As a member of his first Cabinet, I was tested in Northern Ireland – as elsewhere the new government reduced the defict and reformed public services.
As the tenth anniversary of the 2010 election approaches, the author says that Labour’s own austerity record and plans were almost as tough as the Coalition’s.
When a drop in the curve of the virus is seen, the public’s health mustn’t be endangered by a blinkered pursuit of balancing the books.
Two extreme versions of what happens next in Britain. Events are more likely to end up somewhere in the middle.
The reason we will get away with it again, as we did in the banking crash, is that there is so much deflation around, inflation is not a problem.
The theoretical aim of policy then should be bridging over what is hopefully a short pause in activity – eliminating near-term distress for households and businesses.
The implications of the crisis are such that Johnson and Sunak need not so much to think outside the box as to trample it to tatters altogether.
The fact that Darlington station was explicitly addressed in his statement is a great sign of how swiftly the Chancellor has mastered the detail of his brief.
It may be necessary, given the Coronavirus, and could even work. But Britain has a long, long record of state spending failing to turbo-charge growth.
The Coronavirus will punch a hole in Sunak’s sums sufficient to throw levelling-up, Boosterism, Brexit bonuses – what have you – off course.
My answer would be “maybe, provided the spending or tax cuts significantly improved our growth potential.”
Would the Government have the bottle for planning, childcare and police overhauls – and will Downing Street sign up to this plan anyway?
As a former Chief Secretary to the Treasury, I am uneasy about the bail-out of Flybe. Every time a private business is bailed out by the taxpayer, the pressure grows.
That’s a legitimate political agenda, and people are quite welcome to vote for it. But they deserve to know what’s coming.
The tax burden isn’t a full measure of the size of the state. But it’s arguably the pre-eminent factor and certainly that which most concerns the TaxPayers’ Alliance.