Osborne is dragging us across the Atlantic, away from the European social and Christian democrat model, to turn us into a tax-and-spend nation even lower than the wild west, sink-or-swim United States. Where about 42% to 45% of GDP is the European norm, Osborne will plunge us permanently to just 35%, a place he has never described, a country Britain will not recognise.
“Efficiency” and “reform” are their charlatan promises to bridge the impossible funding gap between tax and spend. But watch the result as the NHS erupts with debt and growing waiting times expose Osborne’s promised £22bn “efficiency saving” as a fraud. To be sure, the price of good public services is eternal vigilance on value for money – but that rarely produces big savings. Voters deserve to be told what they know already: you get what you pay for, in public services as in shops.
People may never love tax, but they are about to find out what a low-tax, low-spend country feels like. Osborne will be cutting police, social care, child protection, schools, health, local government and much else at a rate not seen in our lifetime. Or he may fail in the face of protest from many on his side, including the old who voted him in. The tax credit fiasco may be just a foretaste of the omnishambles to come.