Marr just told one of the biggest lies of the pandemic, and it could impact all of us

Andrew Marr looking smug
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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.

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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:

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.

But why would Marr, much of the corporate media, and the Tories keep lying about borrowing?

More cuts coming?

SNP MP Angus MacNeil took Marr’s lie to a possible conclusion. As he tweeted:

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

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  • Show Comments
    1. MMT
      And I’m a socialist, the question is ‘how much is your money worth’ at the moment
      The answer is look at interest rates, its less than nothing as interest rates are now negative
      Your money is worth less than nothing, how long can we continue to live in this economic La La Land
      Murphy needs to come back on and give us his prediction on when the bubble bursts and what happens after that
      For the record it was Brown and Obama that bailed out the banks, so for the first time in history the creditors had their sorry arses saved not the debtors

    2. Lies and economics in the M$M seem to go hand-in-hand – certainly when it comes to ‘reasons for austerity (only for the common people, of course)’ – Here is an interesting snippet from ‘Jubilee Debt Campaign UK’ website regarding Britain’s debt;
      “The UK government’s debt is 100% of national income, but of this one-third is owed to the UK government itself – the Bank of England – and another 45% is owed to other people and companies in the UK, such as pension funds and savers. Only 20% is owed outside the UK, and the UK government’s debt payments outside the country are just 3% of its revenue, one of the lowest levels of any ‘rich’ country.

      Since the global financial crisis of 2008, and even more so since the coronavirus crisis began, the UK government has been able to borrow at record low interest rates (0.1% fixed for 10 years in mid-2020) making it the perfect time to invest in measures such as public housing and renewable energy which will save money over time.

      However, the debt of the UK’s private sector is very worrying. Between the late-1980s and 2008 the debt of the private sector grew from 200% of national income to 500%. This huge debt, especially that of banks, helped cause the financial crisis of 2008. It then fell to 400% of national income, but was rising before the coronavirus crisis.”
      – The Eton boys and their ex-army mates plus Starmers troupers (the spelling is intentional ‘cos it’s a f**king pantomime) won’t reveal this when they fit the financial straight-jacket alongside the maa-sks…

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