Sitting in the Treasury Select Committee listening to Alistair Darling, chancellor, give evidence on Britain’s fiscal position, I am struck by a contradiction and one hopeful sign in Britain’s fiscal consolidation plans.
The current contradiction is that the chancellor insists he knows the total public spending figures because he knows borrowing will be halved, but he cannot reveal anything else because it is too uncertain. If uncertainty rules and the details of spending projections are completely uncertain, there can be no credibility in the government’s commitment to protect spending on schools, hospitals and police. He can’t be sure he has the cash. Read more