Vince: “Labour and the Tories are accusing each other of being confused and contradictory on the economy, and they’re both right.”

by Stephen Tall on February 1, 2010

Attack is the best form of defence, I guess, so it’s no surprise that the Tories – seriously on the back-foot since it became clear that David Cameron and George Osborne haven’t got a clue what they plan to do about the deficit – have launched a broadside against Labour. With Peter Mandelson using a press conference this morning to accuse the Tories of “confusion and disarray”, the Tories have accused Labour of being “in chaos”.

So far, so yawn. Or as Vince Cable put it today:

Labour and the Tories are accusing each other of being confused and contradictory on the economy, and they’re both right. The fact that they insist on this political bun fight shows they have failed to understand that the British public and the markets want a clear picture of what the next Government will do.

“The Liberal Democrats are the only party that has had a consistent approach.

“We’ve been very open about the scale of cuts required and setting out where our priorities would be, while recognising that the timing must be decided by the strength of the economy. That is why we have set out five tests for when and how we start to cut.”

And here’s a reminder of those five tests to form an objective judgement of when it’s safe for the British government – whether gold, red or blue – to start cutting public spending:

  • evidence of sustained economic growth;
  • employment growth;
  • overseas demand (especially in the EU);
  • monetary and credit conditions in the UK; and
  • the market cost of government borrowing.

And in case you’ve not had your fill of Vince’s common-sense, here’s a 30-second video pointing out the Tories’ economic muddle:

(Hat-tip: PoliticsHome).