The Observer view on the budget: Jeremy Hunt is planning to steal from our long-term future | Observer editorial

By taking money to fund tax cuts, the chancellor’s policy will be as disastrous as that of his predecessors

Jeremy Hunt should be honest with MPs and the British public when he delivers his budget on Wednesday. Early in his speech, the chancellor should admit that almost 14 years of successive Conservative administrations have left the economy and the public finances in a far worse position than many of our competitors among the other major industrialised nations.

There is the proliferation of food banks and the growing number of homeless people sleeping in shop doorways, alleys and in the woods on the edge of town. Hundreds of schools cannot cope with the growing numbers of pupils who struggle to learn. Local authorities are running out of cash at an alarming rate, and hospital, GP and dentistry services have narrowed the scope of who they cater for and many are dealing only with emergency cases. The police services are struggling , the asylum system remains a shambles, and prison governors complain that the ageing infrastructure and poorly paid staff mean they barely look after the number of prisoners in their care.

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