Things That George ‘We’re All In This Together’ Osborne Should Have Included In His Budget Statement. But Didn’t
Adam Lovejoy writes from London: As all sorts of experts with fancy titles talk rubbish about Chancellor George ‘We’re All In This Together’ Osborne’s autumn budget statement, with some having the nerve to actually claim that it makes sense, we at Stirring Trouble take a different view altogether and talk about things that George should have included in his document, but didn’t.
Let’s start with capping the rate of interest that licensed lenders are charging people these days. It has come to the point when some of these loan sharks have gone nuts, charging rates of 4,000 per cent and more. And this is at a time when the base rate set by the Bank of England has been kept at 0.5 per cent for the past four years. (Does anyone in lending land pay any attention to the base rate?) So what we see here is loan sharking that is even overshadowing the antics of the underworld where criminals charge 1,000 per cent tops.
Does it bother Mr Osborne and his people at the Treasury? Obviously not. Otherwise they would have introduced a strict capping system for lenders, and toyed with the idea of reintroducing usury laws that had prevented unscrupulous lenders sucking the blood out of millions of people who were basically living in slavery, working to pay off their loans burdened with huge interest rates. Not to mention banning the vile practice of selling loans to third parties who usually introduce even more draconian conditions, and restricting debt recovery agencies which are staffed by thugs who see no problem in terrorising people.
Is Mr Osborne aware that excessive interest rates strangle consumer demand and that in times of recession this basically means that the recovery can never happen? And does he know that outrageous rates of interest on loans constitute money laundering? He probably knows it, but as many of his mates work in banking and lending he obviously feels reluctant to squeeze them. So he hits the poorest who are forced to pay for the treachery of the money men and politicians – the ones who have created the current mess. It’s as criminal as it gets.
And then there is another thing that Mr Osborne did not mention in his budget statement. And that is that the banks are not lending properly and continue to gamble in risky high return deals, having covered up the black holes in their books with the money they got from the disastrous quantitative easing programme. (If the government had simply given the £375 billion that it wasted on QE to the people, it would have made more sense and kick-started the recovery.) Mr Osborne should have made it clear to the money men that if they don’t start lending properly the Treasury would go after them and impose crippling fines. It would have made sense. A lot of sense actually. Just as it would have made a lot of sense to announce that Britain was suspending its overseas aid until better times and redirecting the money to help its own people, like the pensioners, for example, who tend to die of cold during harsh winters in their tens of thousands.
What Mr Osborne also avoided saying in his budget statement is that banks in this modern world of ours are working against the economy and Britain is no exception. That is why they not only avoid investing in the British economy but undermine it by pumping money into countries like China and India that flood Britain with cheap goods made by slave labour. This amounts to war against small and large companies which are being wiped out in Britain at a rate of several a day. Capitalism it ain’t. This is something smacking of a tyranny of the money men and lenders. This is perverse. It’s bound to crash at some point.
The whole point of a Chancellor in time of trouble is to find a way out of a recession by distributing the burden evenly among the people, putting most of the pressure on the money men, especially as they usually cause all the problems in the first place. But George and the gang are not about to try these sorts of solutions. They’ve got less than three years left in power and they need to arrange their affairs so that once they’re kicked out they can make some serious money for themselves.