New Labour has only got itself to blame for the terrible mess (pdf) facing the public finances. Its failure to see that a debt-fuelled economic boom would end in tears lies at the heart of the shocking rise in the deficit projected for this year. Its neo-liberal strategy lies in tatters.
But we should not allow the mendacity of the Conservatives – and the Liberals for that matter – to lead their counter attack on public services. Their arguments are based on prejudices, not an interpretation of facts. Contrary to their repeated assertions, public spending is not out of control. The deficit has risen because of the stunning collapse in the banking system. Those who caused this crisis should be made to pay, not the workers delivering public services and those who rely upon them.
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