‘I HAVE a very clear warning: last year was the worst for global growth since the crash and this year opens with a dangerous cocktail of new threats from around the world,’ Tory Chancellor Osborne said yesterday.
He made his warning in a speech delivered in Cardiff, where he made the case for permanent austerity and cuts, making it clear the Tory programme of savage job cuts, privatisation of the public services and mass closures had only just begun. He said: ‘For Britain the only antidote for that is confronting complacency, delivering the plan that we have set out.
‘Anyone who thinks that it is “mission accomplished” for the British economy is making a grave mistake. 2016 is the year where we can get down to work and make the lasting changes that Britain so badly needs or it will be the year we look back at as the beginning of the decline. This year quite simply the economy is “mission critical” and we have to finish the job.’
Labour shadow chancellor John McDonnell blamed the government’s ‘failed economic policies’ for the threats facing the economy. It’s a cocktail of his own mixture – failing to invest, failing to rebalance the economy, relying upon consumer debt to boost the economy for an election victory and now we’re facing our own lethal cocktail within our own economy.
‘He’s getting his excuses in early for the problems that he’s caused that will now unfortunately hit upon many families across the country, especially if interest rates are increased during the year.’
Only last November, in his Autumn statement, Osborne claimed the UK economy was going from strength to strength.
The GMB said: ‘For the Chancellor now to warn so soon after his sunny forecast that the outlook may be bleak and gloomy could be him preparing the ground for yet another failure to meet targets. GMB members have not forgotten that George Osborne utterly failed to meet the growth and revenue targets he set for the economy in 2010. They are still paying the price in pay freezes and pay cuts.’
• The World Bank has warned of a ‘perfect storm’ threatening the global economy. It warned yesterday that the so-called ‘emerging economies’ like Brazil and India are going to be plunged into recession this year.
It states that the traditional BRICS nations – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, have suffered a ‘simultaneous slowdown’ for the first time in nearly 30 years. As a whole, the developing world underwent its worst year since the onset of the global recession, growing by just 4.3% in 2015.
‘The contribution to global growth from these economies has declined substantially,’ said the report. The World Bank went on to warn that any unexpected economic shock or a renewed bout of market volatility could lead to spiralling debt costs and a new world economic crash.
Meanwhile, stockmarkets continued to fall yesterday with Wall Street falling more than 1% and European shares down about 2% in late afternoon trading. The Germany’s Dax was worst affected, down 2.54% at 9,954.57, while France’s Cac-40 was down 1.8% at 4,399.63.