David Cameron Gets Bitten By His Own Watchdog

On 17th May 2010 the newly appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, made a speech about the course of the new coalition’s economic policies.

This included an announcement of an innovation – the Office for Budget Responsibility.

Part of his speech is reproduced below.

————————————————

Over the last 13 years the public and the markets have completely lost confidence in government economic forecasts. The last government’s forecasts for growth in the economy, over the past ten years, have on average been out by £13bn. Their forecasts of the budget deficit three years ahead have on average been out by £40bn. Unsurprisingly, these forecasting errors have almost always been in the wrong direction.

The conclusion is clear. We need long-lasting change in the way we put together budgets in this country.

Again and again, the temptation to fiddle the figures, to nudge up a growth forecast here or reduce a borrowing number there to make the numbers add up has proved too great.

I believe the public should be able to trust official forecasts for the economy.

To do this, I am today establishing a new independent Office for Budget Responsibility.

For the first time we will have a truly independent assessment of the state of the nation’s finances.

With help from a secretariat of civil servants, they will be in charge of making independent forecasts for the economy and the public finances. They will have direct control over that forecast. They will make all the key judgements.

For the first time we will have an independently audited and transparent national balance sheet.

… there will be nowhere to hide the debts, no way to fiddle the figures, and no way of avoiding the difficult choices that have been put off for too long.

————————————————

Who can argue with his sentiments? The public think politicians might from time to time “spin” the figures to support their message. An independent body that will prevent that? Who could object?

Now let’s fast forward to 7th March 2013.

Prime Minister David Cameron made a set piece speech on the economy – restating his coalition’s message, and almost, but not quite, repeating the old Tory mantra of “no pain, no gain”.

Cameron

One passage in his speech read as follows:-

As the independent Office for Budget Responsibility has made clear…

…growth has been depressed by the financial crisis…

…the problems in the Eurozone…

…and a 60 per cent rise in oil prices between August 2010 and April 2011.

They are absolutely clear that the deficit reduction plan is not responsible.

In fact, quite the opposite.

It is clearly a good thing that the independent OBR think that the coalition is on the right course, as the future direction of the economy and the “cuts v investment” agenda is vital to Britain’s finances.

But, hang on a minute, who’s that coming over the hill?

It’s Robert Chote! Chairman of the Office for Budget Responsibility!

Robert Chote of the OBR

Robert Chote of the OBR

He wrote to the PM on 8th March. Was this to praise or thank Mr Cameron for mentioning his organisation?

No.

So Mr Cameron said that the OBR “are absolutely clear that the deficit reduction plan is not responsible” for the depression of growth in the British economy.

Funnily enough the OBR think that in the short term “tax increases and spending cuts reduce economic growth”. They also make it clear that “fiscal consolidation measures” have reduced growth.

Of course economics is a very technical and complex subject, and surely it is far more likely that the Prime Minister simply misunderstood what the OBR had said, rather than that Mr Cameron deliberately chose to misrepresent his independent watchdog?

Mr Osborne, in his May 2010 speech, predicted the OBR would create a “rod for my back down the line and for future chancellors”.

Obviously he did not think that the rod would strike his boss! Or that the watchdog created by Mr Osborne would turn on its master.

Now Mr Chote is a long way from endorsing the Opposition’s spending plans – but, in the run up to the Budget, was it wise for the PM to be embarrassed by the rebuke from the OBR?

Or will it simply be ignored, and when people refer to his March 7th speech in future, they will simply disregard the 8th March correction.

And politicians wonder why the public has a healthy scepticism (to say the least) about them!

Posted by Paul McConville

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74 Comments

Filed under Politics, Uncategorized

74 responses to “David Cameron Gets Bitten By His Own Watchdog

  1. Grab the grass

    Well spotted Paul, its a mystery as to why the opposition hasn’t plastered this all over the news.

    Basically typical politico massaging things his way, sadly it is mostly “his”, but all credit to Robert Chote, who is not exactly a household name yet to point out that what Cameroon came out with was complete rubbish. Of course with typical British understatement disguises the blunt statement with all sorts of detail and extra words.

    I do wonder how long it will take for someone bring a Rangers angle to this story , my guess is about reply no 15……

    • Marching on Together

      The Labour Party in government spent billions the country did not have and bankrupted the country, bribing the electorate to win elections it would not otherwise have won. As Liam Byrne said in his note left for the Tories “I’m afraid to tell you there’s no money left”.

      Rangers spent millions the football club did not have and bankrupted its owners, to win trophies it would not otherwise have won. As Craig Whyte said in when he left “I’m afraid to tell you there’s no money left”.

      • Budweiser

        MOT
        The Labour Party spent billions bailing out the banks. The USA did the same with their banks – in fact many countries did the same. The banks got us into this mess.

        • Marching on Together

          Prior to Labour giving billions to their pals at the banks, the UK was already running a major structural deficit. Take away any spending on the banks, and we are still ****ed.

      • Grab the grass

        Mot,

        Glad to see you back posting again, you’re response the other day to the LNS finding was great. The only drawback to democracy is that because they need to be re elected, politicians all need to give more than they can afford. Football chairman are much the same – the local supporter ones at least – they all want to win and be feted and it leads them to do things they wouldn’t do in their businesses.

        Despite the myth of Thatcher let’s not forget she only got back in after her slash and burn, regardless of whether you think it was needed or not because of the Falklands war. Cameron doesn’t have that option now TG, so can only make up statistics that turn out to be false.

        • Marching on Together

          “she only got back in after her slash and burn, regardless of whether you think it was needed or not because of the Falklands war” Myth. The last opinion poll, published before Argentina invade, had the Tories marginally ahead of the other two parties.

          Politics is the method by which theft is legitimised. Whereas in Scotland its the SPL.

          Thanks for the kind comments, BTW.

    • Your guess would be wrong.

      I’m certain ‘The’ Rangers defeat yesterday was a direct consequence of government fiscal policy.

      Absolutely scandalous.

      Fourth reply I believe.

    • david

      Correction, 1st reply.
      It is impossible for the regular contributors to discuss any topic without revealing their sad obsession about Rangers, their hatred and their paranoia.
      If someone posted about Caesar, the next comment would be that Brutus was a Rangers supporter.

  2. JimBhoy

    David Cameron supports the rangers. 🙂

  3. why mention RANGERS are they not dead
    just like this government

  4. Fra

    @JimBhoy. There is no rangers apart from those in the Yellowstone park

  5. timtim

    10th September 2001
    “2.3 TRILLION $ are unaccounted for from the Pentagon budget”
    (Donald Rumsfeld)
    11th September 2001
    Flight 77 crashes into the Pentagon office investigating the 2.3 Trillion defecit (all evidence destroyed)

    No evidence of explosives were found at the WTC (NIST report)
    did NIST test for explosives (as required by law) ?
    NO -that would have been a waste of public money (NIST)
    (all evidence and laws ignored)

    Official speed of plane hitting WTC 1 = 510 kts
    Max safe operating speed (at sea level) =350 kts
    laws of physics violated

    Millions dead and injured
    Trillions stolen
    countries invaded
    (Gulf of Tonkin ,WMDs in Iraq, Reichstag fire)

    Anyone questioning 911 is labelled a nutter and attacked by the MSM
    Anyone questioning Rfc* is labelled a bigot and attacked by the MSM

    But ignore me Im just a bigotted old nutter

    • mick

      @timtim nothing is impossible when it comes to goverment a watched a programme the other night about a women who had a dairy and was having an affiar with the late JFK god rest his soul she got shot 2 weeks after he died and a drunk got life for it and denyed it and had good alibi after it the diary was burned by the womens sister a said a bet they switched diarys gave them to sister and hay no state secrets out same with marlyn munro pillow talk lose lips sink ships and all that the 9/11 was a stian on humanity and what happened after if area 51 are reading this giruy ya fxxkwits lol they monitor everything so dont say to much or paul will get his us visa knocked back next time he applys for holiday there lol
      any iconic social minded person gets a bullet in america john lennon all the black civil right leaders and so on

  6. Budweiser

    timtim
    Don’t get me started! Just google ‘missing links 911’.

  7. mick

    the london torys are evil and lack any sence of reality to how the rest of the uk lives they come to easterhouse every4 year for a photo shoot then leave and cut services left right and center even if your in london you can see the divivde they have created all you have to do is walk from the city to hackney and you see how they dont care about the working class they only care about dividends and profit and limiting funding for public services while all the bankers get fat pay checks and they get cheap drink in house of parliment and expences for 2 homes its a con the whole lot of it

    • @mick

      You don’t need to go as far as Hackney: I live within the sound of the Division Bell and I see the misery their policies are creating evey time I walk out the front door.

      At a meeting last week re benefits cuts I found out that 4000 families in my borough may be forced to move because of the Bedroom Tax; some of these families have been in their homes for 30+ years.

  8. Sorry to go off topic -what a cracker of a goal ……….. oh! …..WHAT !

  9. timtim

    Apologies to Paul for going off topic re 911 a subject I have investigated for over a decade now. For those who have an interest in the “evidence”
    please refer to Dr Judy Woods -“where did the towers go” who makes things as clear as a slo mo replay of Leigh Griffiths(non) goal
    (thanks Bud -I havent seen that documentary before)

  10. A nice wee toon for a Sunday.

  11. Fra

    @mick. The old saying ‘if you can’t beat them…get tae f@ck out of it and let them wallow in their own sleaze.’ I took my fight half way across the world and although the struggle continues, it feels just a wee bit fairer. Maybe my imagination but I can hope👍

    • mick

      fra that was a bit of a riddle m8 wit you on about ???

      • Fra

        In your response to the corrupt Tories and the establishment, I suggested if you can’t beat them in the Uk, then leave them to lie in their filth and head abroad. Not the ideal answer to many I suspect but it worked for me and mine. I now fight the good fight against greedy bosses it all seems less class structured than in the UK.

  12. mick

    timtim am a builder with a laymen attitude but growing up being celtic it makes you 3 dimentional and gives you foundations not always to believe what they tell us its good you do that as it might stop them them doing it more in future due to being monitored and found out ,we have dark arts cases here the man that had his throat slit the scienist to do with the war found in a field suicide before big case the mi5 man in victoria found in a bag sex game move along nothing to see here a think these type of dramas have went on since goverments began very intresting debate the dark arts of governing a like transparacy and openess anything else is dictatorship

  13. josephmcgrath112001809

    Why all the shock and surprise? It’s the Tories! They have to tell lies, I think it’s written into their constitution.

  14. I am not sure why we are debating this, given that it is so slight as to hardly matter. Governments of all stripes have been playing around with spin for ever. Remember the WMD and 45 minutes and the deficit has been reduced by 25% and Mr Clegg’s I was not advised at the time and the pledge about University fees and, and , and …

    This sort of thing is so frequent that we could have several posts a day, it’s just that on a slow news day this one got a bit more publicity and was eventually spun as a difference of emphasis.

    Oh, and Hibs so called goal was not far enough over the line for the ref to give it – he must be certain as any biased reading of the rule will reveal.

    • mick

      http://mrfixitstips.co.uk/2013/03/10/bookies-pay-out-on-griffiths/

      the goal was well in and the ref got it that wrong the bookies have paid out so a wonder if the ref was under orders from his sfa mates at william hill a dont see them paying out you really are biased in your assumtions of the situ vileit

    • tykebhoy

      Do you think anything is worth debating? It seems to be your stock answer to anything on a blog that I really wonder why you bother reading.

      It isn’t a biased reading of the rule, it is factual statement of “the laws of the game”. However as you seem to be totally ignorant of most of those laws it comes as no surprise that you made that comment. After all you interrupted your holiday to criticise Neil Lennon’s comments on what would have been infringements in at least 3 other varieties of football (RFU, RFL and NFL)

    • It is a sad reflection on this site, that mick gets mainly tu’s for something which is incomprehensible and I get only td’s for something I know something about. Economics debate anyone. Where are the usual suspects? An in depth analysis from Maggie, Ecojon, mcfc and mick (yeah right), perhaps. Something I could really get my teeth into. Sorry this post with only 36 responses isn’t about how much we all hate RFC but is about something much more important – Britain.

      • mick

        is that macro or micro because am up for that and as for Where are the usual suspects? An in depth analysis from Maggie, Ecojon, mcfc and mick (yeah right), maybe there doing other things enjoying mothers day and not being abused by you
        and as fot my thumps up your gutted some 1 you class as illiterate gets a more positive responce than you ,your superlative comments are a thumps down on here lol

        • ecojon

          @mick

          Yes Mother’s Day was important to me and I spent it placing flowers on my mother’s and my wife’s graves and I spent the afternoon having a pleasant meal with my children and grandchildren with much talk of what used to be. And you are quite right mick that not a single second was wasted on a vicious troll and never will be.

      • mick

        your superlative comments make you look illiterate to debate

    • Budweiser

      violet
      ‘Hibs so called goal’?—– I take it you’re eating humble pie now that it has gone viral on youtube? Not blaming the ref you understand. Perhaps a further case for ‘goal line technology’.
      Not far enough over the line?

  15. Ed

    The OBR reported quite recently that the government’s spending cuts had been equivalent to a 1.4% hit on economic growth over the last year (and the loss of over 430,000 public sector jobs). I’m not surprised he doesn’t want to talk about that and the failure of his beloved private sector to fill the gap.
    Governments have always been prone to misrepresenting economic data but at least if the prime minister invokes an OBR report to support him in the future then he has to be very careful.

  16. mick

    http://budgetresponsibility.independent.gov.uk/

    the above is the OBR for any1 not in the know

  17. arb urns

    Dear Mr Chote

    I refer to your letter of 8th inst and have to advise I have checked your assertions with Mr Kofi Annan after his teams match at The Sevcodome Stadium, I think its called, and he re-affirmed that your multipliers are out by a ratio of 1:2 based on the Love Hopkirk Theorum.

    sincerely yours

    dave.

  18. mick

    this article today is quiet good as we have learned there is people auditing the lies and questioning it

    • I totally agree Michael , I HATE LIES AND COVERUPS.

      • A fuck #@$ !!!! Thumbs down ! Lfao .. ! Pmsl ….. ! People agreeing with lies and cover-ups ! BRILLIANT

        • Budweiser

          In an internet poll,80% of follow follow fans, say they want Mc Coist to go now!
          In other news, barry[the ned] ferguson, is ‘hanging up his boots soon’, and plans to ‘move into management’.
          Shirley, shome, coinshidence?

          • What about treacle teeth ? …. pmsl …. lmfao …. ! An open goal for a championship race and he is still making a James blunt of it!

            • Budweiser

              So, did you vote? If yes, who should take over? Should he walk away?

            • mick

              his teeth are gleeming whyte am hoping its hibs on the 6th we win it before the cut of and split niel lennon is 1 of the top managers in europe wait till yous debut in the spl yous will be lucky to survive its more compeitive now and will only get stronger

  19. Semus

    Fitba, fitba fitba.I hate all yer fitba, as long as we have you bangin on aboot a stupit wee game, and bletherin about pop music, there never ever can be a future for SCotland. A curse on yer fitba.Ye make me greet

  20. mick

    there not wanting rid of sally right bampots its time to join ff and pledge allegiance to sally thats all we need mr greggs going who would we laugh at lol

  21. I honesty think no manager , good or bad , has had to put up with what super sally has , 10 point deduction , administration , transfer ban ( ILLEGAL BTW ) And old co liquidation ! So we can only judge him on a level playing field , but treacle teeth has an open goal and he is STILL making a c@#t of it , what’s his excuse ?

    • Budweiser

      You will have to get on to the ground staff at ibrox – the field looked pretty level on saturday – for the mighty Annan!!
      If lennon looks like going or a vote is taken[ online] I will comment on it.
      I’m happy with our lennon, for the moment.
      Didn’t chico say that sally would be there for 500m years?

      • mick

        bud dont you think its good to drop points and see compeitivness am loving it although a would want every point and the league sewd up but its nice for the smaller teams to get results ,no 1 has mentioned the sand at ross county there was lots of factors in our defeat but its not important as were not like the orcs win or else

        • Budweiser

          Celtic, because of the size and quality of their squad, can win consistently, and thus win the league. The other teams, although they might ‘go on a run’ ,lack this consistency. I believe the standard , in general, has gone up this season. I was genuinely surprised at the quality in the recent hibs v kilmarnock game – no long punts, good passing skills, and six goals – great!
          in cup games [especially at hampden, where celtic seem to struggle] teams seem to ‘up their game’ and their is a feeling that anything could happen.
          for instance, I don’t think celtic will play the same dun utd in the cup – even though the last game was 6 – 2! Remember before the semi-final, celts had beaten saints 5-0 and 2-0.

        • Marching on Together

          What sand? There is a small part of the pitch with sand on. It is a better quality pitch than at Aberdeen, Motherwell, and Rugby Park.

          Sand doesn’t make your defenders defend like strangers to each other.

    • mick

      hes a celebrity manager and your right it would be unfair to sack him after green fleeceing him for cash to be a shareholder a never had issues with him but to the rest of scotland hes a thug and ejit due to whispering in niels ear and outting the panel that then got death threats he has no credability after that he has the 2nd highest wage bill in scotland green will be selling before he buys just wait and see its ddown hill from now on even if the did punt him can the afford a settlement hes on big bucks its great being a tim watching yous die and tributing in div3 with new team whyte blames sally for the whole lot of it due to him getting it wrong in europe that money 5mil would have seen them throw to a summer cva lol sally killed oldco whyte says ,the question is will he do the tribute as well lol

      • I will look on with interest next season , no Dundee derby , no septic v the mighty Rangers, hearts on their srse ! No sponsor for the one horse race , no sponsor for the cup… yes the game is thriving

    • Aye, he has had a lot to put up with …counting his shares, and a cleverly negotiated pay rise. Pure genius bagging a rise while moving from top tier to bottom. The wisdom of throwing away a 15 pt lead and lying down to Maribor really paid off for him!

  22. mick

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-21733796

    this is quiet shocking tory policies are forceing the met to sell property to plug funding gap another disgrace via the torys
    The Met plans to sell its properties, including the Scotland Yard building, in a bid to save £500m.a cant believe that any time am at victoria a put that on the list of sites if am showing people thats with me around on a lighter note has any1 noticed stjames underground when you get of they all look like oldbill lol the torys are putting the public at risk throw out the whole country

  23. Why is my comment in moderation ? Sorry did I mention stupid Huns ? Anti Christs ? I do apologise .

  24. cam

    Well after a week away from this nuthouse,i see nowts changed!
    Paul is still the Grat.A cheerleader,mick is displaying the behaviour of a man whose entire belief system has been torn from him.
    Violet and Mags are building up nicely for a wee spat.
    Eco is doing his Eco thing ;-(
    A couple of blogs attempting to shift away from the satanic Gers end up in some sort of troll shouting game and we have dodgy dancing videos.
    Adam is disgusted that the site has went to the dogs and i can’t get the blame!
    Michael Connelly’s latest has been filling my time,along with Rough Guide to
    conspiracy theories,in which the mighty Gers don’t feature!
    The Catholic Church in Scotland and at the Vatican is embroiled in the greatest scandal since,well,ehm,,,,,oh yes, Rangers and the conflict between Canon law and natural justice is coming to an almighty head.
    Joe public is still forking out for the banking scandal,the petrol pricing policy is a national disgrace and the energy companies are now officially ripping the pish out of everyone while they can get away with it,but lets just focus on the dodgy Gers led establishment!!
    Annan’s cunning deployment of a tinker,a tailor and a candlestick maker in a fluid diamond 4-4-2 come 1-5-5 formation has made Durranty and Coisty and McDowelly put down their kebaby’s and consult their Subbueto board whilst swapping tales of how the nine in a row team would have just went on the pish for a week after a poor result.
    Ok folks,time to get the amount of comments back up to a respectable level,,,Paul will never get his book finished if the debate has declined to shouting,,,,TROLL.

    • Budweiser

      cam

      Shnozzle and sally were sacked by subutteo.They have however been hired by ouija board, to attempt contact with rangers.

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