IMF Reality V Balls Deficit Denial

The Prime Minister is not going to have a very nice day in the Commons as he faces his first PMQs since siding with Andrew Mitchell over the word of the coppers. One bit of news he will inevitably fall back on is the IMF declaring today that Britain’s structural deficit was £38bn worse than originally thought and running at £73bn or 5.2% in 2007 – a year before that ‘global economic crisis’ Ed Balls hides behind.

Instead of apologising for this economic terrorism that saw the UK the least well prepared country in the G7 to face a crisis and running one of the largest peacetime deficits in the developed world, Balls simply pretends it never happened. Here is what he told Marr in January 2011:

“I don’t think we had a structural deficit at all in that period [before the recession]”

Given the Shadow Chancellor’s fondness for throwing IMF statements around, will he now concede that he was wrong and say sorry?

We can autotune it if it makes it easier…

UPDATE: More ammo for the PM on what should be a tricky day – Employment has reached a record high at almost 30m, with unemployment down by 50,000 in the last quarter from 8.1% to 7.9%. Youth unemployment has also dropped below one million for the first time in a year.




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Quote of the Day

John Curtice on fiscal policy:

“Attitudes to taxation and spending are basically counter-cyclical. If a government comes in and tries to reduce spending and taxation, after a while people will get worried about the state of public services. If a government increases taxation and public spending, after a while they’ll get concerned about increasing taxation…. In as much as there are lots of ideologues out there who think the state should be this proportion of GDP, they’re all wrong. Because the public’s view is counter-cyclical to the recent experience. It’s basically impossible to satisfy the public.”

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