It is never easy to pick through the forest of information that surrounds the economic wellbeing or otherwise of the country. It is complicated, and further confused by the (often politically motivated) interpretation of these statistics by the politicians carrying out the policies delivering the numbers and their opponents, hell bent on uncovering the smoking gun of failure of said policies.
As reported in The Guardian:
“Less than three months after the Chancellor insisted in his autumn statement that the government’s austerity programme would ensure the budget deficit fell every year, the Office for Budget Responsibility signalled that lower tax receipts and higher spending meant it was unlikely that the borrowing forecasts would be met.”
Now, it is fair to say that to those who follow these things closely this doesn’t exactly come as an earth-shattering revelation, however, it is important to pay attention to the ramifications of this news.
Firstly, we must look at the individuals involved and ask whether these are the type of people to abandon their current methods and bow to the ‘spend more to grow’ crowd? Answer, probably not.
Secondly, given that it looks certain that the Treasury will miss their own end of year forecasts for reducing the debt, will they ask voters to live with the prospect of an ever-lengthening period of austerity? Answer, probably not.
Of course, we can see that the answers to these questions leave the current administration in something of a pickle. In political terms we are already painfully close to the next election and all sides will be starting to draw up their plans to try to hoodwink us voters as usual.
So, the Government is going to have to think of some new ideas pretty quickly. There is only so long that people can hear the “it will get better if we stay the course” mantra before they opt to give the other bloke a go.
As we have said many times before, the engine of growth (and it is only real growth that will get us out of this mess) is our entrepreneurial spirit, and yet the number of initiatives that have come from Downing Street to encourage our nation’s business owners is pitiful.
But we can take heart. In the end these people care deeply about being re-elected and in the cold, harsh glare of a speeding election bearing down on them we might actually start to see some action.