Today we are being softened up for the Budget. Treasury briefing has been allowed out of the dark back room, to tell us the blindingly obvious – the nation’s finances are in a much bigger mess than they have been letting on. We read that the deficit might rise as high as £150 billion next year. Hold on a minute – hasn’t the Treasury noticed they have already borrowed more than £150 billion this year, so that would be a small reduction!
The media keep on falling for the spin. How on earth could a tax rise to 20% VAT fill the “black hole”? How could just £500 each fill it when the debt burden is already so huge, and when we have six greedy banks to maintain in the lifestyle to which they have become accustomed? £500 extra from each taxpayer is only around 10% of the anual deficit. We are not going to get out of this massive overspend with a few “tough” tax increases. We need a root and branch reform of how much we spend and what we spend it on, beginning with a huge dose of reality for our nationalised banks which are literally too large for the state to subsidise on the current scale.
Nu Labour has changed the language to try to disguise or support the spending. They call spending “investment”. Investment now includes the spin doctors salaries to tell you school results are great, and the adverts to warn you to pay your taxes. In Labour’s newspeak a £157 billion borrowing programme in 2008-9 is a £78 billion deficit. An “Independent” Central Bank is one which is required to change the inflation target to keep interest rates down, and one which is asked to print money like there’s no tomorrow. “Child poverty” is another newspeak concept, meaning parent poverty.
Labour introduced the idea of child poverty because calling the problem “parent poverty” would have led to more questions about what the correct response to it should be. Instead of tackling welfare reform so people were equipped and incentivised to work, the government preferred creating a complex system of benefits which did not succeed in reducing parent poverty by the promotion of more and better jobs in the way intended.
To get out of the current financial mess we will have to dismantle parts of the rambling and expensive government administration, beginning by the removal of most unelected regional government. We will need to tackle welfare reform, so more people are equipped to work and incentivised to get a job. We need to cut back on the ferocious spin machine. What is the point of all those Treasury briefers, if they fail to tell us the truth about the financial mess, and fail to warn early enough that we are running out of money to pay the bills?