If Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng hold strong with their vision, Britain will become a model for the 21st-century economy across the free world, says Mark Dolan

It's laughable that the Labour Party claim that the Tories are reckless with money


I went viral this week, and I don't mean the heavy cough and cold that's going around at the moment. Or the monkeypox – my lifestyle isn’t that exotic. It was my following tweet.

"Quick reminder. The challenges for the pound are because we borrowed £500 billion, in a failed attempt to stop a predominantly mild, seasonal respiratory virus."

It's particularly useful for the Labour Party, who conclude their conference today to blame this new budget, which rightly aims to increase national income, on the challenges sterling now faces.

Not that fast, because although ultimate blame must be with this government for the Covid measures, it was the cervix-free leader of the opposition who waved through the eye wateringly damaging and expensive national lockdowns, and wanted more.

Starmer called freedom day reckless and save for 100 or so brave Tory backbenchers who risked their own careers to vote against lockdowns, this currency crisis, the national debt and the burden on future generations is on Johnson, Starmer and an entire generation of politicians in the House of Commons.

Keir Starmer dubbed freedom day 'reckless'.
Keir Starmer dubbed freedom day 'reckless'.

I also blame corporations who drove us round the bend with their safetyism – plastic screens everywhere, hand sanitiser and arrows in supermarkets.

The unions who pushed for school closures, the effective mothballing of the NHS and work from home. And I blame my colleagues in the media, who would've had you believe this was the bubonic plague. Well a plague on their houses, because look at us now.

It's laughable that the Labour Party claim that the Tories are reckless with money, when the only change they would make to the mini-budget, is to scrap the top rate tax cut which costs either two billion pounds, or nothing, depending on who you ask, as more people would move up the pay scale, given the inherent incentive.

That tax cut is arguably cost neutral. Either way, it’s a small price to pay to encourage wealthy people to live here, stay here, spend their money here and pay their taxes here. I don't know about you, but I want their cash.

No amid all the hysteria this week, I'm optimistic that Britain will bounce back. The currency has already settled this afternoon, we have the lowest debt to GDP ratio in the G7, and we have an agile and dynamic economy, unlike heavily industrialised, energy hungry Germany, and heavily unionised France and Spain.

Italy is now in so much debt, the risk that it will fall over, threatens the mother of all sovereign debt crises in the Eurozone. Another reason why, in years to come, we will count our blessings that we're out.

Mark Dolan
Mark Dolan

But we have a big problem going forward it's not debt in my view, which is a short to medium term headache.

The elephant in the room is spending. Businesses sweat over their spreadsheets, looking at staffing costs, tax liability and overheads, and how they tally with income.

Capitalism is wonderfully efficient and unforgiving. If you run a business, you are allergic to waste. Profligacy and waste are kryptonite.

In the public sector, not so much. I love the doctors and nurses who work in our NHS, they're the best of our country but why do people boast that the NHS is the biggest employer in Europe?

That's not a good news story, that's a bad news story. Particularly given that we lag in almost every league table when it comes to medical treatment, with a health service asleep at the wheel for decades as the population gets fatter, more diabetic and more medicated.

Mark Dolan urges Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng to hold firm with their economic vision.
Mark Dolan urges Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng to hold firm with their economic vision.

For the hysterical cost of the NHS, public health is a disaster. It’s enough to make you sick. The painful truth is the NHS is getting worse as it gets more expensive.

Our teachers are incredible and state schools largely do a brilliant job, but the cost per pupil in England of educating a child is approaching £10,000 a year.

Are those kids really getting bang for their buck, again when you look at the world league tables of academic achievement?

Chris McGovern from the campaign for real education told me on GB News just a few months ago that Britain spends among the most in the world on education, but lags behind relatively poor countries like Vietnam, whose children achieve far higher attainment, at a fraction of the cost.

Why? Because of traditional teaching methods, discipline and a culture of hard work and accountability in the classroom. Last time I checked, none of those things cost a penny.

As proved by social mobility Tsar Katharine Birbalsingh, whose Free School in Wembley, Michaela Community School, has transformed the fortunes of some of the poorest kids in the borough, getting them to Oxbridge in some cases, by ditching progressive policies in the classroom.

Waste is everywhere and because it’s public money no one cares.

Suppliers overcharge for goods, contractors overcharge for services. What about the NHS managers on six-figure salaries, police forces filling out paperwork and spending thousands painting cop cars, in the colour of the rainbow.

Mark Dolan issues a warning over plans Labour may hold for the economy.
Mark Dolan issues a warning over plans Labour may hold for the economy.

And telling us not to misgender convicted male paedophiles, who wants to be a lady now. And what do the councils do with the billions we pump in their direction, given they can barely collect the bins once a week.

So called austerity in the 2010s was anything but. It barely scratched the surface. You the taxpayer are not getting good value for money, and now that things are so tight, with departmental budgets inevitably shrinking, we face the perfect storm of rising costs and worse public services.

If you think this pro-growth strategy is a worry, just imagine a Labour government, that will give everyone a payrise, lock down again at the drop of a hat and scrap fossil fuel by 2030?

Labour are planning to create a new energy company based on flaky and expensive renewables. Ask Germany how that’s working out for them – half a trillion in ten years they’ve spent, and the lights will be out in Munich this winter.

If the 1970s taught us anything, it’s that governments are not enterprising.

Politicians don’t create businesses, entrepreneurs do.

A big spending Labour government, in the pocket of the unions, blindly pursuing Net Zero would see the pound sliding faster than Torville and Dean at the Olympics.

Labour don’t have policies, they have ways of spending your money. And there’s no money left, so you are looking at more borrowed billions.

The current government have sunk us with lockdowns. So we've got to go for a simple economic model going forward, which is low tax and small state, to generate the prosperity for all.

This is not trickle down, it’s trickle up. A growing economy helps everyone and provides the national income, with which to help the weakest in our society.

If we do this, and if Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng hold strong with their vision, Britain will become a model for the 21st-century economy across the free world.

If we carry on like we are, living on the crack cocaine of credit, then it's a race to the bottom.

When it comes to our economic challenges, tax is not the problem. We are living beyond our means and ignoring shocking amounts of waste and inefficiency in the public sector.

And post pandemic, with talk of a universal basic income, paying people to sit on their a**** at home watching Loose women and Countdown, expectations are far too high about what the Government can do.

Especially one running a colossal budget deficit. The state should shrink and the economy should grow. Not the other way around.

No one wants to talk about it, or acknowledge it, but out of control spending is the elephant in the room. Tusk tusk.