New Co-operative Labour Activists

I have  been irritated by some of the lies being peddled during the election campaign. I set out below a few I spotted, with links to background information :


1) Labour ran up the biggest debts in our history -

In fact the UK ’s net debt now is far higher than when Labour left office. The Uk ’s net debt at March 2015 is £1,484bn, whereas at March 2010 when Labour left office it was £956bn. So George Osborne (Conservative) has set the record for the biggest debts in out history. Furthermore the increase in debt under George Osborne is also a record for a Chancellor at £528bn. If you would rather talk about debt as a % of GDP, then the record was set after the second world war, when debt peaked at nearly 250% of GDP and did not fall below 100% of GDP until the 1960s.

When Labour left office in 2010 debt was 62.0% of GDP. Now after 5 years of coalition government it is 80.4% of GDP.

One record Labour does hold is the largest net borrowing in a single year £154n in 2009/10. The 2nd, 3rd and 4th worst net borrowing years are all under George Osborne £135bn in 2010/11, £115bn in 2011/12 and £120bn in 2012/13.

In the period 2007-2010, the government paid out £133bn to support the banks and provided £1,029bn of guarantee commitments

Since 2010 over £30bn of the £133bn has been recovered and the balance is expected to be recovered in due course.


2) The Conservatives never promised to eliminate the deficit in this Parliament – page 7 of the 2010 Conservative manifesto says  “We will provide an emergency budget within 50 days of taking office to set out a credible plan for eliminating the bulk of the structural current budget deficit over a Parliament.”

 If the manifesto is not good enough, then here is a direct quote from George Osborne’s budget speech in June 2010: “That deficit will then be eliminated to plus 0.3 per cent in 2014-15 and plus 0.8 per cent in 2015-16. In other words, it will be in surplus. Public sector net debt as a share of GDP will be 62 per cent this year, before peaking at 70 per cent in 2013-14. Because of our action today, it then begins to fall, to 69 per cent in 2014-15 and then 67 per cent in 2015-16.”

The Conservatives said they would eliminate the deficit in this Parliament and have failed.


George Osborne Budget speech June 2010


3) The Conservatives Have Fixed the Economy

In the quarter to March 2015 the economy grew by 0.3%.

In the quarter to March 2010 the economy grew by 0.5%.


The Conservatives inherited a growing economy, but destroyed that growth by making sudden ideological cuts. The economy is only just recovering


4) Labour Caused the Financial Crash

This was denied by Mervyn King, the governor of the Bank of England.

In fact there was a global financial crash caused by reckless bankers.


5) Labour Caused the Crash by Deregulating the Banks

In fact Margaret Thatcher deregulated the banks with the ‘Big Bang’ in 1986.

In 2007 the Conservatives proposed a Deregulation Act to relax the regulations further!

Freeing Britain to Compete – submission to Shadow Cabinet

proposed a Deregulation Act and said In many cases regulations are not necessary to keep businesses honest and safe.

Rt Hon John Redwood MP

Co-chairman, Economic Competitiveness Policy Group


6) Labour spent irresponsibly before the crash

Actually I have some sympathy with this statement as I was opposed to PFI and would have preferred to see a surplus prior to the crash. However, until 2008 George Osborne said that he would match Labour’s spending plans, so as the Conservative shadow Chancellor supported Labour’s spending plans he cannot very well criticise them now.


7) If you cut taxes for the rich then it increases the amount of tax the government receives.

It is a preposterous and dangerous argument that wealthy people simply avoid paying tax if the tax rate is too high and therefore you should cut taxes for the wealthy. I have a simpler solution – stop letting wealthy people off the hook over tax avoidance. It should be morally unacceptable to dodge taxes and Tories who make excuses for wealthy tax dodgers are betraying their country.

Secondly, the facts simply don’t support the argument. When corporation tax rates were cut, the tax take fell.

Finally I would simply point out that this argument is never used to argue for cutting taxes for the low paid.




I set out below 2 examples of Tory economic incompetence

Today, our national debt stands at £770 billion. Within just five years it is set to nearly double to £1.4 trillion. To put it in perspective, that is some £22,000 for every man, woman and child in our country.


David Cameron July 2010



16/9/92 Black Wednesday - UK forced out of ERM by speculators. UK lost £15bn