Osborne’s 3 Big Lies

In the last week Osborne has staked out three positions which show the character of the man – duplicitous, machiavellian, dishonest.    First he claimed that he had turned the £1.7bn EU budget bill into a triumph by factoring in Britain’s budget rebates in Europe which halved the amount due.   This canard unravelled almost as soon as Osborne uttered it.   Several other ministers at the EU meeting insisted that no-one, including Osborne, had actually contested the £1.7bn charge and that no discount had been awarded.   What actually happened is that Osborne rushed out of the meeting, immediately made his statement to the press (which the BBC sycophantically, but wrongly, repeated almost verbatim) , and then left to return to the UK without taking any questions.   The truth is that Britain’s automatic rebate on gross contributions to the EU budget, which have operated since 1980, would have been granted anyway and had nothing to do with Osborne’s arguments – or rather non-arguments since he never raised any objections anyway.   The whole exercise was simply an Osborne ploy to pretend that he had fought and thwarted the dire plans of the EU.

Second, he made a disingenuous announcement that he was improving tax transparency by letting taxpayers at different income levels know what the tax they paid was spent on.   It looked like an innocent attempt to extend useful and relevant information to the public.   He would issue an ‘annual tax statement’ to every household showing where their taxes went.   Thus someone earning £30,000 a year will be told that £1,663 goes on ‘welfare’ and £892 on ‘health’, i.e. nearly twice as much on ‘scroungers’ as on health.   What Osborne does not say is that welfare lumps together expenditures of a wholly different kind.   No less than 46% of it goes on pensions which pensioners have earned by paying national insurance contributions throughout their working lives.   Only 3% goes to the unemployed.   Osborne’s vaunted ‘transparency’ is in reality a cynical pre-election ploy to win support for further cuts and to turn voters against Labour.

Third, he reiterated yet again the need for still deeper cuts to pay down the deficit.   What he didn’t say is that as a result of the very deep cuts he’s already made the deficit this year is not falling at all, but actually going up because falling household incomes have meant that the government’s tax take is now being eroded.   What he also didn’t say is that if the rationale for austerity is to pay down the deficit, there’s no point in continuing with austerity if it’s now causing the deficit to go up.

Never take anything Osborne says at face value.


3 thoughts on “Osborne’s 3 Big Lies

  1. Thank you for explaining this so very clearly.
    Labour really does have to make a big song and dance over this: that the Tories can’t be trusted, and especially that they can’t be trusted with the country’s finances. They also can’t be trusted with our environment (I’ve just seen a horrendous film about fracking). If everyone knew about all this I can’t see anyone wanting to vote for them!

    It should also be pointed out that a big chunk of “welfare payments” goes in housing benefit which is actually paid to landlords, and includes various benefits to top up peoples’ wages when their employers don’t pay them enough to live on.

  2. Well I finished you book, The State We Need, (which once again, I’d strongly recommend to anyone with the time and interest,) a few days ago.

    I have to confess that having now given myself time to reflect and consider it, that I’m largely unconvinced by much of it.

    Nonetheless it was well written, readable, (you make some killer points,) and you’ve obviously thought about this stuff at some length and in some depth and you’ve offered at least some suggestions about how to move forward economically, which at the very worst would buy us time for recession to abate and to retrench economically.

    Clearly we disagree about the importance and urgency of climate change, (you overuse the term exponential, for example, when it’s very far from proven that were even on that kind of graph, let alone which part of the graph we’re currently occupying, but I digress,) and therefore about importance, feasibility and rationality of expensive measures to address this chimeric, (and possibly even entirely subjective,) phenomenon.

    Nonetheless on the topic of more conventional, (even classical,) economics you hit nail on head repeatedly, what we’re currently experiencing is not really a deficit problem, per se (the deficit is just a symptom,) it’s a good old and all too familiar balance of payments problem, compounded by recession, (reduced tax revenues and increased spending on social services,) excessive immigration, also massively compounded by the damage, (corruption,) done to our traditionally and accountable democratic political system, (including the civil service,) and to all our other public services; both by the still toxic and poisonous Blair legacy, (in which I’d have to include Milliband, Ball, Burnham, Cooper et al,) and the collapse of a classic financial bubble. albeit one of an unprecedented scale and magnitude.

    Osborne like almost all politicians, (too many,) is a simply a pathological liar, (we don’t need to be told that,) exploiting this; for most people living outside charmed circle of government patronage, sponsorship and jobbery, harrowing and difficult situation, to implement a divisive social agenda, being dictated to him by various ideologues and by commercial interests, (including the completely out of control and far too often state funded charitable sector,) lobbies and vested predatory financial interests, (the resurgent and growing rentier class, for example,) to facilitate and even to encourage the increasingly crude and naked exploitation of the poorest, and most vulnerable.

    Milliband, (who after all grew up in states; where they are currently executing the mentally ill and arresting people for feeding the destitute,) is of course completely comfortable with all this.

  3. I must admit to being very gullible over David Cameron’s performance regarding the EU demand for £1.7 billion from Britain. He looked and sounded genuinely angry.

    George Osborne’s triumphant announcement at his superior negotiating skills also took me for a ride. I was quite hopeful that the White Knights of the Conservative Party had ridden to EURO land and had slain the two evil Dragons of the EU and UKIP in one fell swoop.

    It did strike me as rude how Osborne made his announcement, a bit like Margaret Thatcher’s
    “Just rejoice at that news and congratulate our forces”, and then rudely left and scarpered out the door, with reporters still trying to ask him quesitions about it.

    If someone really believes they’ve achieved something, you can judge how much they believe they’ve achieved it by the length of time they want to spend talking about. This was ZERO seconds, so Osborne knew he hadn’t achieved anything and did not want reporters asking him details of what he said to achieve this “great victory for Britain”, as he hadn’t said anything.

    He was ill the day they taught negotiation techniques at St Paul’s School. So you can’t really blame him for caving in at the EU meeting as he doesn’t understand what the word “negotiation” means.

    I believe that RADA should award David Cameron an honourary Degree in “BA (Hons) in acting”

    Why? because he has demonstrated practical skills from the course curriculum:

    The training includes:

    i) Improvisation
    ii) contemporary and classical text
    iii) Restoration/Eighteenth Century comedy
    and contemporary writing
    iv) Acting for camera and microphone technique
    voice training, including dialect
    training, individual and choral singing
    v) Movement training, including Alexandra
    vi) Technique, dance and stage combat
    vii) Performing Greek Tragedies

    David Cameron is – without doubt – one of country’s greatest upcoming acting talents and we should be immensely proud of his totally believable performance on the EU stage.

    Nigel Farage’s acting is rubbish in comparison, he can only ever play himself in a role.

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