29 Nov 2011

Autumn statement: expect a marked deterioration since March

I had a track through past speeches from George Osborne to give you a flavour of how much things have deteriorated since the March Budget. Imagine him standing up today and saying, as he did in March:  “we have already asked the British people for what is needed, and today we do not need to ask for more.”

I’ll bet he will not be repeating this proud boast from March either: “the size of the task of repairing Britain’s finances is unchanged.” Nor, I suspect, this line from before the election: “soaring national debt…sits like a vulture poised to swoop on a sustainable British recovery.”

Probably sounded better in 2009.


But borrowing is set to rocket still more to the sort of numbers that George Osborne ridiculed in Labour’s plans. Based on his past efforts, the FT’s Chris Giles seems to have cloned the Treasury forecasting machine so his £30b black hole prediction is worth a read. That’s a £30b (or so) black hole on top of the cuts programme already in place, in circumstances of anaemic growth and the looming threat of a global depression if the eurozone collapses.

Oh, and I didn’t mention the demographic timebomb that means we have to do something like this all over again after mopping up the blood after the current crisis.

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