Thursday, March 19, 2009

Who Will Rid Us Of This Turbulent Debt?

Eye-watering levels of national debt are revealed today as the country plunges further into the red, with the government's borrowing binge now soaring to a staggering £9 billion in February alone. 

But New Labour ministers are burying their heads in the sand, leaving new Tory Cameron to have a stab at what to do about it. 

The dire state of public finances is revealed in record figures for the month, bringing borrowing in the 11 months of the financial year so far to £75.2 billion, the highest since records began in 1993, according to Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The worsening state of the economy was also driven down by government tax receipts, which plunged almost 10% over the month, compared to a year earlier, as the recession tightens its grip. 

The £75.2 billion figure has rocketed to more than three times the £23 billion recorded a year ago.

That borrowing blows out of the water useless chancellor Darling's forecast of £78 billion for the current financial year, with economists predicting the figure could reach £90 billion or higher. 

As the government's own official unemployment figures top the two million mark and continue the upwards spiral, a rise of £1 billion in social benefits takes that total to £12.1 billion.

The UK is now labouring under a debt burden of £717 billion, more than £100 billion above a year earlier, with questions asked whether political parties are hiding behind a conspiracy of silence.

The mind-boggling figures leave ministers in a quandary, refusing to come clean about the miserable mess they've created and what they now plan to do about it. Ministers simply talk the economy up and talk the debt-burden down. 

But Cameron and the Tories are still caught between the devil and the deep blue sea. With such an horrendous debt, the truth may be hard to stomach amid accusations of scaremongering and, with drastic action needed, prompting the question - if things are really so bad then exactly what  action is proposed when they eventually take power. 

New Labour ministers seem quite content to live in economic la-la-land, knowing full well they'll be out on their ears in a few months time. 

For both the Tories or New Labour the only solution will be the once political suicide note of higher taxes and spending cuts, now on the cards whoever wins the election.

The Orange Party believes honesty is the best policy, even for politicians. Voters are grown up and economically savvy enough to be able to take the truth on the chin rather than the spin. 
And Cameron, to his credit, is starting to warn of spending cuts, albeit still treading rather carefully. 

As the general election draws closer and the phoney war hots up, the new Cameron is more bold and upfront but he needs to do much more to explain how the public finances will be restored on his watch and where exactly the spending axe will fall.

Today the Cameron election battle cry was: "We’re all in this together ... That means we must solve Labour’s Debt Crisis together. We will reduce this deficit together. Paying down our debt must not mean pushing down the poor."

The state must now achieve "more for less" with spending, as he pledged greater scrutiny to boost efficiency, scrapping wasteful ID cards and an end to the culture of "quango fat cats".

Those views chime with voters and that's why New Labour doesn't stand a cat in hell's chance of any more years in power.


Anonymous said...

I noticed, the other day, that you stated that your beef was with New Labour and the way they are running/ruining the country. Can you honestly say that Old Labour made a better fist of it in the 1970's, ending in the Winter of Discontent? They seemed to do a equally spectacular ruinous job. Wouldn't you agree that all Labour governments, no matter the shade, all end in economic disaster?

the orange party said...

Anonymous - I'm no big fan of the Callaghan years nor the Thatcher years for that matter and we could argue about the merits and demerits of true Labour v true Tory economic policy 'til the cows come home. That was then this is now.