It is hardly a joking matter that the occupants of nos.10 and 11 Downing Street seemed to resemble the eccentric American comedy act of the 1930s during the delivery of the autumn statement. Stan Laurel, who was, of course, an Englishman died in 1965 and might have been mistaken for our fumbling PM. Heavyweight Oliver Hardy, who lived until 1957, was the master of slapstick comedy, a talent now acquired by George Osborne.
David Cameron, in 2010, justified his betrayal of the Conservative Party, the shirking of minority government and the coalition with the Liberal Democrats (how can a party that lost five seats in the General Election now have eighteen ministerial positions? You might want to read my book “Calm Down Dave” for a more complete view.) by citing the economic position and the national debt. The mantra was “it’s all Gordon Brown’s fault”.
So what have the pair achieved in the two years during which Ed Miliband has left them unchallenged?
- The economy in 2016 will be 13% smaller that the Treasury thought three years ago.
- Debt is simply not reducing. The objective of eradicating it by 2015 is now cloud cuckoo land.
- Real household incomes will fall by 2.3% in 2011.
- If the outlook for borrowing deteriorates further there will be a need to introduce further austerity measures if Britain is to retain its AAA rating.
It could not be worse. So what has the decision to form a coalition government achieved? Days and days of irrelevant horse trading and nothing else.
The measures suggested by the Chancellor have mostly already been either forgotten or dismissed. In next week’s blog I’ll analyse the proposals for enterprising businesses. They are not worth the paper they are written on.
All the attention at the moment is on the Eurozone crisis. This allows the Downing Street string pullers to take the public attention away from the comedy act in their road.
The main factor why the economy has stalled is because middle England has run out of money. Real incomes will fall (as above) by £2,500 per family this year. The additional reason is that householders are repaying their mortgages faster than ever. Since 2008 the mortgage debt has reduced every quarter and in the second of this year by a record £9.1bn. That is why the tills in Marks and Spencer are not ringing.