WE have heard from our local Labour MPs and Coun Box, in this paper and elsewhere, how those ‘nasty Toreez’ are cutting government spending including the council’s budget.
They plead Labour only ran up a huge debt because of the global downturn. Myself, Alex Story and Antony Calvert, have long contended in your pages, that Labour’s debt mountain was building up well before the credit crunch of 2008. Well, the results are now out and the referee is a report from the International Monetary Fund.
It comes as no surprise to me to find that we have been right all along, but we were wrong in one respect. We claimed the structural deficit Labour was running before 2008, was 3.5% (52bn). Appearing on the Andrew Marr show in January 2011, Ed Balls, for Labour, denied there was any structural deficit at all prior to the credit crunch. This, despite the fact that Labour’s own pre-budget report acknowledges that there was a 3.1% structural deficit.
The IMF have now calculated that the structural deficit created by Labour by 2007, was in fact 5.2%, which equated to our national debt increasing, by 78bn pounds a year. This was before the now infamous, ‘World Economic Downturn,’ that Mssrs Creagh, Balls, Cooper and Trickett like to hide behind when confronted about the economic mess they left behind. So, it isn’t just the Conservatives saying so, it is now the entirely independent IMF.
Perhaps now Coun Box will acknowledge the need for the cuts to government spending, and bear the pain of the Brown/Balls legacy of economic incompetence, with at least a modicum of the humility, that some might think befitting of one of their cheerleaders.