The Cuts: Live

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Here we go: George Osborne is about to speak.

He claims we step back from the brink.

I say we fall over the cliff.

Sustainability is not what he’s offering: exploitation is what he’s going to deliver.

He says borrowing will end. But remember it was caused by banks – and by subsidies for the finance sector (half of all debt in 2007 related to pension relief over the previous decade).

So what we pay interest: 90% of it goes to people in the UK – 25% to the Bank of England!

And the net cost of interest is less than 1% a year – so much less than millions on the dole.

I’m not encouraged the Institute for Fiscal Studies – sorry the Office for Budget Responsibility have audited Osborne’s plans.

Yet again the claim we were on the brink of bankruptcy.

That is a blatant lie.

Repeat: that was a lie.

He says he will not waiver from the plan. This sounds like a suicide note to me.

He confirms spending totals – which he claims is a rise in spending. But it isn’t because of inflation. It is not because of real inflation being high in medicine. So he’s lying. Again.

He claims real spending will be at the same level as 2008 – but he ignores the analysis I offered last Friday. A percentage of different things is not the same outcome.

He claims we’re all in this together. I refer to Dispatches on Monday.

And he claims the changes are progressive – and yet it has been proven already this is a lie.

And he confirms 490,000 jobs lost. And there will be redundancies.

The lie that spending will be the same is blown apart – if it was a percentage of the same thing we would not need the same cuts. In other words – 38% in 2014 is of a much smaller economy than 38% was in 2008. That’s the reality.

I love the fact that this is a decentralisation plan – GPs hate the idea (I know – I talk to them) of being given budgets they have NO qualification to assess. And which will destroy their time with budgets.

Councils lose 7.1% but massive devolution of control – so they can use money for anything they like. But if you’re facing massive cuts, so what?

But at least local government can borrow now against specific future revenue streams – the first good thing – and how does this reconcile with his aim to reduce borrowing though?

New affordable homes – but at 80% of market rent of the private sector who are going to have to provide the properties. How does that work. Especially when new house buying is collapsing – as the FT announced this morning?

Substantial operational reform in police and fire and ambulance – but what does that mean? The end of nighttime services? What else?

Defence spending is now called aid. So the 0.7% GDP claim for aid is rubbish. And the focus is on conflict resolution- that is Afghanistan by any other name.

Police will face cuts – even though they all agree this is not possible. 4% cut each year. I simply do not believe that this will mean police are still available.

6% cut in justice – that’s the end of probation officers.

Law officers will be but by 24% – the end of fair access to justice. So much for fairness.

A business plan to be published by each department – so we can hold them to account. How?

The huge budget deficit was not Labour’s fault – not one iota – it was the fault of the banks. Osborne’s backers. Remember that.

Distributional analysis says high earners will pay more – but what has changed since June when it was shown this was not true – nothing as far as I can see.

He’s going to hit banks – some time in the future – because he’s frightened they will go abroad. So he’s going to ask for maximum revenues – £.30 I should think he’ll conclude.

But he’ll go for tax avoidance he says – only 4 banks signed tax code of conduct. He says he will demand all will now do it – none have while the ConDems have been in office.

HMRC will face cuts of 15% but given back £900 million to raise £7 billion in all.

What a pathetic total over four years of losses over that period which will total £360 bn.

Pension age goes up to 66 from 2020.

I can’t argue – but where will we find jobs for all these people aged 65?

Hutton review Рfair, fair, fair…..repeating it does not make it fair.

And how does a person contribute to an unfunded pension?

Welfare spending – one third of public spending. He will cut it. That’s the only interpretation we can infer. And I do not believe that one credit will work – or be fair – or encourage work except by institutionalising poverty.

Will time limit many benefits to 1 year – poverty after that.

Children now have to live at home until 35.

And most access rules are restricted.

And benefits are restricted to £25,000. There will be a real rise in child poverty. A big one.

Whilst universal benefits will take 2 years to introduce – massively increasing complexity.

Child benefit – higher rate taxpayers will get no marginal relief.

NHS – will increase spending he says – over inflation – so why are £20 billion of savings pa needed?

I just do not believe anything he says when it comes to the NHS. All trendy spending get support. But what about the demand for services for depression for the unemployed and those who cannot keep their children when they are denied benefits?

Money found for bank failures and Equitable Life failures – sorry, but this is absurd: services suffer but wealthier consumers are protected. How is that fair?

Devolved governments suffer, I note.

Now he turns to business. Taxes do not give business the freedom to compete – does he know anything? Profit is a residual. BIS gets big cuts – but apprenticeships grow – 75,000  but that’s a drop in the ocean when it comes to the unemployed.

£1 billion for Green Investment Bank – peanuts

There is nothing here at all for economic stimulation. He’s relying wholly on his belief – his fantasy – that cutting the state will boost the private sector without saying why.

The Arts are hit. Massively. 15% at least. And blow the regions.

BBC to have a massive cut. Murdoch gets his way. 16% saving.

And that’s it

Been on air…now dashing