All Hail the Latest IMF Forecasts…

The latest IMF forecasts, showing Britain to be the only major economy facing a shrink in GDP next year, no doubt proves a major headache for the government. Somehow Britain falls behind even Russia, a country facing major economic sanctions from almost every single major economy. The IMF largely attributes this diagnosis to high taxes, despite condemning Liz Truss last year for attempting to cut taxes and go for growth. Ever get the feeling the UK can’t win?

Naturally the projections from the IMF are being treated as if God personally inscribed them on a stone tablet and handed them down from on high. The IMF is at least consistent in getting predictions about the UK economy wrong…

  • 2016
    • Apr – 0.3% off
    • Oct – 0.4% off
  • 2017
    • Apr – 0.4% off
    • Oct – 0.7% off
  • 2018
    • Apr – 0.1% off
    • Oct – 0.3% off
  • 2019
    • Apr – 0.4% off
    • Oct – 0.4% off
  • 2021
    • Jan – 3% off
    • Apr – 2.2% off
    • Jul – 0.5% off
    • Oct – 0.7% off
  • 2022
    • Apr – 0.4% off
    • Jul – 0.9% off
    • Oct – 0.5% off

Since 2016 the IMF has consistently underestimated UK GDP growth. Every single year. During an urgent question debate on the forecasts this afternoon, Michael Fabricant asked Treasury Minister James Cartlidge how many of the IMF’s recent predictions about the UK economy turned out to be inaccurate. Ask and you shall receive, Michael…

mdi-timer 31 January 2023 @ 14:40 31 Jan 2023 @ 14:40 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
IMF: UK to Be Only Major Economy to Shrink This Year

New figures from the International Monetary Fund forecast that the UK economy is now expected to contract by 0.6% this year, having previously forecast slight growth of 0.5%. That’s the only contraction expected of all major and advanced economies – including Russia. The IMF cites energy prices, interest rate hikes, business borrowing costs and… taxes rises as the main factors for slowdown.

The ‘good’ news is the IMF has upped its forecast for 2024, now predicting 0.9% growth from 0.6%. It is also worth bearing in mind the IMF’s analysis isn’t gospel; it underestimated 2021’s growth by 2 points. Chancellor Jeremy Hunt is doing his best to remind everyone of that:

“Short-term challenges should not obscure our long-term prospects — the U.K. outperformed many forecasts last year.”

He’s up in front of the 1922 Committee at 4:30pm this afternoon. Best of luck…

mdi-timer 31 January 2023 @ 08:32 31 Jan 2023 @ 08:32 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Proof that Keir is Sidelining Rayner in Favour of Reeves

On January 13, The i reported that Sir Keir is positioning Rachel Reeves as his election running mate – a horrible American approach to politics, but go with it – and relegating Angela Rayner as his number two:

“But inevitably, the move to promote Ms Reeves more in the public eye has prompted claims from allies of Ms Rayner that the deputy Labour leader has been “sidelined”.

Relations between Sir Keir and his official deputy came under intense strain in 2021 after a botched attempt to strip Ms Rayner of part of her role in the party.”

Now analysis of who Labour is choosing to put up as their spokespeople on TV media rounds appears to prove this theory. Numbers worked out by Guido shows that out of 24 shadow ministers put forward onto TV in 2022, Rayner was the sixth lowest, with just seven morning media rounds that year.

Reeves on the other hand was easily at the top, with 22 morning round appearances followed by Lisa Nandy and Pat McFadden on 19.

Rayner only beat John Healey (6), Louise Haigh (4), Rosena Allin-Khan (3), Khalid Mahmood (2), Jim McMahon (2) and Preet Gill (1). Rosena Allin-Khan of course perceived as another disloyal shadow minister…

mdi-timer 26 January 2023 @ 12:15 26 Jan 2023 @ 12:15 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Rishi and Sir Keir Strike a Chord With Voters

Redfield & Wilton has published word clouds depicting the policies voters most associate with Rishi and Sir Keir respectively. The bigger the phrase, the more frequent the response. Lo and behold, the most frequent response for both leaders, the policy that’s had the most cut through outside the Westminster bubble, is… “Don’t know”. Along with “not much”, “no idea”, and “not a clue”.

The good news for Rishi, at least, is that furlough, the economy, inflation and healthcare all make appearances. Although the fact voters associate the PM with “making maths compulsory” about as much as his economic policies probably won’t please Isaac Levido.  

Sir Keir, meanwhile, will be happy with the number of people who associate him with “working class rights“. Although that number is about the same as those who associate him with “nothing”…

mdi-timer 25 January 2023 @ 16:47 25 Jan 2023 @ 16:47 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
December Monthly Borrowing Soars to Highest Since Records Began

The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show public sector borrowing hit £27.4 billion in December, the highest December figure since records began thirty years ago. £16.7 billion higher than December 2021, and a whopping £21.1 billion more than December 2019, prior to the pandemic…

£17.3 billion of last month’s figure was spent on debt interest alone. That’s two-thirds of the total. For context, the total policing budget in England and Wales for the financial year ending March 2023 is just under £17 billion…

Good news, though: In the financial year-to-December 2022, public borrowing sat at £128.1 billion, £5.1 billion more than 2021… although £2.7 billion less than forecast by the geniuses at the OBR. Small mercies.

mdi-timer 24 January 2023 @ 08:55 24 Jan 2023 @ 08:55 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Reeves’ Unfunded £45 Billion Hypocrisy

Speaking from Davos today, Rachel Reeves said:

“I wouldn’t blame the bond vigilantes for what happened in the UK last September, it was the fault of the government who announced £45 billion of unfunded tax cuts, and then went on the television and said there’s more to come.”

Labour is on shaky ground here, given that despite repeated promises from Starmer that all their policies will be fully costed, the party’s announced that exact same number – £45 billion – in unfunded spending promises since January 6 alone. Around £1,650 per household…

  • Giving nurses at least a 10% pay rise – £7 billion
  • Phasing out the system of GP partners and looking at salaried GPs – £1.72 billion
  • Ban smoking, resulting in a loss of tax income – £7.6 billion
  • Childcare for all children aged nine months to 11 years – £22.3 billion
  • Keeping the freeze in fuel duty – £5.7 billion

In total, the last 13 days’ worth of uncosted Labour spending tots up to the exact amount Rachel Reeves claims caused a financial catastrophe under Liz Truss. Hardly the most reassuring prospectus for a ‘government in waiting’…

mdi-timer 19 January 2023 @ 16:19 19 Jan 2023 @ 16:19 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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