The article below by Tom O’Leary provides an analysis of the recent Autumn Statement including the forecasts for growth and living standards that have been revised sharply lower by the Office of Budget Responsibility. A key point is that the OBR is clear: around 60 per cent of the cuts made to those forecasts are a result of the Brexit referendum vote. Brexit will make us poorer.
By Bob Clarke
The political impact of the economic crisis in Europe has entered a new phase. When the economy was contracting virtually all parties implementing austerity policies were thrown out of office or at least experienced a large drop in their support. In the more recent period of economic stagnation, the same economic policies have the effect of shifting the burden of the crisis onto workers and the poor while capital benefits, boosting the incomes of the very rich and allied layers.
Discussion about the trends in the world economy emerging from the 2008 financial crisis is dominated by the relative growth rates of the US and China – the world’s two largest economies.
The media discussion has been focusing on concerns about China’s slowdown and its global impact, while the US is portrayed a recovering well. In fact both major economies are slowing in the context of continued global economic weakness, but the US is slowing much more than China.
The following article, by John Ross, looks at these facts in detail and points out that the key question is not ‘why is China slowing?’, but why has the US slowed much more dramatically than China in the last year?
By Nicky Dempsey
Repeated claims that the European crisis is over are entirely false. Among the countries whose creditors have been bailed out the Greek economy is expected to contract sharply again in 2013, the Portuguese centre-right coalition government has threatened to fall apart and Ireland, long touted as the model for a bail-out, has officially gone back into recession.
By Nicky Dempsey and Jane West
The announcement by Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls that the Tories’ spending plans would be the ‘starting point’ for Labour’s own budget post-2015, and Ed Miliband’s endorsement of a continuing ‘benefit cap’, clarify the nature of the coming Labour government.
By Nicky Dempsey
The growing recognition that the 2015 election is Labour’s to lose has led to increasing rightwing pressures on the Labour leadership to maintain the essential thrust of ‘austerity’ policy.
The overwhelmingly Tory press focuses on the demand that Ed Miliband in particular commits to maintaining Tory spending plans.