“No government for 30 years has sustained tax receipts above 37 per cent of GDP. Yet we are now proposing that spending rises to 48 per cent of GDP, almost as high as the mid-1970s when the IMF came in. It went to 44 per cent in the early 1990s. The electorate cannot have that level of spending, or anything like it, if it won't pay more tax.
Governments of both parties have failed to make that clear. It is almost as through they have been complicit in the deception. Yesterday the scale of that deception became clear, and that is why it is the end of an era.” What needs to be done is a radical scaling back of spending. Rather than demanding that those who would make a cut justify themselves and each and every cut they propose, we should start from the principle of what this country can afford.