10 May 2007

"Look At Our Economy"

Our past-his-'use by date' prime minister today challenges us to "Look at our economy":

  • The highest borrowing costs among the Group of Seven (G7) nations — Interest rates at their highest for six years (not a bad record since Labour continued Conservative economic policy for Blair's first years in power)
  • Inflation rate at its highest since before 1997
  • Quarterly house-price inflation above 10 percent
  • Record numbers of repossessions and people filing for bankruptcy
  • Unsecured consumer debt in excess of £1 trillion
  • International competitiveness down from fourth to thirteenth
  • A spiralling trade deficit, now at more than £55billion (compared with a trade surplus in 1997)
  • Productivity in the public sector down 10% overall — down 15-20% in health and education
  • 1.2 million 16 to 24-year-olds not in education, employment or training (NEET) — twice as many as are classified as unemployed
  • 2.7 million recipients of incapacity benefit (not counted in the supposedly record low unemployment figures), 1.8 million of whom are thought to be physically capable of returning to work
  • A third of households now dependent on the state for at least half their income
  • UK pensions, once the envy of the world, now decimated after Brown rejected warnings about the consequences of his pensions plunder
  • More than 110 tax rises in Tony's ten years, costing every family an extra £1,300 each year
  • The poorest fifth of households £531 per year worse off and the next poorest fifth £427 worse off than they would have been under the 1997 tax and welfare system
  • Number of households living on under £100 per week up from one million in 1997 to 1.5 million
Perhaps we shouldn't look too closely after all...


Steve said...

As Jeff Randall puts it: "Blair came into the job as Teflon Tony, the man on whom no bad news would stick. He goes out as Asbestos Anthony. We thought he was fire-proof, but he turned out to be a malign presence, whose damaging effects will only become fully apparent years after his departure. As his regime's carcinogenic fibres flake into the system, our disunited kingdom will pay a heavy price."

Doug said...

Gerard Baker writes in the National Review: "He leaves Britain a more prosperous, more dynamic, and more open society than when he arrived. Unfortunately, he can claim little credit for that. Britain’s success came in spite of Labor’s efforts not because of them. He spent most of his last five years trying to undo the mistakes of his first five, largely failing to roll back the bloated state and higher taxes Labor imposed when they came in."

Doug said...

In the same NRO Symposium, Charlie Wolf says public spending has risen "an incredible 7.8-percentage points since 2000 to 45.3 percent of GDP with little to show for it."