Wokingham Times

The Chancellor should say sorry.

He should say sorry for the deepest and longest recession since the Thirties of the last century.

He should say sorry for their regulatory system which did not see banks and building societies were going bust.

He should say sorry to all the people out of work or about to lose their job.

He should say sorry for the huge damage caused to many pension funds b y his tax and regulatory policies, leaving people with little or nothing for their retirement.

He should say sorry for heaping so much debt on the British people.

He should say sorry for the wild conduct of monetary policy in recent years, which stoked the boom and then plunged us into the crash.

Instead, he played silly and dangerous political games, seeking to use the budget to vilify the Tories and set them policy traps. He said Tories wish to do nothing, and wish to damage crucial services. This is simply untrue.

The Chancellor should give us an honest account of the dire state of the public accounts.

He should tell us they may lose us £200 billion through the banks they have bought and guaranteed, as the IMF have warned. That’s more than £3000 for every man, woman and child in the country. Even his own rumoured figure of losses of £60 billion means he admits he has lost every one of us £1000 on his bank nationalisation madness.

He should tell us the build up of debt has been too fast and too great, and poses us a big threat to our future growth rates and living standards.

He should tell us that his forecasts a year ago were wildly optimistic, and his forecasts last autumn were so wrong as to verge on the mendacious. He should give us a sober assessment of the extent and duration of the downturn

Instead, he went for too low a figure for banking losses, was wildly optimistic about the extent of the recovery in subsequent years, and continued to understate the future debts by a huge margin..

Finally, the Chancellor should say that he intends to start getting the UK public sector to live within its means. He should not delay this until after the next election, and not treat reducing public spending as some kind of imaginary game or political challenge to the Tories. He should instead this year make large reductions in undesirable, wasteful and not strictly essential expenditure. Schools and hospitals, nurses and teachers should be safe. ID cards, centralised computer systems, unelected regional government, more subsidies to banks and other large companies, increases in regulation and public administration will all go. He will require all MPs to cut their costs and the costs of Parliament by 10% to show a lead.

Instead, the cuts have been delayed, are political, and often not for real. It was a fantasy budget and a very political budget. It was the McBride memorial budget.This government not only divorced Prudence, but continues to hold a drink and drugs party on her grave. That is bad news for all of us.

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One Comment

  1. Matthew
    Posted April 30, 2009 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    Agree with each and every point you make here, John. John Redwood for Cabinet….!

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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