In a gaffe which exposes the Thatcherite underpinnings of the government’s austerity agenda, Tory minister Greg Barker has boasted that vertiginous cuts are an “unprecedented piece of good housekeeping in British history” and claimed that “Getting government off the backs of business is the core mission.”

Speaking to an audience at the Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina — from which he presumably thought his remarks would not be reported in the UK — Barker gaffed:

“We are making cuts that Margaret Thatcher, back in the 1980s, could only have dreamed of.”

Way to go off message, Greg.

  1. Excellent news, cut hard, cut deep. Reduce the tax burden on business and the working population by as much as possible as soon as possible.

    By the way, there is nothing wrong with ideology, Labour used to have it as well but seemed to lose it around the same time as they lost their principles.

  2. Since Guido Fawkes was replaced by the economically illiterate Tory Bear. Bring the old tax-dodger back, puleeeeeze.

  3. Net income = income – expenditures. Net worth = assets – liabilities. The coalition government is simply reducing expenditures to increase net income to pay off liabilities. The media seem to have failed Personal Finance 101.

    However, while the political left has to realize that spending cuts are necessary, the right also has to realize that raising taxes are necessary, too; until both sides come to terms with these two prerequisites, modern Western governments will sink deeper and deeper into the ocean of deficits and debt.

  4. @Trevor: Thanks for the economics lesson but the macroeconomics of the UK’s economy is a little bit more complicated than “personal finance”.

  5. @Trevor, let me explain some of the complications to you.

    It’s not just the size of the taxes you receive, or the size of the payments you make. Your total income and expenditure also depends on the NUMBER of people paying that tax or receiving that benefit.

    Between 2007 and 2009 the deficit went from 33 billion to over 150 billion. And, importantly, that increase had nothing to do with budgetary decisions to lower taxes or increase public spending. You may have heard of the global financial crisis? It had the result that unemployment increased dramatically. Thousands of people stopped paying taxes and started receiving benefits. Instead of contributing, they became a drain (although of course they would prefer to work). Maybe you don’t have the boarded up shops where you live? Maybe you don’t remember Woolworths, Zavvi, etc?

    So now, given the main reason for the deficit increase is unemployment, do you think that we need to close some libraries, surestart centres and cut spending on education, policing, etc? Or do you think we need to concentrate on keeping people in work and creating more jobs? Creating jobs isn’t easy, but we can be very sure cuts will have the opposite effect, and therefore the cuts could leave us with us with no public services and an even bigger deficit.

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