Stick or twist

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In his Autumn Statement, George Osborne set out his 
party’s central economic tenet: that people should be allowed to keep more of their own money and the state should spend less (your report, 4 December).

So in the spring election we can choose to stick with a strategy that has delivered faster growth than anywhere else in Europe and created more jobs than at any time in our history.

Or we return a Labour Party congenitally incapable of avoiding an economic bust at the end of its time in office and led by Gordon Brown’s little helpers, the Eds Miliband and Balls.

The Chancellor’s far-reaching pension reforms are part of a revolution in personal savings while his overhaul of stamp duty – by far our worst-designed tax – is a welcome relief. Yet again there was a paucity of Labour ideas and there will be no new ones until it rids itself of the baggage of the Brown era – but the absence of Nick Clegg bodes well for the future.

(Dr) John Cameron

Howard Place

St Andrews

David Bell (Analysis, 4 December) seems to be a “lone voice in the wilderness” drawing attention to household debt.

Apparently, this has been forecast to climb to an astronomical 172 per cent of GDP by 2018.

Understandably, yet unfortunately, Professor Bell’s cogent analysis stays firmly within the long tradition of academic economics. He doesn’t pose the difficult question: ought our economic society be permitting such high household debt?

Pertinently, economics students from a number of universities in a recent radio programme criticised “teaching economics after the crash”. They are critical of courses teaching the sort of “economic principles commonly taught before and during the crash”.

Arguably, household debt is of moral concern; as in ethical economics it can be seen as a threat to stability and order.

Ellis Thorpe

Old Chapel Walk

Inverurie