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“The week before the autumn statement, and the right honourable gentleman [Ed Miliband] cannot ask about the economy because it is growing. He cannot ask about the deficit because it is falling. He cannot ask about the numbers in work because they are rising. People can see that we have a long-term plan to turn our country around.”
Strong words – uttered by David Cameron during Prime Minister’s Questions yesterday (November 27).
What a shame he chose to give Parliament bluster instead of facts.
Does he think that the economy is growing because of the housing price bubble engineered by his deranged Chancellor via his ‘Help to Buy’ scheme? It is massively increasing the cost of housing in London but will inevitably lead to a crash and the loss of serious amounts of money for both buyers and the government (as mortgage underwriter). The Bank of England has revealed that it has no power of veto and can only advise on whether the scheme should continue – it is for the Conservative-led government to decide how long it will last.
Gideon’s ‘Help to Buy’ offers unsupported mortgage guarantees to buyers and lenders. He has not said where he will find the money for it. Critics have warned that this is simply creating another housing-fuelled debt bubble that will burst in a couple of years’ time, leaving even more people in debt than after the financial crisis hit us all.
Michael Meacher has read the £130 billion scheme right – as we can see from his blog: “Where does that sort of money come from when the public accounts are under extreme pressure to make enormous cuts? State-subsidised mortgages for the well-off (houses valued at up to £600,000) seems, even for Osborne, a strange decision when some of the poorest tenants in the country are at the same time being expelled from their homes by the bedroom tax.
“It can only be explained by Osborne panicking at the time of the March budget this year that the economy showed no sign of recovery in time for the 2015 election, made worse by his mistaken increase in VAT and big cuts in capital spending. He chose a big artificial stimulus of the mortgage market to kick-start the moribund economy, repeating the mistake of every previous boom triggered by consumer borrowing and a pumped-up housing market, an inevitable forerunner eventually of yet another round of boom and bust.”
Does Cameron really think the deficit is falling fast enough to revitalise the nation’s economy? In October, borrowing (excluding the cost of interventions like bank bailouts, so we’re already in the realm of made-up figures) fell by two one-hundred-and-thirds, from £8.24 billion in the same month last year to £8.08 billion.
We are told the aim is to keep borrowing for 2013-14 at £120 billion or below. In his ‘Emergency Budget’ of 2010, Osborne predicted that borrowing this year would be down to half that – at £60 billion, and estimates have been rising ever since.
The 2011 budget had the 2013-14 deficit at £70 billion; in 2012 it was expected to be £98 billion; and now £120 billion – double Osborne’s prediction when he became Chancellor.
As for the numbers of people in work, let’s ask Cameron: If more people are working, why has productivity fallen back to the level it reached in 2005? Is it because employers are taking on workers in part-time, zero-hours or self-employed contracts, rather than full-time, in order to take advantage of the opportunity to get out of their holiday pay, sick pay and National Insurance obligations? This seems most likely.
Average wages have been cut by nine per cent since 2010, in real terms, and are still falling. Should Cameron really be boasting about this?
Now German-owned energy firm Npower is cutting 1,460 British jobs. It seems customer service and back-office functions will be outsourced to those well-known friends of the UK government, Capita and Tata.
Kingfisher, the owner of DIY chains B&Q and Screwfix, has suffered a five per cent drop in share values after profits dipped.
And Hibu, the company that owns Yellow Pages, has gone into administration with £2.3 billion of debts. Another old friend of the UK government – Deloitte – will profit from this as administrator – but who knows what will happen to Hibu’s 12,000 employees?
These are just today’s business headlines on the BBC News website – the day after Cameron boasted that the economy was on the rise, the deficit dropping and employment was soaring.
What we’re seeing is not a Prime Minister and Chancellor leading the country back to prosperity.
It’s time we realised that these two chancers have been leading us down the garden path.
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Big Bill said:
I wonder if this is why IDS is reported as planning on scrapping the WRAG with all its associated costs, so the money ‘saved’ can prop up Osborne’s help to buy scheme? Is this a plea from IDS to Osborne, suggesting he’ll happily sacrifice the well-being of hundreds of thousands of sick and disabled people so long as he, IDS, is allowed to keep his political career? Sounds like it to me.
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John Keen said:
Quite simple really,
Government is being sold off, more anmd more departmental responsibilty is being “outsourced” but NOT to businesses with an interest in britain at heart.
I agree the growth is fake, but who’ll listen.
I like the way Jefferey keeps saying the problem is all the debt, and he’s going to fix it by helping people to get loans that they can’t afford!
You can tell they can’t afford it – else the banks would be all over ‘the investment’ themselves.
Only this week I checked out my nearest high street, overall 1 in 4 shops are gone/closed. One block of 5 shops consisted of 1 closed, 1 (empty) hairdresses and 3 charity shops, with all the charity junk outside, the block looked like a mini car boot sale!
I watch nearly every PMQs or/and the repeat, but this time the PM’s body language seemed very different, I think he’s finally realised the writing’s on the wall.
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Perhaps it’s time for another FoI asking what the NI contributions add up to, before & after the “creation” of all the totally non-productive, or more correctly productivity sapping. jobs they are so proud of.
Derek Robinson said:
Steven Goodman said:
I’ve always maintain give the rich people a tax bonanza and they will hoard it or use it to generate more wealth.
Give the same level of funds to the working class and they’ll spend it on goods or food in the high street. An action which would stimulate the economy for real rather than simulate it as in the case of David Cameron!
Jeffrey Davies said:
but look at carney taking away the poormans help with getting a cheap mortgage but leaving in place for firms or small ones yetnow you cant afford so rent of one of these firms thuss making more monies while we get poor just like in Canada carney let the housing market in the poop but now doing it over here ops
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