The 2011 Budget offers useful cover for the central deceit of the government’s economic strategy, says Simon Barrow – which is that massive cuts in the public sector and in the local and national state are “unavoidable” and “necessary” to eliminate Britain’s massive deficit.
Those who have learned their lines as the government intends might think they have been dealt a good, or at least unavoidable budget yesterday. However, many of us are profoundly sceptical of the twin tropes which Messrs Cameron and Osborne have been repeating endlessly in the hope that they will somehow become the backdrop of our thinking.
The received wisdom perpetuated by the government is that deep and immediate public spending cuts are necessary and beneficial, says Simon Barrow. But there are strong economic arguments that point towards investment in long-term sustainability rather than hitting the most vulnerable to reduce the deficit.