BBC BLOGS - Nick Robinson's Newslog
« Previous | Main | Next »

Spot the difference

Nick Robinson | 15:12 UK time, Monday, 23 November 2009

Two speeches at the CBI this morning from the two men who want to be in No 10 after the election with one message in common.

Gordon Brown and David CameronOne of them stated:

"Dealing with this deficit is not an alternative to economic growth - the two go hand in hand."

The other insisted:

"our strategy for growth is not at the expense of necessary deficit reduction - it is absolutely central to that objective."

Both are clearly determined that by emphasising growth or deficit reduction they do not seem to have ignored the need for deficit reduction or growth.

As it happens, the first quote is from David Cameron whilst the second is from Gordon Brown.

The prime minister adjusted his rhetoric over the summer to move away from the crude "cuts versus investment" mantra he'd produced week after week with such relish. Now, David Cameron is changing his - ditching talk of an "era of austerity" to outline instead a route to an era of prosperity. Yesterday he even stole a Brown-ism by promising to "go for growth".

Just as with Brown before him, my sense with Cameron is that it is the words rather than the policies or values which have shifted. Both men are positioning themselves ahead of the chancellor's pre-Budget report which will define the economic and political debate between now and the election.

Both are also inclined to find third parties to endorse their approach.

This morning Dominique Strauss-Kahn, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, helped Gordon Brown (for once) by telling the CBI that he and his team were owed "a debt of gratitude" for their work in organising a global response to the financial crisis. In words which will, no doubt, be heard at this week's Prime Minister's Questions he also helped Gordon Brown's argument about the need to sustain the stimulus:

"Exit too soon and you kill the recovery. Exit too late and you sow the seeds for the next crisis... we recommend erring on the side of caution as exiting too early is costlier than exiting too late."

David Cameron will have ready three quotes of his own to use in reply which he deployed this morning:

• The OECD pronouncement that "by developing and announcing more ambitious fiscal consolidation plans early... the government would strengthen the recovery"

• The CBI's own director general Richard Lambert who said that the CBI's "strong instincts" are "that the risks of going too soon" on cutting the deficit "are less than the risks of waiting too long" (the opposite of what the man from the IMF said)

• President Obama himself who has said it is important "to recognise that if we keep on adding to the debt, even in the midst of this recovery, that at some point, people could lose confidence... in a way that could actually lead to a double-dip recession."

Rest assured. This one will run and run.

Comments

Page 1 of 4

  • Comment number 1.

    Does Brown think we are actually idiots and don't realise it is him that has put the UK in the deep hole we are in? The wasted VAT reduction? The 10p tax debacle?
    Now we have over a million neets and worse figures to come. We won't be out of recession, and if we are it will be so miniscule it won't even be worth cheering about.
    Addressing the deficit should have been done when the economy was doing well. Also what should have been done then was addressing the regulation of the City. These are the failings Brown is responsible for - never let that be forgotten.

  • Comment number 2.

    Aren't you missing the point? Brown says that you need to stimulate growth to reduce the deficit; Cameron says you need to reduce the deficit to stimulate growth. These are very different words, and policies. Brown's objective is growth; Cameron's is deficit reduction.

  • Comment number 3.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/8373221.stm

    El Gordo The Wastrel:

    "The vast majority of the increase in the public debt has been due to the lack of growth"

    So then,Nick "impartiality" Robinson,how come you have`nt tore that phrase to pieces for the dirty rotten self-serving lie it is?

  • Comment number 4.

    It's all become a load of gobbly gook. It's not what you say it's the way that you say it....

    And Yes! We can expect loads more double dutch and gobbly gook in the next few months. Just as long as you don't take any of it too seriously and trust your own judgement

    So one has the IMF on his side but their record hasn't been too good in this recession so can't take anything that they say as read. They obviously don't have enough cash to bale us out.

    Now that once again the Great has been taken out of Britain by labour as it was in the seventies those responsible for it are not those to sort it out.


  • Comment number 5.

    Cut the deficit. It's as simple as that.

    Government spending on Whitehall, welfare benefits, the NHS and education is not creating growth.

    Business taxes need to be reduced, employment taxes cut, wealth creators rewarded.

    The public sector has had a ten year free lunch and it needs to stop; the country cannot sustain this level of spending. Industry, technology and science need incentives to employ and develop growth.

    And immigration needs to be cut to stop people abusing our public services; they may well be world class but we pay for them and they are not open to all comers. Border controls need to be reinstated. Beaurocracy in government departments has to be cut, it has reached absurd proportions. Managers at NHS trusts need replacing with front line staff.

    Government spending has a multiplier of less than one - look at the billions poured into the banks with the result a 70bn contraction in the economy. Private investment creates jobs and wealth and we pay taxes to consume public services. The public sector creates no wealth it only eats up our taxes.

    Big government has eaten billions of our money and returned nothing.

    We are more indebted personally and as a government; our children are less well qualified than their elders as standards were persistnently lowered to meet targets; the eight million on welfare have become unemployable under newlabour's culture of entitlement and will need incentives to return to work.

    There is only so much presentation can cover up and the cracks are too big jow; the problems are there for all to see. A new hospital here and there deosn't make a functioning economy.

    Call an election.

  • Comment number 6.

    "Plans to help entrepreneurship in Britain were also outlined [by Brown]"

    Yes by jacking up taxes to 51.5% (when you include NIC).

    That will really encourage entrepreneurs.....to leave the country.

  • Comment number 7.

    The deficit needs to go down. That is the simple truth. I don't particularly care at the moment how it goes down whether its by reducing investment, or reducing the overall costs of current projects. There need to be across the board cuts and cancellations of many pointless QUANGOs and focus groups.

  • Comment number 8.

    It is frightening that both of the men who might lead the next government are vying with each other to promise deficit reduction.

    Is it not obvious, that most of the things that they say they will do will cause even more unemployment? For example, stopping civil service pay rises and postponing pensions will reduce demand, and make things even tougher for businesses.

    Both leaders are guilty of responding to what they imagine are the needs of the monetary system rather than the needs of the real economy. There will only be a threat to Sterling if the recovery in the UK moves ahead of the rest of the world and sucks in excessive imports. At the moment the UK is in fact lagging behind the euro and dollar zones. This indicates that more fiscal stimulus is needed not less.

    The deficit will automatically decrease as recovery gets underway. One day, it might become necessary to return to the pre-crunch monetary rules, but that day is not even on the horizon.

  • Comment number 9.

    #3

    For the same reason the BBC decided not to describe the contents of the hacked climate fraudsters` E-mails?

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8370282.stm

    Come on BBC,this is getting ridiculous!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Comment number 10.

    You have to admire his bravery but how Gordon can stand up in front of the CBI and think that they will not see through his shallow words is truly amazing. He knows that we know what a terrible fist he has made of our economy. What Tony meant to say was "clumsy fist" and not "clunking fist".

  • Comment number 11.

    What hasn't happened is any regulation that would prevent the banks or investment firms from doing this again. All the schemes and instruments devised by the criminal banking cabal are still in place. People seem to avoid that issue. The debt, owned by the taxpayers, created by the banks and investments firms is unevenly shared. Those who caused the problem continue to pay themsevles bonuses while unemployment rises. The wealthy investors tell the governments what is and what is not acceptable. The governments, representing the people, kow tow to the wealthy and slighter away with a contribution for the next election cycle. Both Parties are gutless cowards paying off the wealthy with favorable actions in exchange for crumbs from their table. What is theirs is theirs and what is yours is theirs. Welcome to the lastest twist on the conditions of the industrial revolutions....the technology is modern but the intent is the same.

  • Comment number 12.

    I used to have a big mortgage. I spent a few years cutting back, not buying new cars, not going on holiday and paying every spare pound I had against my mortgage capital. Now I have no mortgage. I have quite a lot of disposable income these days to take holidays and I am saving up, quite quickly, to replace my 12 year old car.

    I've done things this way because over the years I've learned through painful experience that I can't borrow my way out of debt. The best you can manage on that tack is just to postpone the inevitable payback or bankruptcy. Praying for a lottery win never seems to help much either.

    So much of this current mess is blamed on greedy bankers - perhaps they were simply providing competitive products to service the debt requirements of greedy chavs who had a bit of equity in their homes to exploit. They (chavs) all wanted to live the live's of footballers wives whilst being married to white van men..... all on credit at a rate below base set for a couple of years. If there had been no demand for debt, there would have been no products to service it.

    Cameron has it about right I'm afraid. Not popular politics this belt-tightenning stuff, but it's more honest and pragmatic that borrowing on your Visa to pay off your Amex that you just maxed out to get this month's mortgage interest settled.

  • Comment number 13.

    Let's face it, Brown doesn't want to face up to the problems nor does much of electorate. The UK will emerge, if you can call it that, from this recession (which really is an adjustment to living with lower persoanl debt) with a huge structural deficit that will keep on adding to the stock of debt. Every 24 billion of debt means 1,000 pounds per person working in the private sector. The structural deficit is well above 100 billion per annum (so over 4,000 per person working in the private sector) and the deficit this year and next will total some 200 billion for every year (over 8,000 per year, so in total over 16,000 pounds per person working in the private sector in the next 2 years).

    Debt is being recycled to the public sector from the private, and increased. The UK does not have the direst of demographics to deal with this but it does not have much of an inflation hedge because it is past peak-oil. There are not many industries in the UK that will have pricing power in the next inflation cycle. The next inflation cycle will hit the ordianry Brit very hard indeed, because the ordinary Brit will not be able to increase his wage in tandem with the inflation rate.

  • Comment number 14.

    Bearing in mind that the UK has lost a great deal of Browm's bloated bank growth - just where exactly is the 'growth' going to come from?

    Does Brown really think that attracting more raids on the UK from more foreign investors (he proposes more Chinese businesses in the UK), will benefit Britain?

    The Chinese already have a strangle hold on the UK in terms of a huge trading surplus with the UK - why should they invest more money in the UK when they already have just what they want - their supply chains and logistics can easily expand to saturate the UK with their exports as part of an 'eventual' global recovery, without starting any new UK business.

    Incredibly naive, as usual, Mr Brown!

  • Comment number 15.

    "The prime minister adjusted his rhetoric over the summer to move away from the crude "cuts versus investment" mantra he'd produced week after week with such relish. Now, David Cameron is changing his - ditching talk of an "era of austerity" to outline instead a route to an era of prosperity. Yesterday he even stole a Brown-ism by promising to "go for growth"."

    Dear Nick,
    When you report that Cameron has projected "an era of austerity", could you provide some evidence of that?

    I have checked on the net, but can't find that sort of projection.

    It is certain that Brown has said that we can spend our way out of debt.

    And Brown has always projected a "Prudent" approach to managing governmenht finances, although that went down the pan a few years ago.

    Growth has absoltely no relationship with UK government spending. It comes from businesses (not well supported by Bown) getting busy.

    Just which bits of the regulatory stranglehold is Brown suggesting he will retract? Just when will eager businesses start to benefit from the massive amounts of money Brown has allowed to be printed to support the banks?

    Just when will this Stalinist (we know best) mob retreat and let businesses do what they do best, which is create - rather than tax and waste - money?

  • Comment number 16.

    Certainly all the letters necessary to describe Brown can be found in the phrase "clunking fist". Indeed, there are 8 too many letters.

    The word could be 'king'. Or not.

  • Comment number 17.

    Virtualsilverlady

    I agree with what you say about trusting your own judgement. The only trouble is there are something like a million voters for every one person who blogs on here, which suggests to me that come voting day it will resemble a vote between the Grimes and Susan Boyle, with the same people doing the Whitehall version of the X Factor. Between now and May there will be some serious bribing going on, and if Gordon can do a Major and get on his soap box there is no telling how far he will go to try to make us forget all about the last twelve years. Watch out for those hypnotists, who must have been around in 2005 when Blair stood on his record....

  • Comment number 18.

    Re: #10

    You are wrong - Gordon Brown does not think he has made a terrible fist of running our economy. Au contraire he is convinced that he was doing a brilliant job and only the cruel intervention of the 'Global Crisis' caused him to detour to rescue the World.

    I say non of this to detract, he really does believe it is not his fault which is why he appears to be in denial. He even discards the fact that his reputation was built by following the Tory spending plans during the first 2 years of his Chancellorship.

    This type of delusion, which seems to affect all M P's who attain high office, would sentence the rest of us to a regular intake of medicinal treatments.

  • Comment number 19.

    It really comes down to who do believe?

    Let's be honest, Brown's track record on the economy is abysmal. Mister 'No-More-Boom-And-Bust' has been a disaster.

    The only QE I want to see is Brown being 'quantitatively eased' out of the door of number 10 as soon as possible.


  • Comment number 20.

    "Does Brown really think that attracting more raids on the UK from more foreign investors (he proposes more Chinese businesses in the UK), will benefit Britain?"

    I can imagine Brown's speech now....

    Yes, come on you Chinese, set up your businesses here in the UK...we have mountans of red tape for you to deal with, our rate of corporation tax is higher for large companies and whilst your income tax rates vary from 5% to 45%, we charge from 20% to 50%. And we're about to wack taxes up and cut public spending too! Oh and don't forget our lovely labour laws. People can spend half their life not at your work and you can't get rid of them just for that.

    So come, come, come to LaLaLabourLand!!

    Please come, please. We're desperate.

  • Comment number 21.

    Andyc555 @ 16

    I vote for "not."

  • Comment number 22.

    The reason we are in this mess is because of NuLabours continual attempt to drive a wedge between the private sector and the public.

    Labour have done nothing to encourage growth in SME's which make up the core income for its benighted state, instead aiming to constantly penalise and falsely blame the entrepreneurial classes for failing to deliver enough into our economy.

    How dare they make profit and buy nice houses with it!

    Finally, Labours persecution of the business community has resulted in this lack of growth which now Labour finally admit they need.

    I remember back a good few years under TB when Gordon Brown confidentally said that the business start ups and small businesses have enjoyed their prosperity for far too long and cut the £10k tax free rate for small businesses.

    Not surprisingly company fold ups, liquidations and unemployment increased. Stifling growth and opportunity. He then proceeded to wrap them up the tightest red tape he could, all the while moaning about how we all have it far too good.

    Year after year more and more measures aimed at syphoning money out of private enterprise and the entrepreneurs behind it until, suddenly there is hardly any manufacturing, all the clever money has gone abroad and the only employer picking up the slack is the government itself.

    Different tune today from the No 10 encumbant.

    Now! he wants growth!!!???

    Now! he wants the private sector to build and become profitable??!!

    It has taken Gordon 12 years to suddenly realise he needs the business sector, it will take another 120 years to convince the Labour faithful that business and enterprise isn't evil.

    I suspect they will be happy enough to cash the giros that the business growth brings though.

  • Comment number 23.

    I'm a little bemused at how this deficit debate is being conducted without reference to what is the obvious way to deal with it - substantial tax rises. That IS what will happen, like it or not. As per usual the politicians (L and C alike) are terrified of telling the public they need to pay more tax. Always the case, isn't it? The only difference between the two main parties on this is that Labour will hit middle and high income earners the most, whereas the Tories will push the pain a bit further down. Do we want a pain in the neck or do we want acute agony in the lumbar regions? - that's essentially the choice.

  • Comment number 24.

    I think it's worth bearing in mind that much of the monetary work being done to take us out of the recession is the 0.5% interest rate and quantitative easing. Since this is the responsibilty of an independent Bank Of England Board,it's a bit much for politicians to claim all the credit.
    Or is the independence of the BOE in question ??
    G Britain Fiscal 'stimulus' in the next Budget report will be tiny.

  • Comment number 25.

    6. At 3:55pm on 23 Nov 2009, AndyC555 wrote:

    "That will really encourage entrepreneurs.....to leave the country."

    I see you're still idolising entrepenuers as your saviours - would these be the same entrepenuers who as soon as they have finished taking Government subsidies for startup businesses, reduced tax rates and other such help and they have a successful business, they take themselves off to Monaco for a 'better life' where they can run their businesses from there?

    ...or do you mean the entrepenuers who come up with baseless ideas, get Government subsidy to start up and then walk away when the business fails - only to start one up under their wifes name?

    ...or maybe the entrepenuers who see a good idea, exploit the inventor and make millions from the ideas of another?

    In a true free market these entrepenuers would be allowed to go and they would be replaced with leaner, more efficient and tax paying entrepenuers.

    ...it seems the free market is a 'pick and choose' one if you want the rules changed to fit in with your personal ambitions and desires.

    I will be happy to hold the door open for all these shylocks who threaten to leave for another country as soon as we stop wiping their backsides with assistance.

    1st rule of free market Economics - everyone is replaceable.

  • Comment number 26.

    20. At 4:49pm on 23 Nov 2009, AndyC555

    No - you're right, we should open the 'financial cowboy land' in an attempt to secure business from other financial centres around the world.

    Surely nothing could go wrong - we all know how good financial institutions are at regulating themselves!!

    It's much better we allow the population to live in poverty so the rich will be attracted to come here - there's nothing more attractive than an oppressed civilisation to exploit for a Capitalist.

    I shall start a line of ankle chains so that we're prepared for the 'returning entrepenuers and bankers' - aka Slave masters. It will be like building the pyramids all over again - ah the feeling of a cat-o-nine tails across your back in the burning sun......bliss...

  • Comment number 27.

    Excellent point, Nick. What Brown and Cameron are saying is getting closer. But what they mean is far apart. I, for one, do not believe Brown would actually cut the deficit much at all whereas I think Cameron would have a serious go at it.

  • Comment number 28.

    23. At 4:58pm on 23 Nov 2009, sagamix wrote:

    "I'm a little bemused at how this deficit debate is being conducted without reference to what is the obvious way to deal with it - substantial tax rises."

    Behold the communist panacea.As for those "lumbar regions" you mention,they`ve been scraping on the ground ever since your nation-wrecking crew tied them to the toe-bars of their ministerial Jags.

  • Comment number 29.

    I love that phrase from Nick. The PM "adjusted his rhetoric".

    It called something else up here.

    After all we are told the PM never really agreed with the Iraq War, the abolition of the 10p tax rate, mass immmigration,unrestricted credit card debt,political correctness, etc etc.

    Look forward to more Brownie somersaults in the months before the election.

  • Comment number 30.

    #25/26

    Well, no, Banks were obvioulsy not good at regulating themeselves. That's why there were regulations. Until Brown got rid of them.

    Entrepreneurs as "slave masters"? The pyrimids? How dramatic. And there you are criticising them for leaving the country, which kind of shoots your argument in the foot as my point was that the tax laws that Brown wants to bring in will discourage and drive away the very people we need here. People who do things, rather than sit in comfy Government jobs where the worse thing they have to deal with is someone leaving the lid off the biscuit tin.

    "In a true free market these entrepenuers would be allowed to go and they would be replaced with leaner, more efficient and tax paying entrepenuers."

    I have no idea what you are wittering on about here. If you can't make the country attractive to businessmen, these 'leaner' entrpreneurs will leave just as surely as all the others. You talk about poverty? A good business man will pay good wages for a good worker. That's how it works. If that businessman leaves to UK to go elsewhere because he's fed up subsidising Brown's lunatic social engoineering, he takes his jobs with him.....

    For a high powered businessman, you have an odd grasp of the subject....

  • Comment number 31.

    "23. At 4:58pm on 23 Nov 2009, sagamix wrote:

    "I'm a little bemused at how this deficit debate is being conducted without reference to what is the obvious way to deal with it - substantial tax rises.""

    Yes, why not tax rates of 100%? I'm sure Brwon could then set up some labyrinthine Government mechanism to give us a little pocket money back. THAT would create yet more Government jobs and get the economy charging again as Brown has, surely, proved that when it comes to spending other people's money, Labour can spend more of it than anyone else....

  • Comment number 32.

    27 ejp

    Similarly, my Tory chum, I do not believe Brown would make huge cuts in health and education, whereas I think Cameron would have a serious go at it. Whatever he might say now.

  • Comment number 33.

    Shouldn't they announce such things to Parliament rather than to the CBI?

  • Comment number 34.

    I always find it fascinating that when Gordon Brown speaks he can always tell you that the Conservatives will automatically do the opposite to what he proposes, even when it is not the case.

    Gordon seems to view himself as an expert on the economy despite the fact that for the most part,as Chancellor and Prime Minister, he is responsible for the state we are in.

    As an expert, for some strange reason he cannot see that David Cameron's proposal to reduce the deficit is not incompatible with supporting industry and the vulnerable at the same time.

    It's also nice to see that David Cameron has plans to develop the economy and encourage growth, because over the last 12 years New Labour has built up the financial sector at the expense of primary industry like manufacturing, mining, commerce,agriculture and fisheries.

    There's no doubt that in future under either party we will all be paying more tax.Over the last 12 years we have seem our taxes wasted on IT systems that don't work, hospitals that are not put into use and various other useless government projects. It follows that New Labour are not a party that can be relied on to keep a tight rein on things especially as right under their own noses the scandal of MPs expenses has flourished.

    I'm hoping that David Cameron will learn from the failures of New Labour and will come up with plans that are both fair and effective.

    Only time will tell if that is the case.



  • Comment number 35.

    16 / 20 Andy

    You've got your funny pants on today boy, make no mistake! Do you write for TV?

  • Comment number 36.

    Or Cameron could be trying to promise all things to all people, which is my bet.
    He’s trying to say that he’s come up with an idea that will confound all pre-existing economic thought. Just like that.
    There are two ways to play this:
    1) Reduce the debt with a long-term view, simular to what Thatcher did in the 80s.
    2) Grow our way out of the debt, like Gordy is proposing.
    I’d imagine the main parties’ approach to this problem will go down party lines.

  • Comment number 37.

    tys @ 12

    "perhaps they were simply providing competitive products to service the debt requirements of greedy chavs who had a bit of equity in their homes to exploit. They (chavs) all wanted to live the lives of footballers wives whilst being married to white van men"

    That's right. The Banks, the Fed, the Ratings Agencies, the Regulators, the UK and US Authorities generally - they must all shoulder a tiny portion of the responsibility for the credit crunch, the bailout, the downturn, the deficit but MOST of the blame ... perhaps as much as 99% of it ... we can pin fairly and squarely on Chavs.

  • Comment number 38.

    Nick, I believe all 3 party leaders addressed the CBI... were you in the gents when Clegg delivered his or are you just continuing with the traditional 2-party politics?

  • Comment number 39.

    #28

    "toe-bars"

    Should be "tow-bars".

    He,he.Must have been the anger at reading Sagamix`s pauperisation proposal!

  • Comment number 40.

    #23 - I agree that increases in tax will happen under the next government and I would agree that Labour are perceived as being the party who will take from middle and higher earners - but this is far from what their track record suggests. Since abandoning the 10p income tax rate the low paid have been relatively worse off and the middle and higher earners better off. The tax system is seriously flawed, especially the level at which income tax starts - which is less than £7K per annum. The two main parties are saying little about taxation, other than raising the higher rate of income tax for the very highest earners. But remember that National Insurance is taxation and that is set to rise under Labour - and that will hit the low paid most.

    One thing I am sure of is that Labour will not be truthful on this score before an election, as it will lose votes. Brown has shown himself able to rant and roar in Parliament about "investment versus cuts" only to then adopt a stance of encouraging cuts when he is convinced his argument is actually crackpot. Whatever is promised this side of the election will be abandoned by Labour should they get back into power; then and only then will we see what they are going to do with an economy that has already broken all known economic records. No one will be safe, so don't even think otherwise.

  • Comment number 41.

    #12 ToldYouSo:

    If more posters (and voters) realised this, there might be some grounds for hope!

  • Comment number 42.

    Brown has been proved to blatantly lie. He promises so much and fails to deliver. His borrowing was excessive before the financial crisis hit the UK. He and Blair have got us into two wars, massive debt and massive unemployment.
    HOW CAN BROWN BE TRUSTED. The only people that will vote Labour are those that do not want to work.
    It's time to boot Labour into touch.

  • Comment number 43.

    12 tys
    Your whole argument rests on the belief that managing a major national economy is essentially the same as managing a personal budget. It isn't. None of your analogies are valid. But good luck with the new car.

  • Comment number 44.

    #23 sagamix

    Why not push the pain all the way 'down' (although some people who actually bother to work would argue that 'down' was actually 'up') and start by cutting benefits. After all, most of this country's problems can be traced back to removing the need to do a day's work, can't they.

  • Comment number 45.

    Indeed this one will run and run and run but it all will be futile as we are impaled on the horns of a dilemma. The fiscal deficit, or rather government debt is now so large that nobody has a clue how to tackle it. So they all have to run with the nonsense that we can minimise this debt through growth.

    Where is that growth going to come from? The value adding part of the economy, which is neither the government nor the banks who are both tax-eaters, is the essential part of this equation; but it is the one part of the economy which is already on it knees due to twelve years of little or no support from government. Couple this deliberate neglect with the collapse in credit due to the inappropriate and improperly regulated exuberance of the banks and we have serious trouble. If either party thinks they have the answer for the value adding manufacturing and commercial sectors then they need only shout it out: but I hear nothing.

    All the good and the great have done today is to waffle about the problem. If the recovery is on its way, as we are being told in some quarters, then it need not matter if there are spending cuts planned for next year as recovery will have arrived by then. The reason why they can't plan cuts now is that despite all the spin from every part of the public sector and their stooges in the media, the recovery is nowhere to be seen. Even then when recovery arrives it will as a bunch of economists watching a thermometer to see if the temperature gets above freezing so they can declare that spring is on its way.

    The reality is that the ballooning public sector deficit is pushing the country deeper and deeper into debt. The only action taken so far has been to print money to cover that debt. Is that a strategy or a panic measure? I suggest it is the latter but it has provided an illusion of good times that Labour hopes will fool the public.

    On the other hand if we endeavour to cut the deficit we do run a risk of making the recession worse by reducing the demand in the economy. But if we don't and continue to run up our debt we can expect a devaluation of sterling coupled with the associated inflation. Interest rates will go through the roof. This will only serve to destabilise the economy even further.

    So the choice is either more recession or even more recession.

    This is the big dilemma of our time and the trouble is that the political class, all of them, are unable to tell it as it is to the public at large. It is no longer a case of Yahboo Tory or Labour; it is how do you get us out of this mess you have put us in? No answer: comes the firm reply.

    Would you like some more spin with your tea?

    It is time politics got serious: it is no longer a game.

  • Comment number 46.

    #19 DistantTraveller

    Yep, you're right, Gordon Brown is untrustworthy plus he's a barrier to progress but do you really believe David 'I'm transparent' Cameron?

    Following on from the previous blog, I'm hoping for a hung parliament as we have been given parliamentary reform and that's the nearest thing to change.

    At least then we might get Vince Cable as chancellor, an economist turned politician, not a politician turned economist!

  • Comment number 47.

    Just seen an ad for company who will turn your unwanted gold into cash - I wonder where they got the idea from?

  • Comment number 48.

    #32 Laughatthetories wrote:

    "Similarly, my Tory chum, I do not believe Brown would make huge cuts in health and education, whereas I think Cameron would have a serious go at it. Whatever he might say now."

    --------------------------------------------------------------

    Laughatthetories can you explain why the NHS Trusts are being asked to make significant efficiency savings for the next FY of over 10% by the Health Authorities? This is the current administration requesting those 10% savings are found now. So dont expect that cuts in the NHS and other services wont happen under labour as they are already being planned.

  • Comment number 49.

    #41 Charentais

    Silly, very silly. Who creates the demand (we're a freemarket economy)?

    Using #12's methodology, it's the advertisers fault for shamelessly tempting the 'chavs'.

    This blog used to contain quality debate.

  • Comment number 50.

    #44 Gemima

    Yeh! All those people in the places that I've worked who drink alcohol - they're dispicable! They skip work (especially on Mondays and Fridays) because they've got hangovers (but come up with some other excuse like tummy bug), or worse, come into work and eat smelly fried food and spend the day doing nothing but getting coffee.

    It's disgusting, they need to ban alcohol now because the state's still large enough to do it.

    Drinkers make me sick - they only pretend to work and that's if they bother to turn-up! Yeh, ban alcohol, rah, rah, rah.

  • Comment number 51.

    23#

    I dont know about lumbar regions Saga, but I for one am getting a tad fed up with being kicked in the nether regions repeatedly by this sorry excuse for a PM.

  • Comment number 52.

    #50. Culverin

    Working at the moment are we, or resting between jobs?

  • Comment number 53.

    37#

    Right... blame it on the proles...

    And the commercial debt that HBOS for instance had to write off was down to the chavs as well?? Hundreds of millions of pounds of it? Like 80% of the bad loans that HBOS had?

    Jesus mate, if you're going to make something up and lie to shift the blame away from the Brown one, at least try and be convincing, will ya?

  • Comment number 54.

    30

    WoW a "high powered businessman"????


    Whats that, the latest euphamism for a street market trader selling disposable lighters??

    Pull the other one, thats like calling Del Boy Trotter a yuppie!!

  • Comment number 55.

    gemima @ 44

    "Why not push the pain all the way 'down' and start by cutting benefits?"

    The Tories might do that but it's not the way to go, in my opinion. People on benefits have the least scope for cutting expenditure since a very high proportion of it goes on essentials. Sure, it may get a few back to work - but at quite a cost in terms of increased poverty for people who are already living in poverty. That's not acceptable in my view. I much prefer the "carrot" to the "stick" when it comes to encouraging the unemployed to get a job - income tax not to kick in until £12,000 p/a something like that. This (and an appropriate level of deficit reduction) to be funded by a substantial increase in the basic rate of income tax (to 30%) and some reengineering of the banding and the higher rates such that we get the result we're looking for. Which is as below:

    - very low earners pay no tax
    - low earners pay less tax
    - quite low earners pay the same tax
    - average earners pay more tax
    - above average earners pay a lot more tax
    - big earners really dig deep

    If we do this, we can get away with a freeze on public spending (in absolute terms, I mean, none of this "real terms" nonsense) rather than savage cuts. A freeze to last 3 years - same period as the new higher tax rates should apply.

    Nobody likes higher taxes of course (I certainly don't) but we all know they ARE necessary and it's best to face facts rather than put one's head in the sand like the proverbial osterich.

    At the end of the 3 years, we'll have the deficit under control and we'll have cumulative debt heading back down towards the comfort level. At that point we can revisit the whole thing.

    So what do you think? Do you like my plan?

  • Comment number 56.

    51 Fair play, Fubar, if he's doing that, you have every right not to vote for him.

  • Comment number 57.

    #52 Gemima

    Nope, am terminally ill and waiting to die.

    What are you doing??????????

    No, please don't answer that because you've missed my point entirely - if you need benefits you should get them!

  • Comment number 58.

    Didn't Robert Maxwell say something like, if you owe your bank a million then that's your problem, but if you owe your bank a hundred million, then that's their problem?
    I wonder how that would translate into Gordon Brown's patois....

  • Comment number 59.

    #53 Fubar

    Wow, Fubar, inspiring - in one short post you're a different man in my eyes!

    I'm taken aback!

  • Comment number 60.

    31.AndyC555

    In an ideal world I embrace the low taxation model but the only way we are going to get out of this jam is by raising taxes in the short term.

    All parties are going to do it, none will admit it although the Tories have got closest to advocating austerity.

    Public spending will have to be reduced at some stage in the future but with rising unemployment that is nigh on impossible at the moment.

    Long term we do have to address exactly what we want out of our public services and whether we are prepared to pay for it - there are anomolies in the public sector which need addressing pensions etc. but short term none of these will generate sufficient income to significantly help the economy.

  • Comment number 61.

    bankrupt @ 28

    "Behold the communist panacea"

    Senator, I am not now - and have never been - a member of the Communist Party.

  • Comment number 62.

    58#

    "I wonder how that would translate into Gordon Brown's patois...."

    No.

    Dont encourage him, please...

  • Comment number 63.

    # 15 Fairlyopenminded

    "When you report that Cameron has projected "an era of austerity", could you provide some evidence of that?

    I have checked on the net, but can't find that sort of projection."

    you shouldn't really need the net you only need to think back a couple of months to the Tory party speaches, Cameron talked of belt tightening and the two options 1) to ignore the problem or 2)leveling with the public that unpopular decsions are needed to pay off debts. Osbourne talked of anyone who said cuts were not needed was telling lies, Britian "was sinking in a sea of debt", Britian would only have substained recovery once it showed it could pay of its debts. Osbourne used the phrase only being honest with the public and originally coined the phrase era of austerity.

    Imo opinion era of austerity is clearly a fair relection of what has been the Tory message and frankly if someone claims to base their views on reseach and be open minded they should actually do the research and in an impartial manner.

    imo if Cammeron wants to win the next election he needs to aim to win it rather than rely on Brown and co losing it.

    The recent Sun articles re the Brown handwritten letter is a typical example, i suggested at the time (imo) that if Cammeron thanked the Sun for their support but distanced himself from that level of opportunist biased reporting, this would ultimately be in his favour as being seen as a strong, fair leader above playing petty politics. Instead he keep conspicuously quite and we don't hear anything from any of the Tory leaders until the stratergy had clearly backfired

    imo Cammeron is still seen as the opportunist who is remebered more for answering direct questions with phrases such as "i tell you what we won't do" rather than anything of substance.

    Finally imo, a Tory stratergy of being consistant that their is going to be a era of austerity would be better for them in terms of being seen as being straight with the public rather than to switch to the growth and reduction of debt go hand in hand message which seem to be quite quite a switch to the Labour message they were criticing



  • Comment number 64.

    "People on benefits have the least scope for cutting expenditure since a very high proportion of it goes on essentials."

    Yeah. Like fags and plasma tv's.

    "I much prefer the "carrot" to the "stick" when it comes to encouraging the unemployed to get a job - income tax not to kick in until £12,000 p/a something like that."

    OK. The ten pence band may have helped here.... D'OH!

    "This (and an appropriate level of deficit reduction) to be funded by a substantial increase in the basic rate of income tax (to 30%) and some reengineering of the banding and the higher rates such that we get the result we're looking for."

    Errr..... ok.... where are you going to put those bands mate? Bearing in mind that the point where its not worth you going out to work and more beneficial to stay on benefits is somewhere in the region of 15-16KPA...?

    "Which is as below:

    "- very low earners pay no tax" - Yes, fine, but define Very Low Earner?
    "- low earners pay less tax" - Yes, fine, but ditto. Whats the difference between low and very low?
    "- quite low earners pay the same tax" Quite low? How many bands do you want? And what is so different about quite low compared to very low and just plain, vanilla low? Need a bit more flesh mate!!!!
    "- average earners pay more tax" - and the average being what exactly? And how much more tax? Is this where your 30% threshold kicks in?
    "- above average earners pay a lot more tax" - yes, I can see a theme developing here - screw the rich - but where does the threshold start, and how much more do you expect them to pay?
    "- big earners really dig deep" - And big is what? Premiership footballer level? People earning the same as the PM or more?

    "If we do this, we can get away with a freeze on public spending (in absolute terms, I mean, none of this "real terms" nonsense) rather than savage cuts."

    Debatable. Not impossible, but debateable. I'd be intrigued to see what the trade unions made of it and how they'd react.

    "A freeze to last 3 years - same period as the new higher tax rates should apply."

    Right......

    "Nobody likes higher taxes of course (I certainly don't) but we all know they ARE necessary and it's best to face facts rather than put one's head in the sand"

    Mmm. So long as someone else is paying it, yes?

  • Comment number 65.

    61. At 6:49pm on 23 Nov 2009, sagamix wrote:

    bankrupt @ 28

    "Behold the communist panacea"

    Senator, I am not now - and have never been - a member of the Communist Party.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Are you sure Saga ? ..... Sometimes, i will correct that , most of the time it is hard to tell which party you belong to or support or where you are coming from the majority of the time

  • Comment number 66.

    33. At 5:28pm on 23 Nov 2009, Martin wrote:
    Shouldn't they announce such things to Parliament rather than to the CBI?

    **********


    If BBC Parliament had they the same viewing figures as 'Strictly' or 'X' they probably would!!

  • Comment number 67.

    Well at least there is some sort of emerging consensus (sort of).

    It all seems down to timing and speed I guess.

    Should it be like a "mortgage" (the Brown Approach) where you pay an affordable amount over a longer period of time but protecting the other spending needs BUT paying more interest in total (in this scenario lets say 10 years)

    Or do we pay down a lot quicker (the Cameron approach) and find the money from public service cuts, saving on interest BUT paying out what you save in the inevitable unemployment that results (and it is inevitable) with all the "social costs" that go with it.

    Another point I feel I have to make and that is the size of the debt/deficit.

    There are still some (well many) that try to peddle the lie that this all results from some "binge" of spending WHEN those who can bare to rationalise rather than politicise must realise that about 75% of said debt was incurred in saving the Banks (most of it) and other measures to combat recession such as "the automatic stabilisers" such as increased unemployment costs.

    The only choices really have been "save the Banks" or let them fall like Leehman.

    No doubt if we'd have gone for the Cameron/Osbourne route the deficit would be lower BUT the economy wrecked and out of step with the rest of the developed world who intervened to support the banks (not really a choice at all. In power, the Tories would have done more or less what Brown did.

    Now for all those who will give me the crap about "fixing the roof" blah blah, that only holds up if "pre recession" the tories were pleading for spending cuts. Were they?? No they planned to "match Labour Spending for two years" Remember??

    Lets be honest, The Tories are pretty clueless

  • Comment number 68.

    so what you seem to be hinting at is what almost every one knows and that is the two leaders have the same answers becouse they are both cut from the same lines and either should be ruled out of becoming the next prime minister due to the fact one is as bad as the other.
    they both seem to be placing the good of their respective parties ahead of the good of the country and that is unacceptable these days.
    all the voters of this country wants is an honest politician that will tell as how it is, why it is and how its going to be, up front no spin just honesty and action.

  • Comment number 69.

    #55 sagamix

    I agree with your statement that tax rises are inevitable.

    In return, do you agree that much of the responsibility for the need to raise taxes lies at the doors (Nos 11 & 10) of one G Brown?

    However I can't agree that you miss out the benefit claimants in you winner/loser hierarchy.

    Why am I paying for slobs to breed yet more slobs for me to pay for?

  • Comment number 70.

    67. At 7:08pm on 23 Nov 2009, Eatonrifle wrote:


    .......Should it be like a "mortgage" (the Brown Approach) where you pay an affordable amount over a longer period of time but protecting the other spending needs BUT paying more interest in total (in this scenario lets say 10 years)

    *******************************

    That argument falls at the first hurdle. Nothing Brown does is affordable. That's why he needs to print money to pay for it.
    If I did it to clear my debts it would be called counterfeiting.

  • Comment number 71.

    69 Gemima

    asked
    "In return, do you agree that much of the responsibility for the need to raise taxes lies at the doors (Nos 11 & 10) of one G Brown?"

    I know the question wasn't asked of me BUT quite simply NO, NO and more NO.

    at the doors of international Banking is where the vast majority of the blame lies.

    Brown is a bit part player in this drama by comparison.

  • Comment number 72.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 73.

    58 NickBloggins

    Not 100% sure but I think that you have paraphrased a famous 70's bankrupt - Jim Slater

  • Comment number 74.

    #67 - trifle - left standing like a naughty schoolboy as I remember

    The thing is, the economy has been wrecked on GB's watch. You can argue the cause all you like, but on balance has his spending reduced or increased the debt mountain?

    And has he done anything to reduce it yet?

  • Comment number 75.

    fs @ 64

    Thanks for that critique Fubar, I quite liked it - apart from the gratuitous silliness of the "fags and plasma tellies" bit. And I sense you quite like my plan, don't you? And so you should - it's not Labour or Tory, it's based on genuine Clear Thinking Progressive principles. It incorporates the following key aspects:

    (1) The debt/deficit needs tackling.
    (2) Tax rises are a necessary part of this.
    (3) Plus an absolute freeze in public spending (hawkish, yes?)
    (4) You can't just hit the rich - won't be enough.
    (5) So we spread the pain.
    (6) Joe Average has to pay more tax.
    (7) But we insulate the poor.
    (8) For 3 years.
    (9) Then review.

    It's kool and the gang.

    You want more detail? Well okay (although I reckon I've already given more than most people ever do) let's look at the tax rates and bands. I want that 30% basic rate kicking in at £25,000 pa. We can go as below:

    up to 12k - NIL
    12k to 15k - 10%
    15k to 25k - 20%
    25k to 40k - 30%
    40k to 75k - 40%
    75k to 100k - 50%
    over 100k - 60%

    Option: if we want to take the opportuntity to simplify the system a little, we abolish NIC and increase the above tax rates accordingly.

  • Comment number 76.

    71. At 7:31pm on 23 Nov 2009, Eatonrifle wrote:

    ....at the doors of international Banking is where the vast majority of the blame lies.

    Brown is a bit part player in this drama by comparison.

    ******************************

    No wonder the banks failed if the job of regulating them was given to a bit part player.
    It should have gone to someone who knew what they were doing.

  • Comment number 77.

    There are still some (well many) that try to peddle the lie that this all results from some "binge" of spending WHEN those who can bare to rationalise rather than politicise must realise that about 75% of said debt was incurred in saving the Banks (most of it) and other measures to combat recession such as "the automatic stabilisers" such as increased unemployment costs.

    Do you mean the debt - the overall debt - or the deficit, ie this years' difference, Eaton?

    The only choices really have been "save the Banks" or let them fall like Leehman.

    "No doubt if we'd have gone for the Cameron/Osbourne route the deficit would be lower BUT the economy wrecked and out of step with the rest of the developed world who intervened to support the banks (not really a choice at all. In power, the Tories would have done more or less what Brown did."

    Well, we'll never get to find that out will we? Conjecture. And are you seriously saying the economy isnt wrecked??

    "Now for all those who will give me the crap about "fixing the roof" blah blah, that only holds up if "pre recession" the tories were pleading for spending cuts. Were they?? No they planned to "match Labour Spending for two years" Remember??"

    Like Gordon did when he first came to No11? So, you need the opposition to tell you what to do before it makes sense to do it yourself? Wouldnt the so called "Iron Chancellor" have had some notion to do that himself without prompting from anyone else?

    Lets be honest, both parties are pretty clueless.

    But its only happened on the watch of one of them. And they are pathologically incapable of accepting any form of responsibility whatsoever for the decisions. Its always, always, always, always someone elses fault.


    Regrettably thats the most tiresome aspect of the lot. What is so hard about saying "it happened on our watch and we got it wrong"?

  • Comment number 78.

    74

    Ah Single Bob.

    If you want to ignore the cause, thats up to you. I feel the war was caused by Hitler but it happened on Chamberlain's watch so it must be his fault by your philosophy.

    As for spending, as I said, were the Tories clamouring for spening cuts OR were they proudly trumpeting that they would match Labour spending?

    Remind me Bob.

    Trifle

  • Comment number 79.

    75#

    I didnt say I didnt like it Saga, I'm just saying its a bit... skeletal. It needs more flesh, is all...

  • Comment number 80.

    fubar @ 53

    I have rarely written a post more intentionally sarcastic than the one I did at 37 - Because it appears that you took it seriously (!) ... and in your normal headlong rush to disagree with anything I write ... you've ended up accidentally saying something sensible! - and hence shocking poor Culverin (at 59).

  • Comment number 81.

    Saga

    I must be going soft in my old age - I actually like some of your plan.

    I sincerely believe that the lowest paid should be protected from the tax rises to come. You are right that it is the average tax payer that must bear the burden of not just reducing the deficit but also reducing the horrendous debt that the Government has built up.

    Where we do differ is that I do not think that the higher paid should be forced to pay more than the current 40% (ie get rid of the 50% envy tax). In my honest opinion squeezing the rich is counter productive and I believe that stats show that the actual tax take falls. Ideally I would go for a flat tax above a higher nil rate band. Simple maths says that the person earning £100,000 pays more than a person on £20,000 and indeed because of the nil rate band also pays a higher percentage of his/her wage. This would seem to be fair.

    Allied to the above we must cut the amount that we pay to Government, National or Local, the rise of the public sector is killing this country. I agree that this may depress the economy in the short term and I sincerely feel sorry for the people who will lose jobs. However, this is a price that we must pay to get back on an even keel. Otherwise we run the risk of permanently damaging our society if the damage has not already gone too far.

  • Comment number 82.

    76 Zydeco

    So its the Regulators.

    A bit like a burglar blaming the Police for not stopping them committing a robbery

  • Comment number 83.

    OK Saga, just seen the rest of your 75.

    OK. So what we're looking at is income tax levels at what, Nigel Lawson levels, circa mid 80's?

    OK. In principle, its a plan and its straightforward.. It would give people a choice. OK, fine, no problem, I can accept that. Thats personal taxes.

    What about business taxes? Corporation, CGT, etc?

    NB: Dont you be mistaken that I'd be sticking around to pay it though (!), but at least it is a simple, uncomplicated plan that might just work....

  • Comment number 84.

    80#

    I thought by my usual standards, I was quite measured... :-o

  • Comment number 85.

    #71 Eatonrifle

    I know the question wasn't asked of me BUT quite simply NO, NO and more NO.

    So if the 'vast majority' of responsibility for our enormous debt lies elsewhere, what is Gordon responsible for? He has been chancellor and the puppet-chancellor's string puller for the last 12 years.

    How much? £20 BILLION?, £30 BILLION?

    If you don't think he is responsible for this, could you tell me who is?

  • Comment number 86.

    Sorry. The last para of my 81 should have mentioned lower Government spending - not reduce the amount that we pay them - at least in the short term!

  • Comment number 87.

    #78 trifle

    So on balance has Gordon's spending reduced or increased the debt mountain?

  • Comment number 88.

    gemima @ 69

    "I agree with your statement that tax rises are inevitable"

    Excellent.

    "In return, do you agree that much of the responsibility for the need to raise taxes lies at the doors (Nos 11 & 10) of one G Brown?"

    Not sure it's "in return" since I'd answer the same, regardless of what you said about tax rises - but YES - I go 25% of the blame and 100% of the political responsibility to Brown. The other 75% of the blame I allocate (shared basis) to the Fed, Wall St, the City, Regulators, Ratings Agencies, the Anglo American "Get Rich Quick" culture.

    "However I can't agree that you miss out the benefit claimants in your winner/loser hierarchy"

    Shame. Ah well.

    "Why am I paying for slobs to breed yet more slobs for me to pay for?"

    You're right to be angry but your anger is misplaced. For very Pound of your hard earned going to "undeserving" benefit claimants, something like Thirty Pounds is going to the Banks.

  • Comment number 89.

    "The prime minister adjusted his rhetoric over the summer to move away from the crude "cuts versus investment" mantra he'd produced week after week with such relish. Now, David Cameron is changing his - ditching talk of an "era of austerity" to outline instead a route to an era of prosperity. Yesterday he even stole a Brown-ism by promising to "go for growth".

    Just as with Brown before him, my sense with Cameron is that it is the words rather than the policies or values which have shifted. Both men are positioning themselves ahead of the chancellor's pre-Budget report which will define the economic and political debate between now and the election.

    Nick,

    There is only ever one Prime Minister or Chancellor. It simply doesn't matter what an opposition party says, because the folk who have their hands on the levels of power do whatever they want, even if it is crass.

    Frankly, I don't give a good one whether you have a "sense" about how people think.

    Statistically, we are in the merde. The only people who could be blamed are the people in power.

    I'm not sure how a different group would make it better. Bu I don't see how anybody with a decent education could make it worse.

  • Comment number 90.

    rifle @ 67

    "Let's be honest, The Tories are pretty clueless"

    That's very clear - and despite this recent MORI poll, I rather fear they're going to be "learning on the job".

  • Comment number 91.

    Gemima,

    Wasn't it more like £40 billion before the recession?

    So Brown was responsible for that very responsible level of debt (far lower than Germany, France, usa and Japanese levels)

    Clearly Cameron was also ok with this as he intended to match labour spending.

    So yes Brown was "responsible" as above, that was the debt on his watch, lower than those above.

  • Comment number 92.

    Eaton, you're advocating them getting the glory for everything and the responsibility for nothing.

    No wonder the public at large know nothing of responsibilities and everything about rights, when this is the example they're set.

  • Comment number 93.

    You're right to be angry but your anger is misplaced. For very Pound of your hard earned going to "undeserving" benefit claimants, something like Thirty Pounds is going to the Banks.

  • Comment number 94.

    One thought for you all about the banks and the economy. If the banks had gone under the PFI credit card would have required immediate repayment on a large number of PFI projects including hospitals and schools. That would have been impossible for the Government.

    The amount owing on the PFI credit card is staggering. Of course this is not shown on the Government balance sheet.

  • Comment number 95.

    2. At 3:36pm on 23 Nov 2009, neutralcorner wrote:
    "Aren't you missing the point? Brown says that you need to stimulate growth to reduce the deficit; Cameron says you need to reduce the deficit to stimulate growth. These are very different words, and policies. Brown's objective is growth; Cameron's is deficit reduction."

    I think these are wise words.Behind the party cut and thrust the critical question is the timing of cuts,not the necessity,there is no disagreement about that.

    This has to be based on the best available evidence,the Keynesian economic policies which underly the international rescue package say don`t cut in a depression,it makes it worse.I don`t know of any convincing counter- arguments,perhaps you do? Surely it is significant that conservative governments in France and Germany have signed up to the same counter cyclical policies as left of centre governments in Britain and the USA.

    People of integity can only act with the best knowledge available whatever their ideology.Both in our European, and economic thinking we are time warp Britain.Pre Maastrict,pre-Lisbon and pre-Keynes, whose General Theory was published in 1936 to address an economic situation like ours.

    That the recession is now moderating,is less critical than we feared, should make us stop and think.The stimulus package has prevented another 1929-33 when world trade collapsed and Naziism emerged from the wreckage.

    Stop blaming,understand the transition in which you are part,if you don`t then you become its dupes and victims.Don`t call it wrong again,there are real lives real people involved, and we are not powerless!






  • Comment number 96.

    84 Bob

    asked

    "So on balance has Gordon's spending reduced or increased the debt mountain? "

    All right Bob, Yes, the pre recession spending on publc Services is now part of the overall debt.

    NOW,I repeat.

    "As for spending, as I said, were the Tories clamouring for spening cuts OR were they proudly trumpeting that they would match Labour spending?

    Remind me Bob."

    You got an answer, over to you for yours.



  • Comment number 97.

    #88 Saga

    For very Pound of your hard earned going to "undeserving" benefit claimants, something like Thirty Pounds is going to the Banks.

    Thing is there is a chance that 'the banks' will eventually pay something back.

    Where will the Slob Fibonacci Series end?

  • Comment number 98.

    #8 stanblogger wrote (various comments, and my replies):
    "It is frightening that both of the men who might lead the next government are vying with each other to promise deficit reduction."

    a) Most countries are now discussing exit strategies from the fiscal stimulus, and most (all?) heavily indebted countries are looking to defict reduction. So if there is a consensus then that is good news, though sometimes Gordon Brown does seem to be sending out rather mixed messages depending on what audience he is addressing.

    "There will only be a threat to Sterling if the recovery in the UK moves ahead of the rest of the world and sucks in excessive imports. At the moment the UK is in fact lagging behind the euro and dollar zones. This indicates that more fiscal stimulus is needed not less."

    b) Sterling can fall for a variety of reasons (and has done in the last year).

    c) have you asked yourself why the UK's discretionary fiscal stimulus has been less than most other countries? Because we are in a weak budgetary position perhaps.

    "The deficit will automatically decrease as recovery gets underway."

    d) Yes, but only the part due to the recession, and especially the decline in tax revenues. The structural deficit, perhaps one half of the total, will not decline unless other measures are taken. When the world economy improves and our tax revenues increase can we really afford to continue borrowing $100 billion per year (of which, by the way, over 60 billion will be used to finance the debt)?

  • Comment number 99.

    fs @ 83

    "What about business taxes? Corporation, CGT, etc?"

    Okay, nearly there - make sure you take a hard copy of all this.

    Corporation Tax - No Change
    CGT - Up to 50%
    IHT - Nil up to £250,000 - 75% above that
    VAT - Reduce to 10%

  • Comment number 100.

    old reactionary @ 81

    I support a flat rate tax - so long as the flat rate gets higher at higher levels of income.

 

Page 1 of 4

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.