Tory economic failure: Government borrowing in November is worse than forecast

Here’s yet another lump of coal for the Conservative Government’s Christmas stocking.

With borrowing up to £66.9 billion for the year – by November – it seems unlikely that the Office of Budget Irresponsibility’s prediction that only another £2 billion will be borrowed between now and March will come true.

In fact, the BBC’s story is so full of excuses for the Tory government that it seems the Corporation is no longer even trying to deny allegations that it is now nothing more than an apologist mouthpiece for the Conservatives.

Even if Osborne succeeds in cutting borrowing, but not by the amount he predicted, then he will fail to raise the amounts he claimed in his Autumn Statement – sums on which he is relying, in order to keep his other promises.

And the borrowing figure quoted today doesn’t include support for public sector banks and housing associations. Of course, one might wonder why these organisations need support at all – the Tories are always talking about selling off the public’s share in the banks (to their friends, on the cheap) and the housing associations were not – to This Writer’s knowledge – making a loss.

OBR chairman Robert Chote is quoted with a mealy-mouthed excuse about contributions to the EU and the World Bank – contributions whose timing would have been known well in advance and which should, therefore, have been accommodated.

And a Treasury spokesman is quoted with a frankly incredible claim that George Osborne’s plan is working. Do these people ever feel even a twinge of embarrassment when they peddle this nonsense?

The only message to draw from the figures is that Tory economics doesn’t work.

Government borrowing figures were worse than expected in November, casting doubts over whether the chancellor will meet forecasts for this financial year.

Borrowing for the month was £14.2bn, up by £1.3bn compared with November 2014.

The Office for National Statistics said the figure for November last year was boosted by a one-off gain of £1.1bn in fines for foreign exchange rigging.

Total borrowing for the financial year to date is now £66.9bn, down £6.6bn from the same point last year.

The independent Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR) estimates that borrowing for the whole of the financial year 2015-16 will be £68.9bn – excluding support for public sector banks, and also excluding new changes to the treatment of housing associations.

That is below last year’s £90.1bn, which would mean Chancellor George Osborne would have achieved his aim of cutting government borrowing.

Source: Government borrowing worse than forecast in November – BBC News

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16 thoughts on “Tory economic failure: Government borrowing in November is worse than forecast

  1. Stephen Mellor

    And then, in January when people pay their taxes, said “lump of coal” will be sugar.

    You can’t make year-on-year comparisons unless the situation is exactly the same.

    And note, please, that Ed balls would have borrowed more and Chairman Mao even more.

    Now _that_ would be a lump of coal. A whole coalmine, in fact.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      You say yourself you can’t make year-on-year comparisons unless the situation is exactly the same, then go on to suggest a comparison with what Ed Balls or John McDonnell would do – in hugely different situations.
      Neither Balls nor McDonnell would have embarked on Osborne’s reckless plan to shrink the state. Instead, they would have invested in growth. That’s a diametrically-opposite plan – and one that would have worked, of course.
      People pay their taxes every year, so their contribution should be included in your “exactly the same” year-on-year comparison. Any increase in tax take will have been anticipated. And you should bear in mind that tax avoidance is still rampant, thanks to Osborne’s insistence on inaction.

      1. roybeiley

        Well said Mike. More evidence that when the finances are the responsibility of someone with only GSE in economics you might just as well have Rodney Trotter running things. But that doesn’t stop the truth deniars posting ” what would Labour have done instead” type posts.

    2. John Gaines

      What is the problem? The OBR will find any SUM they can magic -up at will, in order to please their master Cameron’s THING; with absolutely no Academic credentials and no recognised oversight, these Monkeys can say that White is Black and vicky versa.
      Gardy Loo’s very own Economic Clowns will turn the National Debt into a negative at the wave of a sweaty hand.

    3. Martin Odoni

      “note, please, that Ed balls would have borrowed more”

      Ed Balls didn’t commit to having the deficit wiped out by the beginning of this year i.e by 11 months ago, and then try to make out that halving it is some kind of ‘achievement’.

      It’s not so much that Osborne is failing to wipe out the deficit that bothers us, as it’s not remotely as important or necessary an aim as it is made out to be. What bothers us is that Osborne set it out as his main priority at the outset, has consistently failed to hit his targets (because he can never grasp the ‘de-stimulus’ effect of spending cuts), and then still has the nerve to claim that his work is a mighty success when he gets about a third of the way to where he wants to be.

      It’s like trying to walk from Land’s End to John O’Groats, and demanding a medal when you give up at the Cotswolds.

      1. Stephen Mellor

        That’s not the issue. The issue is the putative “lump of coal.”

        But now you mention it, Osbourne is indeed incompetent. He’s not begun to make any cuts; he’s raising costs by raising the minimum wage; he gave in on tax credits.

        Just what you’d expect from a socialist.

    4. Martin Odoni

      ‘That’s not the issue. The issue is the putative “lump of coal.”’
      No, the issue is that he sets targets and can’t meet them because he hasn’t a clue what he’s doing.

      ‘But now you mention it, Osbourne is indeed incompetent. He’s not begun to make any cuts’
      I can only conclude you’ve been asleep for the last five and a half years. Osborne has made LOADS of cuts every year. The reason the deficit isn’t going down very fast is that cutting has repercussions that he doesn’t take into account beforehand.

      “he’s raising costs by raising the minimum wage”
      Firstly, there is no firm evidence that raising the minimum wage raises costs. It is likelier that the reverse is true i.e. as prices rise, the minimum wage has to be raised to keep up, otherwise the poor can’t afford to buy consumer goods, which leads to recession. Secondly, Osborne has NEVER raised the minimum wage. The only rises there have been on his watch is the annual automatic increase keeping the MW in line with inflation. That will happen irrespective of whether Osborne asks for it.

      “Just what you’d expect from a socialist.”
      Osborne, a socialist? What have you been drinking?

  2. Brian

    BBC, “apologist mouthpiece for the Conservatives.” !

    I’ve been trying to rationalize why they behave the way they do, virtually to the point of lying by omission on behalf of the tories, but following news of George Osborne’s foray prior to the election, it seems welfare cuts et al are being used as blackmail. ie, more spent on welfare means less money for the BBC.

  3. jeffrey davies

    oh ossie hay to much of the white stuff hardled his brains once again his theory isnt about to work out ouch more abuse for the peasants jeff3

  4. Dez

    I regret I have so little trust in any data that has the Cons finger prints all over it let alone data that the BBC have perfumed for their masters benefit. They basically could not run diddly squat let alone the economy of a country.

  5. Tim

    What’s the problem? Just keep making cuts to social security amongst working age people with low no incomes! Job done! Simple!

Comments are closed.