Tory Record: More Debt, More Taxes

As is traditional in elections the Tories are warning that Labour will bring more debt and more taxes. That is a given, however what is the Tory record after 7 years?

In 2010 the Tories promised to close the deficit by 2015. They failed to do that, so Osborne shifted the goal posts to aim for 2017/18. Under Hammond the OBR now says the government is unlikely to balance the budget by 2026. If the political will had been there they could have balanced the budget; from a worse position over the same period Ireland managed to balance the budget and cut the debt. Ireland now has a lower debt to GDP ratio than the UK and a higher GDP growth rate. The repeated Tory failure to balance the budget means that the national debt continues to rise and is now 89% of GDP. The Tories have added £500 billion to the national debt in 7 years, Hammond plans to add a billion a week to the national debt under Theresa May...

Taxes have risen under the Tories. The claim by the Tories to be a low tax party has not been true this century. They raised VAT almost immediately upon coming into office. They argue they have cut business taxes, yet they raised dividend taxes on small business owners and tried to raise National Insurance contributions. To be fair it is a mixed bag, some taxes have gone up, others down. According to the OECD the overall tax-to-GDP ratio has risen from 31.5% of GDP under Gordon Brown to 32.5% under George Osborne. Taxes have risen under the Tories…

This is not to say debt and taxes would not rise catastrophically under Labour. If you want to balance the budget you have to cut spending, George Osborne used to say privately that the Tories wouldn’t get re-elected if he slashed spending. Enda Kenny cut Irish government spending by 10% and GDP growth has been much faster than in the UK. He got re-elected and is the longest serving Fine Gael prime minister in Irish history.

“St Patrick was an Immigrant”

In Washington D.C. on St Patrick’s Day the Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny made his point firmly, politely, with some class.

The Donald didn’t flinch…

EU Ruling Against Ireland Will Boost Chances of Irexit

IREXIT-PROSPECTS

The European Commission is expected to levy a judgment against Apple soon that could total in the billions of euros. This is as a result of Apple domiciling in Ireland and benefiting from its competitive tax regime. Essentially the Commission is seeking to undermine Ireland’s low tax policy which attracts multi-nationals to the Western periphery of Europe. As one minister told the Irish Times: “They are trying to make us tax Apple for stuff that doesn’t happen here. It’s nonsense.” They come for the tax regime and find a young, highly-educated workforce with a can-do attitude….

“We don’t believe we gave any state aid to Apple,” Eoghan Murphy, junior finance minister, told broadcaster RTE, “It’s in the national interest that we defend our international reputation in this regard.” Precisely. The bloated high tax states are going to attempt to hobble low tax Ireland with the handicaps that they have given to enterprises in their own countries. Most mainstream politicians of all parties are committed to Ireland being, in the words of the Taoiseach Enda Kenny, “the best little place to do business in the world”. The Commission is undermining that competitive advantage. The right-of-centre pro-business parties are going to fight this ruling, the left-of-centre parties were angry earlier this summer because the Commission overruled the Dáil (parliament) on water charges – forcing the state to charge for water supply which was hitherto delivered free to homes. EU law having primacy over laws made by Ireland’s lawmakers.  is looking more appealing to all sides…

Ireland’s contribution to the EU is rising by €380 million this year because its GDP is surging as the economy rebounds. Ireland is a net contributor to the EU budget after decades of being a net beneficiary. Ireland’s EU burden share will increase post-Brexit as the EU loses the second biggest net-contributor. This will change the debate, particularly as Dublin watches Ireland’s biggest trading partner Britain continue to thrive outside the EU…

Irish Election: Enda’s “Long Term Economic Plan™”

The Irish parliament Dáil Éireann has been dissolved and the election is scheduled for February 26.  Enda Kenny’s centre-right Fine Gael party is running on a familiar platform. Central to it is their Long Term Economic Plan™…

ltep

Fine Gael in coalition with the Labour Party has implemented an austerity programme which saw year-on-year, double-digit real-terms cuts to spending.  If they get re-elected – polls have them clear ahead – it will be on the back of the fastest growing economy in Europe. George Osborne likes to say that those who criticise him for not cutting spending “don’t have to get re-elected”. Enda is about to test the idea that in fact you can cut spending, cut the deficit, keep taxes low and get re-elected…

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