I’M delighted to see the long running Whitehall farce sometimes known as “We’ll cut the deficit by….” continuing. The story so far is thus.

  • 2010: George Osborne says, “We will eliminate the deficit by 2015”.
  • Tory Party manifesto, 2015 (p.9): "We will eliminate the deficit by 2017."
  • George Osborne budget speech, July 8, 2014: "We will eliminate the deficit by 2020."
  • Tory Party manifesto 2017 (p.64): "We will eliminate the deficit by 2025."

The most recent episode of this farce consists of both Labour and Tories saying in their 2019 manifestos that they’ve given up trying to cut the deficit, and will let the deficit and debt go through the roof, with the debt going halfway to the Moon in the case of Labour.

The really clever bit about that is that it will push up interest rates, which will benefit the rich and hit those with mortgages, which I must confess I didn’t know was Labour policy, but you learn something every day.

Ralph Musgrave, Durham.