Halve interest rates. Cut out waste and undesirable public spending. Sell some public sector assets to raise cash.
The government should do all three if it is serious about preventing recession or recovering from the downturn.
Money is too tight and interest rates too high, just as money was far too loose and interest rates too low for too long in the period 2001-6. The current inflation comes from past mistakes, and will subside as soon as world commodity and energy prices subside, which they may well do.
Even today, if the government imposed a staff freeze (excluding essential front line service employees like teachers, nurses, police, doctors and service personnel) the costs would run off quite quickly given the huge size of administrative payrolls. It should also place a ban on most new consultancy contracts, cut down numbers of political and press advisers, and slow down or cancel expensive computer schemes, especially the ID one. It would not be difficult to save billions over the next year or so.
Asset sales would also help the public accounts at a time when they are strapped for cash. Letâ€™s see the sale of the Student Loan book accelerated. Bring on the sale of Northern Rock. Insist on more private capital for the railways.
There are many things the government could do to get a grip on its finances. Being a government of spinners, all it will do is change the basis for setting out the borrowing figures and the fiscal rules, and carry on borrowing as if there were not repayment day. That will prevent the Bank cutting interest rates as much as possible, and will intensify the squeeze on the rest of us. The UK is the worst placed of the major economies to ride out the Credit Crunch, because its own economic policy is so appallingly badly run.
Of only we could have some action to fight recession, instead of wonky words and fiddled figures.