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Is it really that simple?

August 2, 2022 3:48 PM

j6w0As the Conservative leadership hopefuls trade ever greater promises of tax cuts, they both seem to think that this alone will solve all our ills.

Nothing is said about the backlog of 6.6 million people waiting for NHS England operations, 60,000 court cases pending in England and Wales, and 90% of English schools waiting for urgent repairs. No mention is made of the fact that spend per pupil is unchanged on 2010 or that energy bills could get close to £4000 on average this autumn. Or the fact that promises to increase defence spending by 50% post Ukraine needs to be paid for. Or the fact that the UK is forecast to have the slowest growth of any rich country bar Russia despite the fact that incomes have already grown at the slowest rate in Europe for the past decade

This morning Ms Truss the bookies favourite suggested part of the money to pay for this would come from economies in public spending resulting from the introduction of regional pay reducing that paid to everyone outside the south-east. It was not explained how it helped levelling up or whether the size oif claimed savings bore any scrutiny. Within hours, after the proposal was torn to shreds by critics from across the political spectrum the idea was withdrawn.

Under Boris Johnson we got used to the Prime Minister executing U turns after sending ministers out to defend a policy. Ms Truss has taken the idea further, U-turning even before she becomes Prime Minister!!

The much-respected Institute of Fiscal Studies have forcefully made the point that other European countries have higher tax burdens than us but still seem to grow their economies more successfully. Whatever it is holding back UK growth it is hard to argue it is tax levels see Tory leadership candidates need to face reality on tax pledges - Prospect Magazine

The fact that Tory members are disproportionately white, affluent older, Southern English men makes it inevitable that policies that appeal to them will come to the fore in an election contest but they are electing a Prime Minister. Dealing in fantasies may be necessary to get their votes but the harder and more complicated realities that will confront whoever wins.

When the election is over we can expect a short-term bounce in popularity for whoever win before the realities of rising prices, growing debt and decaying public services come home to roost

It would not be too surprising if this moment in time is seized to have a general election before the bad news hits

Babergh (South Suffolk) Liberal Democrats welcome the membership and active involvement of anyone holding liberal views and values, irrespective of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation.