LibLink: David Laws – George Osborne must stick to austerity Plan A

Over at the London Evening Standard, Lib Dem MP for Yeovil and former Treasury chief secretary, David Laws, has a piece urging the chancellor to maintain the coalition’s deficit reduction plan to avoid importing the debt-driven eurozone crisis to Britain.

Here’s a sample:

Before the general election, many people said that a coalition would be weak and unstable. They don’t say that any more. By comparison with the eurozone and the US, our Government looks strong, stable and united. It is set to stay that way.

The Chancellor will be able to report that borrowing has been falling as planned. Borrowing from April 2010 to April 2012 is likely to be around £30 billion less than in the plans set out by Labour’s Chancellor, Alistair Darling.

And precisely because the markets trust the Coalition’s commitment to sound financial management, UK interest rates have plunged and the Bank of England is able to carry out more quantitative easing. This has two crucial benefits. The first is that the lower interest rates cut the costs of government borrowing.

The second is that low interest rates help businesses and mortgage payers – enabling public spending to be cut back and the economy to be rebalanced.

The other good news is that after the massive increase in world food and energy prices this year, inflation is now at its peak, and should fall back to around two per cent in 2012 – taking some of the squeeze off household budgets.

You can read David’s piece in full here.

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This entry was posted in LibLink.


  • Andrew Suffield 29th Nov '11 - 7:54pm

    I don’t really approve of calling it austerity, because it’s really the sort of austerity where you buy a smaller flatscreen TV. Life in the UK is still luxurious for almost everybody, even the work-shy.

  • Andew,
    It’s the kind of austerity that sees more people unemployed, more people unable to pay their utility bills, and even in some places food hand outs, I never get arguments like yours, because you seem to suggesting austerity and economic failure should involve a bit of stravation or something. Personally, when I see my fellow citizen suffering, I don’t have an urge to tell them to stop moaning..

  • There is very real poverty now in the UK – it’s not about TVs, it’s about basics like food. When a young mum has to go to a “Food Bank” to get enough food to feed her children, there is something definitely wrong with this country and with George Osborne’s Plan (whether it is A, B , C or Z) – he’s got it badly wrong!

  • Rebekah…I agree…

    If it’s all about ‘flat screens’ why was there a pledge (now broken) on child poverty? Repeating the ‘Mail Mantra’, about “Scroungers, Cheats, etc.” hides the reality of depending of benefits.
    Matthew Parris (most recently ‘famous’ for his defence of Murdoch and The News of the World) tried, and failed, to live on benefits for a week (only a week..the equivalent of ‘shutting your eyes for five minutes and claiming to understand blindness’) in the 1980s.
    I doubt if a life on benefits is any easier today and yet we are treated to a barrage of how lucky they are. Still, I suppose, it’s easier on dinner party guests if one targets social outcasts rather than tax avoidance scams….

  • It’s the kind of austerity where people end up spendng decades unemployed scraping by on benefits. It’s the kind of austerity where teenagers study hard and get qualifications then end up earning minimum wage for decades. It’s the kind of austerity where people live on bleak estates where crime is commonplace. Where old people sit in the freezing cold because they can’t pay their utility bills. It’s a disgrace that our country is like this.

  • Matthew Huntbach 30th Nov '11 - 12:54pm

    In summer this year I was standing on a ridge in the Alps. At that place, if a drop of rain fell this side, it eventually made into way into the Rhine and flowed to the North Sea. If it fell that side, it eventually made its way into the Rhone and flowed to the Mediterranean. David Laws seems to be somewhere in that sort of position – he might have ended up flowing into the Liberal Democrats, but one step more and he’d be a Tory.

    OK, that’s the way party politics work, realistically there are people who are in one but as close as could be to the other without being in the other. But how come David Laws gets asked to write articles in the Standard? Would they have been quite so eager to give space to a LibDem MP who wasn’t so close to the Tories? Would they or any other Tory-leaning paper give ANY space to a LibDem MP on the left of the party? Isn’t it a way they can claim “Look, we’re being fair, we’ve given space to a LibDem MP to write articles” while carrying on pumping out mainly Tory propaganda?

  • Nick (notClegg) 30th Nov '11 - 4:36pm

    Try explaining to savers (and pensioners with a little bit saved for their old age) that interest rates below the rate of inflation are a “crucial benefit” of “sound financial management””.

    I’m so glad that DLaws is no longer at the Treasury: pity he was repaced by DAlexander

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