THE letter from Colin Burgess (November 30), criticising the main parties for their spending plans, misleadingly treats the national economy as if it were a household. There is a fundamental difference. When a household spends more than its income, its income doesn’t change. But when a government spends more than its receipts, national income rises, and part of what is spent returns as increased tax revenue.

At a time when there is spare capacity in the economy, and interest rates and inflation rates are both low, we need to get away from the austerity-imposing fiscal rules of the Osborne era. The question then becomes: What goals do we want government policy to achieve, and how can finance best be arranged to deliver them?

Colin Burgess worries about inflicting an increased burden of government debt on the next generations. A far more urgent worry for the next generations is the climate crisis we are heading towards. We can lessen that burden by investing now to decarbonise the economy. This requires increased government spending. And this spending can be financed by a combination of increased taxes on high earners with disproportionately high carbon footprints, increased borrowing at low interest rates, and making tax relief on savings in ISAs and pensions conditional on those funds being used to finance a Green New Deal.

ALAN NEALE, Pearce Avenue, Poole