Socialist Worker

George Osborne pulls his Europe figures out of a hat

Issue No. 2500

George Osborne counts his made up numbers

George Osborne counts his made up numbers (Pic: House of Lords)


Bungling baron George Osborne has one trick— making numbers appear out of nowhere. But he uses it often.

So on Monday he announced that leaving the European Union would make households £4,300 worse off.

According to Osborne, “Britain would be permanently poorer if we left the European Union (EU), to the tune of £4,300 for every household in the county. That’s a fact.”

Shocking but nonsense.

The chosen date is 2030. By then, the economy on Osborne’s made up figures is expected to have grown by around 37 percent.

But according to a Treasury document it would be 31 percent growth if Britain leaves the EU.

Now this may or may not be true and as the many simple formulas used to work it out show (pictured) making up numbers is tricky.

The difference is between 31 percent economic growth and 37 percent growth.

Even if this is true, it doesn’t make anyone poorer.

Osborne then translates this reduction in potential economic growth to household income.

This is what magicians call distraction.

Using this inaccurate method gives Osborne £4,300.

A far more important issue is how the growth is distributed.

For instance if you divide current economic output by the number of households then every one has £68,000. Which means someone has Troublemaker’s share.

In fact if you believe Osborne’s figures, which you really shouldn’t, you assume that disposable income grows in line with economic growth.

That would mean a rise of £5,550 outside the EU by 2030, or a £6,620 rise inside the EU.

The “cost” of EU membership would be £1,070 per household.

So even on his own imaginary numbers he is lying.

Neat trick.


GOING UP: £3 million pay packet for Centrica boss Iain Conn. GOING DOWN: 3,000 job cuts at the firm

Nanny Veronica Crook has been servant of the Tory posho Rees-Mogg family for 50 years.

If it’s not bad enough that she has to butter right winger Jacob’s crumpets and iron his pinstriped pyjamas each night, she’s now being sold off to raise funds for the Tory party.

Rees-Mogg offered tea with Nanny as a prize at a Vote Leave fundraiser. She fetched £5,000.


Tony Blair made money promoting investment in a part of Kazakhstan where 14 striking oil workers were killed.

Blair agreed a consultancy deal with the oil-rich Mangystau region through his Tony Blair Associates firm. Cops fired on striking oil workers in the area in December 2011, killing at least 14.


Premier dinner with Tories for £15,000

You might think the Tories would be keen to downplay their rich, elitist image in the wake of the Panama papers scandal. But it seems not.

The Tories are eagerly preparing for their summer party at Hurlingham Club at the end of June.

A Premier Plus table at the event costs a whopping £15,000.

But they are catering for the less wealthy among us.

You can get tickets for a premier table for just £10,000 and book a standard table of ten for just £5,000.

Bargain.


Iain Duncan Smith will get a severance pay of roughly £34,000 for quitting the government frontbench.

The combined ministerial and parliamentary salary of a cabinet minister is £135,527.

That includes a parliamentary salary of £74,962.

At roughly £11,294 per month, that would mean IDS will get around £34,000 just for quitting as a minister.


Vermin in ermine and Lib Dem votes

Parliament is full of vermin. No surprise there, but the House of Lords is now very worried about what a new memo calls “increasing mouse activity on the Western Front”.

Peers have been ticked off by parliamentary authorities for spilling so many biscuit crumbs on the floor that the mice are staying away from the traps that have been laid.

Cut the dunking, the memo orders.


There was a rather odd by-election on Tuesday. It was to choose the next hereditary Lib Dem peer to sit in the House of Lords.

There are seven candidates but the electorate, made up of existing Lib Dem hereditaries, numbers only three.


Wear your target grade with pride

Just when you thought things couldn’t get much worse for students, the Sharnbrook Academy Federation has found a way.

The federation runs the Sharnbrook Upper School in Bedfordshire. Sixth form students there have been given lanyards to wear around their necks displaying their “target” grades.

Apparently it isn’t compulsory to wear them—but students have to carry them at all times. Students say they feel under pressure to display the lanyards.

Unsurprisingly the scheme has caused widespread anger.

One student said it was adding to “stress” and that the school was “valuing grades over the individual”.


Click here to subscribe to our daily morning email newsletter 'Breakfast in red'

Mobile users! Don't forget to add Socialist Worker to your home screen.