From the TUC

Samuel Brittan joins the doubters

18 Jun 2010, by in Economics

Here is Samuel Brittan in today’s FT:

The trick of the British establishment is to turn discussion from “whether to” into “how to” questions. The media debate is on which government services to cut or on the balance between spending cuts and tax increases. Once the discussion has been channelled into these trenches the establishment has won. The real argument, however, should be on whether we need unparalleled fiscal austerity or not.


David Cameron and George Osborne are behaving like owners of a whelk stall rather than economic managers of a nation with its own currency.


We could live with an old-time religion Conservative Budget if the rest of the world stayed with sensible demand management. The real harm is that the British government has tipped the balance in favour of ill-timed financial austerity at gatherings such as the Group of 20. Even then there is some hope that the more pragmatic German and French leaders may make their austerity a matter of words more than deeds. And all is not lost so long as the Obama administration and China’s leaders stick to quasi-Keynesian policies.

2 Responses to Samuel Brittan joins the doubters

  1. Mary
    Jun 18th 2010, 11:05 am

    I’m still trying to understand all this. If taxpayers owe billions of debt we must know precisely who its owed to – I’m talking about specific institutions and individuals. Shouldn’t any sensible debate begin by naming these creditors, instead of hiding behind abstract concepts such as “the market”? I want to know who’s getting the money being taken out of public services and benefits.

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