Socialist Worker

Osborne announces more cuts and more tax breaks for bosses

by Simon Basketter
Issue No. 2382

Tory chancellor George Osborne claimed “Britain's economic plan is working”.

As the winter weather hit today, Thursday, Osborne made an “autumn” statement on the economy.

In a rare moment of honesty Osborne said, “The effects of the financial crash on family budgets and the cost of living are still being felt”.

He demanded that ordinary people work longer while giving more cash to his rich mates and announcing more cuts for the rest of us.

He put up the pension age and announced a new £3 billion in cuts for government departments.

There was hearty of gloating from the bungling baron over the state of the economic recovery.

Predictions from Osborne’s pet statisticians in the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) are good for the Tory backbenches. But they are worse than useless for seeing what is happening to ordinary people in the crisis.

At the time of Osborne’s first emergency budget in October 2010, the OBR predicted that there would be growth of 7.7 percent by this year.

Yet Osborne says this year “growth will be 1.4 percent. Next year, instead of growth of 1.8 percent, they are now forecasting 2.4 percent.”

In terms of wage growth, the OBR predicted in 2010 that, “average earnings growth rises gradually in the forecast as productivity recovers. Growth of wages and salaries, which combine employment with average earnings, also picks up, reaching 5¼ percent in 2014”.

Now they say wages are set to fall. In fact wages have been falling since the Tories came to office.

The brutal attacks on welfare continued with an extension to a limit on the social security spending. That will mean even more real cuts to benefits.

While saying he was cutting back on tax avoidance Osborne proceeded to announce new tax-avoiding scams for buying shares, investing in films or privatised social services.

He announced a freeze on the rates on businesses. And he gave out £1,000 each for shop owners. On top of that, bosses won’t have to contribute any National Insurance contributions for workers under 21.

He gave a £1 billion loan to construction bosses and halved taxes for fracking companies.

He confirmed that the government will expand free school meals to reception, year one and year two. But the fact that more than half the money for free school meal refurbishment will have to come from existing budgets was snuck in the figures.

Osborne just offered more of the same. More cuts for the poor and more gloating about recovery as the Tory toffs hand out cash and public services to their mates.

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Thu 5 Dec 2013, 13:58 GMT
Issue No. 2382
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