but it's now being estimated that our debt is a staggering £903bn, a jump of nearly 200 per cent in six years.

The £2bn of cuts announced yesterday don't make nice reading, but they're simply the tip of a very big iceberg of Labour government spending money it simply didn't have.

One way to have kept some of this debt down would have been to have kept taxation at a fair rate, but it wasn't the Tories who cut capital gains tax from 40% to 18%, or who abolished the 10% rate of income tax to leave the poor worse off in order to recoup some of that debt-driven spending. As Monbiot said in the run up the election (see here), "After 13 years of Labour government, the UK has higher levels of inequality than after 18 years of Tory government."

And what do we have to show for all this money? Not an awful lot. It's why I can't get too wound up about the cuts we face - even though I'll no doubt be hit as hard by them as everyone else. After all, this blog is testament to the fact I've been worried about the nation's debt and Labour's pish-poor economic policies since I first started it back in 2003, so I can hardly pretend it's not a problem now the figures are out there in all their stark reality, can I?

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