Chancellor Philip Hammond has given viewers the biggest laugh since Theresa May’s disastrous conference speech. And not in a good way.
In 2017’s autumn budget, Hammond came down tough on the national debt. But critics soon embarrassed him by highlighting one monumental flaw in his rhetoric.
He also tried to angle in a jab at the Labour Party towards the end, apparently referring to the global financial crash as “Labour’s crisis”. Even though former Tory chancellor George Osborne recently admitted that Labour didn’t cause the crash, saying the party actually “did what was necessary in a difficult situation”.
But that wasn’t what viewers chose to ridicule.
Damn governments, increasing the national debt. Actually, wait a second…
What critics seemed to pick up on the most was the fact that the national debt has actually sky-rocketed since 2010:
Good to see Hammond tackling the national debt as the people who were in power between 2010-2017 hugely increased it. #budget2017
— David Schneider (@davidschneider) November 22, 2017
And we all know which party came into power in 2010:
— Andrew Gwynne MP (@GwynneMP) November 22, 2017
.@Conservatives have missed every one of their economic targets over 7yrs of failed Tory austerity. Debt has nearly doubled. @PhilipHammondUK can live in a fairytale world where the economy is turning a corner, but with productivity flatlining, it just doesn’t add up #Budget2017.
— Laura Pidcock MP (@LauraPidcockMP) November 22, 2017
Marr : "What was the National Debt as a % of GDP when the Conservatives came into power?"
Philip Hammond: "about 60%"
Marr : "And where is it now?"
Philip Hammond: "A number starting with 8*"
Marr : "High 80's, that is a terrible record?"#Budget2017 #PMQspic.twitter.com/41EIk4OArw
— C0RBYNAT0R (@Corbynator2) November 22, 2017
Since the Tories came into power in 2010, they have doubled the national debt. The national debt now stands at £1.95 trillion and is growing at a rate of £5,170 a second. #Budget2017 pic.twitter.com/ko8hvas9gu
— James Melville (@JamesMelville) November 22, 2017
In fact, even the Institute for Fiscal Studies has suggested that the Conservatives adopt fiscal rules closer to Labour’s current ones.
A terrible record
Hammond can throw dodgy insults at Labour all he wants, but the Conservative record speaks for itself. Not only has the ruling party rocketed up the national debt and failed to meet numerous targets since taking power; it has done so while implementing a severe austerity package. And just last week, The Canary reported that:
- There have been around 120,000 excess deaths so far since 2010, and 100 more a day on the cards up to 2020.
- 18.9 million households in the UK are battling to survive on their income; 3.4 million more than were doing so in 2008/9.
- The tax dodging of the rich and powerful loses us up to £120bn per year, which is more than the entire NHS England budget. And while the government could potentially get a 9,600% return on investing more in tax enforcement, that’s just not happening. Instead, the Conservatives have given massive tax cuts to the very richest people since coming to power.
- The Institute for Public Policy Research says that: “Young people today are poorer than previous generations at the same age”; “The period from 2008 to 2021 will be the longest period of earnings stagnation for around 150 years”; “More workers are on low pay than 10 years ago”; and “Nearly a third of children – four million – live in poverty, and this figure is now rising again”.
That’s not a record to be proud of.
– As Oxford University’s Prof Danny Dorling recently told The Canary, “we don’t need the level of economic inequality we have”. There are alternatives. And current austerity policies are a choice, not a necessity. To fight back, support the People’s Assembly Against Austerity, and tell your MPs that you want an end to ideological cuts.
Featured image via YouTube
Fund our Investigations Unit
You can help us investigate corruption, expose injustice and uncover the truth.
As one of the only independent investigations units in the country, we work for you – but we need your help to keep going. We need to raise £10,000 to continue our groundbreaking investigations. Can you chip in?