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It's the economy that counts

Nick Robinson | 10:27 UK time, Tuesday, 15 July 2008

When it comes to the economy David Cameron is in the position of the Irishman in the famous joke. Asked for directions he replies: "If I were you, I wouldn't have started here".

David CameronSo it was, that on the radio this morning, previewing his speech to the CBI, he answered most questions with that phrase, yes, you know the one - the government should have mended the roof when the sun was shining.

The Tory leader hurriedly corrected himself when he heard that he was about to describe his speech as a full blown economic plan, adding the phrase "a first go at".

The reason for this is clear; beyond vague talk about changing the bankruptcy rules, his speech today spells out existing Tory policies - about cutting stamp duty for the young and about the so called fuel tax stabiliser.

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The Conservative leader studied economics at university and was political advisor to Norman Lamont during the last major economic downturn. He will now know that this will not be an economic plan that takes him into government, if he gets there, and that the Tories will have to be thinking about what on earth they would actually do if they inherited an economy that was growing very slowly or worse still in actual recession.

Most telling in the interview I thought was Mr Cameron's reply when asked whether whoever was in government they would have to put up taxes. He replied: "I hope that's not the case." "Hope", I notice, rather than "believe".

The next great economic debate in the Conservative Party will not be the one that David Cameron and George Osborne have already won - about changing Labour's spending plans in the short term - but whether substantial tax cuts are needed, not for political reasons but to stimulate a faltering economy.

Comments

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  • Comment number 1.

    Does anyone remember Gordon Brown supporting UK memebrship of the exchange rate mechanism at the same time as David Cameron was a treasury advisor? I do.

    Let's hope Dave doesn't come up with something catchy like 'an end to NewLabour super boom and bust'

    Of course he hoes they won't put taxes up becasue he has no idea how much off balance sheet financing 'Carry on Spending' Gordon has tucked away.

  • Comment number 2.

    The "Chapter 11" protection seems to have worked well since it was introduced in the states in 1978.

    Strange definition of a "new Tory idea" though...

  • Comment number 3.

    Hello Nick, if I understand you correctly I think you're right.... the next election, it would seem, is going to about the demise of one party and the majority of voters having blind faith in another.

    Cameron is simply not going to be able to apply any of the traditional tax cutting (rabbit out the hat) measures that traditional Tory voters want.

    What's more, in terms of his ideas (I'm not sure if these are even policy either) to make cost savings - job cuts - across the public sector, I think he may have forgotten that we do still have Trade Unions in this country. It also looks like GB is going to empower them before he leaves.

    Oh well, I personally, won't be expecting miracles with the arrival of the next administration - more of the same I think.

  • Comment number 4.

    The next Government will have major problems. Labour's tax and waste policies will have to be paid for: higher taxes or cut spending. The spend problem includes Labour's commitments such as the Olympics, rather difficult to get out of, and with spending already out of control.

  • Comment number 5.

    Every new government is faced with the position of having to stick with the previous governments spending plans for a period of time. Brown committed to following Ken Clarkes plans for the first 2 years and pretty much did just that.

    The fact is that we are going into a period where tax cuts are needed, but the cupboard really is bare. (Thanks to 5 yrs of reckless spending and waste). We are also likely to be in full recession by the time he comes PM. So Cameron really does not have that many options and certainly does not know how bad things will be in 2 yrs.

    Who will the people blame for that, hardly Cameron.

    Gordon -Iron Chancellor- Browns reputation for prudence has been shot to bits.

    Cameron doesnt have to do a thing to look like the best option.

    Yet again Labour pay the price for economic failure, and the price will be a huge Tory majority.

    Déjà vu anyone ?

  • Comment number 6.

    Nick
    I do wonder (as some beleive you are a tory) why you find it possible to [objectively] criticise the opposition, yet find it impossible to criticise the government.

    Your defence of Jaqui Smith and this dig at DC show your true tendancies in stark relief

  • Comment number 7.

    He studied Economics at university.
    He can describe an economy and understand its lexicon of abused language.
    We need people who can think, not just describe.
    We all need to understand money supply or, more accurately, money creation.
    Since 97% of the money (in reality, credits or debt, which is the opposite of money) we use is created by borrowing at interest, the true inflation rate must be at least the interest rate of 5%.
    The honest truth is a good place to start.

  • Comment number 8.

    The idea behind a joke is that it is meant to be funny.

    Unfortunately the economy is no joking matter and the irishman would be right we shouldnt have to start from here

    If "Prudence" had lived up to her name he would indeed have fixed the roof while the sun shone instead of swanning about in the rose garden plotting the demise of BLiar.

    DC will be in the same position as Maggie was when she became PM inheriting a mountain of government debt.

    Just who was the party that created that debt, it couldnt possibly be the same one that created this one could it?

    Oh yes I knew the time would come, I can now trot out exactly what I knew i would be able to at some point after the debacle of 1997..."I told you so..."

  • Comment number 9.


    Of course DC can't commit to cutting taxes. The economy is already slowing down, Prudence Bruin has squandered billions and tucked an unknown amount of future liability into his clever schemes and for good measure the next election will be some time between 2008 and 2010. Who knows what will happen between now and then - the economy could bottom and start to climb again, or it could turn south in a way that makes the Depression of the early 30s look like a picnic.

    Unfortunately many parts of the electorate can't see past the simplistic (and misguided) notion that cutting spending means schools and hospitals closing, which makes it very difficult to have an intelligent discussion on public sector waste.

    The unemployment figures are a political hot potato so it would be a very brave politician to stop fudging the figures and take able-bodied claimants off the disability register and put them back on (cheaper) unemployment benefits.

    Much as I would like to see my overall tax bill reduced, I would prefer to see priority given to simplification of the tax system. Since the government's own figures are that £1,500,000,000pa is lost through fraud and error in the tax credit system alone, abolition of the tax credits coupled with simplification of the system would save that billion and a half, along with all the administration associated with it.

    Next stop, reducing the billions soaked up in benefit fraud. The savings here can pay for a tax cut and an increase in useful public spending.

  • Comment number 10.

    You are quite right about Cameron, Nick.

    He was in favour of the Euro, then he wasn't!

    He was in favour of the exchange rate mechanism, then he was against!

    He was in favour of committing himself to spend on public services as much as Labour, in fact even more, now he isn't!

    He was in favour of green taxes until he realised that these are not vote winning proposals!

    He was in favour to reduce income tax, now he isn't!

    He was in favour of increasing police numbers, now he says the economy is important!

    He was in favour to even reduce fuel tax, now he isn't!

    The list goes on and on, but then again WHO IS CAMERON?

    Nick says:- The Conservative leader studied economics at university and was political advisor to Norman Lamont during the last major economic downturn.

    As Nick once reminded us, there were no GLOBAL ECONOMIC problems of the present biblical proportions in the 90s.

    Do not muck Nick when he sees something fishy coming, as he has enough experience to smell the coffee!

    Have a nice day Nick.

  • Comment number 11.

    When John Major and Nigel Lawson took us into the ERM many economists were amazed at the exchange rate at which Major took us in. I believe his calculation was that the overvalued pound would lead to a slowdown of the UK economy and cut the inflation that the Tories had caused after the 1987 election boom.
    He hoped that any blame would be aimed at the EC and not at the Tory Government in this country. It must be remembered that at this stage the Prime Minister and the Chancellor of the Exchequer were at each other's throats and Lawson resigned much to Thatcher's relief.

  • Comment number 12.

    Nick, sometimes I find all this political clap trap too much to take. With DC I get this horror of a man who actually has no idea at all. Yes, he talks sense but so can I. How to kick start the economy is another thing.

    He talks alot about reducing the needless amount of admin in the NHS, Cival service and the Police. He has never quite answered what those people would then do. Because quite frankly if you free up those people, you still need to pay them. No savings.

    I know people are fed up at the moment, but really are the Tory's likely to change things so much? I think not.

    As for taking away the stamp duty! Its not the duty the problem its the fact people cannot get a mortgage because of the cost.

    The Tory's were against the building of more prisons, so how can they say start locking up youth offenders! That needs more facilities.

    Talk is good, action is harder. I do not doubt DC's desire for power or his passion to make changes. I doubt that his party are really any different than they was 11 years ago.

  • Comment number 13.

    I heard 'Dave' on the radio this morning and was distinctly unimpressed. He sounded like a Sunday School teacher might when preaching to a group of extremely dense toddlers.

  • Comment number 14.

    I was less than impressed by the speech i have to say.

    Cameron's constant mantra of "sharing the proceeds of growth" begs the question of what he would do in an economic downturn. Make it worse by cutting public spending, or be prepared to consider increased borrowing?

    He doesn't seem able or willing to answer these sorts of questions.

  • Comment number 15.

    The Tories are in danger of mimicking Kinnock. He relied on the incompetence and poor ratings of Major instead of winning the arguments with real alternative policies. The country needs to see a real clash of values and policy debated over the next 18 months to two years. Without this they may just stick with the devil they know. He may be wary of offering economic policy but it is consistently the measure used by floating voters to decide their allegiance.

    I'm no fan of GB but so far I've just seen opportunistic sniping and dithering over policy from DC. A good example is when he came to the West Country. When challenged over our ridiculously high water rates (In an area where earnings are lower than the national average) he stated that "it was a problem that needed looking at, but the beaches did have to be funded."

    In reality it's a problem caused by the privatization too far, the creation of a private monopoly that has zero competition. If he really wants to swing the West Country he needs to take Liberal Democrat seats, he cannot rely on voters blindly switching allegiances he needs policy.

  • Comment number 16.

    Nick I don't usually disagree with you and perhaps I am wrong in fact. But as I recall there were reports (on the BBC?) about sub-prime loans as soon as they were about to hit the market.

    Last night we heard about CDS (Credit Default Swaps?) on Newsnight.

    Should we not be hearing more about the politicians regulating these things and more importantly understanding them. It might even be an idea to consider the what if's. The seem to be whole galaxies of think tanks, besides government, and nobody seems to be seeing these problems coming.

    In fairness thats not a Gordon or a David problem. Its a globalised "us" problem.

  • Comment number 17.

    Nick

    You can (if you have nothing better to do) poke fun at Cameron for not wanting to get into a detailed discussion regarding angels on pin heads; however his is the only party to even own a pin.

    Cameron will be starting from where Brown had dumped us in two years time - no one can be sure exactly where that will be.

    The general conservative direction of small government, low taxes, promoting entrepreneurship will be a good enough compass to lead us out of whatever further disasters Brown brings down on us between now and then.

  • Comment number 18.

    Cameron hopes that taxes won't have to go up - he is hedging because he doesn't know what state the eceonomy will be in when he takes over. He can't say he believes taxes wont have to go up for the same reason. Perfectly obvious to me.

    Is this news?

  • Comment number 19.

    Labour did 'fix the roof whilst the Sun was shining'. In many cases quite literally fixing the leaking roof of Schools and Hospital wards brought about by years of Tory neglect. Labour have invested well in much of our public service infrastructure. Many Schools have been refurbished or completely re-built, similar investment in our hospitals has been made. Thank goodness we had a Labour government investing 'whilst the sun shone', a Conservative government would have given tax cuts to the well off instead. I can't imagine the state our Schools and NHS would have been in of we hadn't booted the Tories out in '97.

  • Comment number 20.

    If I was David Cameron I wouldn't be jumping for joy at the the thought of winning the next election, which is likely to be an odds-on certainty.

    We are just entering one of the biggest recessions in modern economic history, which will confirm that Brown far from ending the Boom/Bust cycle merely exacerbated it. All the supposed growth came from a) government jobs, financial, retail, leisure and house-building sectors, which are now in rapid decline, and b) borrowing and a credit boom. Furthermore, the Government and its citizens have been living 5-star lifestyles on 2-star budgets. Something had to give. To make matters even worse, Brown put no money aside for the eventual rainy day.

    Cameron thus faces dealing with mass unemployment, stagflation, a housing price crash that will see millions of people facing bankruptcy. He will have to both raise taxation and cut spending at the most inopportune time. Oh - he may also be facing a global energy crisis and resulting food shortages.

    Is Cameron so sure he wants the job???

  • Comment number 21.

    Can we stop looking back and start thinking about the present. We can't go back, only forward.

    The situation is that the UK has no cash in the kitty and will have to borrow, including the £2.7 billion to pay for the income tax bribe.

    Income from taxes will decrease, government payments for unemployment, etc, will go up, and Cameron and Osborne will inherits a bad economy. I wouldn't want to be the first person to see the books.

    Unfortunalely, the majority of the jobs created by this government are either public sector, and thus non-profit making and thus will not provide corporate taxes, or low paid and employing immigrants who will disappear when the work stops.

    I have always been an admirer of the British Empire; an economic empire designed to supply raw materials to the UK and to be a market for our goods. It would be really good if the government could create similar now.

    Sadly the EU would stop any support for the sectors in which we are really good, so our businesses are on their own. Unlike Japan where the government there has always promoted its strong industries.

    The only answer, as I see it, really is to have a much smaller and nimbler government with the savings associated, to give industry more freedom to make money by reducing the paperwork and regulations that other countries don't have, and to get the population much better educated.

    So the answer, as Blair said, is education, education, education!!! Education of the government, education of industry, and education of the uneducated.

  • Comment number 22.

    When will the thickoes who pass for economists begin to say what is blatantly obvious to anybody with any intelligence. We cannot afford to be involved in two wars.

    We may just be able to claim that we are defeating the terrorists but there are some states who are defeating us by use of economic warfare, and this is a war we are not in a position to win.

    There is no war that has not resulted in inflation. Just look at what happened to America during the Vietnam war! So, it is not only for moral reasons that the wars are just plain wrong, it is also economically wrong. End the wars now!

    Furthermore, why should we at home suffer whilst our enemies prosper.

  • Comment number 23.

    Good Heavens,Nick.
    You should know better than most, that any Opposition is somewhat hamstrung on Economic policy ,and remedies, whilst they are unable to judge what condition the Treasury purses are in until they get into Office.
    If the Tories get in next time around,will you take as much delight in ridiculing the next Labour leader as much as you do Cameron?
    This does assume, of course, that you still have a job at the Beeb by then.


    PS..Don't know who could imagine you may have Tory leanings!!!

  • Comment number 24.

    'The one thing worse than wanting something is getting it '- as I guess David C. will find when (and if) he wins the next election.

    The slump will be into its second five year run - the balance of trade will be a joke and the balance of payments shot full of holes - oil prices at $300 a barrel - the pound will buy 3 or more dollars, but only half a Euro. Cash will be king at home, but few will have any - houses will cost half what they do now, but nobody will have any money to buy them and the first thing David Cameron will have to do in government is to cut the pay of all civil servants and social security benefits by 25%!

    Ah well the only way will be up, then - true but not up to present levels until 2015 or later - the 2012 Olympics will become known as the Austerity Olympics. A truly fine country to live in!

    And all because of the stupidly low interest rates of the last decade - Mr King. Money and labour need to have value - when money becomes worthless the economy prints it one way of another and disaster follows.

  • Comment number 25.

    Lets be honest Cameron is not up to the job of PM and the public are beginning to see it. He’s had a free run up until late and now that the media, the BBC and now the CBI are asking tough questions on what the Tories will do/would have done differently the only way is down in the opinion polls.

  • Comment number 26.

    He's hardly going to say

    "I really have no idea what we'll do with the economy once in power. I guess just blame everything on the previous administration, try to keep a lid on things and hope to ride it out."

    is he?

    The Tories were burnt before when they suggested they'd cut taxes and raise spending, so caution is understandable.

    As others have commented though they could inherit a pretty tricky situation so hopefully they have a few people behind the scenes who are switched on. Boris is hardly setting a great example in london right now.

  • Comment number 27.


    Let's face it, if David Cameron did promise tax cuts he would be making a very rash commitment. If he did then win the next election and find the nation's finances were in such poor shape that tax cuts were impossible he would be lambasted by the current government for failing to keep his promises.

    You know, the current government that promised no student fees, that promised a referendum on this latest European constitution and that assured us that Iraq had WMD and could attack within 45 minutes.

  • Comment number 28.

    'He studied Economis at University'

    He came second from last in Econmics, beaten only by Master Gideon (George) Osborne).

    The University went bankrupt.

    He worked for Lamont, who bankrupted the Country.

    He runs the Conservative Party, which is bankrupt.

    He leads a Party that is bankrupt of policies and ideas.

    The Country cashesd him in prior to 1997.

    All is lost.

    The moderator has been informed.

  • Comment number 29.

    20 X C Anderson it sounds as if you think that were right back to 1997 just put Tony Blair instead of Cameron and there we are
    "Cameron thus faces dealing with mass unemployment, stagflation, a housing price crash that will see millions of people facing bankruptcy. "

  • Comment number 30.

    The Fuel Tax Stabiliser??

    I doubt this "idea" will ever see the light of day.

    When oil/fuel prices are high of course it sounds appealing because you sell the idea on the basis that you can cut the price at the pump!!

    However, funded by making fuel more expensive when oil prices are low will cause outrage when people see fuel taxes increase significantly. Can you imagine introducig this policy at a time of relatively low oil price saying you'll cut the tax later IF oil goes up?

    Neve happen IMO mark my words, a "non policy", the sort of thing you can get away with in opposition.

  • Comment number 31.

    It is ridiculous to suggest that the Tories can offer a solution to the country's economic woes now because today is today and tomorrow is all crystal ball stuff.I am of the school though that believes that in time the economy will recover but only after the people who caused the collapse(mainly greedy bankers and speculators) are eradicated from the system and the rules and regulations tightened up substantially.
    For me the Tories should come up with a generic model for budgetting based on a % of GDP by Government departments and more importantly the needs of the country.
    So what the state of the economy every Government Department will know what it will get.Examples: X% GDP for Health,Y% of GDP for Education and Z% for Defense. etc.

    Once major departments,especially Government ,know their budget ceilings there will be an incentive for them to look inwardly,to review their management systems etc. and to provide a "value" proposition to its customer-the taxpayer.

  • Comment number 32.

    Nick I notice that the Tories And the [ I'm not a tory boys/girls] are quite a bit less gung Ho! since hearing David Camerons speech this morning, there's something of an air of disapointment in their posts.
    Sorry boys/girls but we have been trying to warn you for a long time.
    Its not over untill the fat lady sings.

  • Comment number 33.

    I see te usual myth being peddled that the opposition "haven't seen the books" therefore can't talk in detail about the economy.

    Yeah right its all a big secret, the Public Accounts committee, The National Audit Office, The Budget book are all hidden from Dave and George.

    Shhhhhhh don't tell them where the "books" are.

  • Comment number 34.

    #19 ConManDave:

    Agree entirely

  • Comment number 35.

    #32 (grandantidote), unfortunately, I don't fit into that category (Tory boy/girl) because they're likely to form the next administration, however, I definitely feel a sense of disappointment.

    I think we need change in this country and we're simply not going to get it.

    Mind you, all is not lost, I'm sure once Vince Cable comes up with some more economic policy, the two main parties will share it out between themselves so we might actually get something useful after all.

  • Comment number 36.

    19#

    Well said and it needed saying!!

    All now taken for granted or worse considered to be "waste".

  • Comment number 37.

    I'm stunned.
    supposedly one of the finest journalistic groups in the western world and nobody is questioning the latest batch of inflation figures!

    why do we keep getting the new Gordon Brown "improved" figures? Why doesnt somebody show the real level of inflation by using the same inflation level measurements that were used during the Thatcher/Major Govt? - then we can get a TRUE comparison on how well things are going...

    After all, most voters didnt vote Tory until now because of what the Thatcher/Major govt. did to the people...looks like Labour are about to suffer the same fate 10 years back in the wilderness - having done exactly the same thing!

    A Tory govt then? well, only if the LibDems keep up their total inability to come up with a sensible/workable set of policies..

    no wonder people are not bothering to vote anymore!

    Come on Alistair! Come clean! and then reduce the massive tax duty on just about everything and give us a break!

    Old labour voter (Devon)

  • Comment number 38.

    #20 (XCAnderson), you may (with an emphasis on 'may') be right although you neglect to mention that Gordon Brown has, I believe, made it a condition that any company bidding for government contracts must be unionised. I hope this is just the first step.

    Personally, and I'm sure I'll get a sledging for this, I fully support unionisation - employees are too easily exploited.

    Is this the first sign of Gordon Brown changing? I hope so, 29 years of Thatcherite government is too long.

  • Comment number 39.

    #32 grandantidote

    Less gung-ho? I don't think so.

    Gordon Brown's going down so fast they haven't invented a name yet for his demise.

    The Great Collapse? Prudence goes Per-Shaped? The IMF Came Calling? The Summer of Discontent?

    As for Cameron's speech. Will Gordon be stealing his policies like he did with inheritance tax, non-doms and entry into the exchange rate mechanism in the erly nineties? Or have you forgotten that Gordonbrown supported that policy?

  • Comment number 40.

    Never before have I seen such an openly pro-labour/anti-tory comment from a BBC reporter.

    "you know the one - the government should have mended the roof when the sun was shining."

    That is not a joke Nick, that's a serious economic fact/observation, and the fact that labour haven't done it has led to the uk becoming bankrupt.

    Everything about the leading comments (eg "the [so called] fuel tax stabiliser.") indicates that the comments are totally biased and distorted.

    "Hope", I notice, rather than "believe".

    So do you expect them to "believe" or know for a fact that they'll be able to cut taxes when they don't know whether the uk will be 1, 2, or 3 trillion in debt in 2 years time, or that unemployment might be 1 million or 4 million?

    The only thing you can be sure about, given that nobody knows what state the uk will be in by 2010, is that Cameron will use a better approach than brown/labour.

    Cameron will be more focussed on getting the real economy moving, not just plowing money we don't have into government waste and pointless government jobs/projects.

    The labour economic theory that plowing money into the public sector to stimulate a false economy is a downward spiral doomed to failure.

    The only long term way to run an economy is to allow the real economy (ie private businesses and individuals) to prosper and to reward people/companies that generate money for the country rather than stinging them for extra taxes, and that's what Brown/Labour will never understand, and that's why Brown/Labour are doomed to failure.

    Perhaps Brown studied economics before the labour economic theory was proved to be wrong/damaging/doomed across the world and in every instance.

  • Comment number 41.

    Ref 12, alexinnorfolk

    You say:

    Cameron talks alot about reducing the needless amount of admin in the NHS, Cival service and the Police. He has never quite answered what those people would then do. Because quite frankly if you free up those people, you still need to pay them. No savings.

    Alex, you need to think your argument through to completion, once you identify people in public sector non jobs. You lay them off. That’s how you make savings.

    The very least that you do is to stop recruiting and shuffle the people that have been doing nothing in one department into a department where they have something to do. That also saves money. LOTS OF IT.

  • Comment number 42.

    19. ConManDave

    All true of course, they just went too far and spent more that we could afford.

    The price will be a huge Tory majority in 2010.

    Perhaps next time they get a crack at it they will be just a little more prudent and save a few quid for a rainy day.

  • Comment number 43.

    @33

    Eaton see what I mean about insane rantings.

    Gordon brown took exactly the line you now despise cameron taking prior to 1997.

    It worked then because the tories were bereft of ideas and it will work this time because NuLabour dream of Blair is over and everyone except you extremsense and grandantidote can see the failure of GB's tax and employ qango staff policy

  • Comment number 44.

    It' quite obvious to one and all that this expression "you should have fixed the roff when the sun was shining" has not only struck deep into NewLabour's heart and head; for they know it's absolutely ture, but it has also taken the wind out of journalists sails.

    All the press and the government knows that this little aphorism will run and run right up to the next election because the truth of it is all around us. Lack of infrastructure spending and an unsustainabe credit boom now turning to NewLabour bust.

    So I for one will go on saying it - Gordon Brown didn't fix the roof when the sun was shining; he just spent and spent and spent. One enquiry after another and nothing ever done. Ten NHS reviews, three energy reviews and so it goes on in every government department. Failure on an institutional scale with more and more documents lost.

  • Comment number 45.

    40#

    "mend the roof when the sun was shining"

    is NOT a serious economic fact/observation, its a "sound-bite" , thats why its repeated so often. Its the repetition he's picked up on.

    Why can we be "sure" Cameron will take a better approach? You mean he'll do the things you want/support. The only growth area in Publi Spending will be at the benefit Office, taking on staff for all their new "customers"

  • Comment number 46.

    I think even the most one-eyed Tory or Nulabour supporter would realise that the Government has no money and needs to tax to spend anything but I wonder how many people are with me in that it would be lovely to know exactly how much you were being taxed overall, where it went to and at what efficiency.

    The Nulbour con of "we will not raise tax" actually meant no rise in direct income tax, yet "tax-free day" has slipped by another three weeks since TB came to power.

    Lets have some straight figures from David Cameron. Admit that income tax should be 35% and get rid of all the horrible stealth taxes that labour has imposed and even worse needs armies of civil servants to administer them.

    National Insurance is a tax by any other name - get rid. Road fund licence, TV licence, airport taxes, etc etc etc. Imagine - the hoards of civil servants cast adrift. It actually costs this government over 40p to spend every pound received! You couldnt run a business on that figure so how do you justify running a country on it?

    Just be honest with us in future, cut the complicated crap that GB has tangled us up in and simplify the whole economy. I'm sure we'd pay if we knew what we were getting and that money wasn't being wasted.

    Rant over.............thankyou lol

  • Comment number 47.

    The only solution when the dust has settled is a repeat of earlier times. There will be a government of national unity, a coalition because the bickering amongst the political parties is just so much hot air.

    Either that or the miltary will decide that there are no politicians capable of running the country.

    We are about to enter a time when society will break-down because there is nothing worse than losing something rather than never having it at all. The consumer society has been a wonderful time for some but the many have seen it for what it was, a time of waste. Conspicuous consumption was always that, conspicuous, but there will be no point when the masses start destroying those things which they will not be allowed to have.

    The royals are a waste of space. The politicians are a waste of space. The religious elite are a waste of space. Stop looking at your navel, the revolution is nearly here. I don't know when, I don't know where, but this cannot go on!

  • Comment number 48.

    I'm not sure what everyone is worried about. Big Dave will ride to the rescue and sense will prevail again.

    Being an active investor I was always worried when GB said that under him there would be an end to "boom and bust."

    Sir John Templeton, one of the great investors who sadly died last week aged 96, summed it up when he said that "This time is different" are the four most expensive words in the dictionary.

    He also said "the man who knows all the answers doesn't understand the question."

    GB fails on both counts.

    His arrogance in not listening to others when given good advice has sold us all down the river. And we need a knight in shining armour to save us.

    Sadly Brown's armour is rather old and rusty, and his steed a rather tired Shetland pony struggling under the weight.

    Such a pity we have to wait 2 years for a change of government.

    However, all is not lost.

    I predict we will have another unelected PM after the Glasgow East election when the SNP will sweep to victory.

    So keep smiling as heating, food and fuel continue to rise. The demise of GB will at least make a lot of us feel much better

  • Comment number 49.

    re 45 Eatonrifle

    regarding "mend the roof when the sun was shining" - it's a serious economic analogy of the situation and virtually everybody in the uk knows it's true.

    Yes, it's also a soundbite, but it's an accurate summary of the situation. That's why labour hates the phrase so much; it's both accurate and damaging to labour.

    "The only growth area in Publi Spending will be at the benefit Office, taking on staff for all their new "customers""

    yes, and who's fault will that be? private companies are laying people off at alarming rates because the bloated public sector has effectively taken all the money away from where it should have gone. Propping up pointless public jobs with tax is economically unsustainable, it simply can't continue without a collapse in the real economy. Once the real economy collapses there no longer is any money/borrowing for the public sector.

    If you don't encourage the private sector then there will be no public sector in the long term because 100% of public money comes from the private sector in the end; that's simple economics/maths.

  • Comment number 50.

    43# Pot

    Actually No!

    from my Point of View an example of insane ranting is that of the myth "we haven't seen the books".

    Do you really believe thtat HM Official Opposition do not get all the financial information they need/ask for from NAO, Public Accounts Commitee, Budget Book etc??

    If you really believe that then you may not be insane (but thanks for calling me that twice today) but you could be naive.

  • Comment number 51.

    45 eatonrifle.

    Remember "Labour's not working" in 1979.

    Another soundbite. Result landslide.

    Remember "Things can only get better." in 1997.

    Soundbite. Result landslide.

    The thing about these soundbites is that they concisely sum up the mood of the majority of the voters, and the message is

    "Time for a change"

    This time is no different. Brown and Labour have run out of ideas and are finished. Sadly it is going to be a slow, lingering death.

    Better to put an end to them now with a general election.

  • Comment number 52.

    "I have always been an admirer of the British Empire; an economic empire designed to supply raw materials to the UK and to be a market for our goods. It would be really good if the government could create similar now."

    Err, what sort of country would rationally enter into such an arrangement? Good luck creating something similar now.

  • Comment number 53.

    #45 Eatonrifle...

    You make it sound like balancing the books is a bad thing! Are we to assume that you believe that the current level of debt that the nation has racked up is appropriate given the relative stability of recent years?

    "Mending the roof while the sun shines" may be a soundbite, and an oft repeated one at that, but as all affacted by the credit crunch now know....the debt has to be repaid sometime!

  • Comment number 54.

    51# Mike

    I certainly remember "Labour isn't Working" in 1979.

    I also remember the disgusting irony of that soundbite 2 years later.

    Do You?

  • Comment number 55.

    52

    I don't mean recreating the British Empire, I mean the government really getting behind our top industrial sectors like Japan did with its electronics industry. The more profits, the more tax for the government.

    Sadly the EU would stop it as unfair competition, and anyway Brown would waste the money.

    As said above, the government needs very profitable businesses and a well off population to provide the taxes to pay for its plans. Unfortunately it has businesses strangled so much that they are considering moving abroad, and a population that demands huge amounts of tax payers money in benefits.

    Public services, while they are necessary do not produce tax revenue.

    The ideal would be a very profitable busiess sector and a well off and healthy population so that the public sector could be reduced in size.

    Pigs might fly!!!

  • Comment number 56.

    @50

    As I said to you earlier the statement "I havent seen the books" was good enough for Brown in 1997, It will be good enough in 2010.

    Labour have lost public trust because GB stated "No boom and bust ever again" and we have already started down a very steep bust slope. Probably worse than any the tories engineered because this time as well as UK economic issues there are global ones to pile on top.

    A prudent chancellor would have "fixed the roof while the sun shone" I had to slip that in again as the truth gets under your skin so much.

  • Comment number 57.

    @52

    Its what Japan have done ever since 1945.
    They have very little in the way of their own natural resources

  • Comment number 58.

    ref. 49
    Could agree with you more.
    The top priority has to be reduce the cost of Government,reduce the rule and regulations to private business so that the private sector can deliver the sustained growth we are crying out for.
    Cost of Government could be reduced at a stroke by trawling through Whitehall and the likes of the BBC and advising every consultant of any shape or form that his/her contract will not be renewed under the same terms and conditions they enjoy today.If they want to continue to work in the public sector they should be advised that if they wish to continue employment they will only be in receipt of salaries commensurate with their staff salaried peer.Clearly a bunch of them will leave to seek alternative work but this would be highly advantageous in terms of reducing the cost of Government.If the Labour Government or other parties say they cannot do without these people then tell us at the next election what will be done or not done so we the electorate can decide which party is most appropriate one to govern us.

  • Comment number 59.

    54 eatonrifle

    Just making a point as a marketing man. No need to throw it back in my face just because Labour are doing so badly.

    The fact is, once these slogans/soundbites match the public mood the political party in government is pretty much finished.

    And in this case "not mending the roof while the sun shines" matches the public mood for most of the population, except of course for staunch Labour supporters.

  • Comment number 60.

    Cameron cannot promise tax cuts until he knows the state of the economy in its entirety. I am sure we are in a worse state than is being shown, and there is debt mounting with pledged building of aircraft carriers etc.
    I thought Cameron had said he would stick to the NHS spending that has been promised by Labour so to promise tax cuts is ill informed and misguided.
    What he should be doing, and I welcome the Chapter 11 idea, is supporting business further. And also supporting new businesses with tax incentives would help restart the economy.

  • Comment number 61.

    55 mikepko

    I often wonder how other, very successful European countries (like Sweden) can have much smaller but much better public services than the UK.

    Perhaps they put the public first and political ideology second.

    Or perhaps they are just cleverer than us!!!

  • Comment number 62.

    57 pot_kettle

    Quite right.

    Working a number of cprivate ompanies it is so obvious that the government is holding back business and trying to squeeze it dry rather than nurturing it.

    Sadly they are doing the same to us as individuals.

  • Comment number 63.

    36. Eatonrifle

    You said ‘All now taken for granted or worse considered to be "waste".

    How can you expect to be taken seriously with a line like that.

    Over the last eleven years, New Labour has boosted public spending by more than a trillion pounds – (£1,229,100,000,000) – Thats over £50,000 for every household in Britain. And what have they achieved?

    Is it?

    1. Effective and responsive public services that are the envy of the world?

    Or

    2. A vast, self-serving bureaucracy that has presided over the greatest waste of money in British history?

    Everyone have a think now.. eeerrrrr mmmmmmm.. yep its 2.

    If you dont say sorry Im going to bombard you with examples of government waste until your head spins.

  • Comment number 64.

    59 Mike

    Mike you brought up the 1979 soundbite I simply pointed out the irony that transpired (not surprisingly you just danced around that incomvenient truth)

    Hardly "throwing it in your face"?

  • Comment number 65.

    Eaton Rifle Perhaps you would like to pass comment on this particular qango and its ineptitudes

    https://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/7507113.stm

    I dont recall marking tests ever being this much of a problem before, perhaps your photographic memory recalls diferently.

    Does anyone else find it wierd that the party that abhored the 11 plus exam because it enabled streaming of pupils according to ability, stands so firmly behind SATS at 11 enabling streaming of pupils according to ability?

  • Comment number 66.

    #61 Mikepko

    Replying to your own posts?!?

    That's one way to win an argument on here!

    ;o)

  • Comment number 67.

    Before he gets hung-up on taxes he needs to concentrate on what can be done to reduce national and local 'state' spending. He knows, as we do, that this is out of control and a long hard look at where our money is spent would do us all some good. As other contributors have mentioned before there is a lot of waste sloshing around local and national government. Two examples from my patch: anyone noticed those flashing 'speed' and 'turning' signs etc. appearing all over the place? I read today that they cost approx' 5 grand each to put up??? What's wrong wth a simple written sign? Nothing. Good God: five grand each??? Want to know why your local council tax is going up? Our local authority is paying an architectural firm 1.2 MILLION ??? to design a sports complex???? Now if this type of thing is going on near me, what's it like down your way?

  • Comment number 68.

    56:

    "Labour have lost public trust because GB stated "No boom and bust ever again" and we have already started down a very steep bust slope."

    Gordon Brown did not state that. He said he would end "tory boom and bust". Now some might argue that that is semantics, but he makes a fair case.

    The key difference is he was arguing for stability as oppose to recklessly expansionary fiscal and monetary policy to win elections; e.g. the lawson boom followed by recession, the barber boom of 1973-4.

    brown did not pledge to end the economic cycle, he said he would try and create stability.

    63:


    1. Effective and responsive public services that are the envy of the world?

    how on earth would that have happened? our levels of spending on public services are still relatively low. our health spending still isnt at EU average levels for example. much of the investment has gone in infrastructure, rightly, after years of tory neglect to finance unresponsible tax cuts. and, although problems remain, few would argue that it has all been wasted. the public services are much better than ever before. the results are plain to see in our schools and the numbers of teachers, police and so on.

  • Comment number 69.

    56:

    "Labour have lost public trust because GB stated "No boom and bust ever again" and we have already started down a very steep bust slope."

    Gordon Brown did not state that. He said he would end "tory boom and bust". Now some might argue that that is semantics, but he makes a fair case.

    The key difference is he was arguing for stability as oppose to recklessly expansionary fiscal and monetary policy to win elections; e.g. the lawson boom followed by recession, the barber boom of 1973-4.

    brown did not pledge to end the economic cycle, he said he would try and create stability.

    63:


    "1. Effective and responsive public services that are the envy of the world? "

    how on earth would that have happened? our levels of spending on public services are still relatively low. our health spending still isnt at EU average levels for example. much of the investment has gone in infrastructure, rightly, after years of tory neglect to finance unresponsible tax cuts. and, although problems remain, few would argue that it has all been wasted. the public services are much better than ever before. the results are plain to see in our schools and the numbers of teachers, police and so on.

  • Comment number 70.

    On a more constructive note, I'd like to see the government (whoever they happen to be at the time) do something to reward people/companies who export products/services abroad, perhaps by lowering the relevant income taxes on the income they get from their foreign customers.

    Exported products/services are the only true source of real new money in the country; everything else is really just a regurgitation of the same old money or is driven by debt.

    The system basically thrives on imported money because that's its only real ultimate source when you get down to where exactly all the real money (private or public) comes from.

  • Comment number 71.

    58 gavin_humph

    I think you will find that not all consultants are a waste of space.

    My wife, who spent 27 years in local government, moved to consultancy and has worked for both national and local government. And I can tell you that she earns less than many of the senior people she advises.

    Government at all levels use consultants sensibly when

    1 they don't have the skills themselves, for example in regeneration
    2 need an outside view, for example for a reorganisation where the consultant has access to lots of information and experience of other structures
    3 outsource services, for example housing management

    Sadly, sometime they use them to get unpopular legislation through, ie. rubber stamping.

    On a cost basis, consultants have several advantages

    1 You can use them for short periods or particular projects, and this avoids all the employment legislation, eg. holidays, etc
    2 You don't have to pay pensions or employers NI
    3 You don't have to pay for cars/car allowances, office space, furniture, mobile phones, etc.

    I'm sure there are others. But if used sensibly they are a good investment. Used badly they are a terrible drain on resources.

    So as you can see salaries/fees are directly not comparable.

    I often talk to my wife about her assignments and the same things come out again and again about clients.

    1 Lack of enthusiasm/poor moral
    2 Lack of knowledge/experience
    3 Waste of resources
    4 Not wanting to change
    5 Fear of what the political masters will do

    Having gone through all these things in her time in local government she can see the pros and cons from both sides. And she prefers the view from the consultancy side, otherwise she would have stayedwhere she was and worked her time to her pension like very many do!!!

  • Comment number 72.

    @68

    HAHAHAHAHAHA!

    I got as far as "Gordon vowed and end to Tory boom and bust" and colapsed laughing.

    So its OK everyone this isnt tory boom and bust its only a labour boom and bust.

    Well thats alright then I wont worry about fuel cost, food cost, the coming unemployment or paying for my mortgage.

  • Comment number 73.

    #60 (gthebounceranddavincimaster), I think the idea of supporting new business with favourable tax measures makes sense in principle, however, there are other issues involved:

    - New businesses need a market and as most markets are contracting due to lack of spending this is difficult.

    - Most new businesses need to borrow but the banks aren't lending.

    - There is evidence that existing (some large) businesses will look for loopholes to exploit and apply them to their businesses thus reducing tax revenue further.

    I could go on and on.

    What's more, the Conservatives really should be able to outline an economic policy with the information they already have. If there truly are any gaps, then they have the FOI act.

    That is, unless you're suggesting some sort of criminal behaviour at government level.

  • Comment number 74.

    69. moderateprogressive

    Oh alright if youre going to be a moderate so will I.

    Firstly remember PFIs when it come to infrastructure, so the issue get muddy and they certainly arnt paid for yet.

    However, take a look at public sector pay.

    The labour market is the main link between public spending and growth. Higher wages cut into profits, reducing investment, and as a result, economic growth.

    Cuts in public spending, on the other hand, can lead to more private investment, and faster growth.

    So a sensible balance is required. Labour have gone too far too fast.

    Some OECD countries have reduced the growth of public debt. In fact the IFS reports that 1 in 3 OCED members now runs a surplus. We have not and are sadly not included in that last category.

    Increases in public sector pay push up wage demands in the private sector, Increases in the number of public sector jobs lead to a tighter labour market and increased wage pressures. Generous welfare to those who are out of work can also push up private sector wages. The opposite holds for cuts in public wages and public employment.

    This principle has been found by some to actually have a more severe effect on growth than high taxation has.

    If the government had taxed us at the same rate, not spent so much by holding down public sector pay (some of which is frankly ridiculous) and reduced debt we would now be in much finer shape. In fact a few tax cuts would be on the cards to generate a little extra growth from the real wealth creators.

    In short the roof would be mended and rain could come and we would all stay dry.

  • Comment number 75.

    69. moderateprogressive

    Oh yes forgot to say.

    I loved the bit about only ending Tory Boom and Bust but not Labours Nu version.

    Id expect to take a lot of flak on that one.

    ROFL



  • Comment number 76.

    71. mikepko

    Mike

    You forgot

    6 Hardly ever being available for work
    7 Fear of making a decision

  • Comment number 77.

    #72

    i think you miss my point. im not claiming that the current macro-economic climate is great. i was actually just commentating on the specific comment made my another.

    I understand your need for a scapegoat regarding your circumstances. to what extent can you blame the policies of the government for the problems facing you though? any specific policy or action which has led to it?

  • Comment number 78.

    #68

    haha.

    It's no use pretending he didn't say it because newLabour memebers used to chant 'no more tory boom and bust' back to him from the back benches. Hoist by your own petard.

    As for your 'investment' spending in schools and hospitals..what? You just paid evryone more for working less hours.

    There's never been a government in history that has spent so little on the infrastructure of this country...unless you count erecting myriad surveillance and speed cameras as infrastructure.

    You've had all the money from the good times and have nothing to show for it. So, Gordon Brown categorically forgot to mend the roof while the sun was shining.

    And now they're forking out 2.7bn to fix a bungled tax change. What a bunch of utter incompetents.

  • Comment number 79.

    64 eatonrifle

    "Mike you brought up the 1979 soundbite I simply pointed out the irony that transpired (not surprisingly you just danced around that incomvenient truth)"

    Not at all. But that is history now. I look to tomorrow.

    But what i said is correct. I couold turn it round and say "Things can only get better" and look at us now.

    Lets leave it there, shall we.

  • Comment number 80.

    To all those who say that the government books "must" be available. Have you actually tried to get hold of the real figures for PFI contracts. I have (using FoI) and I can tell you that all you get is "Commercial Confidentiality".

    The first thing that DC and his cohorts get into power should be to publish the true state of the current debt. When Gordon's fiddles are removed, estimated to be something like £75,000 for each and every person in the UK.

    By removing any pretence of economic competence, New Labour (and I am a Labour supporter) will be finished forever. Unfortunately, we are going to have to take the Tory medicine for buying the Brownian Snake Oil of prudence.

    I for one welcome it.

  • Comment number 81.

    Post 22- calling people thickoes that we cant afford 2 wars etc etc. Typical left-wing claptrap!!

    What is the percentage of goverment spending on the military and social security/welfare? Look it up!

    We could and should double military spending!

  • Comment number 82.

    65# Pot

    Presumeably you blame the QCA who awarded the contract under competitive tender rather than the Contractor?

    Most Tories think in simple terms;

    Private Good.... Public Bad!

    Not always so clear cut.

    Personally I think the Private Contractor to blame, they were doing the marking amd failed. Seems pretty straight forward unless of course you want tp politicise the issue?

  • Comment number 83.

    Politicians like simple sound-bites.

    They hope that the 'sheeple' will latch to one and it's simple message will then help carry the politicians to the sunny uplands of Government.

    Possibly the most memorable was 'It's the economy, stupid'.

    'Dave' and elite chums probably think that the average IQ of the electorate hovers just above Forrest Gump levels.

    Which it might well do, given the overall unmitigated disaster of the comprehensive school system.

    So, simple messages, nothing frighening, let Labour implode and Bob is your posh uncle.

    Piece of cake.

  • Comment number 84.

    74 Carrots

    If so easy why are Dave and George sticking to Labour Public Spending Plans?

    Why not wield that axe from day 1?

  • Comment number 85.

    65# Pot

    Another thought.

    Perhaps what's needed here is the Exam Marking Agency, a QANGO set up to mark exams? Cant do worse than the Private company and would probably be cheaper and more efficient.

    I'll sent the idea to GB now.

  • Comment number 86.

    84. Eatonrifle

    Its not easy to change direction, I didnt say that. I just want to see a start and no more steady as she goes. (on to the rocks)

    Brown stuck to Clarks spending plans for the first 2 yrs and Osborne will pretty much have to do the same. I would expect a few chops on day 1 though.

    Spending will pretty much stay as it is for 2 yrs, and Cameron will have to go for waste. after that cahnges will take effect and we will have a chance to see his policies in action.

    If I dont like what I see I get a chance to vote again in 2014.

    So at worst I get 2 years of Tory poor financial management. This versus 4 more years of Labours terrible financial management.

    Its a no brainer. Sorry.











  • Comment number 87.

    86#

    I think Labour stiking to Clarks spending plans was to get elected as it is now. Things (particularly cuts) can start on day one if you have the bottle and honesty to say thats what you are going to do.

  • Comment number 88.

    #78

    "haha.

    It's no use pretending he didn't say it because newLabour memebers used to chant 'no more tory boom and bust' back to him from the back benches. Hoist by your own petard.

    As for your 'investment' spending in schools and hospitals..what? You just paid evryone more for working less hours."

    if you actually read my comment, you would notice that was my point; I have noticed your vitriole lacking actual facts to support your argument, this being the most recent. I was merely saying that what people think he said isnt exactly what he said/meant. as i explained in my posting.

    leading on from that point about lack of facts, do you seriously believe what you said about schools and hospitals?:
    "As for your 'investment' spending in schools and hospitals..what? You just paid everyone more for working less hours."

    if you do, i really pity you. I would say 9/10 schools in this country have seen infrastructure improvements. more hospitals have been built in the UK in the last ten years than in the whole of western europe combined.

    let go of your reactionary dogma. please, if im wrong, show me, but with actual facts, as oppose to bigoted statements far removed from actual reality

  • Comment number 89.

    88# Congratulations and well said.

    This view of no infrastructure spending has been peddled by RobinJD before, its just bizare.

    He'll no doubt come back with a different definition of infrastuctre and talk of "commissioning"

    Right about the reactionary dogma too, this site is full of it sometimes to the point of hilarity.

  • Comment number 90.

    # 88

    It is certainly true that many new hospitals and schools have been built in the last ten years.

    Mostly under PFI.

    I stupidly asked one of the ruthless businessmen involved in funding these PFI deals why he was doing this.

    His sharp and memorable reply was :

    "Where else do you think we can get a guaranteed 25% return on our capital for the next 30 years".

    Where else indeed, except from the biggest-mug of-all-time, the English PAYE taxpayer.

  • Comment number 91.

    90#

    Many under PFI true not sure "mostly" as in the majority though but I'm not sure, are you?

  • Comment number 92.

    91. Eatonrifle.

    According to the NHS, more than 100 new hospitals will be provided using the PFI by 2010.

    In 2005 700 PFI projects had been signed across all sectors. 450 were operational.

    There are currently over 500 operational PFI projects in the United Kingdom, with a combined capital value of 44 billion.

    Some firms that win bids register outside of the UK for tax reasons, so no tax is paid on the profit. You really would have thought that they would have sewn that one up wouldn’t you. (Don’t read that as this being against bids from foreign firms. Im talking about firms being registered in tax havens simply for tax reasons.).

    However, there is one unintended consequence to this. The UK is now the world leader in procuring public buildings with private money. It could actually become a growth industry as more governments catch on to this off balance sheet form of expenditure.

    mmmm Im coming around to the idea

    I also know from personal contacts and family involved that they are very lucrative.

    Yep Im in.



  • Comment number 93.

    Noone is quibbling about the fact that the infrastructure in terms of schools, hospitals etc. has improved in the last 10 years. We'd all be pretty peed off if they hadn't considering the extent of taxes both direct and indirect we have been paying to fund it. The real problem revolves around the amount of money that has been wasted in so many ways along the way, money that could have used to improve things even further or even helped to cushion us in the present economic crisis.

  • Comment number 94.

    I listened to Radio 4 this morning and heard the interview with great interest. Nothing explosive, or so I thought. Lo and behold - sensational headlines all day long from the beeb linking the Tories to possible tax rises. Don't you think it would be absurd for any responsible politician to rule that our entirely? If so .. why so much fuss? I kind of feel that this was a case of self generated news! Not the best example of journalism. Sorry Nick.

  • Comment number 95.

    Another consequence of PFI is the sale of public property. You can only sell it once and the revenue has already been banked.

    As a result of PFI, we have a situation where the costs are increasing and the value of the assets on the balace sheet is dramatically reduced.

    Unfortunately revenue is declining and our credit limit has been met.

    I think that the technical term for this is insolvent.

    Given the limited opportunities to simulate growth, the next government is going to have to decide the lesser of 2 evils. Either continue to live beyond our means, or a dose of hard medicine replacing the cost of civil servant salaries and pensions with the lower cost of unemployment benefit.

    I think that the next election is perhaps one to lose.

  • Comment number 96.

    Nick
    I cannot help feeling that you are firmly within the embrace of a Nulabour "cuddle".

    To say that the Tory's cannot promise tax cuts is not a reflection of Tory policy but more the reality of taking over from a government that has squandered many millions of pounds from increased tax and borrowings.
    The reality is that after some 14 years of growth the government debt is greater now than in 1997 and a huge amount of tax has been raised without any real concern as to how well it has been spent.

    Gordon Brown is amongst the all time greats in tax (borrow) and spend. The quicker he disappears off to be Chancellor at some second rate university the better it will be for the United Kingdom.

  • Comment number 97.

    tax cuts are needed... to stimulate a faltering economy

    I thought George W Bush had pretty effectively discredited that argument. Do any economists outside the Austrian and Chicago ideologues believe it any more?

  • Comment number 98.

    vagueofgodaming
    97

    Tax cuts can be done differently.

    George Bush's version seems a way to redistribute weath from the haves to the have nots.

    I am sure that there are many ways to reduce the total amount of money taken by the state and ensuring that the benefit of the reduction accure mainly to the have nots.

  • Comment number 99.

    "No Boom; No Bust" == "No More Avalanches"

    Snow lands, snow piles up, snow slides.

    You manage snow by having regular, small avalanches - deliberately triggered if necessary. If you don't manage the snow in this way then the mother of all avalanches will be on its way.

    Muffling the natural boom/bust cycle has effectively been prepaing the ground for the 'perfect bust'.

    Well done Gorgon - you place in history is safe - however it is not a place that anyone would want to occupy.

    Either of my cats could be better trusted with the economy than Brown the Clown.

    He is politically dead by his own clunking hand.

  • Comment number 100.

    getrid..@40

    "Never before have I seen such an openly pro-labour/anti-tory comment from a BBC reporter."

    Yes thats right he could learn a lesson or two about unbiased reporting from the impartial "Getridofgordonnow".

    You often say you aren't a Conservative. Why do you care so much about alleged(by you) anti-tory comments. If a reporter is unbiased they will sometimes have to make anti-tory comments. Do you believe the Conservatives are perfect? If so that means you are a conservative.

 

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