Osborne rebuked by IMF over size and speed of cuts

January 24, 2013 9:24 am

There was a quite remarkable attack of George Osborne’s failed austerity measures this morning from the IMF’s Chief Economist. Speaking to the Today Programme, Olivier Blanchard urged Osborne to pursue “slower fiscal consolidation” – AKA “going less far and less fast on cuts”, effectively endorsing Labour’s position on getting the economy back on track.

Blanchard went on to say:

“Our early advice is still very much there. We said that if things look bad at the beginning of 2013 – which they do – then there should be a reassessment of fiscal policy. We still believe that; you have a budget coming, I think, in March, and this would be a good time to take stock and see whether some adjustments should not be made.”

And on austerity:

“We have never been passionate about austerity. I think from the beginning we always emphasised the approach that fiscal consolidation should be steady, slow steady based on a medium-term plan so I think we have always been fairly consistent on this.”

This will be particularly embarrassing for George Osborne, who boasted of his standing at the IMF only a few months ago in his conference speech, saying:

“This Wednesday I’m also going to a meeting of the IMF. Don’t worry. Because of the resolve of the British people, I go representing a country that is seen as part of the solution, not part of the problem. That is only because of the credibility our plans have earned.”

What credibility would that be George?

  • http://www.facebook.com/jim.crowder2 Jim Crowder

    A most interesting interview. The interviewer pushed the Labour line very hard and effectively asked Blanchard to agree with him rather than ask Blanchard to explain things. I was surprised that it was allowed by either the BBC (as impartial) or by the IMF as misquoting.

    • DanMcCurry

      Jim, Blanchard is a grown up and he gave the quotes knowing what they mean.

  • DanMcCurry

    Although it’s a bit cheeky of the IMF to say “We have never been passionate about austerity.” He’s obviously not talking about the IMF of old that liked to force the developing world into humiliation, time and again and again.

Latest

  • News Major Labour donor John Mills dismisses Mail story as “pure mischief making”

    Major Labour donor John Mills dismisses Mail story as “pure mischief making”

    The Mail on Sunday run with attacks on Ed Miliband today, including quotes from major Labour backer John Mills where he appears sceptical of a Mansion Tax and seems to side with Alan Milburn’s comments on the NHS this week. Mills, who has donated £1.5million to the Labour Party, has dismissed the story as “pure mischief making” and said they had used “highly selective and misleading quotes” for the story. The business leader admits he would prefer the widening of […]

    Read more →
  • Featured Election chief Alexander sets out campaign priorities in email to supporters

    Election chief Alexander sets out campaign priorities in email to supporters

    Labour’s election co-ordinator Douglas Alexander has set out the three priorities for the party’s national campaign over the next three weeks. He says Labour won’t run a personality-led campaign (pledging not to feature Cameron on any of their posters), that Labour are willing to take part in TV debates, and that the aim to have four million conversations with voters will be at the heart of the campaign. This kind of “memo” to supporters is not completely new (the last […]

    Read more →
  • News Scotland Candidate selected to replace Alistair Darling in Edinburgh South West

    Candidate selected to replace Alistair Darling in Edinburgh South West

    Ricky Henderson has been selected as the to fight the Edinburgh South West seat as the Labour candidate for this year’s election. The seat is being vacated by retiring former Chancellor and Better Together chair Alistair Darling, who has been an MP since 1987. Ricky Henderson, 53, has been a councillor in Edinburgh for 16 years. Speaking after the selection tonight, he said: “I am absolutely delighted to have been chosen to succeed Alistair Darling as Labour’s candidate. He will […]

    Read more →
  • News Scotland Video SNP surge “is real” – Lord Ashcroft speaks ahead of Scottish polling announcement

    SNP surge “is real” – Lord Ashcroft speaks ahead of Scottish polling announcement

    Labour activists, MPs and strategists will be paying close attention to Lord Ashcroft’s polling of Scottish seats (which should be out in the next few days), but for a taster on that – and the impact of UKIP, watch this interview of Ashcroft from Sky News’s Joey Jones:

    Read more →
  • News Roy Hattersley defends Miliband over NHS election focus

    Roy Hattersley defends Miliband over NHS election focus

    Former Labour deputy leader Roy Hattersley has leapt to Ed Miliband’s defence, after the current leader received criticism from former ministers this week for relying on the NHS too much as an election issue. Alan Milburn and John Hutton made public their scepticism about Labour’s plans for the NHS, with former Health Secretary Milburn saying “major reform” was needed in the health service. Following Neil Kinnock’s call for an end to “sniping from behind”, Hattersley has also come forward to attack […]

    Read more →