Growth not cuts needed

THE UK economy faces great problems but the country’s ability to deal with those problems has been undermined by the Tory-led government. No wonder the UK economy is flatlining with unemployment at 2.6 million and youth unemployment of more than one million.

The Tory-led government fails to recognise the responsibility of international banks for the original crisis and even now it is resisting a tax on financial transactions because the Tories paymasters in the city don’t like it.

The Tories failed to recognise Labour’s rescue package had led to economic growth and, instead, made premature and excessive budget cuts. These cuts were supposed to deal with the budget deficit but they have succeeded only in making a difficult situation worse. It was always madness to try to pay off the deficit in a single Parliament but, in spite of its vicious cuts, it looks increasingly unlikely that the government will be able to eliminate the deficit as promised. Indeed, it is taking on extra debt to pay for the unemployment it has needlessly caused.

The government will, no doubt, now try to place the blame for our economic difficulties on the Euro. It is high time the government recognised the whole reality of the situation and stopped playing the blame game. Instead of making ineffectual criticisms of our trading partners from the side-lines, it should act in the national interest. It should reverse its current policies and adopt a strategy for growth. We might then see a fall in unemployment and a recovery in consumer and business confidence. This would generate wealth from which the budget deficit could be reduced without the devastation being imposed both on public services and on private productive capacity. The question is: dare the government abandon its ideologically-driven agenda of cuts and privatisation to take the hard economic decisions that are needed to support the UK economy?

The evidence to date suggests it is too blinkered to do so.

MICHAEL HUTCHINSON

Gregory Springs Lane

MIRFIELD