I was pleased to see that my letter, April 23, drew responses from J England (April 28) and VK Lockwood (May 1). However, contrary to their thoughts, what I wrote is absolutely correct.
Irrespective of the causes or mechanisms, a permanent national deficit and the consequent debt are unsustainable. This is why the Labour party, the Conservative party and the Liberal Democrat party are all proposing to reduce the deficit and debt. If debt and deficit were maintained or increased, the cost of borrowing would soar until it became prohibitive, or we could no longer find a lender. The only issue under discussion is the time over which the deficit is eliminated and the debt reduced.
It is to reduce these that austerity has been introduced. Austerity means cutting the deficit by reducing spending and the amount of benefits and public services provided. When the coalition came to power in 2010 our financial situation was similar to that of Greece with a comparable deficit. Our international credit rating was reduced from AAA.
The application of austerity has halved the deficit, and a continuation of the austerity programme, proposed by the major parties, will eventually reduce it to zero.
The less we reduce spending and the more we borrow, the longer we shall run a deficit and continue to grow debt. This means the burden of debt repayment will have to be carried for much longer and by younger people. The Labour party plans to borrow and spend more than the Conservative or Liberal Democrat parties, thus extending the period of deficit reduction and slowing down debt repayment. Borrowing and interest payments will therefore be greater under Labour. You have to wonder whom exactly the Labour party represents. It used to be the party of the poorer paid employees, but it now claims to support hard working people.
This is a much broader category, which will include professionals in law, education, medicine, science, and engineering and anyone who works hard. It would even include investment bankers.
So, I think that, if you see yourself as a worker and therefore a traditional Labour supporter, you might like to reconsider where your best interests lie.
Button Hill, Sheffield, S11