If you want to be cheered up,or deeply depressed,take sides in the great argument now emerging between the politicians,chirping with cheer as the election approaches and the economists gloomily warning of disasters to come after the election. A difference of opinion is becoming a gulf
The best economists,meaning those who're not Tory Soothsayers like Doug Macmillan and the press pundits warn that we're a failing economy which can't pay its way in the world and is having to sell off companies property businesses and anything that moves to finance the deficit, which is consuming not investing ,can't raise the revenue to finance public services .
The consequence will be a rude awakening after the election when the house price bubble will burst,our low wage economy can't sustain demand,taxes will have to be raised to cover the deficit and the prospect of further cuts looms in a suis tem whose cloth can't be stretched far enough to make its suit. Beware the Ides of May
The politicians on the other hand ,even those who've been claiming that the government's management is disastrous,must claim that better times lie ahead,particularly if they win the election and can't say that we're up shit creek with neither paddle nor deodorant.Hence the claims that people can be paid more, that we're growing so well we'll overtake France,and even America,that we can increase investment and spending without borrowing or new taxes.
Which side is right? Well economists are professionally a miserable lot,politicians will lose votes unless the exude hope but now I'm retiring I can be more honest than if I was fighting an election so I can admit that in my view the economists are nearer the truth and that taxes must be raised after the election.
If we don't get the pound down to a competitive level,borrow more to spend and stimulate ,invest more and pay our way in the world we're sunk What a pity we don't have an informed debate on this with intel event arguments set out in books.There's not much time left between now and 7 May but we should use it to think and have a debate on the real issues instead of party political debating points and lots of "you did it first"