The problem with socialism, Margaret Thatcher said, is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.

At least, she would have said it if she’d had a better ear for internet-friendly truisms: what she really said, on Thames TV in 1976, was that “socialist governments traditionally do make a financial mess. They always run out of other people's money.” But her outdated claim endures.

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, ProfileData financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Times Select.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now