This Budget must cut public spending
This budget is not remotely difficult. There is no ‘Golden Rule’ to uphold, no balancing act to perform and no Keynesian complexities to consider. Fiscal imprudence and irresponsible borrowing have led us to ‘bust’.
The expectations are of a ‘scorched earth’ budget – after all, what has the Prime Minister got to lose? Spend more, borrow more, make people feel a little better until the next general election, and if Labour do not win, Mr Cameron shall be left to take all the necessary unpopular decisions to clean up the mess – ‘more Tory cuts’. Cranmer is not going to bother with the phrase ‘moral duty’. Not because the Prime Minister no longer understands the meaning of the concept (if ever he did), but because the talk thread will be choked by those who assert ‘It depends what you mean by “moral”’ or ‘It depends what you mean by “duty”’, and communicants are thereby deflected from the urgency of the matter at hand.
If Labour understand the meaning of stewardship, they will grasp the imperative of bequeathing to the next generation an economy in a better state than that which they themselves inherited. That is moral.
If Labour have any economic sense or any concern for the common good, they must do what Her Majesty’s Opposition are reluctant to do – cut public spending. This budget must clearly and incisively expound the medium and long-term plans for doing so (and they can start with scrapping plans for ID Cards – every penny counts). Borrowing must be reduced. And inflationary pressures must be eradicated, for inflation is theft, and theft is immoral. And then they must simplify the taxation system, because it is grown too cumbersome and expensive to administer. Scale down tax credits; increase personal allowances. And they must trim the fat from the bloated public sector (some of the million non-jobs Mr Blair fabricated). And they must withdraw from the European Union, for it bleeds the nation of almost £60bn per annum.
As Alexander would say – ‘simples’.
But Cranmer shall no doubt soon awake from his dream to discover the shocking and depressing nightmare of the cold reality.