CHANCELLOR Osborne yesterday outlined ‘a Britain that is growing, creating jobs and paying its way’.
He added more Walter Mitty observations such as: ‘The latest projections show that living standards will be higher than when we came to office.’
However he warned that Britain was not the master of its fate. ‘So at this Budget, the OBR (Office for Budget Responsibility) have once again revised down the growth of the world economy, revised down the growth of world trade and revised down the prospects for the eurozone.
‘And they warn us that the current stand-off with Greece could be very damaging to the British economy.
‘I agree with that assessment. A disorderly Greek exit from the euro remains the greatest threat to Europe’s economic stability. It would be a serious mistake to underestimate its impact on the UK, and we urge our eurozone colleagues to resolve the growing crisis.’
He continued: ‘The fall in food prices is good for families; but it reminds us of the challenge our farmers face from volatile markets.’
The solution to the growing crisis is more and more austerity: ‘Compared to the Autumn Statement, welfare bills are set to be an average of £3 billion a year lower.
‘So today, the central judgement of this Budget is this: we will use the resources from the bank sales and the lower interest payments and the lower welfare bills to pay down the national debt.
‘We put economic security first … Five years ago, national debt was soaring. That’s why in my first Budget I set a target that we would have national debt falling as a share of GDP by 2015-16, the last year of this Parliament.
‘So the OBR reports today that debt as a share of GDP will fall from 80.4% in 2014-15; to 80.2% in the year 2015-16.
‘And it keeps falling to 79.8% in 2016-17; then down to 77.8% the following year, to 74.8% in 2018-19 before it reaches 71.6% in 2019-20.
‘The deficit falls to 4% in 2015-16; then down to 2% the following year; and down again to 0.6% the year after that. The deficit is lower in every year than at the Autumn Statement.’
He continued: ‘As we end the Parliament, we can measure the scale of the achievement. The administrative costs of central government will be down by 40%. We have legislated for welfare savings of over £21 billion a year.’
He continued: ‘National debt as a share of GDP is now falling.
‘We’ll only keep it falling if we commit to the fiscal path set out in this Budget. If we deviate from this path, if we go slower or borrow more, the national debt share will not keep falling – it will start rising again.
‘After all the hard work of the British people over the last five years to reach this point, that reversal would be a tragedy.
‘Britain is on the right track; we mustn’t turn back. And in order to deliver that falling debt share we need to achieve the £30 billion further savings that are necessary by 2017-18.
‘I am clear exactly how that £30 billion can be achieved. £13 billion from government departments.
‘£12 billion from welfare savings.
‘£5 billion from tax avoidance, evasion and aggressive tax planning.
‘We have done it in this Parliament; we can do it in the next.’
He continued to delude: ‘Within just fifteen years we have the potential to overtake Germany and have the largest economy in Europe … London is the global capital of the world, and we want it to grow stronger still.’
Nowhere in his speech did he deal with the issue of the NHS.
This is for the very good reason that the scale of the multi-billion cuts can only be achieved by higher taxation, and by privatising the entire NHS network! This is why the Tories must be kicked out and replaced by a workers government that will end capitalism by bringing in socialism.