George Osborne Skewered By Kay Burley On Deficit Failure

Kay Burley had George Osborne on the spot today on the key policy failure of this government, in a way that other heavyweight interviewers like Evan Davies and Robert Peston failed to achieve. She asked: is the UK deficit higher than Greece’s deficit? Kay challenged him to give a yes or no answer, he kept trying to misdirect her and waffle. When he refused to answer she asserted that the answer was yes. Osborne stuttered and looked badly flummoxed. Then he claimed untruthfully that the Greek deficit is ballooning. It isn’t, the Greek deficit is lower than the UK’s deficit and the IMF forecasts they will be in surplus before the UK.

According to IMF data last year the Greek deficit (-2.4%) was lower than the UK deficit (-5.7%), it will be lower this year at -0.78% versus -4.78% and they are due to be in surplus next year – before the UK. Osborne has failed to meet his own deficit targets because he put off the hard decisions and switched to neo-Keynesianism whilst spinning austerity rhetoric. Lying about Greece doesn’t help his case…




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Emma Barnett asks Barry Gardiner:

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