The Chancellor told us his preferred mixture of tax increases and spending cuts to curb the deficit was 20% tax rises and 80% spending cuts. Mr Ed Miliband favours something closer to 50/50.
In the government Budget Red Book we learn that the public sector net borrowing requirement was £154.7 billion in 2009-10. This falls to £37 billion by 2014-15 on the government’s plans. Over that time period tax revenue rises by £176 billion and total public spending by £68 billion (currrent spending plus £92 billion, capital spending minus £24 billion). Calculated crudely, tax increases account for practically all the deficit reduction.
The Treasury scores it differently. Presumably they count reductions in the rate of growth in spending as contributions to deficit reduction. On their figures in 2010-11 tax increases account for 41% of the deficit reduction and in 2011-12 for 43%. It pays to examine the figures before using the soundbites.