12 October 2012

Mr Cameron's Fibs

This is what the prime minister said to his party in Birmingham on Wednesday.
I honestly think Labour haven't learned a single thing. When they were in office, their answer was always: Borrow more money. ...Whatever the day, whatever the question, whatever the weather it's: borrow more money. Borrow, borrow, borrow.
Did Labour always borrow? Here is a chart of deficits during the last Labour government.
Source: Eurostat, click to open a larger view.
As you can see the deficit was under control up to the financial crisis hit in 2008. In fact, the average deficit to GDP ratio  from 1997 - 2010 inclusive was 2.2%. The equivalent figure for the Tory years, 1979 - 1997 inclusive is 3.5 %.
Source: Eurostat, click to open a larger view.
Mr Cameron's claim was always, whatever the day, whatever the weather. Well, I can see three years when Labour wasn't borrowing anything at all and another when the deficit was half a percent of GDP.
I have two conclusions:
It was the banking crisis and subsequent depression which blew up the deficit.
Mr Cameron tells fibs.

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