The Futility Monster

He'll pointlessly derive more enjoyment out of your resources than you

It’s The Changes That Worry Me

Posted by The Futility Monster on June 22, 2010 @ 17:02

Don't we look stupid now?

Today’s Budget has… irritated me. Just a little.

I don’t buy any of this rubbish that the Coalition are spinning: “it’s worse than we thought”.

Frankly, it can’t possibly be worse than they thought, considering the budget deficit is smaller than Labour had predicted, by almost £20bn compared to Labour’s first estimate.

Meanwhile, inflation is stubbornly high. Inflation, disastrous in large quantities, but very helpful in the short term it stays above target. And hiking up VAT is only going to add more to inflation. A crafty way to inflate away the debt, perhaps? All on the Q. T. – you understand.

No. “Worse than we thought” is spin, pure and simple. It’s a way to say “Not me guv!” all the while delivering the ideological love for cuts that is becoming apparent.

So if we ignore this spin, what other explanations could stand up?

The current Lib Dem line, which is being used as an excuse to tear up the manifesto, and make us a total laughing stock considering we stuck it to the Tories thusly, is that the “crisis” in Europe has made us reverse our whole economic doctrine. Yes, Vince Cable really has gone from centre-left neo-Keynesian to Thatcherite neo-liberalism. Or maybe it was just the Bank of England that persuaded him.

Never mind the voters. Never mind everything you told them, promised them and went all round the country trying to convince them of. Never mind your own principles either. There are others, after all.

It just doesn’t stack up to me. Look at the kind of thing Vince Cable was writing last year. And yes, events have changed. But after going through the most turbulent period in our economy’s history since the 1920s and 30s, can anyone claim with a straight face, like Danny Alexander and Nick Clegg do, that the last month in Europe has been even more dramatic that we’ve had to change almost everything we stood for?

It is an insult to people’s intelligence to pretend otherwise. Government has meant we’ve had to close down major chunks of our manifesto, which have been sold out to ensure the coalition’s agenda.

It’s grist to the mill of the opposition, naturally. After all, haven’t they been crowing since the dawn of time that you “cannot trust the Liberals/Lib Dems”? Say one thing in opposition, do another in power. We’ve only gone and proved it.

There was no mandate for a VAT rise. Everyone said they weren’t planning one. The Lib Dems even tried to make political capital out of it. Now, tainted by this decision, we will never hear the end of it.

More Budgety fun tomorrow, perhaps…

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5 Responses to “It’s The Changes That Worry Me”

  1. Neil Craig said

    It would have been better for the economy if the defecit had been cut 100% by cutting non-productive government spending rather than the 80/20 split it LibDems insisted on. We are not undertaxed but overregulated.

    That being the case any LibDem comnplaints about tax rises, including the VAT rise are, to put it politely, disingenous. The tax rises are their price for coalition.

  2. I don’t think the Lib Dems said anything about an 80/20 split. That was always a Tory idea.

  3. Alex said

    The main problem with the crisis in the eurozone line, is that anybody who has been paying attention would’ve known that what’s happened there hasn’t “suddenly” happened. Greece, Spain, Ireland etc have had problems for well over a year now.

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