Since his last spending review three years ago George Osborne’s record has been one of failure: failure on growth and living standards which has led to failure on the deficit and debt.
Far from balancing the books, this economic failure means borrowing is now set to be £96 billion in 2015. This is the reason why the Chancellor is being forced to make even more cuts this week.
Since George Osborne’s first spending review in 2010, the UK economy has grown by just 1.1% compared to the 6% forecast at the time and compared to growth of 2.9% in Germany and 4.9% in the USA. Borrowing is now forecast to be £245bn more than planned at the time of the spending review – excluding the one off transfers of the Royal Mail Pension Fund and Asset Purchase Facility.
Andrew Gwynne MP said:
“George Osborne has failed to boost living standards and get the economy to grow. He has failed to get the deficit down. That is why he has been forced to come back for more, with more cuts to the police and local services. We just got more of the same.
“There was no support for families struggling with the cost of living or young people looking for work. No plan to build the affordable homes our country needs. No plan to turn the economy round and no hope for the future.
“For all government’s talk about infrastructure projects, this long-term investment is actually being cut in real terms in 2015. As Labour and the International Monetary Fund have said, we should bring forward infrastructure investment right now through building affordable homes, improving transport links and repairing Britain’s broken roads. This will create jobs, strengthen our economy and give us a long-term return.
“We will have an iron discipline on spending, but we will make different choices. We’d protect the basic state pension, but not pay the winter fuel allowance to the very richest pensioners. We’d make work pay with a 10p starting rate of tax, not cut taxes for millionaires. And we’d give young people jobs they’d have to take up, paid for by a tax on bank bonuses.”