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Bottom of the class: George Osborne based his 'Long-Term Economic Plan' on a spreadsheet error by American economists. [Image: Gaianeconomics]

Bottom of the class: George Osborne based his ‘Long-Term Economic Plan’ on a spreadsheet error by American economists. [Image: Gaianeconomics]

How pleasant it is to see a leading Conservative actually admitting that world economic trends actually affect the United Kingdom as well, after five years or more in completed denial!

Remember when people like George Osborne were saying that the bank crisis and subsequent recession suffered here in the UK towards the end of the last decade was entirely the fault of the then-Labour government, and nothing to do with the fact that a global economic crisis had erupted and was ravaging the economies of major Western countries?

Today, according to the BBC, he was singing a different tune – warning that a “slowdown” in the economies of European countries could affect the UK, and trying to assure us that it was nothing to do with him.

“This is a critical moment for the British economy,” he told the Beeb, and how welcome it was to see him actually admitting it! After so many other “critical” moments that he has denied, it made a pleasant change.

“The Eurozone risks slipping back into crisis. Britain cannot be immune from that; indeed it is already having an impact on our manufacturing and our exports.”

Then he went and blew it all by adding: “We need to send a clear message out around the world that we have a stable economy, that our economic plan is working, and that we’re not going to deviate from that economic plan, so that people around the world know that while we’re not immune from what’s going on, we can take steps to protect ourselves.”

We don’t have a stable economy. It is horrifyingly overbalanced in favour of the financial and service sectors, and pay inequality – together with job insecurity – is a national disgrace.

We don’t have an economic plan as such, other than to cut investment in the economy and give tax breaks to the very rich. Osborne deviated significantly from that plan when he introduced ‘Help to Buy’ in 2013; it was a scheme for investment in housing that provided a short-term boost to the economy but also created a housing price bubble that has been expected to burst sometime next year.

We had an economic plan that was working back in 2010, of course, when Osborne’s Labour Party forerunner in the Treasury, Alistair Darling, devised expansionary budgets that knocked more off the national deficit than he has managed in the four and a half years since then. When Osborne got into the Treasury, he cancelled all that good work – that’s serious deviation for you! – saying Labour was responsible for the nation’s economic troubles and that Labour’s plan was wrong.

What a hypocrite.

His own record shows that, while we can indeed take steps to protect ourselves, Osborne will be stepping in the wrong direction.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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