The formal mandate we set is that the structural current deficit should be in balance in the final year of the five-year forecast period, which is 2015-16 in this budget.And:
In order to place our fiscal credibility beyond doubt, this mandate will be supplemented by a fixed target for debt, which in this parliament is to ensure that debt is falling as a share of GDP by 2015-16.Of course, Osborne can argue he can meet the first target, because it isn't actually a promise to eliminate the structural deficit in five years; it's just a promise to forecast the structural deficit will be eliminated in five years from the date of the forecast. Basically, he's promising to say that the deficit will be eliminated five years from when-ever he happens to make a forecast.
Which isn't quite the same thing as actually getting rid of it, eh, George? It's always jam tomorrow, if only we work harder and suffer gladly today.
In the real world, not the fantasy land five years from now Osborne wants us to inhabit, things are not looking good for this most optimistic of chancellors:
After seven months of the 2014-15 financial year, borrowing is more than 6% higher than it was in the same period of 2013-14, despite being slightly lower this October than last.And here's a pretty picture to go along with it:
Whoops! Things are not going quite as scripted. At the time of the budget, George Osborne was expecting the deficit to decline by 12% this year, to a little over £85bn.
Meanwhile, as he manfully fails to make the deficit disappear by the power of positive thought, the debt continues to build up, faster than the sluggish recover can eat it away. Currently, public debt is running at 90.6% of GDP.
GDP, in fairness, is growing. Even George Osborne can not keep the economy in permanent recession, though he certainly tried his best. Fortunately, other countries are doing okay, so pulling Britain up; also, by running a deficit, Osborne has probably, unintentionally, helped stimulate the economy.
Basically, the British economy is doing okay-ish because we're the only country unlucky enough to have George Osborne and because he's too useless to manage to inflict his own insane dreams upon the nation properly.
So Britain may manage to shrink the debt mountain by growing the economy - as GDP increases, so debt will be reduced as a share of GDP. So having increased debt to over 90% of GDP - the level we were assured (by the Tories) would send the economy into some sort of death spiral - Osborne could claim some feeble vindication by reducing the debt from 90.6% of GDP to 90.5%.
But even that's looking dicey, with the global economy wobbling and the British Chnacellor tryig his best to destroy the British economy by choking off domestic demand.
They lied about the deficit.
They lied about immigration.
They lied about being "all in this together."
They lied about being the greenest government ever.
They lied, and lied, and will carry on lying.
And their self serving allies in the media will continue to try to distract and bamboozle the voters with SHOCKING news about Ed Miliband eating a sandwich. Or some Labour shadow minister taking a photograph of a house.