Monday, 10 January 2011

Miliband, deceit & Labour's legacy

Denying all responsibility for the deficit is a serious political error says Philip Collins replying to Ed Miliband's assertion that the Coalition is deceiving people when they suggest the deficit was caused by chronic overspending rather than a global financial crisis that resulted in recession and a calamitous collapse in tax revenues. Don't blame us for the financial disaster Mr Miliband protests, it happened to everyone else as well, making it perfectly acceptable. I doubt the electorate will see it that way.

The 1997 Labour government were bequeathed a national debt of around £300bn and left it thirteen years later at £900bn. And thats without including PFI deals which have kept a further £267bn of additional government spending, Enron-style, 'off balance sheet'.

Even with the Coalition halving the deficit within this parliament - which Labour is fighting at every opportunity to stop - that debt will actually rise to more than £1.5 trillion.

This staggering level of debt left by Labour will take a generation to repay. A generation who were not responsible for spending it and whose use of the word 'fairness', might legitimately be very different to Mr Miliband and his Labour cabinet ministers who signed off the spending.

By any measure an apology would be appropriate.