The Government is keen to suggest that if they hadn’t taken the decision to cut the deficit so hard and so fast, we would be in the same boat as Greece and Portugal. As Duncan Weldon’s blog reveals, actually it’s because the coalition chose to cut so deep and so fast that we are now looking more and more like Greece and Portugal.
Britain’s lamentable growth figures for the last six months are not part of a wider European malaise. The international comparisons show that in the first six months of the current coalition government – before its policies began to take effect – Britain’s economy was growing faster than the European average. But by the time Government cuts had begun to impact on spending decisions (corporate and personal), over the last six months, Britain had fallen well behind the European average: and only Greece and Portugal whose economies are also affected by major cuts programmes score worse.
It’s got to be remembered though that Greece and Portugal are being forced into those cuts by the markets and external intervention: the coalition government is sacrificing growth voluntarily!