Many commentators are saying Gordon Brown will be fondly remember in the history books as a good chancellor and a Prime Minister who handled the 'global' recession effectively.
I disagree. Many of us political watchers have been saying for some time that he was introducing a 'scorched earth policy' and it would appear we were right (again).
Billions of pounds in public money was committed in the run-up to the election campaign in a deliberate strategy to boost Labour's chances at the ballot box and sabotage the next government. This week the chancellor, George Osborne, will prepares to reveal details of an initial £6 billion of cuts to help reduce the £163 billion deficit.
The 'black holes' already unearthed include a £13 billion tanker aircraft programme; £420m of school building contracts signed off by Ed Balls just weeks before the election was called; the £1.2 billion 'e-borders' IT project for the immigration service; the multi-billion pound cost of decommissioning old nuclear power plants and a £600m computer contract for the new personal pensions account scheme rushed through by Labour this year. It will still cost at least £25m even if it is cancelled.
Gerald Howarth, the new Tory minister for defence procurement, disclosed that the financial pressures on the MoD were even graver than he had been expecting. "The appetite for new programmes exceeded the capacity of the MoD's stomach, particularly in the run-up to the election," he said. "In the past few months there was a rush of new orders. What we are going to have to do is ensure the equipment programme matches the military need."
Nothing there that should surprise any of us is there and that's only the beginning. George Osborne intends to announce a freeing of spending on new IT projects, stopping most public sector recruitment and renegotiating deals with government suppliers. He has a very difficult task to sort out the mess and the pressure is on him from many areas - not least Vince Cable who wanted his job.
Transport for London, controlled by Boris Johnson, has bought out the shareholders of subway contractor Tube Lines for £310m. Mr Johnson said that the deal freed London Underground and private contractors from 'the perverse pressures of the Byzantine PPP structure."
Should Scotland manage to negotiate the right to borrow finance, I wonder if they will rid us of these exorbitant PPP and PFI contracts created by the last labour/libdem administration. It would be money well spent in the long term if the contracts cannot be renegotiated, which seems to be the case at present.
Gordon Brown's legacy for the UK will be one of not saving during the good years and spending extravagantly during the bad. I won't mention the selling of our gold, the robbery involving pensions, the loss of the 10p tax band and the billions given by DFID for projects which appear dodgy to say the least. I've no wish to be blamed for causing anyone indigestion on a Sunday morning.