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Inflation rise not all Tories’ fault – but VAT rise is

Posted on 19 January 2011 | 10:01am

If a Labour government were still in power, and a shock inflation rise was announced, doubtless the current ‘all Labour’s fault’ mantra from the Tories would be heard.

Labour people being more reasonable, we accept that some of the factors lying behind yesterday’s rise to 3.7 per cent are beyond government total control; soaring oil prices for example, and other ‘international factors’ the Tories never like to accept as being part of the reason for the deficit they are now seeking dramatically to reduce.

But some factors can be laid very directly at the door of the Government, and the VAT rise is one of them. That was a choice not a neccessity. Not that long ago, we were all led to believe tax was likely to be raised from the bankers and their ott bonuses. But the Tories having bottled out of that, they went for VAT. Another broken promise. Another bad move. Another anti-progressive policy dressed up in Maggie’s ‘no alternative’ language. There were alternatives and there still are.

The Bank of England meanwhile has fewer alternatives. If it is to get anywhere near meeting the inflation target – its remit and the core of its credibility – then interest rates will have to go up. But then that could provide another blow to the fragile recovery. Rock and hard place. They are there in part because they have a tough job at the best of times; in part because of what is happening in the rest of the world economy, still coping with the fallout from the global crisis; and in large part because David Cameron and George Osborne put them there as part of their cuts/tax rises/no strategy for growth economic agenda.

Every time you fill up the car, buy yourself something for the house, or look at the costs of running a small business, it is worth remembering that.

Ps, I am on BBC Question Time from Burnley tomorrow, with Burnley defender Clarke Carlisle (the programme’s first ever pro footballer), Caroline Spelman, Simon Hughes and George Galloway. I am looking to the website’s Finnish economic adviser Olli Issakeinen to be posting a bit of advice on how to handle the inflation/interest rates question should it come up. He is also pretty sound on public services so thoughts from him and all of you welcome on the NHS reforms, AV, Tunisia, the Chilcot Inquiry and anything else you think might come up.

  • Schaferlord

    has the 2.5% VAT rise even impacted these inflation figures? Only been risen 15 days?

    • The VAT increase is not taken into account in these figures at all.

  • Gilliebc

    Looking forward to seeing you on QT tomorrow Mr. Campbell. Apart from the footballer whom I’ve never heard of, I don’t like/rate any of the rest of them.
    For what it’s worth imho I think the tide is definately turning away from the ConDem gov. and people are beginning to look to Labour again for reassurance
    that there is another way. I base this opinion on what I’ve been reading on the other web-sites I visit and by simply talking and listening to other people on a daily basis. The number of people who know they were mislead by the Torries
    during the election campaign is growing daily.

  • Robert

    I do not think it wise for Labour supporters to put their arguments against the government here in readiness for your appearance on QT.

    Better keep your powder dry.

    🙂

  • Steve Cooke

    So, what is the Labour alternative to VAT rise? Sorry? Didn’t hear that. Say it again, please? No, still can’t hear that. Once more…oh forget it, maybe you can let us know on QT.
    BTW, there appears to be NO Labour MP on the panel. You know, an ELECTED representative of the people. Is this because a) You are the de facto Labour MP for Burnley b) Labour are scared of appearing on QT c) BBC is preventing proper debate by NOT allowing a Labour MP to appear on QT

  • Watoop

    Re: QT tomorrow (good luck – do you get to know who is on with you before you go on?)
    I would concentrate on the sheer ineptitude of the government not necessarily the ideology. Some people like lack of compassion and knowing the cost of everything and the value of nothing, but no one likes p*ss-poor.
    So much ammunition:
    School building programme mess, Bookstart u-turn, school sports funding u-turn, “botched” quango cull costing more, EMA and tuition fees, Audit Commission abolition, “magic” private sector job tree which miraculously hasn’t flowered, no economic growth plan, VAT increase fuelling inflation, failure to deal with banks and so on.
    They are inept, narrow and extremely lightweight. Not fit to govern because they are simply not good enough. Hard to defend this as very little of the above can be put at the door of the previous Labour government.

  • Be careful of Galloway, attack is the best form of defence with him. Mention Big Brother – he hates it.

  • Sarah Dodds

    As someone at the harsh end on these cuts, I would love to know from Simon Hughes if there is a tipping point at which the Liberals will hold their hands up, admit they should never have married at gun point (even though it seemed so snuggly at the time), and file for divorce? How bad does it have to get for them to realise it’s not going to be worth it.
    I’m still not sure what they feel they have gained in terms of policies. If tuition fees and VAT is a total sell out, the Pupil Premium a total joke, health reform leading us to the death of the NHS, are we really left with AV (which they did not want really but have decided “will do”)?
    I too would like to see AV. But I’d also like to keep my job, know my kids’ school is being run by the LA in the interests of the wider community, and feel confident our local hospital will not close (etc etc etc). Which is why I may not be able to resist voting against AV in May, because it’s the only way I can give the Libs a kicking.

  • Lemesmer

    I’m sure the VAT rise would raise a LOT more revenue than simply adding a bonus tax. Incidentally that would simply have the effect of sending more banks abroad and even LESS revenue to UKPLC.

  • Dave Simons

    Surely this government is a record-breaker! To an extent all governments have to do some U-turns on their election manifesto promises since no government can know exactly what’s round the corner. But has any government since 1945 broken as many pre-election promises in so short a time as this Coalition? We’re only eight months in and the list of promises would include no big NHS reorganisation, no rise in VAT, keep the Educational Maintenance Allowance, no raising of tuition fees, cutting rail fares, no frontline cuts in public services, keep Child Benefit, keep the Future Jobs Fund, and no more astronomical bank bonuses. They’ve even upped the age of eligibilty for the National Bus Pass!
    Remember Cameron on TV pledging to keep and honour the latter and being horrified that Gordon Brown should suggest he would scrap it? Remember Clegg on TV talking about the need for a new politics, and “There they go again”, he said of his two opponents?
    Perhaps we need a new, resonant slogan, something like:

    Don’t U-turn if U don’t want to –
    The Coalition’s about turning.

  • Olli Issakainen

    Here are some thoughts.
    Labour´s next Big Idea must be based on conservative social democracy. Key consepts are the good society and moral economy.
    Bank bonuses do not work. In tasks that include cognitive component incentives can have detrimental effects on performance. And only few bankers actually relocate. It was the bonus culture that caused reckless risk-taking and the crisis.
    David Cameron, the self-claimed “Blairite” public sector reformer, promised to protect frontline services, but now NHS faces £20bn cuts.
    Inflation is out of control. If the BoE rises interest rates, 8m homeowners are at risk. There could also be new recession. Government target is that inflation should be 2% in 2012. Inflation target is always 2%, and the upper acceptable level is 3%. The City is expecting a rise in interest rates this spring.
    Governments are not like credit card holders as they can print money and tax people. Britain was not like Greece. Cuts are ideological as they will not be reversed. The deficit was caused by bank bailouts and recession, not by Labour overspending.
    The VAT rise is regressive. Same time the Tory-led government is cutting taxes for rich, corporations and banks. The bank levy could be higher. Alternatives to oversized cuts include a tax on land values, Robin Hood tax on financial transactions and tackling tax avoidance, tax evasion and uncollected tax.
    Best way to cut the deficit is growth, not drastic cuts. See Greece and Ireland. Governments cannot cut deficits, only their own expenditure. It depends on how the rest of the economy reacts whether the deficit goes down. Cut too early and too much, and the deficit can increase. The £81bn cuts are unfair.
    There is a £750-800bn funding gap in UK financial system. Banks are not lending to small businesses. Private sector will not be able to compensate public sector cuts. Private sector will not be able to create 2.5m new jobs Mr Osborne believes it will do.
    Labour would cut less and not so quickly. This approach would not risk recovery. Labour´s cuts would be fair. More on taxes, more money from the banks.
    What needs to be done is that much of structural deficit (the part that does not go away when things are back to normal) must be eliminated. But not according to strict timetable, but according to growth figures, unemployment etc. Latest figure for structural deficit is £109bn.
    What caused the deficit?
    In 2007-08, the deficit was £34.5bn including £25bn bailout of Northern Rock.
    In 2008-09, the deficit was £96.1bn including £42bn nationalisation of Bradford & Bingley, £17bn bailout of Lloyds-HBOS and bailout of RBS.
    In 2009-10, the deficit was £167bn including £32bn bailout of RBS and £4.8BN INVESTMENT IN PUBLIC SERVICES. The deficit was below the forecast of £178bn.
    Before the financial crisis Labour only ran small deficits on an average of 2.5%. This is not overspending. Debt was only 40% of GDP. Structural deficit was only 2.7% of GDP (1% if investment is included).
    Britain´s public finances were in better shape before the economic crisis than under the Major administration.
    The financial crisis started in the US in 2007 as subprime crisis, and exploded in 2008 as Lehman Brothers was allowed to collapse.
    The recession caused by financial crisis caused collapse in UK tax revenues and increased benefits costs.
    So we can safely say that the deficit was caused by bank bailouts and recession. IFS and C4 have confirmed this.
    The Conservative party is dependent on funding on the City, so they blame Labour for the “mess”. They also want to protect the financial sector as it is vital to Britain´s future. But Mr Cameron admitted on the Andrew Marr Show that banks, regulators and the Tories are also to blame.
    Gordon Brown´s Keynesian response to financial crisis was right. Other countries followed the suit.
    Lavour saved Britain from depression. This is Labour´s true economic legacy.

    Ps. See also my previous comments.

  • Richard

    Why don’t you get Olli to explain the effect of £250 billion of Quantative Easing on inflation?

  • Simon Teale

    My QT question would be be “Who should be responsible for health in UK? Mr Cameron, Mr Lansley, GPs, the ‘market’ or someone else”.

    @Robert: Sorry to break the embargo. I think Caroline Spelman will need lots of help.

  • “interest rates will have to go up. But then that could provide another blow to the fragile recovery.”

    VAT or national insurance rise…whatever. The difference between them is not substantial. Labour could easily have done both since they didn’t rule out VAT rise but they are not major issues in the grand scheme of things.

    People seem to think there’s a easier way out of these economic troubles. There isn’t. You can’t print some money here and jiggle taxes there. Positive GDP is NOT the most important thing right now. I could go into ANY company and grow profits instantly by borrowing and spending more on marketing for example but it’s not real growth. The government needs to create an environment where public services simply serve the basics to the public and businesses who are the only wealth creators. Labour banked everything on house prices representing wealth growth and the current government is doing the same. Higher interest rates will at least do what needs to be done sooner so we can get on with our lives. Cheap housing will do more for the poor than everything else.

    Short termism is killing us right now.

  • Alan

    with regaurds the changes to the NHS do GPs want to be burdened with massive budgets is there job not hard anougth as it is

  • Teresa

    I’m sure unemployment will come up. My husband is unemployed at the moment, this week he started a scheme working seven hours a day, where he has to stick pictures on to mugs so he can receive 100 pound a week benefit. He found out today that the thousands that do the schemes are took off JSA.

  • Teresa

    He also found out today that all the products that are made go to the pound shop and other high street stores, making money off the backs of the unemployed.

  • Margaret

    Glad you’re on QT – always put forward a great argument. Please say something about the Tory myth ” we’re all in this together” what a joke. It’s the working class who are paying for the credit crunch. What the coalition is doing with nhs, students, local government, vat, petrol costs is infuriating – mostly because there was no mention of it before election.

  • KDouglas

    Having just heard that they’ve voted to scrap the EMA, and that youth unemployment is now almost 1 m, maybe you’d ask Simon Hughes and his Tory colleague why they’re supporting a government that so clearly despises young people. Nothing they do is as even as tacitly agreed by the electorate, given that their direction of travel is so completely absent from their manifestos. And do tell the government from me that I hate every fibre of their pathetic souls – or words to that effect…

  • Jacquie R

    Simon Hughes and George Galloway are both victims of News of the World phone hacking. With so many media issues in the news, and you being on the panel. it’s not unlikely that the subject of Rupert Murdoch will come up on Question Time. If so, it would be truly wonderful, Alastair if, released from government, you could say what you really think. #justsaying

  • David from Bournemouth

    Surely Eddie Howe’s appointment as Burnley manager is worth a mention!

  • Jack Connolly

    Interesting point raised by Cameron today at PMQs which may be a point of good debate in the future. It seems as though todays reforms represent once again, a debate over the history of the last 20 years of government, who is and what is responsible for the fairly stagnant health inequalities that still exist today? labour have a good record, though Ed needs to be a bit more forward on this one for the future, Cameron has offered his (flawed in my opinion) plan for change, Ed needs to offer a more progressive solution to Cameron’s. Perhaps it would be a good idea to consider integrating portions of health and education, by extending the health department’s remit into schools and colleges. If anything can solve countrywide, societal inequalities, education has been shown to make headway in doing this. We should educate our children, perhaps more health funding would be better placed in the education budget. Tough on illness, tough on the causes of illness!

    This will no doubt equal the debate on economic legacy in the coming months and years, who can move the NHS to the next stage? pumping money into it seems to get us only so far, the parties will need to come up with a credible solution, one to watch i think.

  • Jack Connolly

    Interesting point raised by Cameron today at PMQs which may be a point of good debate in the future. It seems as though todays reforms represent once again, a debate over the history of the last 20 years of government, who is and what is responsible for the fairly stagnant health inequalities that still exist today? labour have a good record, though Ed needs to be a bit more forward on this one for the future, Cameron has offered his (flawed in my opinion) plan for change, Ed needs to offer a more progressive solution to Cameron’s. Perhaps it would be a good idea to consider integrating portions of health and education, by extending the health department’s remit into schools and colleges. If anything can solve countrywide, societal inequalities, education has been shown to make headway in doing this. We should educate our children, perhaps more health funding would be better placed in the education budget. Tough on illness, tough on the causes of illness!

    This will no doubt equal the debate on economic legacy in the coming months and years, who can move the NHS to the next stage? pumping money into it seems to get us only so far, the parties will need to come up with a credible solution, one to watch i think.

  • Janete

    Excellent point Dave. Given the unbelievable level of deception, I am amazed there isn’t far more public protest against the government. Deals have been done by Cameron and Clegg behind closed doors, with no regard for the will of the electorate. When challenged about rushed NHS reorganisation, on the Today programme this week, Cameron was at pains to explain that Lansley had been working on this for the last five years. Unfortunately Humphreys didn’t have the wit to point out the immorality of witholding this information from the electorate. Is there any point in democracy unless voters have honest information on which to base their choice at the ballot box?

  • Janete

    Excellent point Dave. Given the unbelievable level of deception, I am amazed there isn’t far more public protest against the government. Deals have been done by Cameron and Clegg behind closed doors, with no regard for the will of the electorate. When challenged about rushed NHS reorganisation, on the Today programme this week, Cameron was at pains to explain that Lansley had been working on this for the last five years. Unfortunately Humphreys didn’t have the wit to point out the immorality of witholding this information from the electorate. Is there any point in democracy unless voters have honest information on which to base their choice at the ballot box?

  • Sarah Dodds

    Steve – no worries mate.
    This Goverenment are not the elected representatives of the people, so who the hell cares?

  • Sarah Dodds

    Steve – no worries mate.
    This Goverenment are not the elected representatives of the people, so who the hell cares?

  • Jack Connolly

    I agree, a very good question to ask, the future framework of the NHS will be the second most contentious issues after the economy in my opinion, I hope Alastair raises this question..

  • Jack Connolly

    I agree, a very good question to ask, the future framework of the NHS will be the second most contentious issues after the economy in my opinion, I hope Alastair raises this question..

  • Janete

    Sarah, I’m hoping the Lib Dems lose the vote on AV. I cannot see the logic in counting only some second preference votes? In a typical English constituency where most people with mainstream views vote for the three (hopefully soon only two) main parties, it is quite likely that the only people who get two votes counted are the oddballs who vote for the Bus Pass Elvis or Monster Raving Looney Parties.

  • Janete

    Sarah, I’m hoping the Lib Dems lose the vote on AV. I cannot see the logic in counting only some second preference votes? In a typical English constituency where most people with mainstream views vote for the three (hopefully soon only two) main parties, it is quite likely that the only people who get two votes counted are the oddballs who vote for the Bus Pass Elvis or Monster Raving Looney Parties.

  • alienfromzog

    OK, I’ll take the bait.

    Alistair Darling proporsed a 1% increase in employers’ National Insurance Contributions.

    Cameron and Osborne countinually attacked this as a ‘tax on jobs.’ The biggest estimate of how many jobs would be lost as a consequence of this is 48,000.

    Now, the Chartered Institute of Personel and Development estimate the VAT increase (in addition to its other effects on the economy) will cost 250,000 jobs.

    So here’s one idea, let’s have the NI increase instead of the VAT increase.

    AFZ

  • alienfromzog

    OK, I’ll take the bait.

    Alistair Darling proporsed a 1% increase in employers’ National Insurance Contributions.

    Cameron and Osborne countinually attacked this as a ‘tax on jobs.’ The biggest estimate of how many jobs would be lost as a consequence of this is 48,000.

    Now, the Chartered Institute of Personel and Development estimate the VAT increase (in addition to its other effects on the economy) will cost 250,000 jobs.

    So here’s one idea, let’s have the NI increase instead of the VAT increase.

    AFZ

  • John_P_Kelly

    Firstly. I’m delighted that Clarke Carlisle is getting the opportunity to appear on Question Time. He has always appeared to be very articulate and insightful when giving post match interviews and on his occasional appearances in the pundit’s chair. I’m sure he’ll prove as commanding a presence on the panel as he does at the centre of the clarets’ defence. I just hope he doesn’t get a question about Rory Delap’s throw-in abilities!

    So, what issues are making ‘Alarm Clock Britons’ tick at the moment?

    NHS REFORM

    Thatcher infamously said that ‘there is no such thing as society’. Once these reforms are enacted, will there be any such thing as a National Health Service?(Have just seen Milliband say something to this effect as well coincidentally). This is a strong message of concern which can be emphasised.

    The rhetoric of ‘cutting bureaucracy’, ‘increasing the resources to those on the front line’ and ‘more decision making power to your GP’ appears laudable The breadth and ferocity of the planned reforms when put into practice pose serious risks and dangers.

    The reform bill (a tome that is weightier than the original legislation which brought the NHS into being) could constitute another step on the slippery slope towards American style ‘for profit’ healthcare. GP consortia, in managing their budgets (while at the same time attempting to perform their respective primary medical duties), will inevitably come under pressure to procure from the lowest cost medical commercial provider.

    Those tasked with procurement could indeed come under legal challenge from competitor to existing medical provider should they turn down a new business tender in favour of maintaining their existing arrangements. This could lead to chaos if it occurs on a wide scale basis. Will such pressures compromise quality of care?

    Other possible flaws:

    * Likelihood of administrative and task duplication perversely increases due to decentralisation?
    * Reversal of Labour era improvements in waiting times and recovery rates due to shift in emphasis towards implementation of their processes in the short to medium term. Distinct possibility of people becoming real victims here.
    * Postcode lottery in terms of service provision due to varying demographics and budget management

    TAX & BANKERS

    So much for ‘fair and equitable’. The VAT increase disproportionately affects those on the lowest wages. The very bankers who helped create the current economic mire are untouched by the current regime’s tax policy. No levy on their bloated bonuses indicating business as usual. Difficult to blame ‘the last lot’ when the ‘city champagne culture’ continues without recrimination. And this during a time of austerity for everyone else.

    INTEREST RATES & INFLATION

    Owners who are multiple letting out multiple properties on a ‘buy to let’ basis will be delighted with the decreased interest rate. Their tenants will most likely not be so enamoured. Saving for that rainy day is more difficult given that the figurative umbrella has suddenly taken a price hike. Lower return received savings that are harder to come by due to increased interest rates. ‘Alarm Clock Britons’ may be rising waking earlier and working longer as a result.

    AV

    The only equality driven policy on the Government agenda?

    AND FINALLY

    Could Simon Hughes please give an example of a Lib Dem manifesto pledge which clashed directly with a Tory pre-election promise but nonetheless shall definitely be implemented?

  • John_P_Kelly

    Firstly. I’m delighted that Clarke Carlisle is getting the opportunity to appear on Question Time. He has always appeared to be very articulate and insightful when giving post match interviews and on his occasional appearances in the pundit’s chair. I’m sure he’ll prove as commanding a presence on the panel as he does at the centre of the clarets’ defence. I just hope he doesn’t get a question about Rory Delap’s throw-in abilities!

    So, what issues are making ‘Alarm Clock Britons’ tick at the moment?

    NHS REFORM

    Thatcher infamously said that ‘there is no such thing as society’. Once these reforms are enacted, will there be any such thing as a National Health Service?(Have just seen Milliband say something to this effect as well coincidentally). This is a strong message of concern which can be emphasised.

    The rhetoric of ‘cutting bureaucracy’, ‘increasing the resources to those on the front line’ and ‘more decision making power to your GP’ appears laudable The breadth and ferocity of the planned reforms when put into practice pose serious risks and dangers.

    The reform bill (a tome that is weightier than the original legislation which brought the NHS into being) could constitute another step on the slippery slope towards American style ‘for profit’ healthcare. GP consortia, in managing their budgets (while at the same time attempting to perform their respective primary medical duties), will inevitably come under pressure to procure from the lowest cost medical commercial provider.

    Those tasked with procurement could indeed come under legal challenge from competitor to existing medical provider should they turn down a new business tender in favour of maintaining their existing arrangements. This could lead to chaos if it occurs on a wide scale basis. Will such pressures compromise quality of care?

    Other possible flaws:

    * Likelihood of administrative and task duplication perversely increases due to decentralisation?
    * Reversal of Labour era improvements in waiting times and recovery rates due to shift in emphasis towards implementation of their processes in the short to medium term. Distinct possibility of people becoming real victims here.
    * Postcode lottery in terms of service provision due to varying demographics and budget management

    TAX & BANKERS

    So much for ‘fair and equitable’. The VAT increase disproportionately affects those on the lowest wages. The very bankers who helped create the current economic mire are untouched by the current regime’s tax policy. No levy on their bloated bonuses indicating business as usual. Difficult to blame ‘the last lot’ when the ‘city champagne culture’ continues without recrimination. And this during a time of austerity for everyone else.

    INTEREST RATES & INFLATION

    Owners who are multiple letting out multiple properties on a ‘buy to let’ basis will be delighted with the decreased interest rate. Their tenants will most likely not be so enamoured. Saving for that rainy day is more difficult given that the figurative umbrella has suddenly taken a price hike. Lower return received savings that are harder to come by due to increased interest rates. ‘Alarm Clock Britons’ may be rising waking earlier and working longer as a result.

    AV

    The only equality driven policy on the Government agenda?

    AND FINALLY

    Could Simon Hughes please give an example of a Lib Dem manifesto pledge which clashed directly with a Tory pre-election promise but nonetheless shall definitely be implemented?

  • Steve Mcgurk

    Message is simple on NHS.

    1. Remind viewers what state it was in after 17 years of Tory rule.
    2. Highlight key improvements under Labour.
    3. Conclude that the Tory’s ill-conceived policy will not realise their targeted savings needed to fund his election promise to ring-fenced NHS budget and destroy the advances made.
    4. In short, Mr Cameron will betray the voters and the NHS.

    If you are feeling mischevious, you could always float the idea that by the time of the next election, Mr Clegg will have walked the floor and found himself a safe Tory seat.

  • Steve Mcgurk

    Message is simple on NHS.

    1. Remind viewers what state it was in after 17 years of Tory rule.
    2. Highlight key improvements under Labour.
    3. Conclude that the Tory’s ill-conceived policy will not realise their targeted savings needed to fund his election promise to ring-fenced NHS budget and destroy the advances made.
    4. In short, Mr Cameron will betray the voters and the NHS.

    If you are feeling mischevious, you could always float the idea that by the time of the next election, Mr Clegg will have walked the floor and found himself a safe Tory seat.

  • Gilliebc

    George (Would you like me to be the cat?) Galloway, is a nasty piece of work. I guess most people remember him saluting the late Saddam Hussein, for his “indefatigability” He is a perfect example of a snake in the grass. I well remember him in the BB House, be-friending other housmates and then turning on them, viper-like, in a deliberately cruel manner.
    I personally can’t see the point of this bloke. Surely the BBC could have got someone better than him. I’m sure AC can handle this nonentity, no problem.

  • Gilliebc

    George (Would you like me to be the cat?) Galloway, is a nasty piece of work. I guess most people remember him saluting the late Saddam Hussein, for his “indefatigability” He is a perfect example of a snake in the grass. I well remember him in the BB House, be-friending other housmates and then turning on them, viper-like, in a deliberately cruel manner.
    I personally can’t see the point of this bloke. Surely the BBC could have got someone better than him. I’m sure AC can handle this nonentity, no problem.

  • Sarah Dodds

    Please ask Spelman if ICT being dropped as a compulsory subject in primary schools is because Gove knows full well he is not prepared to fund the technology needed.
    I’d also like to know why the new curriculum seems to be being based simply on what Gove gets his his y-fronts in a twist over. Are we going to have a bit of Latin thrown in while he is at it?

  • Sarah Dodds

    Please ask Spelman if ICT being dropped as a compulsory subject in primary schools is because Gove knows full well he is not prepared to fund the technology needed.
    I’d also like to know why the new curriculum seems to be being based simply on what Gove gets his his y-fronts in a twist over. Are we going to have a bit of Latin thrown in while he is at it?

  • Nicky

    Respect to Olli for another very astute summing up on the economy and recent history.

    Our govt really do insult the intelligence of the electorate. Osborne, reacting to the news of the inflation rise, again trotted out the line about paying off the nation’s credit card (plus the obligatory blah about Labour’s alleged ‘mess’). The website False Economy – well worth a plug for QT – makes the point, which more people need to be aware of, that nations are not like households. (It does seem to be a case that proves your axiom (AC) that it’s only when you’re thoroughly sick of having to repeat something that it finally sinks in. )

    FE add that this was the mistake that brought us the great depression in the 1930s. (Osborne’s not a trained economist – no shit, Sherlock! – but he did read Modern History at Oxford – so one would expect him to know just a little bit about the 1930s.) FE says that:

    When a consumer cuts back, they don’t have to worry about the wider impact of their reduced spending. But when governments make cuts it depresses the economy.

    That slows the recovery that will deliver the extra tax income that will close the deficit.

    And even if the country was like a household, we’re an underemployed household with millions on the dole or working fewer hours than they want. The best way to pay off a credit card bill is to get a job.

    They’ve got a PDF document on the website – http://falseeconomy.org.uk/files/wrongcure.pdf – called Cuts are not the Cure, which explains the situation in a very clear and concise way.

    I think the point about Tory incompetence also needs to be aired. As Watoop says, for many people the idea of a govt being tough and pragmatic has some resonance. That’s fair enough – in fact, Brown and Darling were pretty tough and pragmatic in the way they dealt with the fall-out from the global crisis, so much so that the rest of the world followed their lead. The Tories pose as tough pragmatists, but their actions demonstrate such ham-fisted incompetence, and downright stupidity, that they end up making a difficult situation a lot, lot worse. I have to admit my number one reason for not voting Tory is simply because of their proven track record of rank incompetence. They’re like those arrogant young men on the Apprentice who big themselves up, only to end up making a complete pig’s ear of their assigned task.

  • Nicky

    Respect to Olli for another very astute summing up on the economy and recent history.

    Our govt really do insult the intelligence of the electorate. Osborne, reacting to the news of the inflation rise, again trotted out the line about paying off the nation’s credit card (plus the obligatory blah about Labour’s alleged ‘mess’). The website False Economy – well worth a plug for QT – makes the point, which more people need to be aware of, that nations are not like households. (It does seem to be a case that proves your axiom (AC) that it’s only when you’re thoroughly sick of having to repeat something that it finally sinks in. )

    FE add that this was the mistake that brought us the great depression in the 1930s. (Osborne’s not a trained economist – no shit, Sherlock! – but he did read Modern History at Oxford – so one would expect him to know just a little bit about the 1930s.) FE says that:

    When a consumer cuts back, they don’t have to worry about the wider impact of their reduced spending. But when governments make cuts it depresses the economy.

    That slows the recovery that will deliver the extra tax income that will close the deficit.

    And even if the country was like a household, we’re an underemployed household with millions on the dole or working fewer hours than they want. The best way to pay off a credit card bill is to get a job.

    They’ve got a PDF document on the website – http://falseeconomy.org.uk/files/wrongcure.pdf – called Cuts are not the Cure, which explains the situation in a very clear and concise way.

    I think the point about Tory incompetence also needs to be aired. As Watoop says, for many people the idea of a govt being tough and pragmatic has some resonance. That’s fair enough – in fact, Brown and Darling were pretty tough and pragmatic in the way they dealt with the fall-out from the global crisis, so much so that the rest of the world followed their lead. The Tories pose as tough pragmatists, but their actions demonstrate such ham-fisted incompetence, and downright stupidity, that they end up making a difficult situation a lot, lot worse. I have to admit my number one reason for not voting Tory is simply because of their proven track record of rank incompetence. They’re like those arrogant young men on the Apprentice who big themselves up, only to end up making a complete pig’s ear of their assigned task.

  • Quinney

    No doubt Galloway will have a go at you over Iraq. Reply using his grovelling address to Saddam “Sir, I salute your courage, your strength, your indefatigability…”
    Also ask him why he was in the Big Brother house dressed as a cat when the Crossrail debate which affected his constituency was being held in parliament.

  • Quinney

    No doubt Galloway will have a go at you over Iraq. Reply using his grovelling address to Saddam “Sir, I salute your courage, your strength, your indefatigability…”
    Also ask him why he was in the Big Brother house dressed as a cat when the Crossrail debate which affected his constituency was being held in parliament.

  • Simon Gittins

    ‘So we can safely say that the deficit was caused by bank bailouts and recession.’

    Absolute rubbish. The national deficit is currently over £1 trillion, with interest payments of over £40 billion a year, how much of that is down to the bank bailouts ?
    Labour’s true economic legacy is one of huge debt and misery for millions, none of your half-arsed ideas will resolve the problems of 13 years of gross finacial mismanagement

    Horsesh**, the National debt is over over £1 trillion, costing the country over £40 billion a year in interest payments. This is mostly down to reckless overspending not the bank bailouts.
    We can all see what Labour’s true economic legacy is – a country in a financial mess and millions having to suffer the consequences !!

  • Simon Gittins

    ‘So we can safely say that the deficit was caused by bank bailouts and recession.’

    Absolute rubbish. The national deficit is currently over £1 trillion, with interest payments of over £40 billion a year, how much of that is down to the bank bailouts ?
    Labour’s true economic legacy is one of huge debt and misery for millions, none of your half-arsed ideas will resolve the problems of 13 years of gross finacial mismanagement

    Horsesh**, the National debt is over over £1 trillion, costing the country over £40 billion a year in interest payments. This is mostly down to reckless overspending not the bank bailouts.
    We can all see what Labour’s true economic legacy is – a country in a financial mess and millions having to suffer the consequences !!

  • Marsh

    Somehow the Labour party need to move the narrative from the Condems line of “mess we inherited” to either an explanation of why we have a deficit, though to be honest i am not sure that it is a media friendly soundbite. Or what i would think to be more successful to a narrative of Condem choices.

    not one thing they have done has been a necessity. I am not saying cuts were not needed, everyone agrees they were. Any party that would have won the last election would have had to CHOOSE what cuts to make.

    Maybe some of the choices would have been the same no matter which party was in power but i bet not all of them would have been.

  • Marsh

    Somehow the Labour party need to move the narrative from the Condems line of “mess we inherited” to either an explanation of why we have a deficit, though to be honest i am not sure that it is a media friendly soundbite. Or what i would think to be more successful to a narrative of Condem choices.

    not one thing they have done has been a necessity. I am not saying cuts were not needed, everyone agrees they were. Any party that would have won the last election would have had to CHOOSE what cuts to make.

    Maybe some of the choices would have been the same no matter which party was in power but i bet not all of them would have been.

  • Steveb147

    Does the same apply when the Tories put the bonkers Barroness Warsi on QT too? You know her being unelected and all?

  • Steveb147

    Does the same apply when the Tories put the bonkers Barroness Warsi on QT too? You know her being unelected and all?

  • Andy Finley

    Can Simon Hughes be sitting comfortably with the changes being made to the NHS? A two tier system? The Tories have stuck the knife into the NHS and show no sign of abating until they get their wicked way. Privatisation.

  • Gilliebc

    All very good points there Steve.
    Regarding Nick Clegg, if I was a gambler (which I’m not) I would be betting that Cleggy will become an official Tory just asap.
    I would also be laying odds (I think that’s the term) on this ConDem government not being able to last for the full terrm.

  • Chris lancashire

    Whilst your headline is correct there are far too many half truths in the rest of the article. Firstly, there is no element of the VAT increase in these figures – that will impact later. Secondly, to imply that a tax on banks and bonuses (which the Tories are levying this year anyway) is nothing short of ludicrous – Brown’s black hole is so huge no one tax could fill it.

    Finally, there is absolutely no need for a rate rise, the current inflation rate is, as you rightly say, a result largely of commodity prices and the new Tory taxes are sucking enough out of the economy to prevent the traditional wage-price spiral which interest rates seek to prevent.

  • Chris lancashire

    Absolutely spot on Simon, the latest Labour narrative seeks to pin it all on those nasty bankers forgetting that Brown ran defecits ever since 2002 and right through a boom for the economy and hence tax receipts.

  • Chris lancashire

    On that basis Sarah, Labour aren’t the Official Opposition with 29% of the vote. Anarchy reigns!

  • LispingEd

    “Key consepts…”

    maybe literacy would be a more important thing to concentrate on….

  • John_P_Kelly

    Can you not ‘google that’?!

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