[Re: Why Cameron’s no turning back speech makes me despair, Friday]
There are shades of Japan in the government’s lack of urgency in tackling the deficit. This article is quite right that Britain can cut more quickly. Why? Because Britain is not really cutting at all at the moment. Absolute current expenditure is continuing to rise year after year. The problem is that we haven’t come close to answering a key question – what is the scope of government in the modern age? Once we realise that the current model is entirely unsustainable, our borrowing numbers will drop like stones. But I fear that by dragging the deadweight of the Lib Dems along with them, the Conservatives will never get close.
The astonishing thing is that the whole austerity debate is normally presented as a free market Prime Minister against his Keynesian critics. In reality, David Cameron has failed to cut overall government spending and has increased taxation. The deficit is still vast, national debt is growing, and yet we’re presented with the fantasy of a hard line free market government.
We’re led to believe by the coalition that unfunded tax cuts are abhorrent and irresponsible, but equally unfunded public spending is judged too precious to tackle properly. Why exactly, for instance, is overseas aid still increasing?
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