Do you know why our standard of living is improving so rapidly? It’s because of the government’s “long term economic plan”. Let me just say it again:”long term economic plan”. And again:”long term economic plan”. The government’s “long term economic plan” is working.
David Cameron said it again this morning when asked about the state of the nation. Britain is booming, he didn’t quite say, but might as well have, and this is because of…oh, shut up!
I am not an ecomonist. Much of the jargon leaves me cold, but the basis of Cameron’s argument was clear: we are heading for “The Good Life”. The basis of his argument was that “Labour left £740bn of debt, and we have halved it to only £1.5tn in 4 years, a sign our economic plan is working”. Well, that makes sense. The government has halved the national debt by doubling it.
He added that the government had halved the deficit, which is a completely different thing, but that’s only partly true because George Osborne changed the way of measuring the deficit halfway through the last parliament. We are, announced the PM, we are borrowing less more than we did before. Confused? You’re supposed to be. It is like “Yes Minister” where Jim Hacker told Sir Humphrey Appleby to cut the unemployment figures, so he did: he cut the figures by changing the war they were calculated. What’s true and what’s fiction?
“What we are going to do next is to take the axe to welfare,” Cameron didn’t add. “Everyone on benefits, apart from old people who vote, is a scrounger. People in work need more money, so what we are going to do is get rid of their tax credits in order to enable them to have less. We will sweeten the pill by raising the tax allowances which actually benefit the better off than those at the bottom and we will raise the minimum wage by 5p an hour sometime before the next general election. We are all in this together, the disabled need to stand on their own two feet, even if they have less than two feet. Our long term economic plan blah blah blah.”
I am not sure standards of living are improving at all for many people and for the very lowest paid and those on zero hour contracts, any changes would be minimal. If your wages increase from £6.50 an hour to £6.55, you will not be going out to buy that Ferrari, or even a puncture repair kit for your bicycle.
But anyway, don’t worry. The “long term economic plan” is cutting the deficit and halving the national debt by doubling it. Of course it doesn’t make any sense, but don’t expect anyone in the media to point out the contradictions and absurdities of government policy.
Let’s leave it to the politicians, eh? They know best and even if they don’t, they’ll just go and do what they want anyway. It’s still a free country if you can afford it unless you believe, as I do, that in reality we live in an elective dictatorship where people have zero influence on how their country is run and for whom. That, for me, is the underlying reason why people feel disenfranchised from the political class who act as if we were there to serve them and not the other way round.