2015 Budget Bullshit

I might be a bit jaded at the moment, but I don’t have anything interesting or insightful to say about today’s Budget, so instead I’d though I’d just make some snarky comments instead.

I hate the language of politicians. They dumb down, make false equivalencies, and use slogans that just don’t make any sense. George Osborne (or whoever writes his speeches) is no exception. Here are some bullshit phrases he used today that particularly annoyed me.

1. “Today, I report on a Britain that is growing, creating jobs and paying its way.”

Line one. Bad start. “Paying its way” doesn’t really mean anything in the context of a nation state does it?

2. “Britain is walking tall again.”

I’ve already seen this line parroted by assorted Tories several times. Please stop.

3. “Today we make that critical choice: we choose the future.”

Obviously been watching Trainspotting again. I suppose he thinks Labour would say “We chose not to choose the future; we chose something else.” He goes a mental for the next few lines doing the full PF Project track.

4. “Real Household Disposable Income per capita.”

Osborne wants to say that living standards are higher than they were 5 years ago. You would bloody well hope so, but the only way he can say this is to define living standards using the tortuous formulation above.

5. “We will also use this opportunity to lock in the historically low interest rates for the long term.

I can tell the House that we will increase the number of long-dated gilts that we sell.”

Maybe someone smarter than me can tell me why this is a good idea. If you can borrow short term at real rates close to zero, why would you borrow at higher rates over a longer period?

6. “Lower inflation means lower interest charges on government gilts.”

This sounds like bullshit. Perhaps someone could confirm?

7. “We’d be spending money we didn’t really have.”

The UK government never “doesn’t have money”. What is he talking about?

8. “The hard work and sacrifice of the British people has paid off.”

Well done British people!

9. “The sun is starting to shine – and we are fixing the roof.”

My old favourite, an analogy that has no relevance here.

10. “So the OBR report today that debt as a share of GDP falls from 80.4% in 2014-15; to 80.2% in the year 2015-16.”

I’d like to see the sums on this one. I reckon there’s some serious creative accounting going on (not that it matters in the slightest).

That’s only half the speech covered. I could go one, but I’ve kind of lost the will. There was a load of stuff about “rewarding savers”, which is generally a terrible idea for capitalist economies which rely on spending not saving, particularly when the government plans to continue to tighten it’s belt. We can’t all do so at the same time! Any way, a lot to hate in Osborne’s speech. 50 more days or so and it will all be over.

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9 thoughts on “2015 Budget Bullshit

  1. Lower inflation means they have to pay out less increment on Indexed Linked Gilts, which feeds into lower private pension increases (since the only reason to have indexed linked gilts in the first place is to back private pensions).

  2. It may be a faint hope, but possibly the hyperbole was just too overdone this time. People who compare this to their real situation will see through it. The question is whether the real world manages to percolate through the at-best unquestioning, at-worst triumphal, media.

    BTW, isn’t “walking tall” a straight rip-off of Ronald Reagan?

  3. I’m just listening to Robert Peston describing a 4% increase in spending after sequential years of 5% decreases as “a feast”. Is he innumerate?

  4. Isn’t this just what Reagan did exactly? Austerity at the start of the term, not at the end, benefit from falling oil prices, although there was no inflation excuse here.
    BTW, ‘rewarding savers’ means ‘policies that support older (Tory) voters.’
    View the land price bubble and pensioner bonds (!!!) in the same light.
    The stop banging your head against the wall and it stops hurting party are likely to win.

  5. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again I’ll go ballistic if anybody (including the Gidiot) assumes my vote can be bought, because I’m on a pension. By anything or anyone. There may be some out there who will benefit from these savings schemes, or even the bond issue, but that doesn’t mean they (or I) will go all weak at the knees in the polling booth. It’s totally insulting.

    (I know that as you point out, murdering of the English language in the appalling speech by GO is enough to drive any one of us to distraction, but I needed to say it.)

  6. None of it makes any sense to me – which I suppose is the norm for most people. I do know that Gidiot lied all the way through as we all knew he would.

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