Monday, 3 October 2016

Philip Hammond, Chancer of the Exchequer

Philip Hammond (Chancer of the Exchequer) explained on Today programme that the Tories will invest government money in productive areas of the economy like transport and housing and this will bring growth and jobs.

Reminder: Hammond is a Tory. What he said is classic mainstream Labour economics. I'm not one to say that this either works or not works. It's not socialism. It's the state pump priming bits of the economy. What's odd is that a) it's Tories saying this (having attacked this view for years) and b) that they think putting money into things like transport and housing is of itself suspect because it's rather 'public use' sort of stuff...

Of course, when challlenged on this, Hammond said that it was nothing like Labour.

Then he said that the point about leaving the EU is that it would enable them to 'control immigration'. Nick Robinson pointed out that that might mean that exactly the same number of migrants might come to the UK. Hammond didn't deny this.

I take this to mean that the main purpose of going on about migrants is to shore up political power by constantly talking about migrants as 'the problem' when quite clearly some people in government don't think they are.

ON both counts, Hammond does indeed go down as the Chancer of the Exchequer.