Chancellor Darling this afternoon unveiled his master plan. As the recession begins to bite; as businesses begin to go to the wall; as the value of the pound hacks into export profits, the Government reveals its plan.
Borrow more money. The first ever VAT cut – by two and a half percent – comes with a £12.5bn price tag. In all, another £20bn of borrowing is to be pumped in, taking next year’s levels alone to a dizzy £118bn next year, or 8 percent of GDP.
Darling told Parliament that ‘we could walk away, let the recession take its course’ and suggested we could ‘sink or swim’. His idea is to reduce the effects of the recession by hiking up Government borrowing to around half a trillion pounds. And to pay for this? To cover the seventeen thousand pounds for every man, woman and child which Government borrowing equates to?
Tax rises. A new higher rate tax of 45%, higher National Insurance contributions plus a hike from 2011 on in duty payable on fuel, alcohol and tobacco.
So this was it? The big idea to lead us all to salvation, to stave off the effects of the recession?
Borrowing yet more money without even asking the taxpayer whether we’d mind. Running the risk, if it fails, of plunging Britain headlong into an even worse state which will inevtiably take a generation to pull back from. Given Labour’s record so far, it’s a huge leap of faith for ther British public.
And when Labour are roundly drummed out of office, what a legacy to leave the next Government.