The 'party of opportunity' and the 'age of aspiration'


It is election year and the battle has begun in earnest. Against the Tory message of Austerity, Mr Brown has drawn a clear dividing line; his party of ‘opportunity’ will usher in an Age of Aspiration after ‘only’ 12 years in office. If by aspirational, he refers to the aspirations of socialists to centralise, control, distort, burden, and hinder, then perhaps he has credibility.

Austerity and opportunity are not mutually exclusive. The principles of strict economy are sound, which although forgotten or unknown in Number 10, drive growth and create opportunity. Saving is fundamental to economic growth. The process of investment in capital requires prior saving. By relinquishing immediate consumption below its potential level one may engage in capital formation.

Brown’s disregard for strict economy is made evident by the horrendous state of the public finances due to terribly excessive spending in times of growth. There is nothing complicated about living within ones means, about balancing the budget. However, when Labour entered in 1997 the budget was in balance, but by the Treasury’s own forecast by 2011 we will be over £1 trillion in debt, and this doesn’t include our obligations off the balance sheet.

With business stifled, interest rates rising, our credit rating at risk, and huge amounts of debt that you and future generations will have to pay, Brown’s record for burdening the future is perhaps without comparison. Our growth statistics show that you cannot spend your way out of recession, and we cannot borrow our way out of debt. Brown’s economic illiteracy is simply depressing - No sustained recovery can be achieved without focusing on debt reduction.

The aspirational people who achieve overall success and generate the most wealth will be penalised with at least half of their income taken by the government in taxes. Regulation costs under conservative (small c) estimates work out to over £100 billion. For those still in education, who aspire to success, rather than having an education based on their own choices and needs, it is centralised and focused on government targets.

As Smith put it, “there is a lot of ruin in a nation". We need a competent and genuine strategy in Number 10 which tackles debt and returns power to the people.