Saturday, 16 October 2010

If you think this"financial mess left by Labour" rhetoric is overblown...

It seems to be an increasingly common view now that saying that the state of the country's finances are much worse than expected is a dishonest ruse and of course we knew how bad it was.

Well, let me draw your attention to this one counter-example.

Remember way back when during the election campaign when we were boldly going further than all the other parties in spelling out what cuts we would have to make? I distinctly remember repeated assertions that we would save about a billion by taking the tough choice of cutting our commitment to the third tranche of Eurofighters. I also remember Andrew Neil picking us up (either Nick or Vince) on whether we could really make this saving and in the impartial (hah!) way that he has he implied we were lying whilst promising to check it later. We were still adamant.

Fast forward to the coalition getting at the books...

According to this article in The Register, whilst the country were still committed to buying the third tranche of Eurofighters, from 2005 the MoD under Labour just simply pretended the Eurofighter commitment didn't exist and removed the set-aside money from it's books!!

So, in a way, Neil was right. There was no saving to be had, but we certainly thought there was before the election!


Hywel said...

I think from reading that that the money was "off book" from 05 to 09 but then went back on book in 2010.

And just because something is off-book doesn't mean it doesn't need paying for

LibCync said...


I'm not sure when the 2010 book was actually done in relation to the election and if it was available externally.

"And just because something is off-book doesn't mean it doesn't need paying for"

Yes, exactly! That was my point! But if one assumes the accounts are a fair and accurate record, then your going to be hit with an unexpected cost. It seems there was a lot of this going on in the rest of government too which depressingly meant that a lot of the initial announcements of cut programs didn't make any difference to the deficit as they weren't accounted for in the first place.

Anonymous said...

Nice to see that the Liberals were honest about something. A drop in the ocean when compared to the unseemly scramble to drop commitments to not cutting spending this year, tuition fees, the joke pupil premium etc. Your own leader last week told the just under half of your voters who voted for you as they were social democrats who could not bring themselves to vote for Labour that you were a party of the right and that they had been mistaken. In four and a half year's time just wait for the Lib Dems to be reduced to a rump. Real people are hurting and are going to be hurt because of your unseemly support for an extreme Neo-Liberal government (politically I had thought that you were Modern Liberals who had some of social conscience). It will be wonderful to see the Liberal Party back to its seventies heyday when its MPs could practically have all squeezed into a phone box (not counting Cyril Smith!).