Week 9: Villain – George Osborne

by Jackie_South on February 28, 2016

Tory_cuts_villainThis week, the Chancellor of the Exchequer is our villain for announcing new spending cuts

This week, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced that the state of the world economy necessitated even further spending cuts, on top of those announced last year.

Observers of Gideon Osborne may have noted a pattern here. When it is politically opportune – perhaps with an election in the offing or when he judges it right to cut taxes for the rich – the economy is found to be doing better than expected. Then when he wants to introduce cuts or to signal an economic threat to bolster his position, it goes in the other direction.

So it was no surprise that in the first week of the referendum campaign for remaining in the European Union, Gideon tells us all that the economy looks rocky and we cannot risk the economic instability that Brexit would create. Oh, and he’ll be cutting public services and welfare to boot on the back of it. His talk about economic “storm clouds” is all there to pave the way for a brutal budget next month.

Of course, despite all his talk about “we can only afford what we can afford” he won’t be using the downturn to reverse tax cuts for the rich, to trim Tory vanity projects or to ditch the financially irresponsible plans to renew Trident. He won’t be taxing bankers’ bonuses or introducing a Robin Hood tax. He will be cutting public services used by millions and benefits to our most needy.

No chancellor has overseen so many economic false starts as Osborne. His tenure as Chancellor has been an economic roller-coaster ride. But it isn’t his stomach left churning as we plummet yet again.

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