Now this is actually interesting from Ritchie.
If we do a bit of accruals accounting we can close the government deficit. That is, recognise tax revenue when it becomes legally due (ie, when people do the action which leads to a tax liability) rather than when it is actually due or paid, then there was no deficit under Brown.
Well, yes, sorta. Because of course accruals accounting means that you don\’t just recognise revenues in this manner. You also recognise liabilities in this manner.
Which means that we have to add into the mix the state pension liabilities accrued, the public sector pensions liabilities accrued, the PFI liabilities accrued and so on: things which would rather blow out that deficit instead of contracting it.
Odd thing for an accountant to forget really.
Or is he an economist these days?