‘I’m afraid to tell you there’s no money left.’

Dear Tories, sorry we spent all the money: Labour’s farewell letter as it’s revealed public debt could DOUBLE to £1,790bn

Daily Mail [UK]
17th May 2010

Labour’s gross mismanagement of the economy was laid bare today after it was revealed a former minister left his successor a note that said ‘there was no money left’.

In a stark message left in a Treasury desk, outgoing chief secretary to the Treasury Liam Byrne wrote simply: ‘I’m afraid to tell you there’s no money left.’

His astonishing admission came as George Osborne announced that he will deliver his first emergency Budget on June 22, exactly six weeks after the new coalition Government took office.

Mr Osborne said that he would also be setting out next week details of the £6 billion of spending cuts to be made this year as latest figures from the Institute for Fiscal Studies calculated for the Guardian suggested public debt could double from £890bn to £1,790bn.

Mr Byrne’s pithy summary of the serious challenges facing the new power-sharing administration was revealed by Liberal Democrat David Laws, who has taken on the role.

Speaking at the Treasury today Mr Laws told reporters: ‘When I arrived at my desk on the very first day as Chief Secretary, I found a letter from the previous chief secretary to give me some advice, I assumed, on how I conduct myself over the months ahead.

‘Unfortunately, when I opened it, it was a one-sentence letter which simply said “Dear Chief Secretary, I’m afraid to tell you there’s no money left”, which was honest but slightly less helpful advice than I had been expecting.’

Treasury sources said the letter from Mr Byrne – dated April 6, the day Gordon Brown called the election – was: ‘Dear Chief Secretary, I’m afraid there is no money. Kind regards – and good luck! Liam.’

Mr Byrne, who was in charge of controlling spending under the Brown government, signed off: ‘Kind regards and good luck! Liam.’

Read the rest of the article at the Daily Mail.

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