Saturday, 15 January 2011

Labour's Economic Legacy....

It seems that government spokesmen are unable to answer any question about their cuts without beginning..".... dreadful economic mess left by Labour, there is no alternative, it was Labour wot done it...".

It's an obvious political tactic to place the blame for the cuts, to pretend that they have no choice and that the knife must go deep and quick or the country and it's economy is doomed. That's the ToryDem case. The question is: is it true?

TBH, I have always thought that the neocons in the ToryDem coalition have been using the economic crisis as a convenient cover for their political aims. Cameron and Osborne are sons of Thatcher. They cling to her stated philosophy the "..there is no such thing as society..". They want, just likr Thatcher, to cut the public sector and to privatise wherever they can. If the economy has  been left is such a damaged condition that we can no longer afford the "luxury" of decent Education, Health and other public services, then what better excuse than that to privatise these services and demolish the organisations that provide them?

The respected think tank, the  Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), has issued a report which looks at the truth or otherwise of the claims that the economy demands cuts of such speed and depth, and concludes that they " not stack up......";

"The Coalition government has sought to blame its Labour predecessor for Britain’s current fiscal position. There have also been accusations that the deficit was, at least in part, due to excessive spending by the last Labour government even before the recession of 2008 and 2009.

This note looks at the numbers on debt, deficits and spending (relative to GDP) – over time in the UK and comparing the UK with other developed economies.

On the basis of these numbers, Labour’s ‘fiscal profligacy’ just ahead of the recession would seem to have been on a very limited scale, and charges that the Coalition is tackling ‘Labour’s debt’ and ‘Labour’s deficits’, or that Labour let spending run out of control before the recession, do not stack up".
The IPPR does not find the Labour government completely blameless, there could have been clearer foresight about the coming problems, but they produce a very convincing case that the ToryDems' claims that the public finances were in ruin when they took over, and that borrowing  was out of control, to be far from the truth.

Which means, of course, that the speed and depth of Osborme's cuts are not, as the government says "...all the fault of Labour". They are a deliberate and cynical political choice to cut public services and jobs to achieve the long term Tory goal of cutting the state. That countless public servants (many more than is necessary) will have to lose their jobs, and those dependent on the public sector, (the disabled, the elderly, the young),  will therefore lose vital services that they depend upon to give them some decent standards; all of that is nothing to the Tories (and their partners in the Lib Dems).  Magie's vision of a country where "...there is no such thing as society" will be achieved on the back of the ToryDems' political lie that There Is No Alternative.. 

The full report can be downloaded here. It makes very interesting reading, and it gives the lie to any coalition pretence TINA rules!


  1. "Theres no money left"

    Written by the last Labour chief secretary to the Treasury.

    Probably the only honest thing written by Labour after 13 disastrous years.

  2. anon, what do you think of the IPR report?