GDP was growing by 1.0% when the coalition took over. The deficit was falling when the coalition took over and there's nothing illusionary about governments investing to generate growth. It's exactly what competent governments do in response to recessions. Debt payments were and are going up but, remember, that the deficit has fallen by a bit over a third under the coalition despite their bluster. The major reason for this is that the coalition have failed to produce growth in the economy. Prior to the credit crunch, the debt-to-gdp ratio was lower than it was when New Labout took over. The vast majority of the rise in both deficit and debt was down to the global recession. I agree with you that Gordon Brown should have balanced the books better during the good years but it is not the major cause of the medium term deficit problems we face. The state in this country was too small even before the Tories ideological assault on it. Our more successful European neighbours spend much more than we do.