Jim Armitage: Osborne's telling slipComments Off on Jim Armitage: Osborne's telling slip
Decades of neglect by Labour of their working class heartlands are to blame for the Brexit vote. But the Tory Remain campaign’s scaremongering was guilty too.
Take George Osborne’s Emergency Budget: the threat that, post-Brexit, he’d immediately have to raise taxes and slash public spending by £30 billion. The Treasury, he intoned, says this is what leaving the EU will cost. He had no choice.
It was bunkum, of course. And it did huge damage to the supposedly independent Treasury economists who, everybody assumed, had been under ministerial orders to create scary forecasts.
Today, cancelling that fictional Emergency Budget, Osborne made a telling slip while attempting to explain the thing: “I made a series of predictions… er, I mean, the Treasury made a series of predictions that I agreed with.”
Nobody challenged him on those two very different versions of the story.
So we’re left wondering: is the Treasury a campaigning tool of the Chancellor, or an independent servant of the people?
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