Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Autumn Statement Just a Load of Codswallop and Reannouncements

Last Thursday was the Conservative chancellor's long awaited and much talked about Autumn Statement, which turned out to be worse than the BBC at Christmas - just another load of repeats and re-announcements of policies that have already been announced many times before.

The government used to have a buzzword for infrastructure projects, they enthusiastically describe them as 'shovel ready'. However,the truth is that the majority of these shovel ready projects announced by the government last week have already been announced - several times! And we have yet to see a single shovel being picked up let alone used! More lies and misleading from the Tory chancellor. For all this government's announcements and re-announcements about infrastructure projects, the truth is that new infrastructure projects have fallen by 3.5% in the three and a half years the coalition government have been in power. Not such good news if you are a first time buyer, or trying to rent, or waiting for a council property to become available.

Christmas is approaching fast and the cost of living is sprialling out of control, people are borrowing more money than ever before and it is not to buy festive food and drink, they are turning to expensive credit cards and payday loan sharks and borrowing money to pay their household bills, gas, electric, water, food.  These are not just the unemployed 'shirkers' and 'skivers' that the government unfairly like to harangue and single out for public abuse and bullying, these are people in work in low paid jobs, some doing several part-time jobs in order to survive.

In last week's autumn statement when the shadow chancellor, Ed Balls tried to raise this issue with the chancellor, he was met with this.

Typically the right wing press have lied and misled about Ed Balls performance, it was actually quite good, but it could not be heard for the braying and jeering in the chamber which was allowed to continue as the Speaker had lost control of the House.

Ed Balls had to shout to be heard above the laughing and guffawing millionaire Conservative and Liberal Democrat MPs and this braying and jeering also came from the millionaire cabinet minister government front benches. Mr Balls tried his best to raise points about the cost of living, he tried his best to represent what ordinary members of the public wanted raised, the cost of living, falling living standards, soaring energy costs, people being forced to use credit cards and turn to payday loan companies to make ends meet, but the jeering and laughing front bench and government back bench MPs refused to allow this to be raised.

When chancellor George Osborne returned to his feet, did he address the points raised by Ed Balls about the struggle of the public to live? About how people have not had a pay rise and how others are trapped on low pay in a race to the bottom? No, not a bit of it, the appalling response from the man responsible for the millions trapped in poverty and forced to use foodbanks to fee their children, many even returning food that requires energy to cook it (because they have no light or heating), was to launch into astonishing and venomous personal attacks about Ed Balls playing the piano. The chancellor clearly enjoying the fact that his MPs had denied the public the right to hear Ed Balls response, joined in the laughing and jeering, this millionaire cabinet are so out of touch, so arrogant that they think it is OK to laugh at us the public struggling to survive as a direct consequence of this chancellor's failed policies.

Anyone who saw last weeks shameful debacle in the House of Commons, it was clear that it was orchestrated to stop the public from listening to the Shadow chancellor's response and to stop the public from understanding that the Labour opposition understand their problems and are working hard trying to do something about it and are desperately trying to raise the cost of living crisis to the top of the political agenda and force the government to act. I know that Tory and Lib Dem MPs received a text message to drown out the chancellor it was called "operation get Balls", what I would also like to know is where this message originated from? My guess is that it came from Lynton Crosby, the PMs election strategist (and the lobbyist with fingers in every dirty money making scheme known to man), if it did then this is a clear and orchestrated breach of protocol which goes right to the heart of this stinking corrupt Tory Lib Dem government.

Why didn't this government want you to hear the opposition's message?

Osborne keeps saying he is balancing the books but he is trying to do so without balancing the economy, which is akin to paying extra off of your mortgage  each month and not leaving enough to heat or light your home and feed and clothe your children forcing them to live in poverty or to beg and steal food or die of starvation. It is economic illiteracy, economics of the madhouse. And the utter lunacy of it all is that Osborne isn't even paying down the national debt, it is actually growing and he isn't even reducing borrowing, he will borrow more in his five years of government than the former Labour government did  in their entire thirteen years and the Labour government had an international banking crisis and the worse global recession for over 80 years to deal with, what excuse does Osborne have? None, just his own failed austerity measures and his own failed policies and his own failed predictions. In truth George Osborne has failed every single target he has set himself. He inherited growth of 2.7% from Labour in 2010, now he thinks we should all congratulate him if he gets growth back up to 2.5% in 2014 (that's still 0.2% short of what he inherited from Labour back in 2010). The truth is that the British economy has gone backwards and is still going backwards.

The chancellor's autumn statement was made up of infrastructure projects that have already been announced several times, and a load of predictions and forecasts from Osborne's quasi Office Budget Responsibility (OBR) about growth, predictions from the office that to date has not got one single forecast right!

There is also serious doubt about how Osborne is going to fund the projects he has announced the next day after the autumn statement the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) tore into Osborne's statement ridiculing and backing what the shadow chancellor had tried to say over all the jeers and shrieking from out of control Tory MPs. Living standards in 2015 will be lower than they were in 2010.

The chancellor also never addressed the spiralling personal debt problem and ignores the fact that household debt in the UK has reached a record level, according to figures from the Bank of England. Individuals now owe a total of £1.43 trillion. Many people not borrowing to invest, but borrowing to  get them out of trouble and to pay mortgages and rent and to meet their household bills.

We are all merrily skipping down the exact same road as led to the 2008 crash, the only difference is, that this time it is not the banks that is funding soaring out of control toxic debt unknown to the rest of us, it is the British government with quantitative easing (QE) that is knowingly funding what will (as sure as eggs is eggs) turn to be toxic debt. The banks are not lending because after the crash and because of new government regulations that insist they have a certain amount of funding on their books and this caps the amount they they have enough to lend, so Osborne has stepped in to override his own regulations and ordered the BoE to top the banks accounts up with printed money (QE), so in effect the government are guaranteeing loans and funding unsecured loans with taxpayers money and the banks are making all the profit. Again economics of the madhouse. If there is another global slow down or crash we are going to be in serious, serious trouble.

This whole so-called recovery is based on George Osborne over inflating the housing bubble and stepping in to act as guarantors for loans which people cannot afford, to enable them to obtain mortgages they cannot afford, meanwhile house prices continue to rise at the fastest pace since before the crash.

This is a housing bubble

This is a credit bubble

This is unsustainable

This is why the government were so keen to drown out Ed Balls last week, they are scared of the wider public learning just what a precarious situation it is that we are really in.

Instead of sucking up to the government and allowing the government and this dreadful 'towel folding chancellor' to get away with this appalling behaviour along with their lies and their incompetence, journalists should be tearing into this government and exposing the sewer of incompetence and corruption running just below the surface. If they fail to do this, then these journalists from these right wing papers, the Sun, Sunday Sun, Times, Sunday Times, The Mail. Mail on Sunday, the Telegraph, Sunday Telegraph etc are all going to be blamed when the Tory 'boom ends with a huge bust' (and it's already on its way) - manufacturing is slowing, exports have fallen 2.1% last month and the trade gap widens, consumer spending is slowing and the government continue to base the whole economy on a precariously perched housing bubble and QE and set after set of falsified unemployment data. The bust when it comes will make 2008 look like a walk in the park and these papers will be left looking like Tory sycophantic poodles, they will lose what little credibility they have left!

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