Andrew Marr just repeated one of the biggest lies of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. What’s worse, it’s one that could help the Tories put in place more austerity.
On your marks… get set… LIE!
Chancellor Rishi Sunak was on the Andrew Marr Show on Sunday 28 February. His slot was ahead of the budget on 3 March. But before Sunak even spoke, Marr was already spreading propaganda for him. Because in his intro, he said:
Now, my final guest is a man who’s borrowed almost £300bn: the chancellor of the exchequer Rishi Sunak.
#Marr compounding one of the biggest lies of the pandemic: that the Tories have "borrowed" £300bn. Clear paving of the way by the government and corporate media for increasing austerity #TheAndrewMarrShow pic.twitter.com/xZvAPV0wrg
— Steve Topple (@MrTopple) February 28, 2021
And that’s it. That’s the lie right there. Because Marr claiming the Tories have “borrowed almost £300bn” is simply not true.
Marr’s lie, unpicked
Tax expert Richard Murphy was straight on it. He tweeted that:
How many times this week will we hear the lie that the government has borrowed £300bn to pay for Covid? It hasn’t. It has issued debt, but then immediately repurchased it using new money created by the Bank of England. This debt has already been repaid in that case, for good.
— Richard Murphy (@RichardJMurphy) February 28, 2021
Murphy is so ‘irritated‘ by this lie that he did a video. In it, he says:
There is nothing owing to anyone. How do I know? Because the bills have been settled.
He then says that the Tories have already paid the £300bn off:
with money created by the Bank of England [BoE], which was used to buy government bonds, which bonds were issued by the Treasury simultaneously with their repurchase – in effect to fund the deficits that were required to ensure that government could continue to provide its services despite the collapse in tax revenues… How many bonds have been issued? Roughly £300bn… How many bonds have been repurchased by the Bank of England on behalf of the Treasury? Roughly £300bn… What is the consequence of that repurchase? That the Bank of England has injected roughly… £300bn worth of new money into the economy
£300bn: where’s it come from, and gone to?
So, where has this £300bn gone? Murphy says it’s gone:
either into savings, and savings have risen by roughly £300bn this year; in such things as stocks, shares, and other things, or in cash. Now, that is the end of it. There is no further bill to pay.
So Marr was either lying, or he doesn’t get basic economics. Let’s say it’s the latter. To be clear for Marr’s benefit: what Murphy is saying, simply put, is this. The Tories just got their mates at the BoE to print a load of money. End of.
More cuts coming?
SNP MP Angus MacNeil took Marr’s lie to a possible conclusion. As he tweeted:
#Marr introduces Chancellor Sunak as having "borrowed" £300billion asking will he continue "borrowing".
Charade goes further as #Marr bellows "borrow borrow borrow"
Actually most of it was "monetary financing" or "printing cash" not borrowing from anyone!#AusterityCausingTV
— Angus B MacNeil MP (@AngusMacNeilSNP) February 28, 2021
His #AusterityCausingTV hashtag is apt. Because this £300bn lie could well pave the way for more cuts to public spending and/or tax rises. That is, the Tories could bring in more austerity.
And we’ve already seen a bit of it, because the Tories have made a real terms cut to some public sector workers’ pay. This, and any future cuts, are based on a lie that we owe someone £300bn. We don’t. So, for Marr to say otherwise, is him being complicit in this sham.
Featured image via The BBC
We need your help to keep speaking the truth
Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.
Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.
We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.
In return, you get:
* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop
Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.
With your help we can continue:
* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do
We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?