So what's the difference and what's the worry? Well, first of all there is a big difference, and second, the worry is that the prize 'lying liar' who runs our exchequor is trying to make sure you you think they are the same. I am prompted to this bitter tirade because today we saw the first rotten fruits of another 'lying liar', who was once a Chancellor, falling to earth with a wet splat. I refer to a Hospital Trust which has just gone broke because it was stitched up with one of Brown & Balls' PFI schemes in which the money-lenders hand over threepence to the politicians who, to the cheers of the populace (that's you, sucker!) spend it ("invest it") into some public good and then charge them three million quid interest! Of course, what Brown & Balls did was to make sure the interest payments were off the government books so that their already rocketing borrowing figures did not take off to the moon! This will not be the last Hospital Trust to be rushed into A&E where they will shortly be joined by sundry Educational Boards who are flat broke but with lots of frightfully smart but fearfully expensive schools to be paid for. ("Luigi sez you gotta pay the vig - or else!")
In similar vein, that devious little twister in the Treasury keeps insisting, on his word of honour as an Old Harrovian 'Old St. Paulian (or whatever, see comments), that all this (so-called) austerity is needed in order to reduce the deficit. Now, speaking in personal terms, the deficit is the difference between what you spend each year and what you receive and that definition applies to our government, too. So, courtesy of Fraser Nelson at The Spectator, here is a chart showing how well little Georgie is doing:
The 'pink uns' are Labour's budget of March 2010 and the forecasts flowing from it. The light blue are Georgie's budget three months later with his predictions. The dark blue, and they should be in black, flow from his budget of 2012. You can see that the reduction is anything but massive despite Balls, for political advantage, screaming endlessly about "savage cuts". And remember, this massive deficit which exceeds his first predictions (to say nothing of Alistair Darling's) is despite a 2.5% hike in VAT. The other thing to remember about deficits is that they do not go away at the end of each year, in other words, you do not start with a fresh sheet of paper every April. What you overspent remains on the books.
According to Fraser, the total so-called cuts amount to an average of 0.9% a year but still we continue to spend more than we earn. The difference, of course, is made up by by borrowing and Osborne is well on the way to maxing out his, or rather, our, credit card. In just two years he has increased the national debt by a quarter from £804 billion in June 2010 to £1 trillion in April this year, and it will soar away to £1.4 trillion by the next election. If you can see any difference between Brown and Osborne you have better eyesight than me.
When 'Luigi' says you really do have to pay what's due, he means YOU, or your children, or your children's children!