DC: Reality has caught up with Gordon Brown
David Cameron writes:
On Tuesday, after months of denying it, Gordon Brown finally admitted that spending had to be cut. So at last he is catching up with reality.
The public spending debate can often get bogged down in the language of deficits, forecasts and balance sheets but it really is this simple: Britain's in a debt crisis. We're borrowing far, far too much money. And unless we cut public spending, we're all going to pay the price - with higher taxes, higher interest rates and lower confidence in our economy for the long-term.
So why on earth has it taken the Government so long to realise this? For months, we've been telling them that they need to get a grip on our national finances. And all across the country, families and businesses have been working out how to trim their own costs and live within their means. But the Government seems to have been entirely asleep on the job.
It didn't have to be like this. On Wednesday, the Conservatives were handed leaked documents from the Treasury. These showed that as far back as April, Gordon Brown's officials were drawing up plans to cut public spending by nearly ten per cent. So all the time that Gordon Brown was adamant in public that spending could continue to rise, in private his figures showed otherwise. He was, not for the first but hopefully for the very last time, taking people for fools.
Add that to the election that never was, the bungling over the abolition of the ten pence tax rate, the evasiveness about the release of al-Megrahi, and we have a Prime Minister who can't be straight with people about what he really thinks.