George Osborne accused by Tory MP of running the UK 'just like' Gordon
George Osborne has been accused by an influential Conservative backbencher
of running the UK economy “just like” Gordon Brown.
Mr Carswell said he does not
think that the country needs a new Chancellor, but that Mr Osborne needs to
dramatically change course in order to turn around the flagging economy.
By Peter Dominiczak, Political
6:12PM GMT 08 Feb 2013
Douglas Carswell, the MP for Clacton, has written an article for The Daily
Telegraph’s website in which he demands that the Chancellor gets the economy
“back on track” by making major tax cuts, liberalising planning laws and
scrapping five Whitehall departments.
It will pile pressure on Mr Osborne, who has recently faced rumours of a
parliamentary plot to oust him.
Mr Carswell said he does not think that the country needs a new Chancellor,
but that Mr Osborne needs to dramatically change course in order to turn around
the flagging economy.
In a major criticism of Mr Osborne’s leadership, the backbencher warns that
Britain’s finances are not currently being hurt by the eurozone crisis as much
as they are being impacted by “public policy made at home”.
Describing Mr Osborne’s current approach as “Osbrown economics”, Mr Carswell
said “the Coalition has followed pretty much the same trajectory Labour was
planning had they remained in office”.
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“Ministers might say they are ‘paying down our debts’, but they keep adding
an extra £100 billion plus to them every year,” Mr Carswell said.
“So big has the gap become between what Government spends and what it takes
in tax, by 2015 George Osborne will have presided over the largest Keynesian
fiscal stimulus in our history. With ultra-low interest rates and endless rounds
of QE [quantitative easing], he will have overseen a massive monetary stimulus,
“So much stimulus, yet so little to show for it – besides more debt. Should
we be surprised? No, actually. If you continue to run the economy the way that
Gordon Brown did when he landed us in this mess, you are likely to remain
Mr Carswell said that the Chancellor “now looks to cheap credit to conjure up
growth” in the same way as Mr Brown, the former Prime Minister, “relied on
buckets of cheap credit to produce prosperity”.
He called on the Chancellor to drop his current approach and slash
corporation tax to 11 per cent in his March 20 budget and to abolish capital
“We cannot afford not to,” Mr Carswell said. “High taxes have helped make
Britain uncompetitive. If we wish to enough produce wealth in the globalised
economy, we need to start cutting them.
“It might only be possible to have tax cuts by borrowing more – but I doubt
it. What is the difference between a billion pounds borrowed to finance a tax
cut, as opposed to a spending commitment? They might leave you equally broke,
but at least with the tax cut you would have a competitive economy capable of
paying the debt back at the end of it.”
The Conservative backbencher suggested funding the tax cuts by cutting five
Government departments, including Vince Cable’s Department of Business,
Innovation and Skills.
Mr Carswell said the country could also “cope without” the Department of
Communities and Local Government; The Department for Culture, Media and Sport;
The Department for International Development and the Department for Energy and
“Of course, not all the combined £60 billion plus that these departments
spend would then be saved,” Mr Carswell said. “Some of what they do would be
transferred to other departments. But much that they do we could live without.”
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