Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Don't Bet on Osborne to Stay Put as Economy Plummets

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Don't Bet on Osborne to Stay Put as Economy Plummets

Article excerpt

Byline: Russell Lynch

[bar] ERE'S an interesting proposition for any City punters who lost out betting on yesterday's spectacularly bad GDP figures: how about recouping the losses with a wager on George Osborne to lose his job by the next election? David Cameron and George Osborne are as tight as they come: a world away from the Blair-Brown wars which scarred the Labour years. But the Chancellor's political stock has declined dramatically this year after a dire Budget, against the backdrop of an economy shrinking for the past nine months. And these political boys can be ruthless. Throw in the increasing chatter about the merits of Philip Hammond as a potential custodian of the red Budget box, Vince Cable's belief in himself as a good future Chancellor and the IMF calling for a change of course and suddenly that 7/4 offered on Osborne getting the chop begins to appeal.

The growth figures were always going to be poor, but a 0.7% decline was beyond the wildest fears of most. Even stripping out the 0.5% hit which was expected from the extra Jubilee bank holiday, the economy is shrinking.

Embarrassingly for the Chancellor -- albeit because of the extra day off -- manufacturing knocked 0.2 percentage points off the economy. Remember the "march of the makers" from last year's Budget? He doesn't mention it much now.

Most damningly of all, the estimates showed our economy is now smaller than when the Coalition took office in the second quarter of 2010. Apologists may point to blizzards, tsunamis and royal weddings, record rainfall and the Jubilee. The quarterly figures have been choppy to say the least, and they might be revised up in the future. But over the longer term, it's not the British weather that's wrecking the recovery. There's no getting around the fact there's been no progress in two years -- in fact we're getting closer to the trough rather than pulling away from it. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.