George Osborne had a rough time at the Treasury Select Committee yesterday. As the Guardian notes:
The chancellor, George Osborne, came under fire today from MPs on the Treasury select committee, charged with "misleading the public" for claiming the UK was near bankruptcy in the weeks after he took office. He was accused of using inflammatory language to justify massive public spending cuts.
The committee chairman, Tory MP Andrew Tyrie, said Osborne's claim that Britain had been "on the brink of bankruptcy" was "a bit over the top". He also challenged the chancellor's claims that his emergency budget had been progressive, accusing him of "over-egging it a bit".
Hang on! “Misleading the public” and “over-egging it a bit” – said from his own side?
Why not just admit that the cuts are wholly unnecessary? Because that’s the truth.
We need three things now:
1) A clear and consistent campaign by government to close the tax gap;
2) A reform of pension tax relief to ensure that at least £20 billion a year of pension fund contributions is used to invest in new jobs, products, services and infrastructure in the UK;
3) Qualitative easing – investing money created by the Bank of England direct into the UK economy – until these measures can have impact.
In combination this is a policy to kick start the UK economy, to rebuild economic activity and to generate appropriate demand that will in turn ensure that there are sufficient government revenues to clear the deficit.
It’s a simple plan.
It’s a deliverable plan.
It’s a viable plan .
It’s a plan that will work.