Saturday, 20 March 2010

Alistair Darling mustn't blow his fantasy windfall

Daily Mail
"For Chancellor Alistair Darling, these long-awaited green shoots could hardly have come at a more opportune moment, as he prepares for next Wednesday's last Budget before the election.Indeed, the respected Institute for Fiscal Studies estimates he will be better off by some £12billion than he expected only last December.But let's get one thing straight: whatever the figure may be, this is most emphatically NOT 'spare' cash, piling up in the Treasury coffers and waiting to be spent however the Chancellor chooses.It's money the Government doesn't have - and the country can't afford - which Mr Darling had resigned himself to having to borrow.The bitter truth is that even if the wildest optimists prove correct, we'll still be left with the most catastrophic deficit in our history.Tens of billions of it are 'structural' - built into the system after 13 years of Labour's wanton mishandling of the public finances - which means that without painful cuts, we'll be stuck with it even after a full recovery.Disgracefully, however, many are urging Mr Darling to go ahead and squander his fantasy 'windfall' on pre-election bribes."

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