Osborne abandons 2020 budget surplus target

George Osborne [Image: Getty].

George Osborne [Image: Getty].

Is anybody surprised?

George Osborne has a little trick that he pulls, every so often. He comes out on Budget or Autumn Statement day and tells us everything is going to be rosy and his ‘long-term economic plan’ is on target to put the economy into surplus by a certain date – if we make the cuts he is proposing on the day.

Then, at some unspecified point after that, he comes back and says an economic shock has happened and the surplus target is unreachable after all, so we’ll have to make more cuts and hold on a little longer.

That’s why we’re still in deficit, even though he originally told us we would be in surplus by 2015 at the latest – last year.

The simple fact is that, under Osborne, we will never achieve that goal.

He’ll keep using real or imagined economic shocks to ensure that he can continue making cuts. Those cuts harm the real economy and make it less possible for the UK – the state – to pay off its debts.

It’s time we stopped letting this faker fool us.

Chancellor George Osborne has abandoned his target to restore government finances to a surplus by 2020.

It had been the chancellor’s most prized goal and had been driving austerity measures in previous budgets.

However, Mr Osborne said the UK must be “realistic about achieving a surplus by the end of the decade”.

The UK economy is showing “clear signs” of shock in the aftermath of the vote to leave the European Union, he said.

In a speech on Friday, Mr Osborne said: “As the governor [of the Bank of England] has said: the referendum is expected to produce a significant negative economic shock to our economy. How we respond will determine the impact on jobs and growth.

“We must provide fiscal credibility, continuing to be tough on the deficit while being realistic about achieving a surplus by the end of the decade. That’s exactly what our fiscal rules are designed for.”

Source: Osborne abandons 2020 budget surplus target – BBC News


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10 thoughts on “Osborne abandons 2020 budget surplus target

  1. NMac

    I really am sick of these arrogant, but totally inept Eton schoolboys conning us that they are fit to run the country. They are dishonest, inept and cretinous. If anyone else had selfishly abused, conned and deliberately abused the public trust and deceived people like these cretins have done, they would be sent to prison. I am very, very angry.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      So you’ll be hoping Theresa May wins the Tory leadership contest, then?

      1. NMac

        Mike, I loathe and detest the lot of them. Wasn’t Theresa May the one that first coined the term Nasty Party? She obviously knows what she and her bunch of obnoxious cretins are – nasty. I am just hoping that the Labour Party can stay united and come together to oppose these Nasty Party nation wreckers.

      2. roybeiley

        Physically she appears to be morphing into aThatcher lookalike! Urgggh. Not sure I could stand that. Hate beardy man and his fake working class background. Gove is a joke. Liam Fox? Who would he have as Chancellor?

  2. Martin Odoni

    Here’s a list of the key actions of Gidiot’s long-term economic plan; –

    Action 1. Keep using the words ‘long-term economic plan’ for as long a term as he can plan for.
    (I’m getting very near the end of the list of key actions at this juncture.)

    Action 2. Never admit the reality that he has no plan.
    (End of list.)

    In fairness, he’s little worse than Gordon Brown was when it comes to reusing buzzwords over and over. Brown’s plan was to use the words ‘prudent’ and ‘sustainable’ as often as was prudently sustainable. But at least he also knew a bit about how to run the economy too. Certainly didn’t get it all right, but his record was far superior to the Gidiot’s.

  3. Daniel

    I’m hoping that the people in the UK are waking up to the fact that the Government deficit is a mirror of the Private sector surplus (including the difference between imports and exports), so there are only two ways the Government can run a surplus:

    1) The UK has a current account surplus (we export more than we import)
    2) The UK Domestic sector (businesses and households) run a deficit – we owe more than we earn.

    The latter is what caused the Bush recession (after the Clinton surplus) and the GFC in 2008. We REALLY don’t want that again. The former is unlikely with the pound kept artificially high by the financial sector, who benefit from a strong pound. However, we don’t want the pound to fall too quickly, because as a net importing country, a strong pound keeps imports cheap. What would have been ideal is a structured weakening of the pound as the economy shifts away from primarily financial services and towards making things.

    With the pound tumbling due to Brexit, though, we’re likely to see imports become more expensive and investment remain depressed due to uncertainty. It may surprise you, but I do hope Gove or May win the leadership (edging for Gove, since he’s lost a lot of popularity when people saw how he stabbed Johnson in the back), since they have both said exit means exit, which (while not what I wanted) will give a semblance of certainty to the economy.

    We also need the Government to start investing heavily in the economy, either by borrowing (not ideal, but at least with the expected interest rates cut, it would be cheap borrowing) or by QE,

  4. Dez

    His, or his civil servant teams, cunning plan to have this impossible target, probably for his own ego and vanity, so as to lean on the sick and poor in their austerily benefit scams was doomed to failure. Even as the target date loomed ever closer and pretty obvious to most he will never hit his target has now given him a get out of jail card to wipe the impossible aside. Equally now Bank of England guv has actually got something to do to earn his expensive keep he introduces the possibility of zero rate interest. Good news for the Cons if the BoE does zero out interest rates as the interest of the huge National Debt might come down for once. Always thought actually increasing bank interest was just a dream to keep the silver aged ones drooling for better results on their capital and income. Next welcome move would be to stop giving away our money to states that can afford to look after themselves and their own population….unless of course it is just a covert brown envelope to buy international business through the back door….in which case we may need this “facility” going forward on our own.

  5. mohandeer

    “However, Mr Osborne said the UK must be “realistic about achieving a surplus by the end of the decade”.
    We ARE (realistic) it was never achievable under the austerity agenda, only the idiot pursuing it could ever have tried to fool himself into believing it possible – and even he probably wasn’t THAT stupid.

Comments are closed.