Thursday, 25 February 2010

George Osborne won't tell us what or how

"George Osborne: Tory government would quickly outline cuts to tackle debt" (Headline in The Times).

The shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer has been at it again.

The report reads as follows:

"George Osborne would set out the scale of cuts required to start tackling Britain’s debt mountain within weeks of taking office, he said last night.

And by the autumn a Conservative government would identify the savings required of every government department, the Shadow Chancellor said.

Mr Osborne, delivering the prestigious Mais lecture at the Cass Business School in London, said that without immediate action Britain risked losing its economic sovereignty.

Credit agencies would take fright, interest rates would rise and recovery would be undermined without prompt action, he said as he laid out a three-point plan of action should the Tories take office.

A new Office for Budget Responsibility would publish an independent audit of the public finances within weeks so the country could see the true scale of the challenge ahead, he said.

Mr Osborne would then present a Budget within 50 days to set the overall spending targets for four or five years. It would also set in train the Tories’ promised public sector pay freeze, cuts in the cost of running Whitehal by a third and moves to accelerate the rasing of the pension age to 66.

By the autum, Mr Osborne would be taking the “difficult decisions” about spending after a summer spent poring through the books of every government department.

The Shadow Chancellor put debt at the heart of the Tory election campaign when he insisted that prompt action on the £178 billion budget deficit was required to establish credibility with the markets.

It would also save money over the medium term, he said, because the markets would otherwise turn against Britain and force the next Chancellor into “dramatic tax risis and spending cuts that were indeed savage and swinging”.

The Government insists that early cuts would jeopardise recovery, and is not planning to make significant savings until 2011.

Mr Osborne said that whoever was Chancellor after the election had to establish their credibility with the markets by proving they were serious about cuts.

“A credible plan is not really credible unless you’re prepared to make a start on it this year. Otherwise, we are trying to persuade people that we will be virtuous, just not yet — and when you’ve been as irresponsible as Britain has been, that isn’t easy.”

Mr Osborne said: “Britain cannot run away from its problems. We have to deal with our debts to get our economy back on its feet.”

He added: “There is no choice between going for growth today and dealing with our debts tomorrow. Indeed, we will not have any meaningful growth unless we show we can deal with out debts.”"

I have two simple questions for Mr Osborne:


Are you too frit to tell us? 

George Osborne and David Cameron have the nerve to ask for our votes, but theirs is a false prospectus, for they are not telling us what they would do about the debt nor how Tory cuts would affect us.

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