Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Same old, same old

From The FT:

George Osborne, the chancellor, responding to Mr Miliband’s claims [that VAT was "the wong tax at the wrong time"] said: “Labour left Britain with record debts that people know we have to deal with to avoid an economic crisis... The question Ed Miliband faces is this: if you’re not raising VAT, where are the extra £13bn of spending cuts coming from? The NHS? Schools?”

Isn't this the same stupid game that Labour played for thirteen years - they simply had to increase taxes all the time to make up for "decades of under-investment under the Tories", and any Tory suggestion that taxes be reduced a bit was batted back with accusations that they wanted to reduce spending on schools and hospitals? Only now it's a Tory justifying a tax increase with the logic that the alternative is a reduction in spending on schools and hospitals.

And if Ed Miliband weren't who he is, he could have rattled off a long list of ways in which the UK government could easily save £13 billion a year (payments to EU budget, overseas aid, Green tomfoolery, cut private sector procurement by 5% etc) or he could have pointed out that only half the NHS budget is actually spent in hospitals and only half the education budget is spent in schools (heck knows where the rest of it goes). But he is who he is, and don't the Tories just know it!

13 comments:

James Higham said...

Isn't this the same stupid game that Labour played for thirteen years - they simply had to increase taxes all the time to make up for "decades of under-investment under the Tories"...

Which is why I suggest we write it off, reduce the whole bloody government by 74% and start over with your platform.

Bayard said...

I just wish that for once, just once, John Humphries or whoever replies to this stupid question by asking "(Prime) Minister, are you suggesting that the state's entire expenditure is on schools and the NHS.......?" It would make my year.

Also, if Red Ed was not the stuffed shirt that he is, he could have pointed out that the VAT increase isn't going to raise anything like £13 bn.

Lola said...

Hang on a minute. You seem to be making the wild, and somewhat disengenuous, assumption, that there is a 'government' and an 'opposition'. What you report just shows that it is in reality a giant con trick by the political class to keep themselves amused whilst shafting us and living off us.

Mark Wadsworth said...

JH, thanks for vote of confidence.

B: "he could have pointed out that the VAT increase isn't going to raise anything like £13 bn."
That would have been a good riposte by Ed Miliband, and something he could have said without completely contradicting everything he said in the previous 13 years. Write and tell him!

L, true. But normally they go to the trouble of putting a blue spin and a red spin on identical policies (just to maintain the illusion), this is exactly the same crap word for word.

Woman on a Raft said...

a long list of ways in which the UK government could easily save £13 billion a year (payments to EU budget, overseas aid, Green tomfoolery, cut private sector procurement by 5% etc)

Time to re-post that list in full.

Maybe we could have a little poll on which one to cut first?

Mark Wadsworth said...

WOAR, that's a good idea. I'll do it next Monday if nothing else turns up (Monday is poll day). But knowing me and my readership, we'll all vote "All of the above".

Bayard said...

"Write and tell him!"

Do you really think he doesn't know? (See Lola's point about the cosy club.)

AntiCitizenOne said...

(payments to EU budget, overseas aid, Green tomfoolery, cut private sector procurement by 5% etc)

Housing benefit.

Mark Wadsworth said...

B, maybe he does, but you can still write and ask.

AC1, sure, HB to private landlords, that's another £6 bn or £7 bn we can save, and £3 bn to ag land owners.

Robin Smith said...

Quite right. I did say all parties are the same so don't vote for any of them. Seem to remember you shooting that down back on May?

Did you notice ozzie repeating himself with the same answer 3 times to different questions. Nincompoop.

That we must all bear the burden and where else can the funding come from? Well unearned incomes of course. Production would not be harmed if nothing hasbeen produced!

So simple

Robin Smith said...

Oops. If we are doing a cutz poll I vote for cutting the even bigger subsidies and bureaucracy in the private sector.

Such as private property in land and private creation of the money. When the bigger stuff is sorted lets go after the smaller public stuff right?

Remember. Every big counts. Every little counts a little.

Come on folks. Have the courage of your convictions. (was that rude?)

Mark Wadsworth said...

RS, in relative terms, what you say is not true:

1. Total quango state plus private sector subsidies (in cash) = about £450 billion a year.

2. Total rental value of UK land at today's prices, after modest taxes thereon = about £100 billion to £150 billion per year (maybe £200 billion if you include bank profits, after tax).

The Stigler said...

Bayard,

I just wish that for once, just once, John Humphries or whoever replies to this stupid question by asking "(Prime) Minister, are you suggesting that the state's entire expenditure is on schools and the NHS.......?" It would make my year.

Unfortunately, most interviewers aren't very well informed about politics in either a broad or deep sense of what government gets up to. Likewise, you'll never see some government PR opening of a windfarm where a journalist asks them how much conventional generation you'll need to back it up.