Jane Clifton in the October 25-31 Listener:
. . . For the Government, the only way through it is hair of the dog: do more of what got us in the merde, and do it early and often.
Because here’s another incomprehensible shock from the Beehive: an emergency December mini-Budget. After months of increasingly frenetic and detailed spending promises from Labour we are now told the Government doesn’t really know how it’s going to proceed in its fourth term of office, and will need to revise its programme within six weeks of taking office. How? Well it’ll get back to us on that – after the election.
This is like sitting through one of those long, hype-rich infomercials . . . but when you get to the bit where the histrionic narrator says, “But wait! There’s more!” he never actually tells you what the “more” is. . . Actually with the Economic Abdominiser it’s more likely to be, “But wait,! There’s less!”
Voers are entitled to suspect that Labour will – more in sorrow than in anger, of course – rethink its recent tax cuts . . . Other reversals of fortune must surely be up for consideration – a later, slower phase-in for the universal student allowance, for instance – and even bigger borrowings might also be on the cards . .
Labour has put restrictions on itself in ruling out out curtailing existing bureaucracy, which leaves citizens and businesses to bear the brunt of whatever extra stringencies might be coming. National could justifiably come up with a retaliatory chant to “borrowing to fund tax cuts”, namely “borrowing to fund bureaucrats”.
They’ve said the election’s about trust and that’s the one thing we can trust them to do.
(A preview of the column is here, it will be on-line in full on November 8th)