Tory plans would kill economy

Commenting in various newspapers over the weekend, he said that the recession has so far avoided falling into a depression because of the methods used by the monetary and fiscal authorities. However, it isn’t over yet and any recovery will be slow and “anaemic”.

In the Guardian this weekend, he said: “The simple lesson when you are deep in recession is that a serious policy error is to reverse stimulus too early, which then sends the economy crashing into a depression. This is what happened in the United States in the 30s. Monetary and fiscal policy were tightened before recovery was firmly established, which drove the country back into a deep recession at the end of 1937.

“And this week into the current economic crisis stepped the Tories with their ill thought-out plans for (a lack of) recovery. Cut public spending here, freeze public sector wages there, reduce the benefits of the poor, raise the pension age, and so on. It was hard to see any group that stood to benefit from their proposals.

“Lesson one in a deep recession is you don't cut public spending until you are into the boom phase. Keynes taught us that. The consequence of cutting too soon is to drive the economy into a depression. That means rapidly rising unemployment, social disorder, rising poverty, falling living standards and even soup kitchens. The Tory economic proposals have the potential to push the British economy into a death spiral of decline that would be almost impossible to reverse for a generation... You don't worry about paying off debt when you are at war: you have other priorities. Win the war first.”