In one of the most famous gags in the sitcom A little bit of Britainone of the personalities who works with customer service in a bank unambiguously answers every inquiry with “The computer says no(The computer says no) after entering data into the computer system and receiving an error message.
Over the years, the expression has become a common joke to criticize the dehumanization of bureaucratic personnel, incapable of solving any kind of problem other than pre-determined responses in the system, and the slightest common sense often being ignored. But one can imagine that “the computer says no” is exactly what former British finance minister Kwasi Quarting thought, seeing on his screen the pound collapse and interest rates rise to record levels as a result of the announcement. Plan budget and tax cuts.
What happened next is something that will go down in the history books. Kwarteng was forced to resign just 38 days after his appointment. The only reason he isn’t the shortest-lived Treasury Secretary in history is that in 1970, then-Secretary Ian MacLeod died of a heart attack after just one month in office.
In a humiliating political capitulation, Prime Minister Liz Truss was forced, first, to rescind a proposal to cut tax on top incomes and, later, cut corporate tax in order to calm markets. Interestingly, among the measures announced, the one that will, by far, have the greatest impact on the public treasury is the setting of a ceiling on energy prices; A measure that any European left-wing party would be happy to take credit for. But there is consensus that it is a necessary measure to avert economic and social catastrophe this winter.
Not so with tax cuts disguised as measures to revive economic growth. With his ruling, the markets have stated emphatically that they do not believe the tax cuts will pay themselves, even if Gears remains rooted in Reagan’s economic ideas and “meager economy“- the idea that lower corporate taxes and higher incomes lead to greater economic growth. This lack of confidence in the sustainability of public accounts has led to higher interest rates. Spain would do well to take this into account, regardless of the color of the next government.
Unfortunately, especially for those of us who have made this country our adopted home, the political and financial chaos of the past few weeks represents only a continuation of the political and economic deterioration that the UK has experienced since the referendum to leave the UK. The European Union in 2016. Fortunately, the greatness of the country outweighs its rulers, no matter how determined they are to turn Great Britain into A little bit of Britain.
Join EL PAÍS to follow all the news and read without limits.
Follow all the international information in Facebook s Twitteror in Weekly newsletter.
Subscribe to continue reading