Britain is Booming! If You’re Going to Tell a Lie, Make it a Big One(15 Posts)
Chancellor George Osborne was wheeled out to produce one of the more absurd political speeches of our time this week. Osborne set himself up in a building site in the City of London, then invited in the media to tell them that opponents of ideological austerity had “lost the argument” and that the UK economy was “turning a corner”.
“We held our nerve when many told us to abandon our plan” he said. “The evidence increasingly suggests that our macroeconomic plan was the right one and is working.”
This triumphalist moment came on the back of news that UK GDP grew by 0.7% in the first 6 months of this year. This means the economy is still 3.2% smaller than 2008, and this is the slowest economic recovery in the last 100 years, meaning the UK recovered more quickly from the Great Depression than we are recovering from bailout out the banks.
More worrying than the lack of growth, is the manner in which even this meager growth is being generated – by an all-out assault on the rights of working people and the social contract.
What we are witnessing is not an economic recovery, in any sense of the words. We are seeing a return to profit for a cluster of corporations, at the expense of their workers, the tax payer and those reliant on social security.
The Coalition government follow the principle that when one lies, one should lie big, and stick to it. They keep up their lies, even at the risk of looking ridiculous.
Employment? Not As You Know It
The UK Govt was today cheerleading the latest jobs figures which appear to show a mere 0.1% drop in unemployment rate in the last quarter. But the government simply ignored the bad news in the figures.
The number of men working full time fell by 272,000 and those in part time work rose 281,000. This is the highest number of people in part time work since records began in 1992. A third of those men in part time work stated they held those positions because they could not find full time work.
Unemployment among 16-24 year olds was up 34,000. This means the UK has an unemployment rate of 21% among young people, with 960,000 now jobless.
And the picture was no rosier for those who had managed to gain employment. While unemployment may well remain lower than equivalent austerity nations, the nature of employment is shifting in a worrying direction.
Wages have fallen for 36 of the 37 months of the Coalition government. This makes Cameron’s Coalition the the worst performing government in UK history on wages. No former Prime Minister in the history of our parliamentary democracy has seen wages drop for this length of time – not Thatcher, not Harold Wilson, not Ted Heath.
If you're going to misrepresent what someone says ttossa, better make it a whopper.... 'Turning a corner' is not the same as 'Britain booming'
Tosca's link is good. I cannot believe the barefaced lying of the ConDems. So much smoke and mirrors. The point being..that to say we are turning a corner is to say that austerity is justified. Every month there is some phoney report about being in the brink of booming. The only people for who it is booming, and massively, are the already wealthy.
Real world situation people.... What the economy needs to grow are things like confidence & optimism. We need companies and individuals - both local and overseas - to have the confidence to invest here to create the full-time jobs that we're still lacking. More jobs = more tax revenue = more money to spend on public services. The Chancellor isn't going to achieve that by shrugging his shoulders and saying 'it's a bit shit really'. It's his job to talk things (cautiously) up.
So much of the economy is driven by nothing but confidence. A recession is really just a collective crisis of confidence and a boom the opposite.
That's one reason why the chancellor is usually the last to admit there's a recession and the first to proclaim a boom. It's not purely down to politics although I'm sure part of the decision will be.
Nobody seriously expects UK to be 'booming' all of a sudden with a mere 0.7% growth. And nobody seriously expected the UK to suddenly bounce back from pre 2008 levels that were unsustainable anyway (hence the crash).
What we need is a long period of slow & steady growth. Hopefully getting our books in order will lay the foundation for our collective confidence to grow and in turn our economy.
Smoke and mirrors is right. Just bumped into a friend a broker who I used years ago and he says the figures are a sham. He has noticed house prices rising again and banks offering the multiples but he say 3 out of 5 of his applications have had severe trouble when it comes to affordability
That's hilarious, Cogito - as if Osborne is saying things for the benefit of the nation as a whole, rather than trying to justify his neo-liberal policies which he has managed to inflict on the public by exploiting the financial crisis.
Osborne couldn't give a shit about how well the public are doing, so long as he and his rich mates are making a killing - which they are, both figuratively and literally.
Our whole economy is now based on house prices and rich people selling their homes to each other. Osbourne doesn't give a fuck about normal people and that is why he has introduced such a damaging policy in Help to Buy which will make housing even more expensive and out of the reach of most people whilst re-inflating the housing bubble that he complained so much about Labour making. Shorterm-ism to ensure his re-election and nice fat pension.
We are doomed.
bankers government are just fleecing the last suckers before inevitable crash.
Sorry that first link aint working,
Thinking the Unthinkable
I'm not sure I agree with everything in the moneyweek report, especially since the primary aim seems to be too plug subscriptions to their magazine.
But it is clear that the UK like many other western nations is up to it's eyeballs in debt and I do agree that without drastic action things will collapse at some point.
And we've not even some close to dealing with our overspending despite what the govt are saying.
It just makes me laugh at those who still claim we don't have a debt problem. Clearly we do.
The way out of this last time was a war which Cameron and Obama were pretty keen on until sanity prevailed (although from where I'm sitting a strike is still on their agenda)
More or less Radio 4 had a really interesting piece on how the GDP corrector has been increasing faster than GDP itself.
So the real adjusted GDP has in fact been falling.
And a GDP "expert" saying that no one really knows what real GDP is.
Oh the fun.
it has got worse today.
'inflation down' - sure, that's the index that includes the cost of air travel and clothes, things that we all absolutely need to buy frequently to exist. Not.
the real price index has gone up again, now 3.7% I believe. This is the one that includes housing costs.
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