Posts Tagged ‘Osbourne. Samuel Brittan’

We must be honest so that we can be distinctive on the deficit, says Jonathan Todd

19/10/2010, 02:30:34 PM

SOCIAL and economic debates on tax and spend run through the messages George Osborne will project tomorrow: his actions are fair (the social debate), best for the economy (the economic debate), and necessary, which intersects both debates. Clarity, and Labour’s cause, is aided by disentangling these strands.

Deficit reduction strategies need not only beginnings (start this year, next or when?), endings (completed in this parliament or next?), and content (tax and cuts mix?), but, crucially, they must also say what this content means for tax and spend in each year of this parliament. Political debate has so far failed carefully to pick over budgetary consequences from year to year.

There are opportunities for Labour in this examination. The government plans that cuts will account for three-quarters of the deficit reduction by 2014. However, next year, half the fiscal consolidation comes from tax rises. That spending cuts are intended to take greater strain over the longer-run has obscured the fact that 2011 sees ominous tax rises: increases in VAT and national-insurance. (more…)

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