Osborne detached on Marr

George Osborne today did a good impression on the Marr show, of being completely detached from the economic realities of the moment. On the one hand, he said the recovery wasn’t in the bag. Then he refused to support any of the measures we’ve put in place to make sure the recovery is delivered! (globally, by the way, we’re only half way through the stimulus agreed this year). Here in Britain, Government plus Bank of England action is supporting upto 500,000 jobs and helping hundreds of thousands stay in their homes. Cutting that back is simply a recipe for a recovery that doesn’t happen.

More curious was his inability to give a word of detail about the vast spending cuts he’s proposed (you can tell he’s not in control of the shadow cabinet, because they keep making big spending committments). We heard a bit in the press about ‘boomerang bosses’ – but this is something the Audit Commission is already investigating. Anyone would think he’s making it up as he goes on air. Yet, this is a time for sensible economics, not school-boy politics…


Cameron on Marr

I’m afraid Mr Cameron’s interview on Marr this morning was the worst possible cocktail of poisonous ideology and poor accounting.

It is now clear the Conservative’s agenda for public finances now begins and ends with ideology and not Britain’s national interest. Today, Mr Cameron says his motives for cuts are purely and simply the pursuit of a ‘big opportunity’ to shrink the state.

He says nothing about how we grow our economy for the future or strengthen schools and hospitals.  Instead all we heard is cold confirmation of public service cuts to pay for a £200,000 average tax cut for 3,000 millionaires.

And his tired old line about identity card savings was the only so-called efficiency he could think of. He seems to have forgotten that he’s committed to keep nearly 80% of the system for new passports, and fingerprint visas, and he’s promised the balance to at least half a dozen other pet projects.

The few and not the many

News reaches me that David Cameron and George Osborne are confirming their inheritance tax plans – in other words, confirming they remain absolutely wedded to their pledge to give £200,000 cash to the wealthiest 3,000 estates, paid for by deep cuts to the schools, neighbourhood p0lice teams and NHS for the rest of us.

However, they try to spin this, the Tories have blown their golden opportunity to scrap their inheritance tax pledge and admit they were wrong to put the wealthiest few ahead of the help that families on middle and modest incomes need.

We actually know David Cameron wants civil servants to get to work immediately on a gameplan to implement his strategy of help for the few, not the many.

The Tories remain committed to a queue of unaffordable and uncosted tax cuts, including an ambition to cut the new top rate of tax – changes which could only come at the cost of deep, wide and immediate cuts to public services for the over-whelming majority of hard-working British families. Who said they’d changed..?