DAVE was interviewed on Radio 4’s Today programme this morning, and although nothing he said will set the heather alight, one can only conclude from his musings that he has learned a lot at the knee of his former boss, that legendary, massively-successful chancellor, Norman Lamont.
He started off by saying that we’ve spent too much on public services in the last decade:
“The tragedy for the country is that we we didn’t have such tough public spending in previous years…”
The next obvious question would have been: where would you have cut spending? Alas, it never came.
Next we had his masterplan for easing the current economic difficulties: cutting stamp duty for first-time buyers. In other words, an uncosted spending plan. How would this be paid for? We’ll never know, because he wasn’t asked.
Next idea? Another tax cut with the introduction of the so-called “fair fuel stabiliser”, completely ignoring the fact that tax take doesn’t necessarily go up with fuel taxes, because other consumer tax revenue falls. This wasn’t pointed out to Dave, so he didn’t feel the need to defend it.
Then he came out with: “What the government ought to be doing is cutting taxes to give a fiscal stimulus to the economy.”
“They blew it in the good times,” continued Dave, unchallenged.
Blew it? By spending money on pensioners and public services? Where would you have cut spending, Dave? Okay, don’t bother answering that.
And finally, the Great Leader’s gets all technical: “That’s what sharing the proceeds of growth is all about – it’s about saying, look, when the economy grows, yes, you spend some of the extra revenue coming in but you put some aside either on tax reduction or debt reduction so you have money for a rainy day.”
Dave, listen, we need to speak to you… “Tax cuts” isn’t the same as saving. In fact, it’s the opposite. Tax cuts are government spending. Didn’t Norman explain any of this while you worked for him?
So there we have it: Dave’s economic masterplan is to cut taxes, and then if that doesn’t work, it’s to cut taxes. And of course, if neither of those two policies work out, then… oh, you know the rest.
Norman “unemployment is a price well worth paying” Lamont must be so proud.