The Tories’ first election poster depicts a road wending its way through the countryside till far in the distance, with the motif below: continue with the Tory-led recovery of the economy which the Labour party wrecked, writes Michael Meacher MP.
It’s a theme which will be repeated endlessly up till the election which Labour, astonishingly, has made no attempt to refute – astonishing when it’s not only damaging but completely untrue. Labour has so far confined its presentation of economic policy to demonstrating at great length that whilst the Tories have been offering £7bn [of] unfunded giveaways, Labour is scrupulously sticking to its pledge that it will only promise expenditure that is fully funded. That may well impress the right-wing Tory media (not that they’ll ever give us any credit for it!), but it’s a self-imposed ordinance that will not persuade many voters in the Labour heartlands, who feel fed up and abandoned, to turn out against UKIP.
So why doesn’t Labour hit out against the Tories where it could so easily secure some significant breakthroughs? Take the Tories’ favourite motto of the road to recovery. What the Tories say is flat wrong, big time, on at least three counts. Labour didn’t cause the economic mess, the bankers did – the Tories’ closest friends. Labour wasn’t profligate with the nation’s accounts, the Tories were – the biggest deficit in Labour’s 11 pre-crash years (1997-2008) was 3.3% of GDP whereas the Thatcher-Major governments racked up deficits bigger than that in 10 out of their 18 years. And once the bankers had created the deficit, Labour chose the right way to reduce it; the Tories chose the wrong way. Alastair Darling, the last Labour Chancellor, brought in two stimulus budgets in 2009-10 which dramatically cut the deficit by £40bn in two years; Osborne’s austerity budgets then slowed deficit reduction to a trickle which has now, in this fiscal year, come to a dead stop… To cap it all, the deficit, which is supposed to justify the last 6 awful years of austerity and now the 5 next years when Osborne has declared he will make £30bn more spending cuts, is actually increasing!
Read the full article on Michael Meacher‘s blog.
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