Monday 6 January 2014

Austerity, again and again

An interesting piece of politics from the Chancellor today. Of course, as in any business, the finance director should always be the naysayer and the one with the most negative view of the future. This leaves others in the business, or in this case the Government, to think more optimistic things and yet have their view tempered by reality.

Today though George Osborne's target is Ed Milliband and also the British public. From the recent run of good economic data people could be forgiven for thinking always sorted. However, as the Chancellor is keen to point out, we are not even half way there to clearing the deficit - never mind trying to actually lower the national debt!

The Labour reply is non-sensical, something about economic failure which does not wash with the current facts and waffle about sorting out the cost of living crisis, with funds from the magic money tree.

The Tories though also face a quandary the largest spending departments of the Government are social security and health care. Both of these could provide the £25 billion we need to cut, yet neither can be touched. Some areas are already creaking, lawyers are on strike today as legal aid has been slashed - rightly for some, but for others justice will be harder to come by now with no funds. The Tories too have ruled out further tax hikes, sensible given the already huge tax burden placed on Country.

So its an interesting positioning and good politics to remind the people of the UK of the difficult situation being faced at a macro-economic level and also the lack of choice that there really is about future budgets.


andrew said...

I think there might have been a bit of intelligent strategy ( or maybe serendipitous stupidity ) here.

On the weekend Cameron tells pensioners they will be ok.
On monday osbourne says we need to bear down on spending.

Both statements went down rather well with my parents and their friends (who are pensioners).

Just over half the people who voted in the last election were of Pensionable age...

Ossian said...

Is it "good politics" to state the obvious. Or is it better politics to get out of the way and let those that can, get on with it.

Role on 2015 so we can get shot of the pair.

James Higham said...

It's academic really as the scene is largely set by the EU and by the Fed. Until both of those sort out their issues, we are beholden.