back to article Give Osborne a shovel: UK economy stuck in deep hole

The "debt storm" currently circling above the Eurozone is to blame for the gloomy state of the British economy, said the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, who delivered his autumn statement to the House of Commons today. "Borrowing is falling, debt will come down, it's not happening as quickly as we wished... but we …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Are Labour paying the author?

    Seriously., the last three articles you've put include fallacies such as raiding a pension pot, when no such thing is happening.

    Is the author trolling, on the pay of the Labour party, or just deluded?

    Sure it's not going as well as hoped, but what does this "other direction" that the opposition keep speaking about actually involve. They won't give any details other than keep borrowing, to spend more, to get us into more debt.

    That's not going to work either, and if you look at Europe, it really isn't going to work.

    So, perhaps something less biased next time.

    Not that I support any of the career politicians out there, but it's a bit odd when an author strays so far from neutral, that the news itself isn't even slightly accurate.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      And may I say: "Better Dead Than Red!"

      1. BenR

        "Better anything than that toupee!"

        ... in the immortal words of Arnold Judas Rimmer.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The article is 90% just reporting government statements with a brief 10% from the opposition for 'balance' . How can this be pro-labour bias?

      Actually I think the OBR predictions are unreasonably optimistic so know I think the news is inaccurate but this is the governmenst not the authors fault.

      If we judge the government against it's own forecasts then by it's own statements it has failled massively. I fail to see how observations that the government has utterly failed to achieve it's own objectives shows political bias.

    3. Arctic fox
      Thumb Down

      RE:"Are Labour paying the author?"

      Reading between the lines I get the feeling that despite the standard saloon bar caveat in your last sentence you have at least as particular and partisan a political view as you are accusing the author of having. The kind of caveat that is always prefaced with "I'm not political but.....". Funny that, hmm?

    4. TheOtherHobbbes

      Do you also think

      the OECD are Labour voters? Because they seem seriously unimpressed with George 'No exotic hobbies' Osborne so far.

      Sometimes it's time to put partisan bias to one side and look the facts in the face - Little Georgie's genius policies are going to be a disaster for everyone in the UK... except perhaps his banker and corporate chums, who will carry on being supported financially by everyone else, as they have been since they caused the meltdown in 2008.

      See also inexplicable tax waivers for Voda and Goldman Sachs, no Tobin Tax for the City - which surely can't afford it, on a turnover of a mere few trillion a day - and no cap on welfare handouts from Europe to the UK's richest landowners.

      And, sadly for the rest of us, etc.

      We can all be pleased that teachers' pensions are the real cause of the UK's imminent economic meltdown, and that they're in no way a misdirection from the real issues.

      (But then teachers don't usually buy themselves MPs or offer well-paid non-executive directorships after an important and newsworthy political career - so why should anyone care what happens to them?)

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Authors straying from neutral ...

      ... on El Reg? Never.

      I'd insinuate something here, but boy does he wield his moderator's pen with gay abandon.

  2. Robert E A Harvey

    This is not a comment.

    I really don't dare to comment for fear of being so abusive I get arrested

  3. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Not borrowing

    "had an agreement with two pension funds to unlock £20bn of investment for the National Infrastructure Plan"

    So that's unlocking not borrowing

    1. Gordon 10


      Pension fund invest their money that's their main function to help grow our pension pots. . If Osbourne has influenced where that investment goes - fair play to him.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        and it's called debt

        Pension funds invest their money for a positive return.

        They do this by buying government bonds and the government then owes them the money + interest back - this is called government debt.

        Hiding government debt by calling it something else, so that your country looks better off and other people are willing to lend to you at lower rates, is what Greece was doing - remember?

        1. crowley

          No, it's called investment

          The return will be on the profits of what they invest in.

          They will own it, so they get the profits.

          If it was government borrowing, it would be publicly owned, and the government would take the return on the investment to pay back the loan plus profit.

          Quite why pensions would see, say HS2 as a worthwhile investment I'm not sure...

          ...though, to pay tribute to your cynicism, it may be the government intends to sign contracts which enslave us taxpayers to underwrite the investment and ensure they at least won't make a loss. And, of course, our pensions won't be worth shit anyway - but while their mates are creaming off fund management fees we'll be told it's vital to protect our futures.

          No wonder gipsies laugh at us.

          1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Revenge of the return of son of PPI

            I have a great scheme, I buy people's houses form them for half their value and then rent them back to them for 99 years at twice their mortgage payment - in a stroke reducing UK indebtedness by billions

  4. Mme.Mynkoff

    A £7m Data Strategy Board?

    Did I dream there was election and Gordon Brown is still the Prime Mentalist?

    Meet the new boss - same as the old boss

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not a huge fan of Osborne, but the headline and subheader of this almost make me want to back him. Reads like the output of an angry blogger letting off steam.

  6. mmm mmm

    Personally, I'm sick of hearing about this. Put Ozzy Osbourne in charge and give out free bags of class a. It might not heal the so-called debt crisis but it'll stop them banging on about it and it'll make me feel less confrontational as well.

  7. dotdavid
    Thumb Up

    Network rail?

    "DfT will work with the Network Rail and the transport industry to make real-time running data available from (April 2012). "

    Brilliant news if they can pull it off - Network Fail are determined to keep hold of their data, and make it prohibitively expensive for most small development shops to use it (hence the general lack of train timetable apps on the smartphone platforms). If this works it will lead to tonnes more competition which is good for us put-upon commuters.

  8. Kerry Hoskin


    So after my pay freeze for 2yrs I'll be getting 1% for 2yr's then taking account of my increased pension contributions from April 2012 I think it'll work out that I won't have a pay rise for something like 5 yrs. And of course us civil service workers always had such BIG pay rises when the country was doing well, I don’t think I have EVER in 14yrs had a pay rise of over 3.5%.

    Of course the pub beer garden next to my house full of p*ss heads drinking nearly all day, will still be full all year round while I go to work at 7am and get home at 7pm. The only difference is they’ll have their “pay rise” of 5.2%

    1. Natalie Gritpants

      Here's hoping you keep your job for the next five years. If you don't like it you can always quit and let someone else have it, maybe that would be fairer.

      P.S. It sounds like you have a two hour commute in each direction, maybe you should move home/employer. 1.5 hours each way is my limit. above that and I stay away some nights.

      1. Kerry Hoskin

        jobs going too

        well this is the thing public sector job losses are also expected to hit over 700,000. I live in Cornwall so don't want to move (lived in the village all my life, one of the few these days!), but unless you want to work in a gift shop or a care home you need to commute to Plymouth for a better job, and the commute is 1.5 hours.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      .. ha!! Cheeky Sod!

      Nice that you are actually GETTING a payrise - some of us in the Private Sector have to PAY for YOU to get that rise, in the mean time not getting ANYTHING!

      Oh, and my heart bleeds for your 'increased pension contributions'.. sorry, that should read REALISTIC pension contributions.

      What's that I hear? You calling for ANOTHER COUNTRY CRIPPLING STIRKE?!

      Get into the real world, and understand that we need to PAY for services with something called MONEY... Unfortunately, Brown lied through his teeth when he said there will be no more "Boom or Bust".. Instead he nearly bankrupted us.


      1. Kerry Hoskin

        news for you mate, I'm not in the Union so won't be going on strike, not all of us in the public sector are loony lefty pinkos. And on the issue of the strike, not very good timing this announcement, how to piss off public sector workers even more than they are already! I wonder how many will volunteer to cover boarder agency staff now!?

        More news for you too, try comparing rates of pay within the professions in the civil service with the private sector (including us in IT) Think you’ll find private sector professionals do very nicely compared to their civil service colleagues. Bet your bolloxs that an HEO or SEO lawyer, accountant or IT Pro won’t be getting as good a package as a lawyer in law firm or an accountant or one of us in a private sector company. We might get a good pension but do we get other perks? health care, ermmm no, do we get nice bonuses, ermmmm no, do we get a company car ermmmm no, do we ever get large pay awards, errrmmmmm no, do we get decent expense allowances ermmmmm no, do we actually get much in the way of perks, ermmmm no. And how about career progression, my wife works for a large corporate (3M) in the past 6 years she’s had 2 promotions, I’ve had 1 in 14 yr’s and had to go through hoops to get that!

      2. deadlift

        Well let's see... I pay my full share of tax, unlike so many "captains of industry" in the private sector, thereby contributing to my own salary. I'm also in the *third* year of frozen pay.

        Next time you want to bash a public sector worker, I hope you're not on the operating table of an NHS hospital.

    3. Armando 123

      Seriously, fella?

      The only times in the last twelve years I've had a pay raise over 1% was when I left for another job. And I'm guessing that you in the civil service haven't been laid off in that time. (Just a wild stab in the dark.)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        oh yes we have

        Actually since 1999 we've had two rounds of redundancies and the business has become a charity, so now only around 40% of us are still civil service employees. So your stab in the dark is a bit off

  9. TRT Silver badge
    IT Angle

    The generosity of the man!

    A 5.2% rise for most former public sector workers, to be rolled out across the entire sector.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Reduce the pork!

    "The Register was told on Monday that medical research and digital technology would get a cash injection from the chancellor, with Silicon Roundabout leading the way in the hope of achieving Prime Minister David Cameron's ambition of creating a new Skype or Apple."

    I doubt that the Estonians (nor the Etonians!) shovelled cash at Skype in the early stages, and the financial details of Apple's founding is well-known and recently reported, so let us not see easy cash shovelled to chums of the government - there's already enough of that going on.

    More transparency is welcome, however, but the institutions should not be tempted to "monetize" their data at the expense of the people whom the data describes, such as in the case of patient records. More access to decent data for research? Yes! Patenting discoveries from such data in the usual "technology transfer" cream-skimming exercises, only to see the State paying more for treatments? No thank you!

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ed Balls....

    ...that name rings a bell.

    Isn't he one of the clowns who helped create the deficit black-hole in the first place?

    Here's an idea Ed: shut the fuck up.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Tories out in force

    Seems the global conservative blogging army is hard at work today on damage limitation and trying to put a positive spin on as usual.....hopefully our nation doesn;t buy the BS as the Canadians did and give a liar and wannabe dictator an absolute majority despite being found in contempt of parliament ie all out non stop lying and corruption.

    Hmmmm sounds strangely familiar actually....what was that Gideon said last year about being back on the right we have next to zero growth and likely in the real world outside of the city of london, negative growth.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Canadians..? Surely, you mean Greek?

      ... Last time I checked with the family over in Canada, the budget cuts have been a resounding success and they are slowly picking up where they left off after being left with one hell of a deficit. It was good that they BELIEVED the "BS" (as you say), or else they would be in the same mess as the Eurozone.

      Guessing you sway towards The Dangerous Party who have no clue, aspirations, or experience in this matter.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Do me a favour. The noisy left are just as bad; you had your go for 13 years and managed to fuck us all in the private sector and now you are trying to fuck us all again with frankly pie-in-the-sky demands.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "fuck us all in the private sector"

        Because that's where the action is!

        Sheesh, you all sound like squabbling Britards. Did Labour fuck the private sector (in the private sector?) any more than the Tories are doing now? I doubt it. Both parties have failed to attempt the structural changes necessary beyond a slash-and-burn of the country's assets and some tax breaks to various favoured industries. Add the delusional consumer culture and you don't have to be a Nobel prizewinner to see how the economic disaster has come about (apart from the clearly fraudulent nature of that precious finance industry and the effect of its wrongdoings, that is).

        Meanwhile, education is neglected as always - I agree with the angry sentiments of teachers who have to suffer a pension "haircut" alongside the generally shitty wages (although the latter is not just a British problem) - and everyone laid off from whichever industry that can no longer compete ends up doing menial service jobs because the country can't retrain and deploy them properly.

        But hey, let's spend borrowed cash on shiny shit instead of having a bearable future. And quick fixes ("Let's drop duty on whisky - that'll do the trick!") instead of focusing on the hard problems for more than five minutes are all you can expect from the Elected Britards.

      2. Fisher39

        Not a bad job.

        Good job George. instead of paying attention to the clusterfuck that you've made of the economy, both public and private, you've managed to get both bits of the economy squabbling amongst themselves rather than your economic mismanagement.

        Nice work.

        That's from someone who's worked in both public and private and, to be honest, the number of wankers in each sector is pretty much the same.

  13. clanger9
    Thumb Up

    Train & bus times!

    Yay, finally!!

    OK, so it's not going to turn around the economy, but one small problem solved...

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Unfortunately, unless they're going to give away the Post Office's PAF files too

      All that secondary geographic data is about as much use to small businesses as tuning in to the shipping forecast.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    once again

    we get screwed.

    politicians =wankers

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    GB wasn't great at punctuation...

    What Mr Brown should have said was...

    No, More Boom and Bust!

    Seriously, I just think the mud slinging is a joke.

    If you're going to talk about how wrong the other side is, at least have some hint of details.

    As for Head Balls... well if he knows how to fix it, why didn't he do that last time, rather than being part of the team that spent the UK into oblivion.

  16. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    How about releasing the results of drug tests, *including* the deaths.

    Only the UK has a *very* big pharma friendly testing regime.

    You don't have to report *all* deaths of patients on a trial. Scouts honor that you will if they are *significant*. Handy if your testing anti depressants and your side effects turn out to cause suicidally inclined people to top themselves, after all they were going to do that *anyway*.

    Medical devices (like heart valves) are "grand fathered." After your 10-years-in-R&D-unobtainium-and-fairy-dust design is *just* like all those other heart valves. No need for any sort of *extensive* testing (let alone reporting).

    As for "annonimised" health records, Google might have some advice to give them on that.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If Cameron wants a British Apple...

    he should also make sure first refusal for all IP generated by UK universities goes to UK companies.

  18. despairing citizen
    Big Brother

    Data Protection being Protected?

    "The NHS is announcing new data release services which will help healthcare research industry and academia to develop new products and services. This will aid advances in medical diagnosis and treatment."

    It will be interesting to see how they plan to do this, without patient consent, or alternatively ensuring anonominity

    I'm sure they'll never screw up, and loose 25m records in the post like HMRC did sending data to the NAO

  19. Charles Smith

    Difficult Job

    Osborne has a difficult job trying to deal with the absolute economic disaster left by the Gordon Brown Labour government. The man who loosened the reins on the bankers and failed to control their reckless casino banking. Sorry but it was bleedingly obvious that such derivative trading was pure gambling? The same man who sold off the Gold reserves, raided pensions, encouraged PFIs and lost control of Govt spending. If Brown had any common sense he'd have invested the 3G licence auction windfall of £20 Billion on getting the homes in this country optically fibered.

  20. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    1st class, 2nd class, 3rd class, Govt. class housing standards is the QC* structure, methinks

    Are the new homes which are being planned to be built ....... and which are apparently, if you want to believe any of that same old political BS which those public servants pontificating as elected leaders in Parliament/Westminster [yes, you are billed and pay throw the nose, all of their wages and expenses and credit card bills right down to the very last red farthing], going to kick start the economy/building industry (which is code for create more mortgage debt and newly enslaved puppets to arbitrary market interest rate rises) and start growth growing which is Newspeak for inflation rising again, for another round of the Boom and Bust Great Game, ........ going to be fit for the 21st high tech, broadband connected and driven society in terms of standard and mandatory leading global standards of energy saving and thermally super insulated, high class design and build? Or is it just a desperate program which will deliver future slum estates and ghost townscapes of primitive basic sub-prime boxes with zero potential other than being a money pit in need of extensive expensive modification and improvement to come anywhere near even the lowest of current highest in class standards, let alone any which are presently attainable for the future and considered to be the bare minimum for excellent living at practically zero cost.

    And the homes going to be akin to Model T Ford bone shakers and a century behind the times, rather than flagships for future times?

    * Quality Control

  21. Rupert Rumblebum

    Somebody sees at last

    It's not a shovel he wants it's a mechanical digger, king size.

  22. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    @Cameron wants a British Apple.

    They already do - it has a few side effects.

    In theory it was illegal for me to work on open source software - since my contributions belong to the university and can't be distributed.

    The university doesn't have the money to develop the research so sells the IP to an east-texas patent troll. So I can't start a startup working in the area I did research in because they will come after me - after all I don't own the ideas in my head.

    And soon employers will stop hiring UK researchers with the same worry.

    So you will have UK apples - because only companies formed by people who never went to university will be possible

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