VOICE OF THE CITY

CITY professionals have voiced deep scepticism over the possibility of the coalition meeting its borrowing targets, with less than one in seven believing that the government can hit its forecasts.

Our Voice of the City panel, run in association with PoliticsHome.com, found that just 13.7 per cent of respondents thought that the current parliament would succeed with its Plan A targets.

A full 79 per cent believe that the government will fail, after the national debt ploughed through the £1 trillion barrier.

Almost two thirds of respondents saw the UK’s public borrowing as out of control, while just under a third demurred.

Seventy-two per cent blamed the profligacy of Gordon Brown’s Labour government for the debt crisis, with just over 15 per cent blaming the current coalition government, and 10.5 per cent placing the blame on the Eurozone, financial services or consumers. In order to resolve the problem, 70.8 per cent pointed to spending cuts. Though just 8.7 per cent thought tax rises were a good idea, 40.2 per cent thought the government needed to enforce existing tax rules more effectively. Some 44.8 per cent believed tax cuts could bring extra revenue and were preferable.

In their comments, respondents lambasted chancellor George Osborne as “economically illiterate”, and attacked PM David Cameron for failing to make good on his promises of radical cuts. They also pointed to regulation and high tax rates as major restrictions on recovery. One argued that the true size of the national debt was much higher due to private finance initiative liabilities.