Osborne in ‘foreign economic problems affect us’ hypocrisy horror

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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  1. gfranklinpercival October 9, 2014 at 7:53 pm - Reply

    Why do we consent to be ruled still by lying sociopaths?

  2. Michele Witchy Eve October 9, 2014 at 8:15 pm - Reply

    News today from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors report all kinds of falls in the property market. Price growth slowing to levels of 16 months ago, new buyers down for the third month in a row and demand in London down for the fifth month in a row. So Mike, this particular bubble may not wait until next year to burst. Good post.

    • Mike Sivier October 9, 2014 at 8:20 pm - Reply

      I’ll have to follow up on that.

  3. casalealex October 10, 2014 at 2:53 am - Reply


    House prices: Bubble? What London bubble?
    Stephen Conway, the maverick developer behind Galliard Homes, on why he’s staying bullish about his home town

    A block of 44 flats on Chiltern Street, Marylebone, is nearly sold, now priced at £3,000 a square foot. “There’s enough overseas and domestic demand to keep selling in London,” Conway says.
    Of the Marylebone apartments, 35pc have been sold to domestic buyers, 35pc to Middle Eastern investors, 10pc Americans, 10pc Russians and 10pc from the rest of the world. “We saw a lot of Russian money coming into the UK at the beginning of the year and as there’s more turmoil [in the Crimea] Russians will worry about getting their money out and this will force up London prices.”
    The punitive tax regimes of France and the US are also driving high net worth individuals across the Channel and Atlantic, respectively, he says.


    Richard Godwin: The real victims of the capital’s housing crisis
    Our elected representatives have decided that their duty is to property, not to people
    As teenage mother Jasmin Stone wrote at the time, the housing crisis means more to her than giving up on the middle class dream of home-ownership. “For members of the working class… it involves not only the prospect of annual rent increases, the impossibility of home ownership and poor-quality housing, but also removal and displacement from the place in which you were born.”
    Somewhere along the line, our elected representatives have decided that their duty is to property, not to people.


    Britain is suffering from a housing crisis – who is to blame and how can we fix it?
    No reputable independent economist looks favourably on Help to Buy. And despite the claims of the Government that it is spurring house building, there is little sign of it yet. Mr Osborne argues that he is helping first-time buyers. But this is belied by the fact that there is a second element of the scheme which guarantees mortgages up to £600,000 and which is open to all. The one defence of the Chancellor is that he is not responsible for the entire crisis; he is merely making it worse.

    Impose a mansion tax
    The case for
    Property is under-taxed in Britain. People in £1m-plus homes should be forced to pay a special annual levy. This would ensure that the wealthy pay their fair share to the public coffers, release the air from the incipient property bubble, and also help curb our national obsession with home ownership.
    The verdict
    Property does look under-taxed. Council Tax valuations have not been reviewed since the 1990s. And it is a regressive tax, meaning that those in less expensive homes pay a larger share of the value of their homes each year than those in extremely valuable properties. Levies on static wealth such as housing are also more economically efficient than taxes on labour, such as income tax.

  4. Mr.Angry October 10, 2014 at 7:58 am - Reply

    Osborne is one blithering lying idiot, he is an absolute embarrassment to politics. Every time he opens his mouth you know he is about to lie yet again. Surely the public can see through him for what he really is a spoilt namby pamby.

    The majority of the country have become depressed as a result of this idiot and his ilk, I remember happiness but that appears a long time ago.

    He and his party’s demise can’t come soon enough; I want to smile again.

  5. hstorm October 10, 2014 at 3:07 pm - Reply

    On this subject, Labour is of course guilty of missing an open goal.


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