If you need a good belly laugh, Nick Clegg rarely disappoints. “There would be no recovery without @LibDems” is presumably a reference to Labour’s polling levels. The bit about the economy is comedy gold.
Don’t get too far ahead of yourself Nick. As explained yesterday, although GDP is back to pre-crash levels, people are not feeling the benefit, in part because the population has grown rapidly, meaning that the GDP per head figure will always lag behind:
Another reason we’re still feeling the pain, and will for a long time to come, is that we’re having to shoulder unprecedented levels of debt. George Osborne has piled up more debt in his short time in office than Labour did in 13 years. Hard to believe isn’t it? Last month this country had to go to the markets and borrow an extra £11billion just to keep the lights on, more than we had to borrow in June 2013. We all now owe £1.2 trillion, and growing. I’m not sure exactly how far that much money would reach if you laid it out in used fivers, but I suspect we’re in the realms of interplanetary space travel.
These are not just abstract numbers on a spreadsheet somewhere that have no real effect on people’s lives. We already spend more paying the interest on our debt than we do on our army, navy and air force. Or on that current hot topic, housing. Or on the police. That’s just the interest, never mind actual debt repayments. Imagine all the ways in which such huge sums of money could be better spent, instead of enriching the financial market. This level of debt is a millstone around our neck, and will be for at least another generation. And it’s still getting bigger.
The government took £488billion from the people of this country in taxes last year. VAT alone produced a record high take for the treasury of £100billion last year. We have record levels of employment, 30.2 million people in work and paying tax and NI, and falling levels of unemployment.
The last Labour government, pilloried by the coalition for it’s reckless spending, spent £673billion in 2010. After years of “austerity” and “savage cuts” how much do you think the coalition government is spending this year? £732billion, borrowing £5k every second to do it.
What cuts? Despite all the tough talk of austerity, this government has been spending irresponsibly. Every day we see taxpayer’s money wasted with a horrifying complacency. £700 million of UK taxpayer’s money taken by the EU to build roads and rail in Romania while our transport infrastructure groans under the strain. £166million given in bonuses to NHS managers while their frontline staff face pay cuts. How much do you think the guy who runs the West Midlands ambulances gets paid? Not even close – £232,000 a year, including the £50k pay rise he just got. This kind of out of control spending is repeated up and down the country a thousand times over. Not to mention the £55million we pay the EU every day.
There is huge scope for real cuts, or to give it its proper name, saving money. There is far too much waste because it is all to easy to spend other people’s money. As always it is the poorest in society who suffer most. If governments of all colours grew a backbone and stopped spending like drunken sailors, then perhaps they could actually improve people’s lives by lowering the tax burden a bit.
The average working household spends more on tax than on housing, fuel, food and clothing.
The solution is simple, we need smaller government. One which does less, but does it well.
Pantomime politics from our PM once again.
I see that David Cameron is talking tough on immigration in today’s Telegraph. Perhaps he read yesterday’s companion piece to this article – “The economy is bigger than in 2008, but so is the population it supports”. He even mentions the egregious EURES website that advertises hundreds of thousands of UK jobs across Europe. Good to know the PM reads UKIP Daily.
How disappointing that his words are nothing more than a cynical, empty, insincere attempt to appear tough on immigration. His solutions are either tinkering at the edges of the issue (limiting the jobs advertised on EURES to just 500,000), or would be illegal under EU law and thrown out at the first, costly , legal challenge. And haven’t we heard all this before (even G Brown talked about British jobs for British people). But then the PM just wants to talk the talk without ever intending to walk the walk. UKIP must continue to explain to people that the British Prime Minister, Tory or Labour, simply does not have the power to put ‘British people first’ while we are in the EU.
Photo by StockMonkeys.com