George Osborne’s Budget Irresponsibility

Parliament is voting on George Osborne’s Charter for Budget Responsibility today. The Chancellor’s claim to be running a responsible budget is risible given public sector debt has doubled during his time in office. It is now approaching £1.5 trillion, or 80% of GDP. 

Osborne consistently failed to achieve his deficit forecasts in the last parliament – the deficit this year will be almost five times what the Chancellor envisaged in 2010 (via Spectator):

The UK’s deficit in 2015 will be higher as a percentage of GDP – Osborne’s preferred metric – than Greece. The only advanced economy with a higher deficit than the UK this year is Spain. Osborne says today:

“[Labour] have confirmed they want to go on borrowing forever – loading debts onto our children that they can never hope to repay. This is not socialist compassion – it’s economic cruelty. As Labour’s Great Recession showed, those who suffer most when government run unsustainable deficits are not the richest but the poorest.”

Yet it is under Osborne’s squandermania that government debt has rocketed, or has he might put it “loading debts onto our children that they can never hope to repay”. As for the “economic cruelty” of “unsustainable deficits“, only three months ago the Chancellor delayed his planned budget surplus by a year, meaning an extra year or excess before he balances the books. It isn’t just John McDonnell’s Labour that is an anti-austerity party…

Neck an Ouzo, Save a Greek

greece indigogo

A 29 year old Londoner is trying to raise a bailout fund for Greece on the crowdfunding website Indiegogo.

Kind hearted well wishers are receiving Greek delicacies in exchange for donating to the fund. Grecian treats include:

  • Pledge €3 and get a postcard of the Greek Prime Minister sent from Greece.
  • Pledge €6 and get a Greek feta cheese and olive salad delivered fresh to your door.
  • Pledge €10 and get a small bottle of Ouzo.
  • Pledge €25 and get a wine bottle filled with delicious Greek wine

€51,329 have been raised by 3,234 people in one day. A mere €1,599,948,671 to go…

Loony Labour Lefty in Deficit Deceit Leaflet

Dopey deficit dunce Ian Mearns, re-standing in Gateshead, claims that even “after four years of the most aggressive spending cuts in living memory,” the “deficit is still rising”:

This is factually incorrect. Now either the Labour MP is deliberately misleading voters or he’s stupidly confused the debt and the deficit.

You may choose one of the above…

Man With Plane Trolls Owen Jones From the Sky

With Owen Jones visiting South Thanet yesterday to campaign for Labour, Simon Moores – an economist, Guardian contributor, councillor and pilot – saw his chance to troll the his lefty colleague from a great height. And troll him he did, by flying this banner over the constituency for the afternoon:

Moores tells Guido:

“I did it off my own back because I can’t stand Owen Jones. I can’t stand economic illiterates and Jones drives me crazy.”

One critic Owen can’t block…

On Camera: Rachel Reeves Confuses Debt and Deficit

Footage has emerged from 2010, that shows a newbie MP failing to tell the difference between the debt and the deficit.

Despite boasting of her background in financial services, asked very clearly what the current national debt was, newly elected Rachel Reeves replied: “£156 billion” – the size of the UK budget deficit when the Tories came to power in 2010. She was speaking to Martin Durkin, for his documentary ‘Britain’s Trillion Pound Horror Story’:



For the record the UK’s debt at the time was around £0.76 trillion, so not like she was too far out!

Reeves would be rapidly promoted through a series of Labour financial briefs…

New UKIP Poster Mocks Dave’s Debt

This new poster from UKIP will be going around Westminster on a truck today.

let-me-do-it-again

Remind you of anything?

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

[…]

+ READ MORE +

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 […]

+ READ MORE +

Debt Bomb: Deficits and Dancing Girls [VIDEO]

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

+ READ MORE +

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 […]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Liam Fox shreds Cameron’s Calais scaremongering:

“Sad and disappointed to see our Prime Minister stoop to this level of scaremongering, especially as he knows the Calais agreement is nothing to do with the EU and agreed between the two govts”

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