Whilst President Obama and Prime Minister Cameron lectured us on humanitarian issues, the Office for National Statistics (“ONS”) released the April figures.
In the last twelve months public spending has increased by four per cent in cash terms. In April current spending was up by five per cent and was the highest on record. The Government required £10bn to balance its books. Revenues fell. The UK’s credit rating was downgraded by the Chinese agency Dagong.
There is no doubt that it is all Gordon Brown’s fault. That is because this is the only explanation that is likely to be offered by an increasingly desperate Chancellor.
But it isn’t Gordon Brown’s fault. The Coalition has had over a year and they have produced static growth. The Governor of the Bank of England can’t control inflation and in another report the ONS admitted that they had discovered there are 400,000 fewer businesses that had been stated in previous statistics. Even more worrying the ONS revealed that over three quarters of all small businesses have no employees. Why? It is because of employment laws and health and safety regulations. Plus, of course, the lack of bank liquidity which the ineffective Business Secretary, Vince Cable, can do nothing about.
To add salt to the Middle England wound (Ed Miliband has called it right: this is where the Cameron/Osborne show is having most effect) taxpayers are having to pay £749 million again for the assets of the eight disbanded Regional Development Agencies which are being sold to local authorities. When challenged Vince Cable said it was because of EU rules.
The week ended with the Audit Commission saying that more than 236,000 miles of local roads in England are deteriorating significantly and annual maintenance costs are over £2.3bn which local authorities do not have.
As you drive your car around the streets of your community beware of potholes.
Which is exactly the problem facing the Coalition Government.
But when you are blaming Gordon Brown, and saving the world, who will notice?