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Alistair Darling: Tories Have Misled Voters On Spending Cuts

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http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/jun/11/alistair-darling-david-cameron-apology

Alistair Darling will demand "a very big apology" from David Cameron for deliberately misleading the electorate about the state of the nation's finances if, as Darling expects, government borrowing figures released on Monday are better than forecast.

In an interview with the Guardian, the former chancellor accuses Cameron of deliberately exaggerating the scale of the problems so as to press ahead with pre-arranged plans to raise taxes and cut the size of the state.

Cameron's new Office of Budget Responsibility is due to publish a fresh borrowing forecast independent of the Treasury on Monday, and Darling suspects it will be lower than his own forecast in March.

A cautious politician during his three years as chancellor, Darling is personally affronted that he has been accused by the Tories of massaging forecasts and ignoring civil service advice. He is involved in a battle to defend his and Labour's legacy as responsible economic stewards and is taking a political gamble by raising the issue ahead of Monday.

He said: "If, when we see the borrowing figures on Monday, they turn out to be even better than I forecast in the budget, Cameron will have been found out to have misled people, and that is an extremely serious charge to lay against a prime minister. We will be due a very big apology and I'm going to get it from him."

He points out that the main two figures published since March have shown borrowing £10bn lower than forecast and growth marginally higher.

Darling said: "If it turns out that borrowing is lower than I thought then that puts a completely different complexion on things because what he has been doing is exaggerating the scale of the difficulties we face in order to justify the things he has wanted to do anyway."

In the interview Darling also discloses that he wanted to abolish identity cards in the pre-budget report last autumn, as part of a programme of spending cuts designed to show Labour's fiscal responsibility.

He also says he will take his share of the blame for the political class failing to tell the electorate about the scale of the cuts after the election. "It would be nice to live in a world in which you could have a candid debate about these things, but it's difficult. I will take my share of the blame.

"I think we could have got through this recession and won the election. There were bits of medicine we could have administered last year that would have made things easier. Had we gone further in saying to people round the cabinet table we are not going to do this [project], and we are going to make a virtue of not doing it, it would have been easier for us."

He also hints at irritation with the way the governor of the Bank of England, Mervyn King, intervened, saying: "I do think the Bank has to be terribly careful it does not come into party politics because that could be very, very damaging to it."

He also admits he is concerned by lack of growth in Europe, adding: "I am afraid that fiscal conservatism is now dominant." Revealing his fears for the euro's future, he says: "The real problem in the euro area is that because they do not have an economic and political union to back their currency, they just don't recognise that if Germany continues not to do something to stimulate the poorer economies, it is going to undermine the whole euro."

He warns if the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats take "large chunks out of our economy" while Europe is growing slowly, "the inevitable result is that we will bump along the bottom for years, and at worst you could derail the economy, but whatever happens jobs are going to go."

Genius, borrowing less money is good and proves we aren't in the economic mire, never mind the future interest payments is going to be gobbling up a huge % of govt tax receipts quite right Darling you deserve an apology because clearly the debt compound problem in the UK has been overstated.

However if it isn't as bad as Cameron is telling why did Darling want to cut projects last year.

Someone is speaking with a fork tongue here and is being deliberately misleading.

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Darling's token attacks against his own legacy as part of his job in opposition?

If I was Darling I would have resigned my seat and gone away somewhere to live a quiet and repentant life.

BTW where is Broon these days? Tutoring the Balls creature to be the next Labour leader?

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Wait until Monday then and see if Darling is vindicated.

Of course Libcons have said the deficit is huge so that they can bully the population into submission.

Cuts, cuts and cuts, always the Tory mantra and without any strategy for private sector growth.

A race to the bottom which enables assett strippers. The same old.

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Wait until Monday then and see if Darling is vindicated.

Of course Libcons have said the deficit is huge so that they can bully the population into submission.

Cuts, cuts and cuts, always the Tory mantra and without any strategy for private sector growth.

A race to the bottom which enables assett strippers. The same old.

Have to agree. Same old, same old.

But your wasting your breath here. Far too many free market, wealth creating, private sector tories. Most of which don't seem to remember the eightees.

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We never had an apology from Labour after saying defence spending had gone up when it hadn't, lying about immigration figures, and so on. He's got a brass neck and is just trying to keep his shadow job.

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We never had an apology from Labour after saying defence spending had gone up when it hadn't, lying about immigration figures, and so on. He's got a brass neck and is just trying to keep his shadow job.

AFAIK he has said he wishes to stand down from the Labour front bench.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/8695850.stm

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Is this the same money that Darling hid from Brown? . ..

Alistair Darling hid "good news" on the deficit from Gordon Brown until the day before his final Budget, just weeks ahead of the election, in a move that in effect left a £7bn present for his Conservative successor. The former chancellor fended off Mr Brown's demands for a pre-election spending spree after giving Downing Street provisional borrowing estimates far higher than the final figure.A "late revision" of the public finance forecasts, presented to Downing Street just 24 hours before the March Budget, put the 2010-11 deficit at £163bn – about £7bn short of Mr Brown's working assumption. A former colleague of Mr Darling said the "nifty manoeuvre" with the "good news" infuriated Mr Brown's advisers, averted their plans for a flurry of spending pledges and spared George Osborne the trouble of axing them after the election.
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/ac04b1c8-75a1-11df-86c4-00144feabdc0,dwp_uuid=ec12e25a-624a-11de-b1c9-00144feabdc0.html Edited by Timm

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Wait until Monday then and see if Darling is vindicated.

Vindicated HOW exactly?

Saying you'll need to borrow a mindbogglingly huge amount of money to pay for your spending but then needing to borrow a few billions less isn't exactly anything to boast about when the actual borrowing figure is still massive and unprecedented.

It's like rail companies deliberately lengthening journey times on timetables so that they can claim to be meeting punctuality targets without actually doing anything to improve service - and then whining when someone tells them to stick to the original timetable and get their act in order.

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I like a good knock about argument as much as the next person. Homeopathy, God, global warming, the risks associated with parabens in cosmetics. It is great fun to assume a position and do your best to demolish the opposition.

I don't think this is one of those kind of subjects yet. There is a level of public spending and borrowing that will ruin the country. Are we anywhere near that? I doubt it very much. Are we spending too much? Given the huge reduction in cash that can be fleeced from the City, I dare say we are. Cutting down on public spending has lots of effects on the real economy. Cut too much and you do very real damage to the economy. (See the eighties for an example.)

What is the best strategy? Nobody on here knows. Labour were not a disaster and I don't think the Tories will be this time either. I am sure they have learned the lesson of the Thatcher years as much as anyone else has. The consensus between the parties since the war has been pretty close and if you really doubt that, look how easily the Libs and the Cons have cosied up to each other. It could just as easily have been a Lib Lab one if the seat numbers had been a bit different.

Come on guys. There is some great analysis and debate on this forum, but when it comes to politics a lot of you are space cadets.

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  • 140 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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