Další postřeh z Británie: Tony Blair se domnívá, že jeho levicová vláda málo škrtala. Tony Blair při nástupu do úřadu v roce 2005 sliboval značně omezit veřejné výdaje, nakonec od toho ale ustoupil. Dneska je přesvědčen, že kdyby to udělal, Británie by krizí prošla v lepší kondici:
We should have made cuts before crash, says Blair
Labour should have made cuts to public spending before the financial crisis hit Britain, Tony Blair has admitted.
The former Prime Minister said that he regretted not following through on a plan to weed out billions in unnecessary and wasteful spending in 2005. His admission is at odds with repeated refusals by Labour's current front bench to accept Conservative accusations that the party let spending run out of control and left Britain exposed when the credit crunch arrived.
Allies of Mr Blair have blamed Gordon Brown and Ed Miliband for killing off the efficiencies plan, known as the Fundamental Savings Review (FSR).
Appearing at a question and answer session at Queen Mary, University of London, Mr Blair also said that modern politicians should take a job outside politics for "several years" before winning a seat in the Commons. While he said that nothing could have been done to avoid the recession that hit Britain, he expressed regret that the cost-cutting drive that was drawn up had been abandoned. Going ahead with it could have put Britain's finances on a surer footing as the financial crisis struck.
"It is true - and there was a debate about it at the time in government, around 2005 - probably we really should have tightened policy somewhat," Mr Blair said. "But these things are marginal compared with the overwhelming impact of the global financial crisis.
"I think the honest truth is, around the 2005 time, we - and this was a debate that was had in government at the time - [had] this thing called the Fundamental Savings Review that didn't really go anywhere, but I think should have led to us then driving through even greater change in the existing amount of money."
He added: "That pales into insignificance compared with the impact of the financial crisis, frankly."
Insiders said that one of the key figures overseeing the FSR project had been Mr Miliband, the current Labour leader, who was then a special adviser to Mr Brown. Jonathan Powell, Mr Blair's former chief of staff, has described the decision not to carry out the cost-cutting exercise as "probably the most damaging example of the 'standoff' between Blair and Brown".
"Gordon refused to allow it to happen while Tony was still Prime Minister," Mr Powell wrote. "We missed an opportunity to put the country into a better fiscal position going into the economic crash of 2008."
Mr Blair said that he had also disagreed with Mr Brown's decision to raise employers' national insurance contributions to help to close the deficit. "I would have probably taken different decisions in other aspects of economic policy," he said. "Around national insurance, I would not have been in favour of doing that."
He said that there was a "general problem" in modern democracies with the rise of career politicians who had never worked elsewhere. Mr Miliband is among those who have worked almost exclusively in Westminster. "This is not a specific point at all, because I support Ed's leadership and I support what he's doing," Mr Blair said. "But there is a general problem in politics, not just in our system but in Western democracy."
He added: "I advise any young person who wants to go into politics today: go and spend some time out of politics. Go and work for a community organisation, a business, start your own business - do anything that isn't politics for at least several years."