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Former Tory Chancellors Warn Of The Need For Spending Cuts

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Nigel Lawson, who has been advising the shadow chancellor, George Osborne, urged the Tories to introduce an emergency budget within 40 days of coming to power, to outline swingeing cuts. "The public finances are in a terrible mess," Lawson said. "How much you do on the public expenditure side and how much you do by raising taxation, different people will have different views about it. My opinion is you need to do it very substantially on the public expenditure side."

Geoffrey Howe said: "The situation is even more difficult than it was [in 1979] because of the scale of the debt. That is the essential thing. But it is less difficult because there is not inflation. The general shape is pretty forbidding. It is not a question of whether there will be public spending cuts. Public spending has got to be restrained if you are going to address the debt problem." But Howe believes that Britain is not quite yet in the "last chance saloon" – his famous description of the country's plight during 1979. "It is different now," he said. "We are pretty much the next thing. It has not built up in the same way as it did. From 1970 on, government after government had been tackling the same agenda and had been defeated. It isn't anything like it really as it was then. There was a widespread sense of unease that it was overtaking us."

Norman Lamont chancellor between 1990 and 1993, believes that Britain is heading for a "pretty unpleasant" experience as it deals with a recession that dwarfs the one he had to handle in the early 1990s. "This recession is a lot worse than the 90s. The drop in GDP in the first quarter of this year was almost as great as the entire recession of the 1990s." Lamont believes people are making a mistake if they think they will escape lightly, on grounds that interest rates are lower in this recession. He said: "Interest rates have come down, the exchange rate has come down in this recession, and so people have felt …ah, things are easing, things will get better. I am afraid that could be a bit of an illusion. The effectiveness of interest rates will possibly be slower and longer than in previous recessions because this is a more organic, a more cyclical, recession. It is the result of accumulated debt and so it has to be worked off." Spending cuts will be grim as the next government deals with the "horrendous" public finances. "I think it will feel painful everywhere," he added.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2009/ju...ont-chancellors

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Nigel Lawson, who has been advising the shadow chancellor, George Osborne, urged the Tories to introduce an emergency budget within 40 days of coming to power, to outline swingeing cuts. "The public finances are in a terrible mess," Lawson said. "How much you do on the public expenditure side and how much you do by raising taxation, different people will have different views about it. My opinion is you need to do it very substantially on the public expenditure side."

Geoffrey Howe said: "The situation is even more difficult than it was [in 1979] because of the scale of the debt. That is the essential thing. But it is less difficult because there is not inflation. The general shape is pretty forbidding. It is not a question of whether there will be public spending cuts. Public spending has got to be restrained if you are going to address the debt problem." But Howe believes that Britain is not quite yet in the "last chance saloon" – his famous description of the country's plight during 1979. "It is different now," he said. "We are pretty much the next thing. It has not built up in the same way as it did. From 1970 on, government after government had been tackling the same agenda and had been defeated. It isn't anything like it really as it was then. There was a widespread sense of unease that it was overtaking us."

Norman Lamont chancellor between 1990 and 1993, believes that Britain is heading for a "pretty unpleasant" experience as it deals with a recession that dwarfs the one he had to handle in the early 1990s. "This recession is a lot worse than the 90s. The drop in GDP in the first quarter of this year was almost as great as the entire recession of the 1990s." Lamont believes people are making a mistake if they think they will escape lightly, on grounds that interest rates are lower in this recession. He said: "Interest rates have come down, the exchange rate has come down in this recession, and so people have felt …ah, things are easing, things will get better. I am afraid that could be a bit of an illusion. The effectiveness of interest rates will possibly be slower and longer than in previous recessions because this is a more organic, a more cyclical, recession. It is the result of accumulated debt and so it has to be worked off." Spending cuts will be grim as the next government deals with the "horrendous" public finances. "I think it will feel painful everywhere," he added.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2009/ju...ont-chancellors

I think the least the general public hear/see of Norman Lamont over the coming months, the better.

I hadn't realised that Geoffrey Howe was alive - ever!

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Even Dennis Healey agrees that there need to be cuts. Would never have recognised him from the pic though, nor Geoffrey Howe for that matter.

I wonder why Ken Clarke is not mentioned. As the only ex-chancellor still in frontline politics, you would have thought that he would have wanted his two-penneth.

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Nigel Lawson, who has been advising the shadow chancellor, George Osborne, urged the Tories to introduce an emergency budget within 40 days of coming to power, to outline swingeing cuts. "The public finances are in a terrible mess," Lawson said. "How much you do on the public expenditure side and how much you do by raising taxation, different people will have different views about it. My opinion is you need to do it very substantially on the public expenditure side."

Geoffrey Howe said: "The situation is even more difficult than it was [in 1979] because of the scale of the debt. That is the essential thing. But it is less difficult because there is not inflation. The general shape is pretty forbidding. It is not a question of whether there will be public spending cuts. Public spending has got to be restrained if you are going to address the debt problem." But Howe believes that Britain is not quite yet in the "last chance saloon" �" his famous description of the country's plight during 1979. "It is different now," he said. "We are pretty much the next thing. It has not built up in the same way as it did. From 1970 on, government after government had been tackling the same agenda and had been defeated. It isn't anything like it really as it was then. There was a widespread sense of unease that it was overtaking us."

Norman Lamont chancellor between 1990 and 1993, believes that Britain is heading for a "pretty unpleasant" experience as it deals with a recession that dwarfs the one he had to handle in the early 1990s. "This recession is a lot worse than the 90s. The drop in GDP in the first quarter of this year was almost as great as the entire recession of the 1990s." Lamont believes people are making a mistake if they think they will escape lightly, on grounds that interest rates are lower in this recession. He said: "Interest rates have come down, the exchange rate has come down in this recession, and so people have felt …ah, things are easing, things will get better. I am afraid that could be a bit of an illusion. The effectiveness of interest rates will possibly be slower and longer than in previous recessions because this is a more organic, a more cyclical, recession. It is the result of accumulated debt and so it has to be worked off." Spending cuts will be grim as the next government deals with the "horrendous" public finances. "I think it will feel painful everywhere," he added.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2009/ju...ont-chancellors

Is Norma back from Threshers then?

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I think the least the general public hear/see of Norman Lamont over the coming months, the better.

I hadn't realised that Geoffrey Howe was alive - ever!

Lamont actually has experience of dealing with a recession, he could be useful no?

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