Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Facts show Darling is wrong on borrowing

Alastair Darling:

"We rather lost our way. Rather than recognising that the public were rightly concerned about the level of borrowing, we got sidetracked into a debate about investment over cuts.

"By failing to talk openly about the deficit, and our tough plans to halve it within four years, we vacated the crucial space to make the case for the positive role government can play.

"You will only convince people you've got the answers if they believe you know what the question is in the first place."

British Election Survey Facts:

"It’s the economy I – Concern with the economy dominated the issue agenda. This should have been a major opening for the major opposition party – the Conservatives.

It’s the economy II - the Conservatives did not capitalize on the economy as well as they might have. Emphasizing austerity measures as the cure for Britain’s economic woes failed to generate voter enthusiasm.

It’s the economy III – the Conservatives’ emphasis on government debt did not resonate especially well. Only one in ten of the BES CIPS respondents ranked government debt as most important in a list of 8 issues and two-thirds did not rank government debt as one of their top 3 most important issues.

*

Alastair Darling may well think that there should have been a greater emphasis on cutting the deficit then there was. But this is just another example of "To win again, Labour must do as I've always said", and it is worth noting that the fact that Alastair Darling and the Treasury think that something is important does not mean that the majority of people agreed with them.

3 Comments:

At 9:59 pm , Blogger Tom Freeman said...

See also pp31-32 of MORI's first 100 days report.

On one hand, 58% agree and 35% disagree that "There is a real need to cut spending on public services in order to pay off the very high national debt we now have".

On the other, 69% say "It is better to cut spending more slowly, to reduce the impact on public services and the economy" while 25% say "It is important to cut spending quickly even if this means immediate job losses, because it will be better for the economy in the long term".

 
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