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Economic illiteracy at The Sun

October 7, 2010

I nearly choked on my sandwich while leafing through The Sun this lunch. Business Editor Steve Hawkes argues that the Government’s cuts programme is delivering growth. Fair enough. The IMF did indeed confirm “higher UK growth forecasts this year”. But he then goes on to threaten readers with what would have happened if the government hadn’t embarked on a radical programme of cuts. His salutary example? Ireland. Hawkes points out that the UK is returning to growth while “Ireland’s credit rating was cut again”. The implication seems to be that the prudent UK is on the mend while profligate Ireland has spent itself into a hole. Now, forgive me if I’m wrong, but I was under the impression that cutting public spending is exactly what Ireland did. In fact it was something of a poster boy for austerity measures last year. Shurely shome mishtake?

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