Frank Field MP
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Blood, Toil, Tears and Sweat Now

The potential threat facing the country is as great as the actual one was in 1940. The country needs to be roused to the challenge that faces it.

In 1940, Churchill did not offer the country ‘blood, toil, tears and sweat' to then postpone efforts until after an election. He asked for an immediate coming together of the best sides of the nation. Today the country cannot be roused to the huge financial challenge it faces if the two main parties duck and tell us that they'll be back once the votes are counted.

It is vital that politicians and the media move on from the bread and circus agenda of MPs' expenses and get real. The big issue confronting the country is whether it can raise huge, unprecedented shedloads of debt.

Vince Cable and I have tabled today an Early Day Motion calling for a serious debate now, and not after the next election, on how to balance the nation's accounts.

Both major parties are stringing the voters along, teasingly suggesting that big cuts in expenditure and tax hikes will be necessary, but neither has any intention of disclosing their plans to rational debate before the election. What both major parties overlook is that the money markets may not be compliant in a game of party politicking over the country's future.

Even on the Government's own figures, Britain will proportionally be trying to borrow more money to balance its accounts over the medium to long term than any other G8 country.

The markets are already showing some nervousness as the Government sets out to raise a record £220bn of loans this year. It costs more, for example, to insure against the Government defaulting on its gilts than it does, say, to insure against Cadbury's being unable to redeem its company debt.

If the Government has difficulty in finding the necessary borrowers there could be a swift collapse in our currency bringing economic chaos in its wake. If this scenario is allowed to develop the Government will be forced to slash and burn public expenditure projects.

It is to prevent this scenario, and for the country to begin a rational debate on how tax and revenue streams are brought into balance in the medium term, that Vince and I have tabled today's motion. The Government's expenditure programmes currently come in at 48%, yet the Budget Red Book shows that in 2013/14 less than 38% of what we produce will be raised in revenue to meet this bill. These figures not only highlight the danger to which the country is now exposed - can the gap be filled by borrowing? - but they usher in a new political era.

The size of the State or - what Governments can do - is going to change. If we don't have an open and full debate the new politics will quickly take on a reactionary bent.

The new politics offers a once in a generation opportunity for radical politics. The first concern in increasing taxation is to ensure that those on modest to low incomes do not bear once again the main brunt of tax rises.

Similarly, the new politics offers the opportunity radically to rethink what the Government's objectives should be. I have detailed elsewhere how the goal of eliminating pensioner poverty could be achieved while at the same time cutting back over a fifteen year period the tax subsidies to pension savings, the cost of public sector pensions and, because the single thrust of Government policy is to abolish pensioner poverty, a significant reduction and then elimination of the pensioner means-tested programme.

It is reforms like this that have a single objective which can be achieved over the medium term that will transform the national accounts. We now have time to set out how the nation's finances can be transformed.

The stranglehold on this debate by the two main political parties must be broken. Failure to convince the money-lenders than the country is serious about balancing its books could lead to a failure to raise the shedloads of debt any government must raise in the short run, resulting in a further collapse in the currency (already down by 30%) and untold economic chaos and misery.

If the two major parties fail to act, the House of Commons must seize the initiative to begin plotting a new safe course for the country.
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Showing comments 1 to 5 of 6

Do I detect your first indication that you are planning to join the LibDems or be involved in starting a new party? Clearly the Labour party is not the place for someone of your talents. What will finally persuade you to abandon this failing party? The reasons are legion already if you would care to consider them.
Comment by Anonymous on 15 Jul 2011
One of the major problems in politics today is the lack of trust that the public have in politicians. The discussion on second homes and expenses sounds akin to the wrangling that can take place during a divorce settlement when each party involved is trying to find more reasons to support its initial decision to divorce from one another. Trust is a simple word created using four letters but without it, can a relationship exist? Whether that relationship is a marriage, business partnership or in this particular case a Government. Look around at society and consider where trust should exist and then ask the question is it present? To create an environment that encourages everyone to be the best that they can be,trust must be present.
Comment by Anonymous on 15 Jul 2011
CONGRATULATIONS, dear Mr Field MP! It is really sad that so few MPs dare to call a spade a spade! And even less MPs know what's happening due to the mechanism of National Debt that was started in 1694 with the Bank of England Act. You may also find it interesting that William Gladstone said "in time of peace nothing but dire necessity should induce us to borrow". With best wishes for more and more power to your elbows,SabineOrganiser, Forum for Stable Currencies
Comment by Anonymous on 15 Jul 2011
Congratulations.There needs to be 10% pa cuts in public expenditure for 10 years. This will get the public finances back on track. a. Start at the top by halving the number of Ministers, cutting their salaries by 25% and their pensions by 50%. Then a. Cut the number of MPs by 25%, their salaries and pensions (sorry) by 10% and 25% respectively. Then c. Cut the number of non-front-line public sector workers by 15% pa, and freeze all public sector salaries and pensions that are above the national average. d. Cut expenditure on management consultants by 20% pa.e. Eliminate all government programmes that do not demonstrate a clear cost-benefit return within 3 years of their initiation.f. Deal with the problems in the benefits system that you have ably identified.This would be an excellent start, and would help identify the other areas where savings could usefully be made.
Comment by Anonymous on 15 Jul 2011
The money markets are looking quite stable due the proximity of the next general election.... and the prospect of a change of government.
Comment by Anonymous on 15 Jul 2011

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