Simplistic mantra

LET'S see if we can de-mystify Mike Styles (Letters, January 7), because there is no mystery, only a deliberate absence of facts. Take the simplistic mantra that it is 'all Labour's fault'.

The Labour politician and economist Ed Balls summarised the true situation in his Bloomberg lecture last August - “It is a question of fact that we entered this financial crisis with low inflation, low interest rates, low unemployment and the lowest net debt of any large 07 country.”

The country isn’t bankrupt, nor does it have the largest deficit even in our own history. This isn’t about state inefficiency, it’s about market failure on a scale not seen since the Great Depression, with the banks then as now leading the way.

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The country has always had a deficit, which is why the accusation of “deficit denial” is wrong. To cut to the chase:

1. By scrapping Trident and its renewal, we can save £120 billion;

2. By cracking down hard on tax evasion and avoidance we can recoup £100 billion;

3. By keeping the £850 billion in banking assets in the public sector we can generate a long-term, high-yield revenue stream;

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4. We can also generate significant income by increasing taxes on the wealthy and their assets, and on big business and its multi-billion profits;

5. At the other end of the scale we can save billions by leaving Afghanistan and drawing down other unrealistic military deployments. We can also drop private sector consultants. And so on.

There is, however, one problem: this Tory-led coalition is ideologically opposed to any such measures.

I sugest that it is the coalition that is going to leave us in an almighty mess when it is booted out of office.


Second Avenue