+0.3% growth is no cause for celebration

by Charlie_East_West on April 25, 2013

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The whooping and hollering coming from the Treasury today can be heard from John O’Groats to Land’s End. George bloody Osborne has gone and done it. He has fixed our economy. According to the first estimates from the Office of National Statistics, the UK has shown +0.3% growth figures from quarter 1 in 2013. We can all sleep easy tonight as our economy is motoring. Gideon has slayed the spectre of a triple dip recession. Gideon has saved us all!

Osborne crowed earlier today that, “today’s figures are an encouraging sign the economy is healing. Despite a tough economic backdrop, we are making progress. We all know there are no easy answers to problems built up over many years, and I can’t promise the road ahead will always be smooth, but by continuing to confront our problems head on, Britain is recovering and we are building an economy fit for the future.”

But, before we all go out and open a bottle of champagne and spray it around in joyous celebration, we need to have a little word with Mr Osborne.

The unpalatable truth is that if Osborne is celebrating missing an unprecedented triple dip recession by a whisker, it clearly shows the complete and utter failure of this government’s economic policy.

+0.3% growth in quarter 1 of 2013? A tally-ho celebration for Gideon and his chums? In the words of Jim Royle – “my arse.”

The economy is still 2.6% below its peak in early 2008 when the recession began. And, the economy is no bigger now than it was 18 months ago. And, most of the austerity measures have still to really bite. And, unemployment went up by 70,000 last month. And, according to the IMF, Britain hovers just above the relegation zone in the global league table for predicted growth in 2013.

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So, George Osborne, before you and your treasury chums put your feet up and light up that giant Cuban cigar in smug celebration, please remember that you are basically celebrating an economy that is still flatlining, and you have presided over the slowest recovery for 100 years.

Perhaps he should remember his own words back in 2010. Just look at the actual UK growth figures v projections since Osborne’s Spending Review/Emergency Budget in 2010. Perhaps it is time for Osborne to put that cigar back in the humidor.

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