Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Fiscal Positioning

Don Paskini wrote this post, over on Liberal Conspiracy suggesting that the Tories economic record for all their endless boasting, actually the Conservatives economic record was pretty appalling. Naturally, I suspect this is a sentiment that many of my comrades would agree with. In the midst of the comments, one of the standard Tory arguments popped up suggesting that Labour always leave the nations finances in a terrible state.

I'd have to admit, I wasn't entirely sure whether this was true or not, so I did a bit of digging and found some stats on the national debt (courtesy of UK Public Spending) and made a graph.

Labour years in red and Conservative years in blue and the thing that immediately strikes me is that the Tory argument about Labour leaving the nation in debt is quite simply not true. For example, far from being profligate spenders running up debts, we see that the Atlee and Wilson governments did a very good job of reducing the national debt, even the Callahagn government of the 70's left the national debt slightly lower.

We can also see that the accusations that the current Labour government was irresponsible with the finances don't cut much ice, about the worst you can say is that the government ran very slight deficits.

Finally, we can see that for all the Tory scaremongering on debt, we have a long way to go before we even come close to the debt levels we've seen in the past.

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