From today’s Lib Dem News

By Howard of Lib Dem News

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  • Leviticus18_23 28th Sep '12 - 2:15pm

    He’s only saying what they all think…

  • Richard Dean 29th Sep '12 - 1:01am

    I would like an apology from all those politicians and economists who say that austerity is an answer. I would like an apology for them not explaining why they think this, and then I would like to see their explanation, if any.

    Spain has 25% unemployment and its rulers seek to cut 65 billion euros ($83 billion) from the budget in three years . At say 30,000 euros representative salary, that’s over half a million jobs that will go. France is going for 30 billion euros, and I read that the NHS here is to cut £20 billion, which also means jobs lost, and which doesn’t count savings to be made elsewhere. Why do people think that this is the way forward?

    Austerity leads to reduced employment and so reduced output which means reduced growth. Some infinite series do converge, but no-one is even trying to explain why they think this one will.

  • Helen Dudden 29th Sep '12 - 10:24am

    I know the situation in Spain and it is not good. I fear for those in the who have to live with these cuts and measures.

    There has to be other ways to get things going on the subject of the Euro, I suggested in Madrid for instance, some of the many empty homes could be rented to those who need a home. Brand new homes that have never been lived in, just empty.

    I believe in the EU like quite a few of us, I have an international family I am part French, nothing very new about that. But the problems remain, it seems so hard on those concerned. further hardship seems so cruel to those concerned.

  • Richard,
    it’s not just that politicians and economists who say that austerity is an answer, it’s ordinary people both as voters and as individual agents in the economy who say it.

    If you don’t think your earning potential will stretch to pay off your credit card bill next month then a day shopping for Christmas presents in Old Bond Street isn’t on the cards. Ultimately people vote with their feet.

    That doesn’t mean you can’t go shopping, just that it’s time to concentrate on essentials.

    I agree there’s a strong debate to be had about which areas of government spending are categorised as luxury and essentials, and how changing the balance of emphasis feeds back through production chains.

    To expect leading opinion formers to apologise for responding to the need to encourage the public to change to more economically responsible behaviour patterns however is more than a bit barmy!

    The answer isn’t austerity, nor is it a new New Deal, it’s a balanced judgement.

  • Peter Watson 1st Oct '12 - 12:12pm

    Oh dear, I thought all you clever people had stopped trying to compare a national economy with a household budget and maxed-out credit cards. But sticking with your analogy, I could also try to increase my earning potential by investing a little extra money on stamps and envelopes for job applications then I might be able to afford a trip to Bond Street after all. Or I could invest in an internet connection, shop online instead and then save a bundle. All thanks to a little wise expenditure even in hard times. I totally agree about the need to prioritise such expenditure though, but sometimes it can be better to spend a bit more up front, maybe increasing my debts now, in order to reap the benefits later. Didn’t work with last week’s lottery tickets though :-( and we wouldn’t want the government to be investing in the equivalent of scratchcards.

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