So febrile have been the scenes in Parliament in recent weeks that the economic statement by Chancellor Sajid Javid on September 4 has gone almost unnoticed, yet it was scarcely what we have come to expect from Tory governments.
Declaring ‘the end of austerity’, Javid unveiled the biggest spending spree since the far-off days of 2002, when Gordon Brown was Chancellor and Tony Blair had the top job.
Boris Johnson’s administration is heading into December’s general election working hard to convince the electorate it can match Jeremy Corbyn’s lavish rhetoric of spending on the NHS, social care for the elderly, education and crime and punishment.
There are nonetheless vital differences between the two main parties’ economic thinking, expressed most clearly in their attitude to job-creators and wealthy individuals.
In his first major speech of the campaign today, Jeremy Corbyn is slated to take direct aim at a host of wealthy individuals including the Duke of Westminster
In his first major speech of the campaign today, Corbyn is slated to take direct aim at a host of wealthy individuals including the Duke of Westminster, hedge fund manager Crispin Odey and Britain’s richest man, Jim Ratcliffe.
Similar smash-the-rich rhetoric has already led to an alarming flight of capital and investment overseas. It has been rumoured that fears over a Corbyn government were key in billionaire inventor James Dyson’s decision to move his HQ to Singapore.
Other wealth creators are fleeing Britain in their thousands, for more tax-friendly regimes in Portugal and Italy where they can escape the prospect of predatory Marxism squeezing them ‘until the pips squeak’.
The latest data from HMRC shows that in 2018, the number of ‘non-doms’ in Britain – those who pay a fee to avoid paying taxes on their overseas income – plunged by more than 12,000 to 78,300.
With the departure of these wealthy individuals also go thousands of ordinary service jobs, from florists to hairdressers. Just as importantly, when wealthy people flee, they take their money with them. That deprives the British economy of vital investment.
Analysts say that £782billion has already left UK investment funds amid concerns over the Corbyn threat. That number could rise far higher if the bearded Socialist were ever to get his hands on the levers of power.
It has been rumoured that fears over a Corbyn government were key in billionaire inventor James Dyson’s decision to move his HQ to Singapore
Little wonder, therefore, that one of Prime Minister Corbyn’s first acts would be to reinstate capital controls: rules to keep sterling assets being taken overseas.
Corbyn and his Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell have a terrifying vision for Britain that would make any temporary loss of output from Brexit – even No Deal – look like a teddy bears’ picnic.
Labour’s planned splurge would also likely obliterate Britain’s cherished AA credit rating, leading to ever more overseas investors abandoning these shores and wreaking havoc on markets.
The threat to prosperity, jobs and stable markets posed by Corbyn and McDonnell’s Marxist agenda cannot be overstated.
Overwhelming evidence suggests a Corbyn government risks kicking away the underpinnings of our free-market economy and trapping Britain in a socialist slump.
Superficially, Labour’s spending plans for the NHS, social care for the elderly and social housing, to be paid for by taxes on corporations and the ‘wealthy’ might not look very different from the Conservatives’ plans.
But Labour’s spending commitments are the tip of an economic iceberg that could bankrupt the nation. At the heart of their project is Marxist redistribution. Income, assets, ownership and power would all be re-allocated on a scale hitherto unseen in Britain.
Boris Johnson’s administration is heading into December’s general election working hard to convince the electorate it can match Jeremy Corbyn’s lavish rhetoric of spending on the NHS, social care for the elderly, education and crime and punishment
The country’s rail and water companies, the Royal Mail and the electricity distribution firms would all be renationalised. And every British company with more than 250 workers would see 10 per cent of its assets grabbed. It would amount to the biggest threat to property rights and confiscation of assets in British history.
But that’s not all. Among Labour’s pledges are such radical ideas as a four-day week and a land-grab of large farms to make room for ‘community agriculture’. This was pioneered in Zimbabwe and Venezuela, with disastrous consequences. The differing visions of Britain held by the two main parties could not be clearer. The Tories remain wedded to lower taxes and to a fiscal regime that the financial markets can trust.
Preposterously, Labour seems to think it can raise taxes and spend liberally without any impact on enterprise and prosperity.
The Tories’ approach, meanwhile, is to increase spending in government departments but without the politics of envy.
Under Javid’s spending plans, every government department would benefit from a 4.1 per cent increase in spending in 2020-21, an increase of £13.8billion.
But that is only the start. A huge infrastructure programme is also planned. The national living wage would be raised to £10.50 by 2024.
While the Tories’ One Nation plans to increase spending come at a high price, the party also recognises that there is no room for economic recklessness. That is why, even as we head into an election, the party has as yet made no firm promises of tax cuts.
Thanks to Brexit dithering and a sharp deterioration in global economic conditions, whoever wins December’s election faces an uphill struggle to rebuild economic confidence.
The governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, argues that a Brexit deal of the kind negotiated by Johnson could trigger recovery as pent-up business investment is released. Indeed, Carney has suggested the easing of trade tensions between the UK and Europe could lead to Britain leading the world out of its current sluggishness.
However, Britain can take such a vital role only if businesses are reassured that Corbyn and his socialist acolytes are kept out of Downing Street.
Some voters may well have concerns about the immediate economic impact of Brexit. But the terrifying alternative is of dangerous Marxist dogma destroying free-market capitalism and wiping out personal and national wealth.
Such a future does not bear thinking about.