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How to oppose austerity without looking like deficit-deniers

LabourList have published an extended essay of mine about the current economic situation.

Across Europe – from Spain to Scotland, from the Labour leadership contest to the situation in Greece – this is turning into a central political question.

No party of the left can support savage cuts to essential benefits, nor to vital investments that generate future growth. But if that’s all we say, simply parroting “No austerity!”, then we are vulnerable to the accusation that we’d let debt to rise to dangerous, costly levels. And there is nothing progressive in having to spend a quarter or more of our tax revenue on repaying debt and the interest on that debt, instead of on public services or investment.

So we need to be seen to address the subject credibly, both for principle and for political necessity.