My response to the Autumn Statement

I’ve changed the title of my blog to reflect my response to the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement delivered in Parliament today.

I’ll go back to being a beachcomber when we have rid ourselves of this wicked and deceitful government.

George Osborne tells us there is “no miracle cure”, but I’ve got one for him; or more precisely for his pals Danny Boy Alexander and Calamity Clegg – break this coalition now, and bring down this awful government before it’s too late.  Too late for the economy, too late for the environment, and too late to save the Lib Dems from oblivion at the next election that is.

If you won’t do it for the country then do it out of self-interest – but do it!

If David Cameron really believes that we are moving in the right direction then he’s a lot dumber than he looks.  Maybe he wasn’t paying attention during his Maths lessons at Eton, but the rest of us can read the numbers and the message is very clear.

“Osborne continues to ignore the growing chorus of advice that when you are in a hole you should stop digging. In deepening the cuts and prolonging austerity, in continuing investor uncertainty and taxation that favours the wealthy, he is sentencing more Britons to unemployment, more families to insecurity and debt, and more small businesses to death.” (Natalie Bennett, Leader of the Green Party of England and Wales) (Full statement at:

Let’s take a look at the Autumn Statement in a little more detail (from

The 3p-a-litre increase in fuel duty, planned for next January, is cancelled.  So Gorgeous George can go back to using his Jag (he turned up today in a Land Rover) and the environment can just deal with it; that and the Extra £1bn to roads.

But the real killer blow for the environment is Gas Strategy to include consultation on incentives for shale gas (that’s Fracking, Underground Coal Gasification (UCG) and Coal Bed Methane (CBM) to you and me).  More foreign companies making profits from despoiling the British countryside.  At least with the coalmines most of the money went to people within the UK!

Economic growth predicted to be –0.1% in 2012, down from 0.85 predicted in the Budget.  If things can change that much in six months, then how can we have any confidence in future forecasts (which don’t paint that rosy a picture anyway)?

Working age benefits, Child Benefit and Local Housing Allowance to increase by 1% per year. Likely to be well below inflation, resulting in greater child poverty and more people being evicted from their homes because they can’t afford the rent.

No new tax on property value. This was a flagship policy for the Lib Dems and ought to be a line in the sand for them.  They have lost on tuition fees, proportional representation and reform of the House of Lords.  So we are now bound to ask, what have the Lib Dems ever done for us?

Oh, there is the increase in tax allowances – Basic income tax threshold to be raised by £235 more than previously announces next year, to £9,440.  Against which we have to list the scrapping of the 50% tax rate: Threshold for 40% tax rate of income tax to rise by 1% in 2014 and 2015: Main rate of corporation tax to be cut by extra 1% jto 21% from April 2014, plus the scrapping of the next rise in fuel duty – all of which will benefit those on higher incomes.

Bradford and Bingley and Northern Rock Asset Management brought on to balance sheet, adding £70bn to national debt  – another hidden bail out for the bankers.

Government spending as share of GDP predicted to fall from 48% in 2009/10 to 39.5% in 2017/18. Bearing in mind that even on the government’s dodgy figures, economic growth is only predicted to rise to 2.8% by 2017, this is a massive further cut in public spending, the details of which we have not yet seen.

One clue to where the money might come from is Departments to reduce spending by 1% next year and 2% year after.  This is extra reductions based on the fact that some government departments have underspent this year.  So instead of treating the current underspend as a bonus, as any real economist would do, our Chancellor is treating it as income!

£1bn to improve good schools and build 100 new free schools and academies – all of which will be financed by the Education Budget, but outside of local authority control.  Basically public money going to fund private (i.e. profit making) schools.

Funding to assist building of up to 120,00 homes – don’t get too excited by this folks.  That’s private housing, most of which will probably be built on green belt land and areas at risk of flooding once they loosen up the planning rules.

Well, at least we can take comfort from the fact that we are all in this together – some of us more than others!


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About Mr KRoss

It's the same the whole world over; it's the poor what gets the blame; it's the rich what gets the money; ain' it all a bleedin' shame.
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