From the TUC

Britain’s economy: more like Greece and Portugal than the rest of the EU

14 May 2011, by in Economics, International

The Government is keen to suggest that if they hadn’t taken the decision to cut the deficit so hard and so fast, we would be in the same boat as Greece and Portugal. As Duncan Weldon’s blog reveals, actually it’s because the coalition chose to cut so deep and so fast that we are now looking more and more like Greece and Portugal. 

Britain’s lamentable growth figures for the last six months are not part of a wider European malaise. The international comparisons show that in the first six months of the current coalition government – before its policies began to take effect – Britain’s economy was growing faster than the European average. But by the time Government cuts had begun to impact on spending decisions (corporate and personal), over the last six months, Britain had fallen well behind the European average: and only Greece and Portugal whose economies are also affected by major cuts programmes score worse.

It’s got to be remembered though that Greece and Portugal are being forced into those cuts by the markets and external intervention: the coalition government is sacrificing growth voluntarily!

5 Responses to Britain’s economy: more like Greece and Portugal than the rest of the EU

  1. Bill Kruse
    May 14th 2011, 5:45 pm

    It’s difficult not to suspect the Coalition’s real agenda is the destruction of the middle class in some slow-motion version of a scorched-earth policy.


  2. The Squeeze
    May 14th 2011, 9:35 pm

    The GDP figures in Duncan’s table are ‘real’ GDP figures, in other words after inflation is taken into account.

    Are you blaming Osborne and ‘da cutz’ for the fact UK inflation is much higher than the Eurozone?

    With consumer debt at getting on for a trillion and a half quid isn’t it about time they faced the music and deleveraged themselves?

  3. Rosita Stefanyszyn
    May 16th 2011, 9:32 am

    B B ‘s comments that the middle classes standard of living is being ‘levelled’ are so true in my opinion.

    The Tory led government is destroying any possiblity of a normal life/ existence for the poorer classes and those on welfare so the only other class to take money from is the middle classes – because TORYS, REPRESENTING THE PRIVALAGED ARE NOT PREPARED TO GIVE UP THEIR WEALTH (=power) and are doing all they can to keep the status quo.

    We all agree there had to be cuts and changes to our lives – but – they must be proportional, fair and not so fast, so as not to create this stagnation in the economy.
    The spin is usually cutting an existing service and then introducing a head-line grabbing replacement which is, if lucky, a quarter of the origional investment – so wont be of any real benefit!
    Housing benefit cuts -why not CAP PRIVATE HOUSING RENTS
    at the same time.

  4. The Squeeze
    May 17th 2011, 3:41 am

    “why not CAP PRIVATE HOUSING RENTS at the same time”

    This would have the effect of reducing house prices in a lot of areas (as well as some less desirable black market effects).

    Labour would never do anything to prop up house prices beyond the reach of the working classes would they?

    1) Remove housing from inflation targets?
    2) Slash bank capital ratios?
    3) Slash interest rates?
    4) Swap bad mortgages for AAA government debt with banks?
    5) Guarantee short term bank financing?
    6) Print £200bn?

    The stagnation in the economy is because of the house price and credit bubble that burst. Who presided over the house price and credit bubble???

  5. Rosita Stefanyszyn
    May 20th 2011, 10:01 am

    Labour should have re-instated a cap on the rents for the private housing market following it’s removal by Thatcher.

    Something for Milliband’s Labour party to promise.

    Unfortunately many people entered into private renting in Buy-to-let schemes, mainly to invest for their pension because pension schemes just were NOT a worthwhile investment unless you could afford hugh amounts.

    So, over the past years when we were all living the ‘good life’ Rents increased disproportionally, creating a housing situation that only served the well-off and those on housing benefit. (Also aggrivated by lack of social housing build)

    Well, landlords, those days should stop. Let sanity and fairness take over. Cap private renting.