Osborne’s Olympic Hangover

If George Osborne were not putting his feet up he would surely be gloating about today’s latest unemployment figures, which show that the jobless rate has dipped to the lowest level since July 2011. Unemployment fell to 8% last month while over 130,000 new jobs were created. But Chancellor Zero should not be feeling too pleased with himself.

Stats released by the EU last night show that Britain’s economy is performing worse even than crisis-hit Spain. The UK shrank by 0.7% in the last quarter, more than Spain’s 0.4% decrease and outdone only by bankrupt Greece, Portugal and Cyprus. Meanwhile London’s businesses have reported an unexpected decline in sales during the Olympics, with the two-week tourists failing to make up for all those who deserted the capital. Recovery will be a marathon, not a sprint…




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Quote of the Day

John Curtice on fiscal policy:

“Attitudes to taxation and spending are basically counter-cyclical. If a government comes in and tries to reduce spending and taxation, after a while people will get worried about the state of public services. If a government increases taxation and public spending, after a while they’ll get concerned about increasing taxation…. In as much as there are lots of ideologues out there who think the state should be this proportion of GDP, they’re all wrong. Because the public’s view is counter-cyclical to the recent experience. It’s basically impossible to satisfy the public.”

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