Terry Smith, chief executive of Tullett Prebon, was among those making the case this evening for bigger, deeper cuts at a fringe event. The businessman called for a Plan B: not the “Keynesian stance of Ed Balls” but something else: “Deeper cuts, or, real cuts, we haven’t really had any cuts so far.”
Clearly this would not be music to the ears of the left; but then Smith estimates that Britain’s real debt (including pension liabilities, PFI commitments, bank guarantees etc) is about £3.6 trillion – or £60,000 per capita.
He warned that the biggest areas of public employment – public sector, housing and finance – were unlikely to experience growth in the near future. Cuts were inevitable: “It’s only a question of when the markets will impose them.”
His counter-intuitive theory is that banks don’t have enough capital to lend because people will not deposit money with them when interest Read more
As a former diplomat, you might expect new Tory MP Richard Graham to choose his words carefully, especially because he works as the parliamentary private secretary to FCO minister Lord Howell, and definitely when talking about Israel and the Palestinians. So I was surprised to hear him talking to a fringe event on Sunday describing the Israeli government’s report into last year’s raid by its navy on the Gaza aid flotilla as a “whitewash”.
When talking about the report by the Sri Lankan ‘Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission‘ into the struggle there between government forces and the Tamil Tigers, Graham said:
We know that internal government reports do not have a good track record. The Israeli report into the Gaza flotilla, for example, falls into the whitewash category.
The biggest “surprise” in the Osborne speech was his commitment to “credit easing” – developing an idea that the Tories had in opposition called the National Loans Guarantee Scheme. Here is our news story on ft.com.
This could involve billions – or 10s of billions – of pounds but will be fiscally neutral: because although the Treasury would issue gilts to raise money this would then be used to buy financial assets. These would then sit on the government’s balance sheet. Read more