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…