Concerns about both Tory and Labour election spending pledges
For the last ten years, the word ‘austerity’ has been bandied about, both parliament and the wider political debate.
Accusations from the Tory party that the nation had been bankrupted by Labour, have been matched toe to toe by Labour accusing the Conservatives of supporting big business and punishing the working man and public services.
However, as the clock ticks down to another general election, while Brexit is ,of course, front and centre of the political debate, because it is not another referendum, the wider subjects that engage the electorate are being discussed and both sides are offering oodles of cash.
Before the election was even a certainty, Boris and his colleagues took every opportunity to divert attention away from Brexit. Appearing at police academies, schools and of course endless NHS wards, Johnson was eager to be seen to be pouring money into what have always been regarded as the central general election channels.
As expected, however, Labour and Jeremy Corbyn are proposing very similar policies.
It seems that both parties believe that the promise of a cash injection into the economy, which would elevate the feel good factor across the population, is a sure fire way to win on December 12.
However, think tanks who are scrutinising both sets of figures are unsure how either would actually balance the books and that is all overshadowed by the uncertainty of the Brexit outcome.
On the evidence so far, it seems that the Tories expect to raise public spending to 41.3 percent by 2023-4, which is way in excess of the 34.7 percent spent in the twenty years leading up to the financial crisis of 2007, and Labour pushes the public spending budget even further with a 43.3 percent of GDP predicted in the same timeframe.
The biggest question marks hanging over the viability of these figures are not only the economic impact of Brexit, but also the ageing nature of the population.
It appears therefore, that while both of the main parties intend to seduce the electorate with their spending plans the only way that either of them can achieve these aims is to increase taxes, which will of course be a very unpopular move, be it on income tax or indirect taxes like VAT.
Both Johnson and Corbyn will certainly be flashing the cash in coming weeks, but the Chancellor and Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer may find it almost impossible to explain exactly which money tree they are gathering their fruit from.
Government After Next General Election
|Labour – Snp Coalition||12/1|
|Conservative – Dup Coalition||18/1|
|Labour – Lib Dem – Snp Coalition||22/1|
|Labour – Lib Dem Coalition||25/1|
|Conservative – Brexit Party Coalition||33/1|
|Conservative – Lib Dem Coalition||66/1|
|Lib Dem – Snp Coalition||200/1|
|Lib Dem Minority||200/1|
|Conservative – Labour Coalition||300/1|
|Lib Dem Majority||400/1|
|Brexit Party Minority||750/1|