Spud, spud, really

Labour did borrow more on average. The difference is small though and neither borrowed anything like as much as wartime coalitions did.

The biggest difference is that when Labour saved it really saved: the Conservatives did so only marginally.

A result driven by the Attlee years after WWII.

A time when they ran a budget surplus and also built the welfare state. See, it’s not actually necessary to run a deficit to do these things.

9 comments on “Spud, spud, really

  1. Was the welfare state actually built? Was it not more of a co-opting all the existing institutions by the state with a logo change, followed by bills that steadily mount over years.

  2. They took over the existing systems and thus had competent staff and an absence– in the beginning– of a boss class of “manager” dickheads.

    Thus you have that moron DBC Reed’s “Golden Age” of the 50s when the “mixed economy” looked like it might work. Because it could leech of what was built before. It didn’t and never does last.

  3. As someone alive and attending political occasions in 1951 I recall being at one with Attlee the speaker. He was impressive in the flesh although poor on screen. The previous two comments are both correct. My parents did not notice much difference between the Friendly Society/work fund treatments and the new NHS, except the raising of state taxes. At the time not much borrowing could be done because there was no real world financial market. We had to rely on the USA, which had its drawbacks. But there was the National Savings of its time. Do not forget Post War Credits, a compulsory savings that was not inflation proofed and paid little interest.

  4. Demetrius

    In the event Murphy’s ideas are implemented I think it’s best to forget all about Post War credits as the fool might seize on them to deprive the populace of what he says as ‘wealth’…..

  5. You really have to split post war economic history into 2 parts – pre 1970 and post 1970. Once the gold window closed in 1971 the economic situation was fundamentally different to what it had been previously. Comparing the two periods is apples and oranges stuff.

  6. In my home town they still remember that the town hospital was built in 1926 out of funds raised by the people of the town and owned by the people of the town, was stolen by the government in 1948. Similarly many larger towns and cities have people who remember the municipally-owned electric gas and water works were stolen by the government. At least the railway companies were bought by the government, everything else was just appropriated.

  7. I doubt Spud has a more coherent mental model of what saving entails beyond some kind of glorified book of Green Shield stamps.

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