Labours Legacy

While our Labour counter parts over at BULS continue their deficit denial and lap up the recent (flawed) critique of the budget from the IFS, we thought it might be appropriate to remind them and our readers as a whole why Labour lost the election and why we are in the mess we are in. The video above is a fair and accurate account of 13 wasted years in which we endured the most deceitful and wasteful government in our history. Enjoy!

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13 thoughts on “Labours Legacy

  1. I’d trust the IFS analysis over the flawed analysis Nick Clegg came out with, making assumptions with no basis at all.

  2. What aspect of the IFS paper do you find ‘flawed’? I was slightly amused to hear Nick Clegg so out of his depth in saying: “it ignores the measures we’ve introduced to get people back into work”.

  3. “a snapshot” I heard from Cleggy too, despite taking into account all aspects of the budget and projecting that over 4 years (rather than 2 years in which the budget showed charts, etc)

  4. The first problem is that the IFS report is only looking at the effect of benefits which account for 28% of Government spending. By the IFS’ logic if you chose to shut down all schools and hospitals in the inner cities, cut training services, and abolished help to find work and spent the money on higher benefits instead then you would by their logic be “progressive” because statistically you are giving the poorest in society greater benefits. Huzzah for the progressives!

    Similarly the IFS has been licking Labours backside for years claiming how wonderfully progressive their policies have been and how those on the most modest incomes have seen their living standards increase. They’ve produced lovely little graph after lovely little graph but something must have gone terribly wrong with their analysis because they negelected to acknowledge the graphs and statistics which clearly show inequality in the UK has never been higher than it was unber ZaNu-Liebour and the benefit culture has set in to British society like a cancer.

    Regardless we’ve had these debates a million times Jack. You and the IFS seem to see the world solely through graphs and spreadsheets. You know as well as I do that for every argument there is a credible counter argument. For every graph the IFS produces showing how progressive Labour were theres plenty more clearly showing the rise in come inequality and decline in social mobility that occured under Labour. Is this progressive?

    Labour spend too much time and money on treating the symptoms rather than the causes. They throw benefits at people and think giving them a few more pounds in their pockets is a sustainable and “progressive” way to improve their lot. Its not. It might aleviate their immediate concerns slightly, but in the long run it does nothing to help them but by the IFS’ standards this is progressive.

    What is truly progressive in my view is a government willing to take the tough decisions neccessary for sustainable recovery, a government that deals with the cause rather than the symptoms. It is an awful and uncomfortable fact of life that the poorest in society will always feel the pinch more because they have less to lose. If Labour were in power it wouldn’t be any different; the poor would always feel the pinch hardest.

    Gordon Brown tested to destruction the idea that more handouts are the way to a “fair” society. When the truth is if you want a more equal society you have to deal with the underlying causes of inequality; worklessness and lack of skills. We live in a globalised competative world but we British seem to see ourselves as a cut above and some of us have an intolerable sense of “entitlement” which 13 years of New Labour has done nothing to discourage.

    The world is tough and we need to make our country competative again so theres jobs in the future, so theres money for the public services and the NHS and so people have a future. Theres nothing progressive about sitting back and letting our country travel along the road to ruin. We need to take tough action and yes we should do all we can to lessen the burden on those at the bottom of society BUT tackling the benefit culture is essential and I applaud the coalition for having the guts to do it. If that mean the IFS produce a little graph showing that technically the poorest will “suffer more” then for the good of the nation its a neccessary evil.

  5. Cuts to benefits mean nothing if there aren’t jobs available for people to move into. It’s just going to make things worse. There are no jobs at the moment going. So cutting benfits is going to make things worse not better. But so long as the ConDems don’t have to worry about them as they slash and burn, who cares?

  6. You’re not getting it are you? We wouldn’t have to do this AT ALL. If Labour hadn’t messed up the economy so royally. In 1997 they had money to spend, unemployment coming down, investment going up, house prices booming, an economy in fine form. In 2010 we’ve inherited an economy in ruins with little sign of sustainable recovery. Our “recovery” that Labour boasts about was, like its entire tenure, nothing more than a mirage. A recovery funded by the very thing that got us in to the mess in the first place; BORROWED MONEY AND BAD DEBT. They’ll never learn.

  7. well the primary & globally accepted reason for the situation we are in now is because of the recent GLOBAL financial crisis/recession & the subsequent need to actually do something about it rather than let events unfold in potentially a worser recession than that of the great depression. Of course DC & Gideon dont like to mention that area as there soloutions at the time where somewhat lacking (& rather inconsitent)

  8. ALL RECESSIONS ARE GLOBAL YOU NUMPTUS LOL. Do you think the UK economy was the only one to go in to recession in the 80’s and 90’s? Get real. Everything has a knock on effect the reason why Britain is in the shit has nothing to do with the the global impact, although that was obviously a factor, it has to do with the apppppppallliinng state of the UK’s finances. Labour doubled the national debt to sustain their own illusion of economic stability, now that money has to be repaid and guess what? We can’t afford to pay it. So we’re having to implement cuts bigger than Thatcher. Labour admitted they’d have to do the same if they won the elction. The debt needs to be tackled NOW. Thats what the public voted for, that is what is going to happen.

  9. Well you didn’t really reply to my post but ok. And well the public didn’t really vote for immediate cuts, the combined share of the vote and seats of Labour and the Liberal Democrats who both at the time supported delaying the cuts was far greater than the Tories.

    Oh and 1990s recession I’ll give you as Global…1980s though…not really, plus look at Zimbabwe with DC’s ahdent supporter good ol’ Mugabe for a localised recession. Though admittadely that is an extreme case.

  10. Dan, the IFS does not restrict itself to benefits in its analysis. One only has to look as far as the executive summary on page 1 where tax issues are raised; and the cuts to other areas of government spending are likely to hit the poor more than anyone else.

    You talk about graphs, statistics and credible counter arguments but it’s a shame that these are the things that are always absent from your comments. Further you state that it is Labour who spend huge sums on benefits when in fact it was your party that increased benefit and social security payments as a share of GDP while slashing military budgets.

    The reality is that the shift from the RPI measure of inflation to the CPI is not inevitable and will harm the poorest in our society. As the IFS rightly points out, only 23% of benefit claimants are unaffected by increases in mortgage payments and council tax while the CPI does not include these in its measure of inflation. So 77% of benefit claimants will see their payments shrink in relation to these fundamental costs of every day life.

    Those on incomes of only a few thousand pounds a year (part-time working single parents for example) will not benefit in any way from the increase in the income tax personal allowance while a childless couple on £100,000 a year will receive at least an extra £200 a year. While the policy isn’t necessarily bad in itself, it helps those on middle incomes but does nothing for the poorest. Osborne has frozen child benefit for three years, removed the baby element of the child tax credit, restructured the calculation of year on year tax credits so that falls in income of up to £2,500 per year will lead to no increase in payments. Beyond 2013, those who have been unemployed for over a year will see a 10% cut in their housing benefit and the increase in VAT will no-doubt have its usual regressive effects.

    As a country with one of the lower burdens of debt I fail to see why your party promised tax cuts for the richest 6 people in each constituency (fortunately this has been dropped); and why you’ve cut taxes for those earning £70,000 a year while failing to offer help to those earning £7,000 per year.

    “Labour doubled the national debt to sustain their own illusion of economic stability, now that money has to be repaid and guess what? ”

    The only meaningful measure of the national debt is its level as a share of GDP which did not double under labour and is now at around 70% of GDP (100% debt has been it’s typical historical level), lower than the USA, France, Italy or Japan. Harold Macmillan saw debt at over 100% of GDP and I don’t think he ever felt the need to hit the poorest. We don’t suddenly have to ‘repay the debt’ as you put it, as we’ve been in debt since 1690. The national debt only saw sizeable and long-term shrinkage during the industrial revolution and the post-war consensus period. In the latter case, hitting the poorest was the one thing that we didn’t do and the one thing that we shouldn’t do this time. Growth, low and stable background inflation and rising tax receipts will, however play a role.

  11. I think Dan’s comments regarding the debt are fundamentally flawed, as Britain’s debt as a percentage of GDP was lower when the recession kicked in than what it was when Tony Blair came to office in 1997. It was at it’s lowest (around 30%) in 2001, then crept up a few percent heading towards 2007-08, before it skyrocketed as the Government had to stabilise the economy in the middle of the recession.

    In terms of the annual defecit, the annual level of borrowing was negative under Labour in the early 2000’s, then snuck back up over 0 after that, but only shot up after 2007/08, again when the recession kicked in.

    Unless of course Dan is seriously trying to persuade us that the Tories wouldn’t have borrowed to stabilise the economy? Because I don’t believe that for a second.

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