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.