The error has been to treat tax cuts and spending plans as if they are part of separate decision systems. They are not. If you want credibility you don’t start with the income side of the P&L but with expenditure. What do we need to spend public money on and then how do we fund it, not the other way round.
Cutting income by cutting taxes could only lead to increasing borrowing if expenditure remained the same. But with interest rates rising servicing this debt soon appeared unaffordable. The three elements of tax, expenditure and borrowings have to be managed together. This is hardly a revolutionary idea.
Truss and Kwarteng once given the levers of power couldn’t wait to start moving them driven by their kindergarten level ideology. To change the basis of our nation’s tax and spend system may be a desirable thing to do. But if you have to sack a highly respected Treasury official to do this there should have been a pause for thought.
The rush to action was also profoundly undemocratic. It took place outside the normal budget cycle, was undebated in Parliament and had the character of emergency decision-making when there was no emergency. Well now there is – with markets reacting as markets do. There is nothing irrational about stock or currency trading – we may not like the wisdom of the market but it’s how it works and always has.
One thought on “So now our unplanned and profligate tax cut plans are, surprise surprise, to lead to savage cuts in public expenditure! Well who’d have thunk it ?”
This is a real reverse ‘Robin Hood’ government. Taking from the poor to give to the rich. Benefits and pensions to be capped and the triple lock is gone. Austerity is returning as government spending is slashed to give the richest in society tax breaks.
Well, the voters all now understand what the Conservative Party stands for. Red Wall voters now realise they were conned by one of the cleverest, dishonest political machines of our time. Even Johnson must be hiding under the duvet afraid to see the terrible damage they all caused to a nation once so prosperous and free as an EU member. All the warnings of disaster have come to pass.
It’s hard not to despair.