At the end of the last Labour Government public debt stood at £1.03 trillion, which was a respectable 65 per cent of GDP. After ten years of Tory austerity, which was, according to Cameron ans Osborne, meant to put us back on track, this had soared to £1.79 trillion or 79.1 per cent of GDP.
In October this year, with this appalling Tory Government still in power, public debt was a whopping £2.64 trillion or 97.8 per cent of GDP.
So we are entitled to ask, what has this been spent on and who has benefited? And the answer is: tax cuts for corporations and the rich and contracts for cronies, while public services have been decimated. And the recent autumn statement, instead of investng in our NHS, our schools, our roads and infrastructure, is yet again taking money away from these vital services, with the independent Office for Budget Responsibility warning that next year will be tougher than previously expected due to the impact of high interest rates. GDP has been revised down to 0.7 per cent and there will be higher than forecast unemployment.
So next time this government claims to be the party of economic competence, you might want to rasie an eyebrow and wonder who actually benefits from their being in charge. It certainly isn’t us!
Rachel Purchase, Buxton
Letters Page, Buxton Advertiser, 28 December 2023