Douglas Carswell

22 MAR 2016

Why I'm voting against Osborne's irresponsible budget

UKIP believes in fiscal responsibility. I supported last year's budget because it made some necessary and responsible reductions in public spending. But I will be voting against this year's budget, because it is fiscally irresponsible.

Balancing the books is not optional. If the Government continues to spend tens of billions more than it takes in taxes every year, our creditors will soon treat Britain as a risky bet, and stop lending us cheap money. When that happens, pensions, benefits, and healthcare will suddenly face a funding crisis from which there is no escape. The only way to preserve the welfare state is to make it financially sustainable today.

For all his clichés about difficult decisions and fixing the roof, George Osborne has failed to tackle Britain's ballooning borrowing. He broke his promise to close the deficit by 2015. He has ignored his welfare cap. Having nearly doubled the national debt in absolute terms, he is now violating another of his rules and letting it rise as a proportion of GDP too.

Once again, Osborne has stored up cuts for the end of the Parliament, only to be abandoned before the next election – if he survives at Number 11 that long. After six years, it's obvious that for as long as Osborne is Chancellor, Britain will never stop borrowing.

Like Gordon Brown before him, Osborne opts for gimmicks and giveaways instead of fiscal responsibility. He tries to take the British people for fools.

I believe the British people deserve honesty. Unless we fix Britain's systemic fiscal and financial problems, we are heading for an economic catastrophe. Borrow-and-spend budgets are a luxury we can't afford.

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