George Osborne is planning to eradicate Britain's budget deficit by emulating Canada, where borrowing was brought under control within just three years by spending cuts of 20 per cent.The story also featured on BBC Breakfast this morning.
The Chancellor will announce a "once-in-a-generation" revolution in public spending inspired by Canada in the mid-1990s, when the government turned a budget deficit of nine per cent of GDP into a surplus.
Canada brought public spending under control guided by the principle that people should ask "what needs to be done by government and what we can afford to do".
I have previously related David Starkey's account of the Canadian experience, and the debate that followed it.
There have been all sorts of ridiculous protests from vested interests here in the UK, who are either ignorant of the unsustainability of the status quo, or determined that someone else will bear the burden. They will say it cannot be done. It is important for the Conservatives to be able to point to a place where drastic cuts were made, which did not cause the sky to fall, but on the contrary revitalised the economy.
That Canada's cuts were made by a Liberal government, combined with the fact that our cuts will be made by a coalition, raises the hope that political consensus in this country will shift, and deficit spending will be relegated to the dustbin of history.