The Chancellor warns over Johnson and Hunt’s plans to cut taxes and spend more, which is fair enough. (Personally I think the tax cuts are a good idea, but not the extra spending.) But what is astonishing in what Hammond has said is the brazen chutzpah – in other words, the brazen lie – in saying this:
He [Hammond] added: “My concern is that this Government has built up a reputation for fiscal responsibility and the British people have worked incredibly hard over a decade now to rebuild our public finances and I think it’s very important that we don’t throw that away.”
Fiscal responsibility? This government? Does Hammond think we’re buying this crap? Let’s have a look at how much of a deficit the Conservatives have run since 2010 (source: ONS):
2017/18 refers to the financial year ending March 2018.
The deficit for 2018-9 seems to be £24.7 billion.
So since they took power in 2010 the Tories have been spending far more than they brought in. They have run a deficit every year they’ve been in power, despite constantly forecasting that soon they wouldn’t be running any deficit (and despite having gargantuan amounts of tax coming in). They’ve added many hundreds of billions to the national debt, yet Philip Hammond can sit there with a straight face and talk about fiscal responsibility? Hammond presides over some of the highest government spending in the country’s history, and the little turd has the temerity to pretend that he’s been cautious? I say take it out of his own wages. Sell him into slavery to make him start paying some of it back.