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Ealing and Northfield National politics

The trained economist on history

Cllr Bell goes on to attempt to evoke a spurious folk memory of the dark days of the Tories:

We have a shortage of High School places of over 3,000 and a need for an extra 29 – 34 forms of entry at Primary level (each costing £4.5 m to accommodate) in the coming years. As a Council we have a legal and moral duty to provide school buildings for our children and we do not want to go back to the Tory past of freezing, leaking portable cabins but we are going to have our work cut out given our lack of financial resources.

As with most of the rest of what he says this is nonsense too. Go and look at Treasury figures for public sector gross investment as a percentage of GDP here.

You will see that whilst the Tories probably cut investment too much in the late nineties (a trajectory maintained by Labour for four years after they came into power) they consistently invested much more than Labour under the mendacious Gordon Brown ever did. Of course Brown always confused current spending with capital spending. But the facts are that in eighteen Tory years average public sector gross investment was 4.3% of GDP. Under the first twelve years of Labour it was 2.7% of GDP. Cllr Bell is wrong again but by now we are perhaps not surprised.