Well done, Prime Minister


In 2000 Gordon Brown stood at the Labour Party Conference and said the following:

In 1997 we said that the future depended upon first building strong and long term foundations for economic stability. We all remember the early 90s. It was Britain's hard working families – the one million who lost jobs in manufacturing, the one million businesses that went under, the million homeowners with negative equity. It was hard working families who paid the price and bore the brunt of economic failure. And by 1997 with the deficit nearly 30 billion, the national debt doubled, debt payments bigger than the schools budget, inflation rising, and the economy on the way back to the old familiar cycle of boom and bust, we resolved to, and under Tony Blair had the strength to, take difficult long-term decisions. Bank of England independence. Tough controls on public spending. The difficult decision to raise fuel taxes. The decision to pay back debt and cut the costs of debt.

We can now quantify those long-term decisions: they were all lies.

Back in March 2001, "unemployment dipped below the 1m mark this morning, for the first time in more than 25 years." 8 years later, this is the situation, "The number of unemployed people increased by 165,000 over the quarter and by 421,000 over the year, to reach 2.03 million. The unemployment level and rate have not been higher since 1997."

And we are all aware of the housing crisis, which is now set to get worse: "The FSA has today issued a statement suggesting that more than 2 million UK homes will be in negative equity within the next 12 months."

The current deficit stands at £77.72bn for the current fiscal year and net national debt stands (using the government's version) at, "a record 49 percent of GDP, or £717.3 billion pounds, in February". And it could rise to £1.5 trillion or just over 100%. And as for debt interest repayments, they will be around £35 billion this year.

So congratulations, Mr Brown. You've managed to make boom and bust twice as bad as it was.