Letter: No, we can't go on getting deeper in debt

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The Independent Online
Sir: Congratulations on your courage in headlining the unsustainability of present fiscal policies ("We can't go on like this", 2 September).

Your graph would be even more enlightening if it included the massive deviation between earlier optimistic projections of the Public Sector Borrowing Requirement, and latest actual outcomes/ estimates. The 1994 budget showed total growth in borrowings of pounds 9bn for the three years from 1996/1997, whereas additional borrowing is now projected at pounds 48bn by the Treasury's admission, or nearer pounds 70bn by outside estimates!

Clearly, we can now see that last year's penny off income tax was irresponsible. The electorate must realise that any further income tax cuts, without painful and massive economies, would be a profligate electioneering stunt, to be paid for by swingeing future measures.

PETER THURNHAM MP

(Bolton North East, independent)

Kendal, Cumbria

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