It is no secret that the British left has had a difficult relationship with fiscal responsibility. From the gargantuan deficit of the Labour’s GEXIV manifesto to the 2.25 trillion fiscal rollercoaster that were the many iterations of the Solidarity manifesto those on the left have almost always put fiscal responsibility on the backburner.
That is why the fact that the Broad-left document contains a series of extravagant spending pledges should come as no surprise. Nonetheless most previous center-left and left-wing governments such as Sunrise opted to propose at least some minimum measures to curb the increases in deficit such as tax rises. This time however there is no such assurances with the government proposing to rid itself of a quarter of all revenues from LVT by devolving the tax fully without considering how big of a role the tax plays in funding our public services. The coalition agreement shows us this is a government without a plan and will make it up as it goes along. It’s clear the Treasury will need to raise taxation on ordinary people and it will be interesting to see if the government is straight up with people that it won’t be the ordinary workers paying for this but the wealthy
On the expenditure side, there are proposals to effectively throw away tenths if not hundreds of billions on a DOA nationalisation program. Even if we ignore nationalisation the structural deficit is set to surge massively as day-to-day expenditure is set to skyrocket even further. Whether that be “free” personal care, extra foreign aid or any other of the endless spending packages proposed.
A deeply concerning fact is that the United Kingdom does not have this money, almost all the projects contained within documents are most likely going to be funded by borrowing and borrowing alone. Thanks to which the new government would all but guarantee that our children would find themselves saddled with enormous amounts of debt all for the privilege of getting to pay for an inferior service from the state.
Most reprehensible of all however are the government’s fiscal priorities or lack thereof. At a time of escalating tensions and uncertainty they are proposing to slash funding to our armed forces, while also pushing for a 2% target of international aid, a department that has time and time again been shown to be a white elephant. The government will be forced to put your taxes, raise taxes on ordinary British workers so it can ship your money overseas. The same can also be said for the proposal to spend billions of pounds reinstating regressive VAT relief that benefits the rich all the while wasting billions on subsidising cooperatives and kneecapping successful businesses with an array of punitive and spiteful measures such as a cut in free port numbers and a swath of nonsensical regulations.
Fortunately the government finds it without a working majority Nonetheless with a PM hellbent on ramming through their agenda and a Chancellor seemingly oblivious of the cost of their own policies it is imperative that the center and the center-right come together and put the brakes on before it is too late…