Thursday, 18 June 2009

Darling shatters Labour's spending myth

So now we have the truth.

Alastair Darling, in an interview with Faisal Islam for Channel 4 News, has finally spoken the words that Brown and Balls dared not.

Current and capital spending will increase between now and 2012.

So what's new?

All of that increased spending will take place this year.

The Chancellor did not actually use the words spending will fall from next year. He didn't need to. He simply said that Labour's spending plans for the next three years had been brought forward to the current year.

Now Labour's spending plans actually make some sense. At least, they do if you're a Labour Chancellor. Extra spending in time of recession and all that.

But the Brown and Balls story that spending will continue to rise in real terms year on year is revealed as total fantasy. Lewis Caroll might approve of such inversion of fact: political commentators certainly haven't.

Now we've stepped out from behind Alice's shattered Looking Glass, perhaps the debate between 'Labour investment' and 'Tory cuts' can assume something nearer reality.

Watch the interview: 2/3rds through this clip at 11:48

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