"The NHS will last as long as there are folk left with the faith to fight for it"
Aneurin Bevan

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Cameron's Claims on Economy are False

On Monday Cameron claimed that the state of the economy was worse than the previous government had told us. He tried to paint the picture that the Labour government had lied to us. In fact the absolute opposite was true, and Cameron was lying himself to suggest so.

On Radio 4 the Today programme, economist and journalist, Tim Harford says that Cameron was quoting figures that Labour had already published:

"That's false. Things are bad but the numbers David Cameron was using in his speech - that he seems to claim just came from nowhere, from secret government numbers - they're absolutely the same numbers that we were using during the election campaign, that the politicians weren't talking about but everyone else was. Especially the big numbers: the national debt £770bn, the projected debt in five years £1400bn, they haven't changed. Cameron also pointed to lots of little numbers throughout his speech and we have tracked down all but one of them and every single one of the ones that we tracked down was available in a published document often an official document before the election."

The one figure that Harford could not find was the figure of £70bn in interest on the debt in five years time. He says:

"Now, this is something we have discussed with George Osborne's office. They were quoting this number at us before the election campaign even started. It's true that before the election this was a figure published by the Institute of Fiscal Studies ... but George Osborne's own office was quoting this figure to us by email three months ago."

So there you have it, Cameron lying to the nation. The reason, of course, is that the speech was purely political - he wanted to blame everything on Labour. As Alistair darling pointed out, before 2008 when the structural deficit was building the Tories agreed with the Labour spending plans and said that they would continue them for several years if they were elected. So the Tories are just as to blame for the structural deficit as Labour. And of course, the vast bulk of the deficit (and the debt) is due to the recession - one that was created by the bankers.

The Cameron plan is to soften the public for the huge and unnecessary cuts that Osborne will introduce over the next few months. It will be messy and, as history (both past, in 1977 in the UK, and recent, in Spain) has shown us, the effects of these cuts will be civil unrest.

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