Sunday, February 06, 2011

And he ought to know...

It seems that—unlike some advocates of liberty (David Davis: I'm looking at you)—Douglas Carswell MP has become even more forthright since the Coalition gained power. In yet another of his routinely stinging posts, Douglas neatly sums up all of the things that the ConDems have absolutely failed to do...
Yes, the talk is bold, but how much has public policy really altered since May?

Cutting the deficit? Ministers say so, but not the maths. Borrowing is up. Like pretty much every other post-war government, this one seems to be using higher taxes and inflation to solve its debt problems, rather than seriously curb state largesse.

Political reform? All those interesting ideas, mooted at the height of the expense scandal, including recall and open primaries, seem forgotten. Instead we’re to have a referendum on AV—which was in neither Coalition party’s manifesto.

Bonfire of the quangos? It’s gone out.

Localism? Maybe. But what about localising the money?

Great Repeal Bill? Try googling it.

Europe? This afternoon the government will announce we’re opting into yet another EU proposal on criminal justice. Plus ca change.

Welfare reform? Full marks. But is this a change of policy or an acceleration of the reforms Labour’s James Purnell piloted.

Defence? We carry on cutting what we need, while spending on ruinous contracts we can ill-afford.

New politics? Same sofa.

Indeed. What is, of course, most worrying is the Coalition's failure to get to grips with public spending. And I declare this a failure not primarily because the government is continuing to add to Britain's massive debt—although it is—but because the debt is apparently the raison d'etre for everything that the Coalition does.

For instance, do you think that the Coalition has not ripped up enough of NuLabour's draconian laws? Are you wondering where your Freedom Bill is? Or maybe you are concerned about the fact that, far from "repatriating powers from the EU", the ConDems seem to be conceding as many as possible (possibly to beat the deadline on their own referendum lock)?

Ah, well, you see, the Coalition would love to do all of these things but they simply don't have time: the public debt is a ticking bomb and if Nick and Dave don't spend the majority of their time trying to sort it, then we will all—quite literally—go "boom".

Of course, those of us who are interested in liberty thought that the colossal fuck-up that NuLabour made of the finances might be a blessing in disguise. After all, a cut in public spending means smaller government; and if things really are that bad, then the government is going to have to cut public spending, right?

Wrong.

As people like John Redwood MP have consistently pointed out, despite all this talk of "cuts" the government will be spending £92 billion per year more of our money by 2015.

And, as Redwood notes again, public spending (and borrowing) is up substantially (in November, the Coalition spent 10% more than Labour did in the previous November); he also summarises the Coalition's debt reduction strategy.
The figures remind us that the deficit reduction strategy relies on higher tax revenues, not on spending reductions overall. Whilst some individual areas have been cut in real terms and some even in cash terms, the overall trend of current spending growth this year has been one of strong growth in cash terms, with a real increase of around 3% depending on your choice of inflation index. Capital spending has been reduced, which takes a little of the pressure off the deficit. With the exception of October, the growth rate of spending has been accelerating over this financial year.

The main weapons to tackle the deficit will be the higher VAT rate, higher fuel duties, higher National Insurance, and the estimated increased taxes from growth and inflation. As the higher taxes come due, so the questions about value for money and the choices made over public spending will become more insistent from a public worried about the impact of the taxes on living standards.

And this is the absolute crux of the matter—the ConDems have absolutely no intention of reducing spending. Nor do they have any intention of reducing the size or scope of government. No, the Coalition's strategy is to avoid any meaningful cuts in public expenditure and, instead, to plug the gap in the public finances through tax rises.

Worried yet?

It gets worse. For some time now, Cameron has been stressing that the Coalition wants to stimulate growth in the economy and that this will also help to bring down the deficit (and remember that the Coalition are only aiming to eliminate the yearly deficit: they have no strategy for reducing the actual debt itself).

In October, the massively-foreheaded wanker who now leads this country was banging on about a...
"forensic, relentless approach" to ensuring the UK's future economic growth."

We don't need forensics, Dave: we know what delivers growth—low taxes and less regulation.

Unfortunately, the Coalition are unable to undo large amounts of the regulation without leaving the EU—which they are not going to do—and, as we all know, they are increasing taxes like it's going out of fashion.

So, to summarise—the Coalition are doing very little about civil liberties, are spending more, raising taxes, and fucking economic growth.

What a triumph.

And I haven't even touched on the barking insanity of their energy policy yet...

8 comments:

Mr Ecks said...

The world economy, esp the US, is a timebomb ticking down to the blast. When it goes these morons will have the cuts made for them. Still not good for the rest of us of course but as their power goes we may still have a chance to get out from under.

Anonymous said...

Just posting this "interesting" BBC anti-libertarian article:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-12360045

A choice quote from the closing paragraph:

"It is perhaps in the end a sign of immaturity to object too strenuously to sometimes being treated like a child."

Manu said...

Welcome back from your holiday DK! ;-)

@anonymous - thanks for that BBC link. Having forced myself to read the whole article, I felt the need to indicate in the comments what I feel the author could do with his views. However, despite only being posted on the 4th - and only having 4 comments so far (2 of which having been moderated) - I saw that the facility has already been closed...

Perhaps it's for the best - negativity on the day of rest would do my health no favours....

Techno Mystic said...

I noticed that BBC article because it is being promoted on the front page, but the comments are indeed already closed!

Lord Blagger said...

Haven't you realised yet that growth means something different to the government from the rest of us?

It's a common feature of English grammar that you can drop a word, its called ellipsis.

For example

‘Do you want large eggs?’ ‘No, I will have small.’ (= ‘I will have small eggs.

The eggs bit is left off.

So when governments talk about growth, they have missed off part of the full sentence.

We get out of the hole by growth in tax revenues.

In other words, for the government Growth really means more taxes.

Chalcedon said...

the increase in VAT is hurting me and my family therefore. The fuel price, mostly tax, is really hurting. I live in a rural location. As ever no government has ever helped me or mine. Just screwed us over for taxes. Now Cameron says he has no money to cut taxes. What nonsense. All he needs to do is get rid of 90% of ALL Quangos and save over £100 billion. He could abolish income tax. That would boost the economy a lot. And it would get rid of big government too. But he doesn't have the balls to be radical.

neil craig said...

I w3ould say low taxes, less regulation and inexpensive power. It looks like 93% of the cost of electricity is a mixture of government taxes & levies, government insisting on windmillery & preventing nuclear, government regulationn being most of the cost of nuclear, government preventing mass production of nuclear with consequent economies of scale.

Roue le Jour said...

Ah, well, you see, the Coalition would love to do all of these things but they simply don't have time...

There are over a hundred members of government. They can't all be sitting in an incense filled darkened room chanting for the growth fairy, surely?