There has been a lot of nonsense talked about budgets for the next five years. The Conservatives have set out their plans in the last 2015 Budget book from the Treasury. Few seem to have read it, so here is a reminder.
The aim is to eliminate the budget deficit. Spending will rise from £737 billion (£11,497 per person) to £797 billion (£12,434 per person) , an increase of £60 billion. Taxes will rise from £602 billion (£9391 per person) to £746 billion (£11,638 per person). This will more than remove the deficit after other income is taken into account. The rise in tax revenue comes from growth in the economy, not from higher tax rates.
Spending is effectively frozen for the first couple of years. The rate of cash increase should keep up with pay, prices, and productivity growth, given the current low level of inflation. There is no need for there to be a real terms cut, unless inflation takes off. This allows for the extra £8 billion for NHS spending.
Revenue will grow well assuming as the Treasury does that the economy continues to grow faster than 2% per annum.
So we can sum up the last five years and the Conservative plans for the next five years in two simple rounded figures – in each of the 2 Parliaments, spending goes up by one thousand pounds per per person,and tax revenue goes up by two thousand pounds per person, eliminating the need to borrow any more.