Well Osborne has been facing criticism from the left from day one and now he will have to further justify his unwavering commitment to a failing economic policy to some of those who provided initial support. ‘Some of Britain’s leading economists today warn the chancellor…that the economy is too fragile to withstand his drastic spending cuts and that he must draw up a plan B.’
Two of the signatories backed last year’s letter supporting the cuts, along with two former Whitehall advisors. There is criticism of Osborne’s lack of growth strategy, although there is still support for the principle of the spending cuts. Academics who have lent their names to this concern have urged the government to ‘crackdown on tax evasion, [develop] a targeted industrial policy – including investment in green technology – and higher taxes on the rich.’
The arguments against this alternative course of action are becoming increasingly insubstantial. As the cuts are seen to be falling on the most vulnerable and the contrast of our society’s inequality is ever brighter, it looks plainly arrogant to refuse to consider a fairer alternative and incredibly patronising, as though the public has no grasp of politics or economics. If Cameron wants to hold on to power he had better start listening.