What Osborne won’t tell you about his budget

This is supposed to be a ‘lower welfare, lower tax’ budget.   The centrepiece is of course the £12bn welfare cuts, even if a third of that is postponed until after the 2017-8 deadline (but very close to the 2020 election).   By far the largest elements in that are the severe cuts in working … Continue reading What Osborne won’t tell you about his budget

Even the high priests of capitalism are now inveighing against inequality

The IMF is the last place that one would expect to hear the argument being made that inequality has gone far too far.   So the recent detailed research from the citadel of capitalism has to be taken seriously.   What they found was that raising the income share of the poorest fifth of the … Continue reading Even the high priests of capitalism are now inveighing against inequality

The dogs that didn’t bark in the night

This has been an odd election in several respects, not least in the degree to which policy has been largely usurped by extraneous factors – initially vilification of Miliband (which the Tories mishandled and were forced to drop), then demonisation of the Scots as though they were some foreign menace (despite pleading with them on … Continue reading The dogs that didn’t bark in the night

Latest quarterly growth of 0.3% fires Exocet through Tory claims of economic competence

The Tories couldn’t have timed it better for Labour.   A week before the election the official quarterly growth figures halved to a miserable 0.3%   If this continues at the same level (and of course it may well sink lower still), it would produce an annual growth rate of just 1.2%, no better than … Continue reading Latest quarterly growth of 0.3% fires Exocet through Tory claims of economic competence

Last day of Budget debate in Commons exposes Osborne’s boasts as lies

The truth finally came out.   Osborne claimed that the deficit was being cut this year when in fact that is only due to the exceptional delaying of tax payments till the end of the fiscal year by the super-rich in order to take advantage of the reduction in the top income tax rate to 45%. … Continue reading Last day of Budget debate in Commons exposes Osborne’s boasts as lies

How do the parties think they’ll reduce today’s deficit of £100bn to zero by 2020?

Osborne continues trying to taunt Labour about eliminating the deficit altogether by 2020. But he’s never set out any strategy by which he might get within even spitting distance of it.   Economic growth isn’t going to do it.   Under his current policies Britain now invests only 14% of its GDP, one of the … Continue reading How do the parties think they’ll reduce today’s deficit of £100bn to zero by 2020?

Blair wrong that centre ground wins elections: not this time

The latest polling shows that Blair and his acolytes have lost the argument over the direction for Labour policy.   A YouGov poll of 1,655 participants reported yesterday that by a majority of more than 2:1 they were anti-austerity, anti-war and wanted less subservience to the US, and anti-big business and over-mighty corporations.   But … Continue reading Blair wrong that centre ground wins elections: not this time

Why doesn’t Labour take on the Tories over the economy?

It is bizarre that Osborne continues to preen himself that the economy is such a strong card for the Tories at the election when in fact every aspect of the UK’s economic performance is looking bad and getting worse.   Today it was reported that the growth rate in the final quarter of 2014 was … Continue reading Why doesn’t Labour take on the Tories over the economy?