Osborne’s little lie: there is no new investment

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Duncan Weldon from the TUC has, I note, already done the work of looking at the impact of the supposed new investment plans on previously announced intentions. As he has reported:

George Osborne just made a great deal of fuss about his plans to increase capital spending from 2015/16. The immediate question is – how big is this boost? The short answer is – there isn’t really one.

Osborne spoke repeatedly about investing £50bn a year  and given current public sector net investment is around £25bn a year – these seems like an awful lot, a doubling of investment spend. However, it appears Osborne was talking about increasing gross rather than net investment spending.

Gross public sector net investment is around £47bn a year and was previously expected to be £50.4bn in 2015/16 according to the OBR (table 4.18).

In other words there doesn’t actually appear to be an increase in capital spending.

How very misleading. This isn’t a real increase and it is not even scheduled to start for two years, the economy needs a boost now – not smoke and mirrors about the future.

In other words, there is no new investment being announced.

Just cuts.