Monday, May 24, 2010

A Decent Downpayment

No wonder they always wanted him to join the Tories

You'd hardly know it from the BBC and C4 News, but the Osborne/Laws £6bn cuts represent a really decent start in rescuing us from Labour's fiscal catastrophe.

Even more encouraging, many of the cuts have been lifted straight from the TPA's list of recommendations. In fact, adding up list, we reckon almost £5bn of the £6bn came from the TPA/IOD £50bn cuts proposals published last September. Which means they've still got another £45bn's worth already identified and ready to roll.

Naturally the BBC and C4 line is that the cuts will cost countless thousands of jobs, and risk plunging us into the Great Depression Mk II. C4 even ropes in notorious left-wing economics campaigner Danny Blanchflower as support.

But as we've blogged many times, the real risk we face is that the markets lose confidence in our resolve to tackle the deficit and ramp up our borrowing costs. And on that score, the Osborne and Laws show is proving a real hit. In fact, since that post-election sweat when it looked as if Brown might somehow cling on, the market has reduced the rate at which it will lend to HMG (25 year gilt yields are down by almost 0.3% to 4.2%).

Yes, of course, £6bn is a drop in the ocean. But we do need to give credit where it's due. And this does suggest a serious resolve.

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