Guido was a little distracted yesterday and missed Balls’s mea culpa in the House. While his spiel about being deeply sorry for “the part that I and the last Labour government played in the global regulatory failure” is welcome, it isn’t quite the apology many were looking for – mainly Balls begging for forgiveness for racking up a huge deficit in the years of plenty. As backbench Tory scribe Kwasi Kwarteng puts it: “experience shows that we can’t trust politicians to restrict spending increases by themselves.”
Writing in the Telegraph to PR the 2010 intake’s After the Coalition book, Kwarteng suggests a solution to drunken sailors like Ed Balls:
“Britain should follow the example set by the Swiss and the Germans: we should introduce our own balanced budget rules. When our economy is booming, our government spending should be in surplus. Only then will we be able to afford the unavoidable higher benefit bills and lower tax revenues that drain the national finances during a recession.”
While Guido is a fan of the idea, Kwarteng might want to have a word with the Chancellor who has yet to argue for more than a reduction in the speed at which the state is over-spending, rather than a meaningful reduction in spending.