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

  • Featured Wales David Cameron’s efforts to prove how much he loves the NHS reveal how little he understands it

    David Cameron’s efforts to prove how much he loves the NHS reveal how little he understands it

    This week I was tempted to write about the fact that UKIP have befriended a holocaust denier in the European Parliament. But I really can’t abide any more pictures of Farage’s ridiculous face haunting about my doors, and so I’m not. You can just contemplate the disappointment of that thought yourselves. So let’s talk about something equally disheartening: PMQs – yes, the place where dignity goes to die. Fellow LabourList writer Maya Goodfellow ambivalently noted that Miliband had ‘landed a […]

    Read more →
  • News Woolf and May should “meet survivors groups” over Brittan links, say Labour

    Woolf and May should “meet survivors groups” over Brittan links, say Labour

    Labour have spoken out about complaints that Fiona Woolf QC, head of the public inquiry into historical sex abuse, has links with Leon Brittan. Brittan was the home secretary at the time when the dossier about alleged pedophiles went missing. And Woolf, who is also Lord Mayor of London, admitted yesterday that since 2008 she had dinner with Brittan and his family on five separate occasions but she has said she has “no close association” with him. A number of Labour MPs […]

    Read more →
  • Comment PMQs review: Miliband lands punch on NHS as leaders go through the motions

    PMQs review: Miliband lands punch on NHS as leaders go through the motions

    Here we are again. Another week, another Wednesday, and another wrangle between Cameron and Miliband about the NHS. This is getting a bit old. Cameron attempted to get Miliband on the back foot – he kicked off PMQs by posing questions to the Labour leader about the Welsh NHS. Rather predictably, the rest of PMQs descended into the two party leaders arguing about who can be more trusted with the NHS. But, there was something a little more sinister about […]

    Read more →
  • Comment There is no such thing as a safe seat any more

    There is no such thing as a safe seat any more

    A couple of weeks ago saw the UK elect for the first time a UKIP MP – Douglas Carswell, with a huge majority of 12,000 votes. UKIP made enormous strides in the safe Labour seat of Heywood & Middleton as well, reducing the Labour majority from 5,971 to 617. This rise in the ‘acceptable’ far right should be a cause of concern not just to the Tories but also to us. It is clear from these results there is no […]

    Read more →
  • Comment We must tackle Ukip’s emotional appeal

    We must tackle Ukip’s emotional appeal

    The result in Heywood and Middleton may have shocked some people, but not all. Some warned this could happen after UKIP took or seriously challenged safe council seats in the north, topped the national vote at the Euros, and polled strongly in Labour areas. Their highest average share of the vote in the 2014 elections came in Labour areas like Rotherham, Mansfield and Hartlepool. We’re told if we campaign on the “issues” people will come back to Labour. This fails […]

    Read more →
7ads6x98y