Monday, October 03, 2011

Yet more fantasy...

George Osborne: prat. [Yes, yes, I know—but he's not even worth a decent swearword.]

Yesterday, it was reported that little Georgie Osborne was pledging to "inject unspent money into capital projects".
The chancellor of the exchequer is working on pooling unspent money from across Whitehall to inject into extra capital projects to kickstart the economy, the Guardian has learned.

George Osborne has earmarked spending that Whitehall departments have failed to meet—further to a £500m pot already created by his Lib Dem colleagues—which will be redirected to "really useful projects, capital R, capital U," one Conservative cabinet minister told the Guardian.

Really? Well, tonight, the BBC has a rather different story to tell...
A council tax freeze in England will be extended to 2012/13 under plans to be unveiled by the chancellor on Monday.

The £805m move will be paid for by a Whitehall "underspend", aides said.

The government cannot force councils to freeze bills—but it is offering to give those which limit spending rises to 2.5% the money they need.

Wow. Thank goodness for that "underspend", eh?

But I thought that it was going to be spent on "capital projects"? Funnelling more money to councils in order to shore up their expenditure is not, by any definition, "capital projects".

In any case, as I pointed out somewhat vociferously yesterday, there is no fucking "underspend".
What "unspent money", George? Your Coalition has borrowed more money in the last year than any government in history; the structural deficit is bigger than ever, and you have reduced this country's debt by precisely bugger all.

Approximately £180 billion of the cash that you are burning through this year is money that you didn't have in the first place, you fucking cock.

Repeat after me, George: there is no "underspend", because you are overspending by about £500 million every damn day.

As it happens, I would rather that Georgie used the money to avert tax rises than squander it on a pointless high-speed rail link or a fucking statue of a giant ice-cream or something, but even so...


Anonymous said...

Amazing what you can save on the occasional packet of Bourbons.

Old BE said...

If there is a genuine departmental underspend of even a penny then that marks quite an impressive turnaround in culture.

What you do with the "proceeds" is, as you say, a matter of priority.

However I do take some issue with your implication that the government should be cutting spending so quickly that it should already be running a surplus. I'm not particular fan of Keynes but wouldn't that cause rather a chaotic period before the private sector exploded to fill the space?

I'm all for reducing the size of the state but surely taking it slowly is actually quite sensible otherwise people will just rebel and vote Labour in again.

MattG said...

When Cameron took office he had a responsibility to make it clear to the public that we are in DEEP shit with our public (and personal) finances due to excessive borrowing. He could have made an incredibly strong, incredibly scary case for massive slashes in public spending without resorting any hyperbole and could have found plenty of economists to back him up. It would have been sooooo easy spending a couple of months tearing Labour MPs and union leaders apart on TV using nothing more than cold, hard facts.

Not only would this have given him a strong platform for taking the severe action needed to tackle the debt but it would have also made Labour unelectable for a generation when people realised how they had been deceived and screwed.

Unfortunately he didn't do that. After having spent over a year twatting about at the fringes of the economy and making a very poor case against previous spending he is now painted into a corner politically. He couldn't get away with doing the right thing even if he wanted to now (which he obviously doesn't).

To be honest, I'm having an increasingly hard time believing that all the politicians in all the western nations do not realise what they are doing and the inevitable result of compulsive money borrowing, spending and printing. I mean, I'm never usually one to underestimate the incompetence of public servants, but surely they MUST be doing this on purpose? After all, it's not like they all run their personal finances like this is it?

I know some folk say it's to try and usher in a single world currency, but that doesn't really jive with what's happening with the Euro does it? Once that sinks, multi national currencies will be a VERY hard sell.

Anyone have any ideas what their motives are, or am I just giving them too much credit?

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