More bad news for the Chancellor, summarised in three charts


4:19 pm - December 21st 2011

by Duncan Weldon    


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The new round-up of independent economic forecasts have been published by the Treasury.

The two charts below show the average independent forecast for GDP growth in 2012 and the average independent forecast for claimant count unemployed in Q42012 as they have been over the past year.

Just six months ago the economy was expected to grow by 2.1% next year; the new forecast is just 0.6% – a staggering downgrade in such a short time.

Over the same time period independent forecasters have revised up their estimate of the number of the claimant count by over 300,000.

What does this huge growth downgrade mean for the deficit?

Slower growth and higher unemployment means bringing down the deficit is much harder and as a result forecasters have revised their estimate of next year’s deficit by around £20bn.

These new forecasts certainly won’t make for happy Christmas reading in the Treasury.

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About the author
Duncan is a regular contributor. He has worked as an economist at the Bank of England, in fund management and at the Labour Party. He is a Senior Policy Officer at the TUC’s Economic and Social Affairs Department.
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Reader comments


1. Frances_coppola

When you give the patient the wrong medicine they get worse, not better.

@1 Quite. Bleeding hasn’t worked, bring out the leeches.

3. Tax Obesity, Not Business

What is the ‘right’ medicine, Frances?

4. Frances_coppola

3 Tax Obesity, Not Business

Oh dear, here we go again…..

Basic economics: cutting the public sector when the private sector is net saving and there is a trade deficit causes recession. What has the Chancellor been doing? Cutting the public sector. What has the private sector been doing? Paying off debt and hoarding cash – i.e. net saving. What colour is our current account? Red. So cutting the public sector at the moment is the WRONG MEDICINE.

That doesn’t mean I’m in favour of massive stimulus spending. I’m not, because all it will do is inflate a sovereign debt bubble for which we will pay later. I think the Chancellor should maintain existing spending (i.e. no cuts), let the automatic stabilisers do their job (which will increase spending as the economy contracts) and wait for the private sector to show signs of wanting to spend. When it does, then the supply-side reforms the Government has been trying to implement without success (because they are premature) should work.

I’m sorry if this sounds like laissez-faire economics, but I think the Government has very few options. It is very difficult to stimulate a stagnating economy which is suffering from a debt hangover: you can easily end up throwing good money after bad, because no-one wants to take on any more debt or spend any money. The only possibility really would be investment in major public works and R&D for future returns. But at the present time, the bond markets are worried about risk so want to see “fiscal discipline”. If we massively increase spending financed by issuing debt, as the Left would like, we will be hammered in the bond markets, which would cost us a fortune in interest payments and potentially wipe out future returns on our public investment. That way lies the debt trap death spiral. If we print money to monetize our deficit and finance investment projects at a time when exports are hard to come by and domestic spending is depressed, we will end up with hyperinflation. I don’t want to go there.

So Moody’s warning about the loss of the much vaunted AAA rating looks more than ever to be a likelihood.

George must have known this, or he would have bragged much more about other countries losing their ratings.

I imagine that the right medicine is stimulation TONB, wouldn’t you?

(Incidentally, I see that the Treasury or at least HMCR has taken your advice, at least the second part. I can’t imagine obesity being high on their list of tax demands, given the number of expensive meals buying the Revenue management’s co-operation to lose £25 billion tax in some cupboard somewhere.)

Slowing the pace of cutting public spending and more Quantitative Easing are the only means open to the government of boosting economic growth without adding to the borrowing requirement. Boosting growth will help to boost tax revenues thereby reducing the annual budget deficit.

7. Frances_coppola

Bob B

Once again, we agree. Although I am not convinced by the effectiveness of QE as an economic stimulus.

We shouldn`t buy our way out of a recession we should work our way out.
We need a phycologist not an economist.

Surely if we work 10% harder then we would have that much more output.
Great..We need a phycologist not an economist

OOps No If the dishonest bankers politicians work 10% harder at there dishonest hedgemony then Voila catch 22

Come on wake up people we are being taken for a ride..

9. So Much For Subtlety

4. Frances_coppola

Basic economics: cutting the public sector when the private sector is net saving and there is a trade deficit causes recession. What has the Chancellor been doing? Cutting the public sector. What has the private sector been doing? Paying off debt and hoarding cash – i.e. net saving. What colour is our current account? Red. So cutting the public sector at the moment is the WRONG MEDICINE.

Sorry but that ought to be “cutting public spending”. Cutting the public sector always works. Because civil servants have on-going costs. Once the crisis is over you can’t get rid of them and then you have to pay their salaries too. They are a bad sign because they mean ever rising taxation. Cutting the public sector is precisely the right thing to do. Now perhaps the government ought to be spending more to make up for the lack of private spending – although I think Britain is now too broke to do so – but they should still be cutting the public sector.

It is very difficult to stimulate a stagnating economy which is suffering from a debt hangover: you can easily end up throwing good money after bad, because no-one wants to take on any more debt or spend any money. The only possibility really would be investment in major public works and R&D for future returns.

Obama has pissed away $4 trillion trying this. Few public works and much of the R&D has been pissed away on bankrupt solar energy companies. Government spending still needs to be sensible. But if people think that you will not be able to pay back your new loans on top of your old loans, they will not get any more confident. You have to send the right signals. Which is why a commitment to long term tax cuts – through slashing the public sector – is the best way to go.

But at the present time, the bond markets are worried about risk so want to see “fiscal discipline”. If we massively increase spending financed by issuing debt, as the Left would like, we will be hammered in the bond markets, which would cost us a fortune in interest payments and potentially wipe out future returns on our public investment. That way lies the debt trap death spiral. If we print money to monetize our deficit and finance investment projects at a time when exports are hard to come by and domestic spending is depressed, we will end up with hyperinflation. I don’t want to go there.

So we are short on options. It would have been nicer if Brown had left us more prepared for this – as he promised to do. But he didn’t. At some point spending more is not an option. You are certainly right about the bond markets. Inflation is not a good look. Really I think the only option is a sharp deflationary recession that, I would hope, won’t go on for too long. But with it we need a massive and sustained reduction in the number of civil servants and the average tax take in this country. Proper welfare reform. And an end to the looting of the state by private interests in the socialised sector.

Frances: “Once again, we agree. Although I am not convinced by the effectiveness of QE as an economic stimulus.”

The risk is that the QE could be hoarded in the system until an upturn develops when it could be dishoarded and boost monetary demand – possibly pushing the monetary authorities then into raising interest rates to meet the inflation target downstream as well as open market sales of bonds to reduce liquidity in the system. It’s worth recalling that BoE changes in interest rates take about two years to work through the economy so the BoE has to anticipate where we will be then.

But other than slowing the pace of cutting public spending, there are no alternative options than more QE available to boost demand which won’t add to the budget deficit and the borrowing requirement. Reportedly, the BoE says that QE does boost demand and I don’t work on the assumption that they are all a bit dim at the BoE.

On the BBC Today programme yesterday morning, Charlie Bean, BoE deputy governor was introduced as that and interviewed. He was his usual unassuming self – eminently clear in explaining the (grim) situation and the policy options but without sounding depressingly gloomy. Whatever the issues in Britain, we still have to keep watching to see what’s happening in the Eurozone because that will impact here. A breakup of the EZ is not a simple option with minimal ripples – banks in America may not hold Greek or Italian sovereign debt but they certainly have interests in German and French banks which do.

Another member of the BoE’s MPC is also pushing for more QE but in February when the next BoE quarterly inflation report comes available:

Bank of England policymaker Martin Weale [previously director of the NIESR] has signalled the Bank is ready to pump more new money into the ailing economy through quantitative easing (QE) in February.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financialcrisis/8916720/Martin-Weale-says-Bank-of-England-ready-to-pump-more-into-economy.html

As well as Charlie Bean, I try to keep tabs on what Martin Weale says – he is well informed, not given to eccentric ideological nostrums and has access to the analysis of the NIESR.

11. Frances_coppola

SMFS

“Cutting the public sector always works”. Yes, you’ve made that assertion before and never once provided a scrap of evidence for it. Not surprisingly, because it’s rubbish. Cutting the public sector by slashing jobs when the private sector is unwilling or unable to create new jobs to replace them causes both unemployment and deflation. The evidence for this is contained in Duncan’s article. Where is the evidence for your assertion?

We are already entering a deflationary recession, as Duncan shows, and we are facing global recession and the probable collapse of the Eurozone. Now is NOT the time to be attempting structural reform of the public sector. If we do that the recession will go on for decades. Your obsession with future taxation unfortunately obscures your vision with regard to the realities of the present.

12. So Much For Subtlety

11. Frances_coppola

Yes, you’ve made that assertion before and never once provided a scrap of evidence for it.

Why on Earth would I need to?

Not surprisingly, because it’s rubbish. Cutting the public sector by slashing jobs when the private sector is unwilling or unable to create new jobs to replace them causes both unemployment and deflation. The evidence for this is contained in Duncan’s article. Where is the evidence for your assertion?

All this shows is that you did not read me carefully enough. Even if there is a case for more public spending, there is not a case for more public service jobs. The two are not the same. Cutting the public sector is always good. At least it is always good until you reach levels so low that they cannot provide the core services the State needs to provide. We are nowhere near that. If the private sector is as yet unwilling to create new jobs, and we have a problem with unemployment and deflation, such that some sort of government action is necessary, it does not follow that more pointless government jobs need to be created. They always carry long term costs and are next to impossible to reverse. A better solution would be temporary jobs or simply no jobs at all – distribute the cash to every person in the population to spend as they please. Even more inflation is likely to be less of a curse than more civil servants.

We are already entering a deflationary recession, as Duncan shows, and we are facing global recession and the probable collapse of the Eurozone. Now is NOT the time to be attempting structural reform of the public sector. If we do that the recession will go on for decades. Your obsession with future taxation unfortunately obscures your vision with regard to the realities of the present.

This is the Leftist fallacy – times are bad so we can’t afford to restructure the civil service, but when times are good we can afford to employ more civil servants to do more. It only ever leads to increasing levels of civil service employment which we can no longer afford. At some point we need to cut numbers. Now is the only time to do it because the majority of voters can see something needs to be done. Even if you think it is bad economics, it is very good politics.

Not that it matters as it is becoming a redundant issue – we cannot afford Baby Boomer style welfare as the population starts to age and retire. Whether we like it or not cuts will have to be made. As you can see the bond market is getting anxious about debt levels. Rightly. We can fiddle with these sorts of Keynesian tools when there is some fat still left in the economy. When people still believe that we will pay back our debts. When the burden on the real economy is relatively small. That time looks to be past to me.

13. Frances_coppola

SMFS

On the contrary. You have not read what I said sufficiently carefully and you have attributed things to me that I didn’t say. I said nothing about creating more public sector jobs, either now or in the future. Nor have I suggested more public spending, except for that which inevitably happens as a result of the operation of automatic stabilisers in a recession. In fact I said I did not think more public spending was an option at the moment – and therefore (by extension) I do not support increases in public sector jobs either. What I object to is CUTS in public sector jobs and spending at the moment. Saying that something should not be cut is NOT the same as saying it should be increased. You don’t seem to appreciate the difference.

Your ideological stance is still blinding you to reality. Yes, you do have to provide evidence for your assertions if you want anyone to take them seriously.

In case it’s of interest here, this reports on the numbers of full-time equivalent (fte) civil servants compared with the total numbers in employed in the public sector:
http://www.civilservant.org.uk/numbers.pdf

“There were about 453,000 fte civil servants in post in Quarter 4 2010, including casual/temporary staff. Only around 18% of them work in London.”

So how can someone who is a so-called expert on the way the economy operates and offers commentary along those lines not realise that the concept of “monetisation” or as it is referred to in mainstream textbooks “seignourage” is not applicable to a world where there is a non convertible currency operating in a floating exchange rate regime?

The textbook conception of debt monetisation as it frequently enters discussions of monetary policy in economic text books and the broader public debate is summarised as follows. Debt monetisation is usually referred to as a process whereby the central bank buys government bonds directly from the treasury. In other words, the federal government borrows money from the central bank rather than the public. Debt monetisation is the process usually implied when a government is said to be printing money. Debt monetisation, all else equal, is said to increase the money supply and can lead to severe inflation.

That is the orthodox conception. However, fear of debt monetisation is unfounded, not only because the government doesn’t need money in order to spend but also because the central bank does not have the option to monetise any of the outstanding government debt or newly issued government debt.

As long as the central bank has a mandate to maintain a target short-term interest rate, the size of its purchases and sales of government debt are not discretionary. The central bank’s lack of control over the quantity of reserves underscores the impossibility of debt monetisation. The central bank is unable to monetise the government debt by purchasing government securities at will because to do so would cause the short-term target rate to fall to zero or to any support rate that it might have in place for excess reserves.

Governments spend (introduce net financial assets into the economy) by crediting bank accounts in addition to issuing cheques or tendering cash. Moreover, this spending is not revenue constrained. A currency-issuing government has no financial constraints on its spending, which is not the same thing as acknowledging self imposed (political) constraints.

http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=2531

16. Frances_coppola

14 Bob B

Thanks Bob. That first pie chart should make neoliberals wince – not much evidence of “crowding out” there!

So how can someone who is a so-called expert on the way the economy operates and offers commentary along those lines not realise that the concept of “monetisation” or as it is referred to in mainstream textbooks “seignourage” is not applicable to a world where there is a non convertible currency operating in a floating exchange rate regime?

The textbook conception of debt monetisation as it frequently enters discussions of monetary policy in economic text books and the broader public debate is summarised as follows. Debt monetisation is usually referred to as a process whereby the central bank buys government bonds directly from the treasury. In other words, the federal government borrows money from the central bank rather than the public. Debt monetisation is the process usually implied when a government is said to be printing money. Debt monetisation, all else equal, is said to increase the money supply and can lead to severe inflation.

That is the orthodox conception. However, fear of debt monetisation is unfounded, not only because the government doesn’t need money in order to spend but also because the central bank does not have the option to monetise any of the outstanding government debt or newly issued government debt.

As long as the central bank has a mandate to maintain a target short-term interest rate, the size of its purchases and sales of government debt are not discretionary. The central bank’s lack of control over the quantity of reserves underscores the impossibility of debt monetisation. The central bank is unable to monetise the government debt by purchasing government securities at will because to do so would cause the short-term target rate to fall to zero or to any support rate that it might have in place for excess reserves.

Governments spend (introduce net financial assets into the economy) by crediting bank accounts in addition to issuing cheques or tendering cash. Moreover, this spending is not revenue constrained. A currency-issuing government has no financial constraints on its spending, which is not the same thing as acknowledging self imposed (political) constraints…

http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=2531

The graphs should be nominated for Ben Goldacre’s ‘bad science’ column for misleading presentation of statistics. Y-axis not starting from zero and X-axis showing such a short time frames as to the context of the changes.

Sensationalist reporting.

19. Frances_coppola

15 James

Oh dear, James. I suggest you go and do some research into the history of hyperinflation in the 20th century. And if you are going to quote Bill Mitchell, you at least should make it clear that you are quoting something. Would be good if you understood what he was saying, too – and its limitations. Theory and practice are not the same thing, and although a sovereign issuer of fiat currency can IN THEORY issue money without limit, in practice the limit is the willingness of people – both inside and outside the country concerned – to accept that currency as a medium of exchange. And that depends completely on the trustworthiness of the issuing government.

Hyperinflation is the destruction of a currency. It is by definition a fiat currency phenomenon – it cannot happen in asset-backed currencies, because the value of those currencies cannot fall below the value of the underlying asset. Every episode of hyperinflation WITHOUT EXCEPTION has been caused by a crisis of confidence in fiat currency issued by a sovereign country. Effectively, people reject the currency and it becomes worthless because they don’t trust the issuing government.

Historically, hyperinflation has always been accompanied by monetisation of fiscal deficits. Correlation does not necessarily imply causation, but there is certainly some kind of relationship between persistent money printing to finance fiscal deficits and hyperinflation. Every analysis I have ever read of hyperinflation episodes has concluded that monetisation of fiscal deficits was the proximate cause. Additionally, most episodes of hyperinflation are also accompanied by collapse of domestic production due to a severe economic shock. That shock may be internally generated (Zimbabwe) or externally imposed (Weimar). I would venture to suggest that collapse of the Eurozone would constitute a severe economic shock for the UK – and of course we have not yet recovered from the last economic shock, namely the 2008 economic crisis.

I agree that the government could print money to pay for investment, and that this should not be inflationary if production responds as expected. However, printing money reduces its intrinsic value unless production increases to mop up the extra money. Since you are an MMT fan, you know, of course, that government spending precedes taxation. Government spending also precedes the production it finances, which precedes private spending (which generates taxation). Printing money for government investment therefore must, de facto, reduce the currency’s intrinsic value at least until production can catch up. Myself, I think that the reason why hyperinflation tends to be associated with economic shock is because if production collapses, tax revenues also collapse, so the government has no alternative but to print ever-larger amounts of money. The evidence is that once a government starts printing money to finance its spending, it finds it very hard to stop.

Under a floating-rate system the currency’s value is expressed in its international exchange rate. If currency markets do not trust the issuing government to maintain the intrinsic value of its currency they will reject it and its international value will crash – just as when bond markets do not trust issuing governments to maintain the intrinsic value of government debt they reject it and its international value crashes, as is happening in Greece. Currency markets are every bit as powerful in destroying currencies as bond markets have proved to be in destroying the value of sovereign debt. A crashing currency is very bad news for any domestic business that relies on imports for production – currency devaluation is not really the panacea for exporters that it is often cracked up to be. And of course if the country as a whole is externally dependent for essentials such as oil – as, overall, the UK is – a crashing currency will destroy business and household finances, because as the value of the currency falls the price of imported essentials rises. Naturally, businesses will then raise domestic prices to try to stay in business as their costs rise. I think they call that inflation, don’t they?

The usual counter for inflationary pressures is of course to raise interest rates. You know what yields on Greek sovereign debt are, currently? That is the sort of interest rate level that might be needed if the currency crashed. I still remember Norman Lamont raising interest rates to over 20% to try to stop sterling crashing out of the ERM – and that wasn’t anything like the sort of devaluation that we would experience if the currency markets thought money printing was out of control. Yes, we might avoid hyperinflation that way – but at what cost?

So, if we issue lots more debt we will be hammered in the bond markets, and if we print lots of money the FX markets will destroy our currency. Mitchell is in theory correct that they don’t have to do this, but the reigning economic orthodoxy is not his. In the minds of currency investors, printing money means government that can’t be trusted. They will run for the hills and the currency will crash. The risks to the economy at the moment are such that neither issuing lots of debt nor printing lots of money are options we should even remotely contemplate.

The BoE will decide on whether to apply more QE at the meeting of the MPC in February when the BoE’s next quarterly inflation report is due out.

One of the BoE’s policy concerns is that the predicted inflation rate may come in too far below the target as early as the end of next year. The policy makers do not take seriously the prospect of hyperinflation or the Zimbabwe outcome as the economy is currently flatlining with spare capacity working. Retailers are worrying about Christmas sales.

If hyperinflation were likely from more QE, we should expect to first see a boom in real GDP from buoyant monetary demand with clear signs of full capacity working. We see no such signs. Quite the opposite, in fact.

21. Frances_coppola

Bob,

I’m not suggesting that QE would cause hyperinflation. The currency markets have not so far regarded central bank asset purchases as irresponsible: sterling has devalued significantly over the last three years but I wouldn’t regard it as a crash. The US of course has done far more QE and the dollar is still holding up – and their inflation rate is lower than ours. The jury is still out on whether QE causes price or asset inflation in the longer term, but I see no reason to believe that it will cause hyperinflation (which is a different beast).

The currency crash and hyperinflation nightmare I describe would be a consequence of expansionary fiscal policy. If the government massively expanded the money supply (unsterilised) to invest directly into the economy or to cover deficit spending, the currency markets would in my view regard this as irresponsible government – just as the bond markets would be likely to view massive debt issuance as irresponsible. The result would be loss of confidence in sterling, which would cause it to crash. Printing money for fiscal expansion would therefore in my opinion be an exceedingly bad idea, not because it is “intrinsically” wrong but because it would be punished by currency markets.

Illuminating news report about Olivier Blanchard’s assessment of the consequences of faster or slower budget deficit reduction based on IMF research:

IMF’s Olivier Blanchard backs ‘slow and steady’ deficit reduction

In his blog, the International Monetary Fund’s chief economist takes a view closer to that of Ed Balls than George Osborne
http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/economics-blog/2011/dec/21/imf-olivier-blanchard-deficit-reduction

Despite being knee-deep in water while confronting the pyramids, George Osborne felt that reasonable people might disagree about whether he was in de Nile or not….

@ Bob B 22

This is the quote from the IMF chief economists blog:

“Some preliminary estimates that the IMF is working on suggest that it does not take large multipliers for the joint effects of fiscal consolidation and the implied lower growth to lead in the end to an increase, not a decrease, in risk spreads on government bonds. To the extent that governments feel they have to respond to markets, they may be induced to consolidate too fast, even from the narrow point of view of debt sustainability.

I should be clear here. Substantial fiscal consolidation is needed, and debt levels must decrease. But it should be, in the words of Angela Merkel, a marathon rather than a sprint. It will take more than two decades to return to prudent levels of debt. There is a proverb that actually applies here too: “slow and steady wins the race.”

Unsurprisingly the Guardian has interpreted this as being closer to Balls than Cameron. I would argue that the Govts debt reduction plan is slow and steady. The reductions in spending are a very small percentage, and debt is forecast to increase by £350bn over the life of this parliament. Certainly gilt yields are still very low – according to the blog you would expect these to increase if the market thought austerity was too great.

@14

How many of the private sector workers are subcontracted by or subsidised by the taxpayer? Surely if you want to know how big the public sector is it is more meaningful to look at Govt spending as a percentage of GDP?

“Surely if you want to know how big the public sector is it is more meaningful to look at Govt spending as a percentage of GDP?”

Yes – but in 2007, before the financial crisis blew up, on OECD figures, general government expenditure in Britain as a percentage of national GDP was only marginally above that in Germany and lower than in Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands and France etc.

The trouble came from the steep decline of a cumulative 7 pc in Britain’s GDP from peak to trough as the result of the recession 2008Q1 to 2009Q4 – the recession hit harder in Britain compared with almost all other peer group affluent countries probably because of Britain’s relatively large financial services sector, which contributes about 10 pc of Britain’s economy.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8479639.stm

Most now agree that reducing dependence on financial services would be a “good idea” but it’s much easier to repress financial services than to successfully promote growth of other sectors, especially over the short term.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. bernadette baum

    Why 2012 will be a torrid year for Osborne, summarised in three simple charts by @DuncanWeldon – http://t.co/QFUoFmMZ

  2. Tom Spencer

    "@sunny_hundal: Why 2012 will be a torrid year for Osborne, in 3 simple charts http://t.co/hciD7TOo&quot; <- Largely self inflicted. No sympathy.

  3. Martin Hinds

    Why 2012 will be a torrid year for Osborne, summarised in three simple charts by @DuncanWeldon – http://t.co/QFUoFmMZ

  4. Patron Press - #P2

    #UK : More bad news for the Chancellor, summarised in three charts http://t.co/L6AkmJDz

  5. jini wallace

    #UK : More bad news for the Chancellor, summarised in three charts http://t.co/L6AkmJDz

  6. Doug James

    More bad news for the Chancellor, summarised in three charts | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/EiBG45kZ – Proof of Plan A disaster by Osborne

  7. Kevin Donovan

    More bad news for the Chancellor, summarised in three graphs http://t.co/4tMW3QXw

  8. temaris

    More bad news for the Chancellor, summarised in three charts | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/Bdjy6jyz via @libcon

  9. Megan Radclyffe

    More bad news for the Chancellor, summarised in three graphs http://t.co/4tMW3QXw

  10. Alex Braithwaite

    More bad news for the Chancellor, summarised in three charts | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/7w8BM4Dm via @libcon

  11. Brnch Sec Ruth H

    “@sunny_hundal: Why 2012 will be a torrid year for Osborne, in 3 simple charts by @DuncanWeldon – http://t.co/W8Cy8L3D”&gt; brill but terrifyng

  12. MarinaS

    Oh. My. God. >> More bad news for the Chancellor, summarised in three charts | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/IFsMRelm

  13. Natacha Kennedy

    http://t.co/uYrQxkI1 Graphic demonstration of just how badly George Osborne's economic policies are failing #deficit

  14. criticalpraxis

    Bad news for the UK economy http://t.co/Nf3w1k4l

  15. maxlawsontin

    http://t.co/py2Ys25P More bad news for the Chancellor, summarised in three charts @robinhood





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