Saturday, 8 March 2014
Austerity Successfully Creates Need For More Austerity.
Rather than the budget surplus that George Osborne confidently predicted would be the result of his austerity policy it would seem that he has, instead, handed the country a £20 billion black hole in the public finances. The reason for this is quite easy to understand - if you're not a Tory that is. Austerity has reduced demand in the economy which has, in turn, delayed any economic recovery. Without an economic recovery the deficit cannot be reduced which is why Osborne has managed to increase the national debt to £1.4 trillion - more than all the governments combined in the last 100 years. His reaction to this disastrous news is to announce that austerity, the policy that is wrecking the economy, will now be extended to 2020. What then of the recovery that Osborne tells us is in full swing? He is able to claim this by telling three little porkies. First he has chosen to calculate the deficit by manipulating the real figures, using the "cyclically adjusted deficit" figure instead of the actual deficit. This miraculously "reduces" the deficit from £111bn to £85 billion. Second he is using the artificially inflated property market which feeds into the GDP figures to show an increase in financial activity. Third he is using Iain Duncan Smith's pogrom against the sick, disabled and unemployed and the zero-hour contract economy to reduce the apparent unemployment figures. Not only is the so-called recovery a cynical fiction so is the reduction of our debts. Our entire economy is being deliberately undermined for purely ideological and entirely selfish reasons. Osborne is simply trying to shrink the state so that he and his rich pals can have a nice juicy tax cut. Greed, which underpins neoliberal economic theory, was supposed to create greater economic activity and, through "trickle down", benefit us all. Instead it has become a goal in its own right while any supposed benefits for the rest of us have been abandoned. Put simply there is nothing is this for you and me, except for poverty, shrinking services and despair.