Vote Tory says the Economist

By Sabine Klensch

The Economist has endorsed the Conservatives in the general election.

The business and current affairs magazine, which supported Labour in 2005, urged voters in the cover story for its latest edition to “give Cameron their vote”.

The main issue is public spending and the Tories have been the only party that have most clearly addressed the need for cuts in public spending, according to the paper.

It said: “In this British election the overwhelming necessity of reforming the public sector stands out.Government now accounts for over half the economy, rising to 70% in Northern Ireland.

“More than their rivals, (the Conservatives) are intent on redesigning the state. They would reform the NHS by bringing in more outside providers: their plans to give parents and teachers the right to set up schools are the most radical idea in this election.”

Yet, the editorial criticises the Tories for not being as decisive in other areas and says it is wrong to rule out cuts in health spending.

Despite welcoming the surge in support for the Liberal Democrats, the Economist largely disagrees with Nick Clegg’s intention to tax capital gains at 50% as well as his plans to eliminate tuition fees.

“Mr Clegg is clever and charming. But look at the policies, rather than the man, and the Lib Dems seem less appealing.”

Gordon Brown’s efforts to steer Britain through the economic crisis, avoiding a total meltdown of the financial sector, were not given enough credit, according to the magazine, but it said: “The government is largely responsible for the current fiscal deficit.

“As chancellor, Brown poured money into public services. As a result, Britain’s budget deficit is almost as big as Greece’s in proportion to its economy; its public sector is larger.”

“New Labour has run out of steam. A change of government is essential.”