Labour pledge suggests voters are worried about debt

Morning View
Morning View

The Labour Party’s pledge not to borrow more money for its election manifesto commitments is another step towards fiscal sanity in the UK.

It might in fact be that Labour would be unable to meet this pledge, and would have to borrow more to fulfil its spending promises.

But the very fact that Labour knows it must show responsibility with regard to the national debt indicates that it has concluded that voters attach a high priority to financial caution.

There was a period prior to the last election when it seemed that there was minimal public concern about the UK’s debt, which spiralled suddenly after the financial crisis.

Now, however, there seems to be an increasingly widespread acceptance that Britain cannot keep spending and spending and piling up debts that will have to be paid by future generations.

For all the talk about cuts to public services, spending has only been trimmed and the UK’s debt is continuing to rise relentlessly.

The deficit has been cut slightly from its high in 2010, but this only means that Britain’s overall debt is rising at a slower rate.

Ed Miliband’s speech in the City of London setting out his party’s economic priorities means that there can now be a sensible debate about the pace at which debt should be curtailed.

He accuses the Tories of wanting to reduce public spending to 1930s levels. They say that his plans will lead to increased tax and economic chaos.

But the two main parties are at least agreed that ever-rising debt is unsustainable.

A society that is indifferent to soaring debt is typically a selfish society, that gives no thought to the burden of those who will have to foot tomorrow’s bill so that the people of today can live well.