British capitalism not in ‘technical recession’. It is diving into a Great Depression!


YESTERDAY, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) produced figures on the state of the UK economy that showed it had fallen into a ‘technical recession’ at the end of last year.

According to official figures Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the total wealth created by the economy, fell by 0.3% in the final three months of 2023 compared to the previous three months during which GDP declined by 0.1%.
Two consecutive quarters of GDP falling is held by many economists to be a clear signal that recession is ruling the economy.
If these amounts of contraction appear tiny the Financial Times yesterday warned that: ‘The figures look worse taking into account the increase in the UK’s population.’
When population increase is factored in ‘Output per head contracted by 0.7% in 2023.’
This new focus on ‘output per head’ was further underlined on Sky News which said that GDP per head gave a clearer picture of the state of the economy ‘that adjusts for the growing population (very important in a country seeing record immigration flows) and gives you a better benchmark of economic progress, and on this front the news is undeniably grim’.
As the Sky report pointed out not only GDP per head fell by 0.7% in 2023 ‘it has fallen every quarter since Q2 2023 – the longest unbroken streak of negative GDP per head since comparable records began in 1955’.
This unbroken year-on-year fall in GDP signals this isn’t just some ‘technical recession’ that can be wished away with Tory and Labour pledges to ‘grow the economy’, there is no growth and this long period of decline is not a recession but an economic depression, that can no longer be disguised or written off as temporary.
The race is now on to place the blame for this crisis on the backs of workers, as can be seen in the sinister talk about migrant workers as a cause for the expansion in population, along with the 9.3 million ‘economically inactive’ workers and youth.
The ONS is leading this charge with its chief economist, Grant Fitzner, saying: ‘If more people were in work, consuming, producing, etcetera, we would have higher GDP numbers.’
Last week, David Miles, an executive member of the Organisation for Budget Responsibility (OBR) told The Daily Telegraph that the solution to the UK’s economic crisis was to drive workers back into low paid jobs by cutting benefits, slashing money spent on public services, and that legal migrant workers are a burden on British capitalism.
Where are all these high paid jobs that the ONS believes the 9.3 million people should be driven to take up, and with their mythical high wages go out on a spending spree that will ‘save’ British capitalism from recession and economic recession.
30,000 firms including large companies are predicted to go bust in 2024, unable to pay the interest on the mountain of debt they have taken on to survive.
By the ONS’s own statistics all main sectors of the economy have been plunged into crisis with manufacturing, construction and wholesale being hit the hardest.
While the ONS and OBR are busy scapegoating the sick and disabled for not taking on low paid jobs, and making veiled remarks about high levels of foreign workers being responsible for the decades-long slide from recession into economic depression, Tory Chancellor Jeremy Hunt is busy planning savage cuts to the NHS and public spending to fund tax cuts for the rich.
The unmistakable truth is that British capitalism is plunging headlong into a massive economic crisis and the ruling class are determined to take the working class down with it.
Now is the time for the powerful working class to demand that the TUC stop sitting back and observing as capitalism crashes and fight, by calling an immediate general strike to bring down the Tories and bring in a workers government and a socialist planned economy.
Those TUC leaders who refuse to fight must be removed and replaced with a new leadership prepared to lead the struggle to put an end to bankrupt capitalism with the victory of the British Socialist Revolution.