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Question to the Chancellor
26/02/2013 12:45:00

 
 

Yesterday I asked a question to George Osborne, The Chancellor, during a debate on the Government's economic policy:

Gavin Barwell (Croydon Central, Conservative):

Will my right hon. Friend confirm that a significant part of the deficit is structural, which means that, as vital as growth is, it will not do anything to reduce the structural element? As long as Opposition Front Benchers refuse to acknowledge the key fact that we need to start living within our means again, they will not be fit to return to office.

George Osborne (Chancellor of the Exchequer, HM Treasury; Tatton, Conservative):

My hon. Friend is absolutely right, and that is why one of our debt objectives relates to the structural deficit. The structural deficit is the part that does not go away when the economy grows. The shadow Chancellor’s argument that all these problems will disappear as the economy grows is simply nonsense. That was his argument before the financial crisis, that is why Britain went into the financial crisis with a 5% structural deficit, and that is why, when boom turned to bust, the country found itself without any money.

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Readers' Comments

On 28/02/2013 09:43:00 Jim wrote:
Officialdom is still in charge. We have a bloated public sector that still dominates the economy. Public debt is rising whilst the most the government can hope for is that its rate of increase might be reducing. Our money still pours into the European Union, the discredited NHS and the hands of the Guardian readers at DFiD. Still waiting for that bonfire of the quangos - kindling got damp?

No better locally. Tory-controlled Croydon Council, (yes Tory-controlled) increase the council tax whilst its bureaucrats move into their brand new offices - a vanity project par excellence. On my last trip to Croydon library, I was treated to 3 staff gossiping about which days they were planning to take off sick and how one had to cancel a sick day because a colleague "really was ill". Planning a sick day must be very stressful, I hope they got a tea break.

Now the town centre is plastered with "Business Improvement District" propaganda reminiscent of a minor town in a minor communist country. The bureaucrats still fantasise about "city status" and have nothing better to do than to sit around dreaming up new ways to annoy small businesses and justify their existance. The A-board stealth-tax is the latest piece of red tape. "We really don't like small businesses advertising but you can still do it if you pay £300 for planning permission!". Interesting my FOI request revealed the council had received only 3 complaints - but the reply was quick to add that the BID had wanted something done. Perhaps the BID and Croydon Council can "improve" things to the point that independant businesses are snuffed out altogether. Mike Fisher and his council tax increasing crew won't be getting my vote next time around.

The only way to reduce public debt is to cut government spending. Growth will follow as surely night follows day. The government, central and local, needs to get out of the hair of business. It seems every few months there is a yet another imposition on businesses, be it regulation, direct costs or both. Oh and by the way. Businesses don't need "help" from the government, they just need to be left alone. "Help" comes in the form of expensive to run initiatives which in the long term just result in more red tape and more glass-fronted buildings packed with civil servants.

Reagan got it right when he said "the most terrifying words in the English language are: I'm from the government and I'm here to help." No more help or "improvements" please!

 
 

 

 

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Gavin Barwell, House of Commons, SW1A 1AA, Tel  020 8660 0491      © Gavin Barwell  2017       Promoted by Ian Parker on behalf of Gavin Barwell, both at 36 Brighton Road, Purley, CR8 2LG