The clever trap Osborne and the Tories have designed for the Labour leadership candidates to jump into must be ignored (Osborne turns to "Micawber" economics,10/06/15). The obvious response from them is to point out that the Tories` desire to shrink the state back to levels last seen when laissez-faire principles dominated political thinking, and when inequality flourished, does not coincide with Labour values. Also, emphasising that having "tax revenues covering spending on both infrastructure and day-to-day running of the government" makes no sense whatsoever, and amounts to a dereliction of government`s duty. When the housing shortage needs urgent government attention, when the NHS and care are facing financial crises, when cities, as Owen Jones points out, need investment if they are to be made "fit for people", (We must fight to make our cities healthier places,10/06/15) and when borrowing, at what in real terms amounts to almost zero interest rates, makes economic sense, the suggestion that improving the quality of people`s lives can only be attempted when the books are balanced is nothing other than negligence.
Failure to challenge Osborne now will again leave the Labour party open to attack from the Tory propaganda machine; this "new settlement" rhetoric is simply the continuation of Osborne`s preparation for the next election, which began with his "northern powerhouse" nonsense. It was announced earlier this week that work on the electrification of the Manchester to Leeds railway, announced by the Tories in 2011, still has not started, and no-one is prepared to suggest a completion date! Says everything really.