George Osborne’s failure

What an embarrassment: George Osborne's silly ideas about the economy are enough to embarrass anybody.

What an embarrassment: George Osborne’s silly ideas about the economy are enough to make anybody red-faced.

You probably won’t find the failure of the Conservative-led Coalition government laid out any more bluntly than this.

Speaking at Jaguar Land Rover in the West Midlands today (Monday), Ed Balls said George Osborne had failed to reduce the national deficit because of disappointing tax revenues.

“To make up that shortfall, George Osborne has now said he is going to carry on with even bigger spending cuts in the next parliament,” he said, adding that this will result in the biggest cuts in public services over the next five years in any country around the world.

“I don’t think that plan is remotely credible,” said Mr Balls.

He’s right.

Osborne cut public spending hard because he believed the claims of an academic thesis that has long-since been disproved, by Reinhart and Rogoff, that suggested states should not allow their national debt to rise above 90 per cent of GDP.

The result is clear: He stalled the UK economy.

The only way Osborne was able to get the UK moving again was by creating a new housing bubble (which is yet to burst) and by enabling employers to make real-terms cuts in wages, in what amounts to a fiddle of the employment figures.

But tax receipts don’t lie. Despite claims that we have more people in work now than ever before in history, the Treasury is taking less money.

And Osborne’s idea for regeneration is to repeat the strategy that stalled the economy in the first place?


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  1. BizzieLizzie February 16, 2015 at 12:45 pm - Reply

    He’s morphed into an oompa loompa judging by his photo.

  2. Jim Round February 16, 2015 at 1:30 pm - Reply

    Do Labour have any plans to reverse the £1200 tribunal fee or anti-union laws Mike?
    Also, saying that corporation tax will be the lowest in the G7 sounds all well and good, but will large companies pay what they should?
    Might it just be a race to the bottom?
    You mentioned Ireland in a previous article, large companies like Google registered there but with few employees, could that not happen here?

    • Mike Sivier February 16, 2015 at 1:41 pm - Reply

      Labour may make an announcement about the issues you mention in the future. It’s possible they’re saying the most contentious issues for closer to the election.
      You already know that Labour intends to make sure all tax is declared and collected in a proper manner.
      Your question about a race to the bottom is one that I can’t answer; it depends how responsive a Labour government is. The corporation tax rate is already very low in my opinion, so this could be merely a signal that Labour does not intend to raise it. This would calm concerns among businesses.
      I don’t think Labour intends to recreate what happened in Ireland; the idea is to make the UK a comfortable place for businesses to grow, rather than a tax haven. Whether it works out that way is something we’ll discover – if Labour wins the election.
      Undoubtedly the economic pundits will have opinions.

  3. John Garrett February 16, 2015 at 1:35 pm - Reply

    Couldn’t agree more, but Ed Balls is hardly the solution to the financial problem either.

    • Mike Sivier February 16, 2015 at 1:36 pm - Reply

      I’m not going to argue that point without seeing your evidence. Why do you say that?

  4. Florence February 16, 2015 at 2:51 pm - Reply

    Well said, Ed & Mike! (It’s not often that happens…for Ed……)

    My only observation on the content is while Osborne’s policies were based on the discredited R&R paper, I think it highly unlikely he was actually thinking for himself on that one. Not got the noggin for it. Ditto the “same policy, more austerity” drone. We all knew Keith Joseph (aka the Mad Monk) was Thatcher’s guru – but who is actually pulling the strings now? I mean we have an invisible Chancellor*, but have we ever known who has been his handlers?

    (* invisible or gurning in some altered state when in view, which is worse, I wonder.)

    • John Gaines February 17, 2015 at 11:11 am - Reply

      ALEC is pulling the Tory wagon:

      Through ALEC, Global Corporations Are Scheming to Rewrite YOUR Rights and Boost THEIR Revenue

      Through the corporate-funded American Legislative Exchange Council, global corporations and state politicians vote behind closed doors to try to rewrite state laws that govern your rights. These so-called “model bills” reach into almost every area of American life and often directly benefit huge corporations.
      In ALEC’s own words, corporations have “a VOICE and a VOTE” on specific changes to the law that are then proposed in your state. DO YOU? Numerous resources to help us expose ALEC are provided below. We have also created links to detailed discussions of key issues, which are available on the left.

      Special training in public comment delivery is available from ALEC to all Thatcher Foundation neo-cons; US corporate funding is channelled to the Tories and, not that they need pushing, the media are all hand in glove with what US Corps tell them to print.
      ALEC is also highly active in the Euroopean Parliament, mostly buying.

  5. hstorm February 16, 2015 at 3:51 pm - Reply

    What’s incredible is that he was thought an appropriate choice to be Chancellor of the Exchequer to begin with, in a Cabinet that included the proper, experienced economists like Vince Cable and Ken Clarke. (And no, I’m not idealising Cable or Clarke when saying that, it’s just at least they have the qualifications to work in Number 11. Gidiot isn’t well enough qualified to knock on its front door.)

    • Mr.Angry February 16, 2015 at 5:32 pm - Reply

      Gideon isn’t qualified to sweep downing street never mind live there at our expense, he would be more suited to looking after a flock of sheep, then god help the sheep.

  6. foggy February 16, 2015 at 4:38 pm - Reply

    Gideon has as much brains as an anal wart. He even looks like one, seriously !

    It’s always the unemployed, sick, poor & vulnerable he robs to try to make up the shortfall that his prolific ineptnesss produces.

    Whitehall has ‘lost’ over £5 BILLION in 1 year – batten down the hatches folks we’re in for yet another round of pummel the poor;

  7. Mr.Angry February 16, 2015 at 5:23 pm - Reply

    Does Georgy boy realize his make up artist is over doing it with the blusher, wonder if we are paying for this, if so I need a refund.

    The sooner I don’t have to see his face on the screen any more my blood pressure will certainly decrease I am sure, no matter how many statins I take his visage just sends it sky high.

    I want to get back to enjoying my life, I have never known such an incompetent imbecile in all my life.

    What the hell he is doing as a chancellor he could not run a car boot sale, Iv’e spent forty years contributing to the state I deserve better than this.


    • Mike Sivier February 16, 2015 at 6:23 pm - Reply

      George’s face was my work – I wanted to redden up his face a bit. Good job, eh?

      • Mr.Angry February 16, 2015 at 8:52 pm - Reply

        Brilliant Mike but gave me indigestion after seeing him, should have used a blue mascara revealing his true colours. Daddy’s little angel is what he is total waste of space. No doubt his nanny could have done a better a better job than him!!

  8. itsalllies994 February 17, 2015 at 9:09 am - Reply

    What will happen when Help to Buy bursts? Labour’s fault? Apparently the London bubble has popped..
    This what you get when you install a house flipping, towel folding, UNQUALIFIED man in charge of our finances.

  9. AM-FM February 17, 2015 at 3:04 pm - Reply

    Well they made a promise to be the greenest government ever, and they’ve certainly managed to keep to that one.

    immature in age or judgment; untrained; inexperienced

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