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Even by Osborne’s standards this is the most dishonest budget since the war

Osborne Liar LiarThis was the thinnest Autumn Statement (mini-budget) in living memory. There was nothing new in it of any significance except the change from the slab system to the stepped system for stamp duty. But on the key issue which underpinned the whole statement, namely that this year the deficit is rising, not falling, there was a shock. Since admitting that the deficit will this year rise from £86bn to about £91bn, and then next year to around £100bn, was too much loss of face for Osborne to bear, he decided to resort to an enormous lie.

He solemnly declared to the House that the cost of servicing government debt would fall £18bn a year by 2018-19. Economists have pored over the small print of this mini-budget, and without exception no-one has been able to find any evidence whatsoever to back up this claim. Osborne just made it up! He sought to explain this away by an admission of “an error in our forecast model” which led to “over-predicting the stock of debt over time”. Needless to say, this is gobbledigook. But this purports to allow him to bank £4bn of the £18bn this year, and thus save his fiscal bacon.

Apart from this outrageous invention which shows that, when cornered, you can’t believe a word the man says, Osborne did produce one other statement of potentially momentous significance. The slowdown and fall in tax receipts is expected to increase the deficit by £25bn during the next Parliament. The OBR then admitted that the only way Osborne could balance the books would be through shrinking the State back to the level of the 1930s.

It predicted that, if Osborne’s spending cuts are carried through to the extreme degree he is now posing, total public spending will fall to 35.2% of GDP by 2019-20. The implications of this for the emasculation of public services are enormous. It is intended to return Britain to the Great Gatsby era for the top monied 5% while the bottom 50% are reduced to near-penury or forced to accept quasi-servile status in the employ of the great estates. Public services will be totally decimated and replaced by a fully privatised market system.

Image credit: Captain Ska

One Comment

  1. Barry Ewart says:

    Good points Michael- we need to get a trillion pounds a year back from the rich and powerful – the surplus labour which they have legally nicked from working people – it is the labour of the working billions that creates wealth and make societies work. If you read the financial pages you get a running commentary on the millions, billions, trillions that they legally nick. We also need to talk with our sister democratic socialist parties in every country in the World to make similar modest demands – we just want our share of the wealth back. Interesting is currently a global meting of 2,000 trade unionists now in Cape Town, South Africa (The Global Union)-.hope they will argue for a global living wage, a global shorter working week and global earlier retirement,with decent pensions,, a global decent homes programme, global decent health services, more global democratic public ownership (by country) with staff electing boards and communities having a say, better global better health and safety at work, global free public transport (by country), a UN publicly owned Trust to fund solar panel farms in the World’s deserts to harness the free energy of he sun and to reduce theWorld’s dependence on carbon emitting fuels. Someone once argued the greatest achievement of Neo-Liberalism was to stop democratic socialists from dreaming- time to start dreaming again!
    Yours in international solidarity!
    Footnote just read in the Guardian 10 executives of RBS have been given £5.5m in shares (in this 80% tax payer owned bank) to avoid the new EC banker bonus rules!

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