Chuka Umunna Economics 101

Chuka Umunna seemed to have had some difficulty with the basic facts during his interview on the World at One this lunchtime. Somewhat worryingly for a shadow business secretary, Chuka reckons:

“Most of our thirteen years in office we didn’t have a debt, er, a deficit, because we hadn’t had the financial crash.”

Allow Guido to explain slowly. As this handy graph from the Spectator shows, the last government spent more than it was bringing in from 2002 onwards.

defici

Chuka’s claim that Labour did not run a deficit for most of its time in power is patently untrue…

H/T @roxley

Maggie’s Children Unimpressed With Autumn Statement
Burns: ‘We are Dying a Third More Slowly’

Speaking at a packed London fundraiser for the Margaret Thatcher Centre last night, Maggie’s representative on earth, Conor Burns, cut through the euphoria being felt in some parts of the Conservative Party this morning:

“I am convinced if Margaret Thatcher were still here today, if she and Keith Joseph and all the others that set off on that radical revolution from 1979, if they were here today, they would be thinking that their principles – those of personal responsibility, freedom under the rule of law, taxation that incentivises people to do better –  could equally be applied to the challenges of the next thirty years as they so successfully applied them to the challenges of the thirty years after they set off.

Tomorrow we will have the Autumn Statement, the government will congratulate itself on some if it’s successes. we will be told we maybe borrowing maybe ten billion fewer than we thought we might be borrowing a year ago. We will be told the deficit is down by a third, it’s all good news but it’s like going to the doctor and the doctor telling you that you are dying a third more slowly. This is not exactly a universal cause for celebration.”

Somehow Guido can’t picture Osborne using that particular analogy this morning.

Tories: Jean Edwards’ Cash Will Go to Debt Reduction

The Tories have announced that the £520,000 donation from Jean Edwards “will be used to reduce the national debt.”

Given that we owe more than £1,390,000,000,000 and rising, Tory MP Douglas Carswell points out:

“We’d need over 200,000 bequests like Ms Edwards’ this year just to stop national debt from continuing to rise.”

What a mess.

Labour Owe Downgraded Co-op Millions

Bad news for the Co-op today as Moody’s downgrades their debt rating to junk status. Labour’s bank of choice has been battered by bad debts over recent years, one of their major debtors is – surprise, surprise – none other than the Labour Party themselves. Of the £3,580,000 borrowed in 1999, only £189,000 has been repaid, meaning Labour still owe their troubled lender £3,391,000. Maybe they could pay them back to help them out a bit…

Debt Bomb: Deficits and Dancing Girls [VIDEO]

Unable to cut spending, Obama has been forced to accept $85 billion of cuts…

Dilnot Explains Debt/Deficit Difference to Dave

Guido said last week that Dave Denies Debt Truth, the boss of the Office for National Statistics, Andrew Dilnot, agrees. He has given Downing Street a slap, though Osborne will be pleased with the confirmation that the deficit is down by a quarter…

Dave Denies Debt Truth

PSND2

In all the referendum chatter yesterday something significant went little reported. Fraser Nelson pointed out that the Prime Minister told a massive fib in the Conservative party political broadcast. He claimed the government was “paying down Britain’s debts”, listen:

As you can see from the graph that is completely untrue. That’s not poor phrasing. That is lying.

UPDATE: Jean-Christophe Gray – the PM’s spokesman – told the Lobby that the PM does know the difference between the UK’s budget deficit, down from 11% to 7% of GDP and the total stock of debt, up from 70.7% to 79.9% by the time of the next general election.

Stella’s Sound State Slashing Becomes Labour Policy
BIS Team Endorse Zero-Base Pledge

Guido is impressed. Stella Creasy’s endorsement of the ASI’s “Zero-Base Policy” that would see every single item of public spending reassessed is gaining traction in Labour.  After Guido gave her interview a push last week, the idea has now been adopted by her colleagues over at shadow Business Innovation and Skills. Asked if he agreed with Stella’s reality-based thinking, Chuka understudy Ian Murray told an interview with London Loves Business:

“Absolutely. If you start from a zero budget spending review, you can always work forward if you have money available. It’s a bit about priorities isn’t it? I don’t think there’s anything wrong in saying that you have to look at where your money is best spent. 

Finally a policy on the blank sheet of paper! A win for Stella and the ASI.

Stella’s State Slashing Summer Reading

In a low-key interview over the summer, Labour’s Stella Creasy declared herself a member of the reality based community. She told Patrick Wintour of the Guardian that the main focus of an incoming Labour government must be value for money. […]

Government “Accidentally” Borrows £600 Million

This morning’s public borrowing figures do not make happy reading for the government. Despite July traditionally providing good news in terms of tax receipts, Chancellor Zero has borrowed £600 million in the last month – compared with a £2.8 billion […]

MPs Take the Can Back

You wait for ages for a good letter in the FT and suddenly two come along at once. It’s not just the eminent economists telling it like it is about the 50p tax rate this morning, but also another healthy […]

We Rallied Against the Debt

According to the BBC 350 of us turned out to Rally Against the Debt, a petition passed round gathered 400 signatures so the actual number is likely nearer 500. The Fawkes girls were unimpressed with their first political demonstration and […]



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Quote of the Day

Adam Spiegel, producer of Nazi themed “The Producers” musical says…

“Margate seemed a perfect place to start the promotion. I’m disappointed but not entirely surprised to see that UKIP are trying to hitch a publicity ride on the back of the show.”

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