UK economy needs realism
Thursday, 29 January 2009 11:13

The prime minister and chancellor don't seem to have a grip on the situation. In fact it's more realistic to say that they don't understand what is going on. How else can you explain their actions?

Day after day we are bombarded with new initiatives that pile more and more debt on, yet none of them make any impression on the public or the economy. It's fairly safe to say that it took a reasonable length of time to get into this situation, so it's not going to go away overnight. Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling are always looking for the quick fix, the attractive soundbite and the 'positive announcement'. These media announcements are pure spin, the kind that we have got used to and no longer seem to notice.

If you or I were in financial difficulties we would cut our spending, immediately and ruthlessly so that we got back into a sensible situation as quickly as possible. Basically if we don't have the money we can't spend it.

Gordon and Alistair don't see thing quite like that. They say "Let's borrow now and have a good time, then think about paying it back some other time!"

That is a totally irresponsible attitude. What they should be doing is cutting expenditure now. Real cuts. There are plenty of things that can go without making any difference to services . . .

  • ID cards - 5 billion saved immediately
  • ContactPoint - 500 million plus a million a week to run it
  • Third runway at Heathrow 9 billion, plus all the costs of enquiries etc etc

Those are just a start. Then we should get into the real meat - the cuts that will save real money . . .

  • tax credits
  • money for unemployed school leavers
  • money for single mothers
  • money for long-term sickness and disability
  • other social benefits

These things are no longer affordable so instead of letting them continue to sap the strength of our economy they need to go now. It needs to be clear to people that they need to fend for themselves and not expect a handout. Yes, they will be unpopular. But perhaps if we cut them a whole load of foreigners will decide to go home, back where they came from. Some of the women who have made a career out of producing children will think twice before producing more.

A whole generation has been raised knowing nothing but state handouts, that needs to stop, and stop immediately so that we will not be saddled with debt for ever and little chance of paying it off for 30 years.

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