Letter: Nine steps that amount to a U-turn

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The Independent Online
IN A studiously apolitical fashion, Christopher Huhne suggests an artificial stimulus to the economy, ('Nine steps to climb out of recession', Business, 9 August) largely through a modest expansion of the existing budget deficit and a gross extension of state intervention in the housing market.

Surely Mr Huhne needs no reminder of the hostile attitude taken by the 'radical right' (and by Thatcherites in particular) to such measures? Why then does he characterise the economic policies followed since 1979 as merely a 'hands-off stance'? Has he forgotten the strident triumphalism of the Thatcher years? The choruses of 'there is no alternative' and 'you can't buck the market'?

For Norman Lamont to embark on a reflation financed by a budget deficit would be to acknowledge the failure of a decade of economic policy, tacitly admitting we still cannot produce 'sustainable growth'. To adopt such interventionism, the Chancellor would not just have to 'swallow his pride', but betray his party's stated principles.

Phillip Evans

Moseley, Birmingham

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