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Chancellor George Osborne blamed for 'cost of living crisis'

By Tamworth Herald  |  Posted: January 07, 2014

Mike O'Brien, Labour's parliamentary candidate in North Warwickshire, has criticised Chancellor George Osbourne

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NORTH Warwickshire parliamentary candidate Mike O’Brien has blamed Chancellor George Osborne for plunging thousands of residents in the area into a “cost-of-living crisis” due to his mismanagement.

Mr O’Brien’s comments came after Mr Osbourn’s key note speech held at Sertec in Coleshill on Monday (see; bit.ly/1f85qDq).

Mr Osborne said 2014 was the "year of hard truths", warning voters that only further austerity measures can pay for the tax cuts he wanted.

He claimed that Labour was "not being straight with people" by suggesting that there was a "magic wand" which would allow a chancellor to spend more.

But Mr O’Brien has said the Chancellor’s was the one who was making false claims.

Mr O’Brien, said: “It’s Mr Osborn who has failed to face the truth. When he became Chancellor the economy had been steadily recovering for five months and he said this allowed him to promise to balance the books by 2015 by wielding a big axe on spending.

"He chopped the police, benefits for those on low incomes and cut wages. He made people poorer and predictably the economy stalled for three years. As a result the deficit is now expected to be with us for another five years. The current recovery is due to massive dose of spending on ‘quantative easing’ for the banks in 2013 which has boosted housing development.

“Even worse, his mismanagement has led to a cost-of-living crisis for thousands of families in North Warwickshire and Bedworth.

"Hard working families are on average £1,600 worse off since May 2010. For 39 out of 40 months, prices have risen faster than wages, which means people have got poorer, day by day.

“And the burden has been spread unfairly. He cut the top rate of tax for millionaires, but paid for it by increasing VAT, imposing the bedroom tax on the poor and squeezing middle income families.

“But this speech was important because it exposed the real motivation of this Chancellor. In the past he has the cuts were about the deficit. But now Osbourne has admitted it is about something else: the Tory Party ideology of creating ‘a smaller state’. He has accepted that there are less police, less teachers, less nurses, less soldiers and the NHS and other services are being privatised in order to create a state which is “permanently smaller”, rather than being temporary to cure a deficit.

“This speech exposed an ideologically motivated Chancellor pursuing a narrow party political agenda of creating a smaller state, by cutting the police, the NHS and public services simply because he wants less state employees. He wants to fight the next election on the Tory desire for a British state which is smaller, cares less for the poor and has less state employees - for the sake of it. He is openly banging the old time Thatcherite drum of a country where millionaires like him get richer, whilst middle income families are squeezed and working people are squashed. Like Del Boy he promises that if he creates a smaller state, ‘tomorrow we will all be millionaires’.

“By contrast Labour's plan is to earn our way by hard work to higher living standards for all. We will tackle the cost-of-living crisis and getting the deficit down in a fairer way. We will announce our detailed spending plans before the election in 2015, when we know the state of the public finances. But I can promise that, unlike Mr Osborn, we will not give tax cuts to millionaires, but we will help hard-working families.”

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  • Abominate  |  January 07 2014, 3:36PM

    What governments don't want you to know is most of this 'borrowed' money it borrows from itself in the form of gilt edge certificates, loans on the promise of future tax revenue; it is worthy of note that no British government has ever defaulted on gilt edge borrowing. They would also prefer you to believe that privatisation and private tenders are more cost-effective when what they actually do is take money from the public purse and put it into the pockets of private companies and individuals, rather than in-house services where much of the money stays within public finances.

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  • Becka  |  January 07 2014, 11:10AM

    The austerity measures introduced by the government have only been targeted at the poor, the government (with the help of the opposition) even retrospectively changed the law to steal £130,000,000 from the poor, and give it to the rich as a tax cut. The current regime also turned down £22,000,000 in EU aid for Britain starving, as the only growth in the UK is in food banks, as The Red Cross has announced the launch of the first emergency food aid plan since WWII in the light of rising poverty in the UK, poverty caused by Osborne and Cameron. One way to cut poverty would be to pay the 780,000 people currently being exploited on the government's Forced Unwaged Labour schemes.

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  • mikeabbott41  |  January 07 2014, 10:57AM

    This is rich coming from a representative of the Labour Party who almost bankrupted this country. We as a country have been living beyond our means for years due to easy access to credit. This is rich coming from a representative of the Labour Party who almost bankrupted this country. We as a country have been living beyond our means for years due to access to easy credit. It would be unreasonable to expect our living standards to improve in the short term and austerity measures need to continue until our debt is substantially reduced. I agree the gap between rich and poor is unacceptable, fuelled by the rapid growth of executive pay. Executive pay should be pegged to a percentage of the average salary and unearned and easy- target bonuses abolished. This would help the feeling of injustice felt by many that we are not all in it together. If the Labour Party were serious about supporting the less well off they should stop supporting HS2, which will cost every single household over £2500.

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