This austerity has seen cuts “unprecedented” in our history, says Johnson. But much worse is to come unless we change our ways. Assuming we want to keep present standards – not improve them but just maintain them – then on Office for Budget Responsibility reckonings, by 2068 nearly a quarter of our spending will be on the NHS, pensions and social care. This isn’t a guess, because the people who will need that care and those pensions are alive already. That means everything else will have to be severely cut back – or tax must rise to pay for it. Borrowing more is certainly possible, especially for investment. But paying more tax for services is the irreducible choice no politician dare put to the people.
That is, on the taxes we pay we cannot afford the welfare state we’ve already promised ourselves.
That’s pretty much what the right has been saying all these decades, isn’t it? Meaning that the right was right, nu?