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Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Prudent?

Paul Staines does not think so!

British Chancellor Gordon Brown’s recent splurge on the National Health Service was supposed to be supported by a bouyant economy, but first quarter figures (just released) are terrible.

Manufacturing output tumbled by 1.5 per cent, leaving it 6.5 per cent down on the same time last year ÷ the biggest annual decline since the recession of the early Eighties. A further slump in exports, by nearly 7 per cent, also took a heavy toll.

On the plus side that means mortgage rates are very unlikely to rise near term, but taxes may be more likely to rise as the economy stagnates – unless you think New Labour would actually consider reducing state spending?

As the graphic shows we have slipped from first to last in the G7 growth league – as the other G7 countries voters all shifted rightwards.

Things are going to get more difficult for Brown, sooner rather than later.

Paul Staines

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