The subject of the economy is such a huge one, and has been the focus of so much propaganda that demonstrably isn’t true, that we need to break each myth down individually, so if this piece doesn’t answer your question, please check our other busted myths for related ones.
Myth 1 – “The Tories are always having to clear up after Labour’s debts”
Professor Richard Murphy is Professor of Practice in International Political Economy at City, University of London. In March 2016, he undertook an extensive study of the borrowing record of both Conservative and Labour governments, covering the period of 1946 to 2016, a 70 year period where Conservatives were in power for 42 years and Labour 28.
The link below has details and graphs, written in layman’s terms, of all his findings – but in short – EVERY SINGLE calculation he made, whether in the real terms of the day, or on bringing inflation up to today’s rates to balance out the changes in the value of money, had the conservatives borrowing SUBSTANTIALLY more and paying back less, both on an complete analysis (which is expected with them being in power longer) but also taken on average, on a year to year basis.
NOT ONLY did Labour borrow less, but they also had a far better record on paying back that debt. One in four years saw Labour pay back their debt – whilst the Conservatives only managed it one year in every 10.
So, the data, which was taken from the House of Commons own library and prior to 1955, the Bank of England, shows that, without exception, Labour ALWAYS borrowed less than the Conservatives and also ALWAYS paid back more money and paid it back more often. There was not one year that the Conservatives beat them.
In the above chart, the figures are in billions of £s, averaged out over the years both parties were in office, as the Tories were in power for 42 and Labour for 28. The central graph takes into account the changes in the value of money and have been worked out in 2014 prices to eliminate bias.