This week’s YouGov/Sunday Times results are now up online here. Topline voting intention figures are CON 30%, LAB 40%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 14%. The ten point lead is now on the upper side of YouGov’s recent polling (the Labour lead has started to settle at around 8 or 9 points) but within the normal margin of error.

Attitudes towards the economy remain pessimistic, but less so than the last two years. A majority of people now regard David Cameron and George Osborne being at least a fair amount to blame for the state of the economy. 25% think Osborne should take a lot of the blame, 28% a fair amount; 21% think Cameron should take a lot of the blame, 30% a fair amount. However Gordon Brown is still much more widely blamed for the state of the economy, with 37% blaming him a lot, 32% a fair amount.

Of the people asked about (Cameron, Osborne, Brown, Darling and Balls) Ed Balls is the least blamed, but even then 44% think he should carry a lot or a fair amount of blame, only 35% little or no blame. I’m intrigued by this finding, for the political anoraks amongst us Ed Balls is a man who was extremely close to Gordon Brown and was his political ally, confidant and one time advisor. However, I can’t believe the public, 36% of whom can’t even recognise a photo of Ed Balls are particular aware of that. It does raise the question of why people are so ready to put at least some blame on someone who didn’t even hold an economic portfolio at the last election. Some of it will be a purely partisan answer of course, but even 23% of current Labour voters think Balls should carry some blame for the current state of the economy. Perhaps it’s just some people putting some collective blame on all the last government, or blaming the whole of the current political class.

Moving on to Ed Miliband’s welfare announcements, we knew from previous polling that people supported the idea of stopping Winter Fuel Payments for richer pensioners and supported the ending of child benefit for higher earners – they still do. 62% of people also think that Miliband’s proposal to cap the total cost of benefits is a good idea.

There is less confidence whether Miliband really believes in what he is saying – only 23% think he is capping the cost of benefit because he thinks it is right, 60% think he doesn’t believe it but is only doing it for political reasons. This may well just reflect general cynicism towards politics though, rather than anything about Miliband in particular – YouGov found almost identical figures in the past when we asked about David Cameron and gay marriage.

Finally YouGov asked a chunk of questions about social mobility. People are broadly divided over levels of social mobility in Britain today. 38% think that anyone with talent who is willing to work hard can rise to the top, 43% think that success is mostly reserved for those from privileged backgrounds. 37% think that social mobility has improved, 40% that is has got worse. There is a very obvious difference between supporters of different political parties, the vast majority (71%) of Tory voters think that talent and hard work will bring success, wherever you start from, most Labour supporters (59%) think success is mostly reserved for those from privileged backgrounds.

The perception seems to be that social class is much more of a barrier in the professions than age or gender. Only 21% think that senior professional positions are unfairly dominated by white people, 63% think they are open to people from all racial backgrounds. 39% think they are unfairly dominated by men, but 49% think men and women have equal opportunities. When it comes to social class 56% think the professions are unfairly dominated by the affluent middle class, while only 31% think they are open to people of all class backgrounds. This may, of course, just be an “I’m alright Jack” distinction – most respondents are white, so won’t be personally disadvantaged by race. Almost half of respondents will be male, so shouldn’t lose out through gender. However, for almost all respondents there will be someone higher up the class scale who they can worry they are losing out to.

On nepotism people overwhelmingly think it is acceptable for parents to help their children to get jobs (by 78% to 12%), and would overwhelmingly arrange for a child to get work experience at their own place of work, or call in favours to arrange work experience elsewhere. A majority (55%) do, however, think that it is wrong and unfair for companies to offer UNPAID internships.

146 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times – CON 30, LAB 40, LD 9, UKIP 14”

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  1. Pensions
    l am in receipt of an ill health enhanced Teacher’s pension ‘cos l’m ill.
    A condition of receiving this is that l cannot work as a teacher ,my area of expertise as it were,however l can do a limited amount of work doing something other than teaching….l suspect that it would not be that difficult to extend this rule to those in receipt of non-ill health related occupational pensions.
    Balls may be on to something here ‘cos l suspect that l am not the only Baby Boomer who feels deeply uneasy at the wildly unbalanced economic playing field facing my children’s generation.

  2. TOH

    Undoubtedly true but it is the Conservatives who have made the biggest issue of not passing on the debt inheritance to future generations,surely by excluding the current retired generations from any cuts while ensuring that all the current cuts are felt by those of working age and future retired runs contrary to this position.

    I think Balls has uncovered a fatal weakness in the Tory Position, yes it is risky and no doubt the media will portray it in the worst possible light but realistically it is a decision based on demographic necessity in the medium to long term and Balls should be given credit for moving beyond a short term populist stance.

  3. Colin

    These are the Item clubs forecasts for 2013/14 published in January 2012
    2013 1.8% Growth in GDP
    2014 2.8% Growth in GDP

    Now tell me with a straight face why we should assume they are now correct?

  4. R huckle

    Those under 40 will not receive state pensions at all

  5. @TOH

    “I am quite sure that Osborne will stick to his policy until 2015. I too do not think he is right, he should have cut much deeper earlier but he is more right than the alternative approach suggested by EB”

    You need to help me a bit here. If, as even the IMF now acknowledge, the current programme of public expenditure cuts has depressed consumer demand, increased unemployment, reduced real incomes and, , by choking off economic growth, has increased both the deficit and borrowing, how on earth could much deeper cuts have been the answer?

    Is it that you just want to shrink the state and your argument is, in effect, an ideological and not an economic one? I have to say that I can’t see any sane economic rationale behind advocating even deeper spending cuts than Osborne is already implementing. Consequently, I have to assume that you’re coming at this from an ideological and political point of view.

  6. @ TOH

    Have to agree with you entirely and one of the problems for modern politics.

    I think it started with the Michael Foot suicide note where politicians, especially obviously Labour ones, then became scared to put forward policies because they will be taken apart by the media. That then created a trend where no rational debate was possible and every single announcement got criticised. Added to that the modern politics seems to be never to upset anyone. All of these things create a bad mix of policies and political debate.

  7. One of the things that really makes me cross (people were talking about ringfencing earlier and fits in with the pensions/welfare debate) is that ringfencing is such a narrow concept and quite damaging.

    I understand why people do it, especially this government as they poll poorly on the NHS so they have to prove (by ringfencing) that they are not out to “destroy” it. However there are so many interconnected issues with the NHS and other budgets like education- especially social work that if you cut the social care budget (run by councils) this has a knock on effect.

    The biggest problem my wife has at school is the lack of social work support available with problem children/families. She may not thank me for saying this but as far as I can see the education budget itself it excellent- tons of teachers, teaching assistants etc and even the budget to have ‘learning mentors’ (social workers in all but name) in schools.

    However when it comes to getting support from social services it is almost impossible to get intervention with the families involved unless we are dealing with Baby P type cirumstances. Obviously I can’t go into details but I’m shocked how high the bar is set for a social worker even to pay a home visit.

    So, for example, most poor schools now will have a breakfast club which is a major factor in getting kids to pay attention in class, rather than playing up because they haven’t had breakfast, but absolutely no chance of the question being dealt with as to why those kids aren’t being fed. Social work is under so much pressure that really only the desperate cases can be dealt with.

    I am sure the same applies to the NHS- you may have the same money going into the NHS but less going into prevention or early intervention so the NHS does not have to deal with the consequences. For example I believe there is almost a revolving door with homeless people- they get ill, get patched up and then sent back out again for the cycle to repeat.

    Anyway, yes- so I am not in favour of these absolutes of ringfencing even if they do give some hope that funding is not cut in vital areas.

  8. “@richard in norway

    R huckle

    Those under 40 will not receive state pensions at all ”

    I think you are correct, which makes the current situation very unfair. I thought that politicians always argued that we needed to look after future generations by making decisions for the long term. This must surely include saving money on current pensions and investing for the future.

  9. @ John Pilgrim

    I have absolutely no issue with people continuing to work after the official retirement age; indeed, I am pleased that Labour disallowed forced retirement of older people by employers. However, if they are employed, is it right that at the same time they can also be retired & receiving a state pension which was intended to provide an income when a person could no longer work?

    I believe that Ed Balls wants to draw attention to this; i.e. that the contributions principle is applied to state pensions therefore nobody asks serious questions about the amount spent on them nor whether the recipients need the income.

  10. R. Huckle,

    “I thought that politicians always argued that we needed to look after future generations by making decisions for the long term. This must surely include saving money on current pensions and investing for the future.”

    Politicians tend to only invest in the future if it pays dividends for them in the present. That’s why it’s so important that we, as voters, make it in their self-interest to think for the long-term.

  11. @ Amber

    I would argue, being in favour of universal benefit, that just because they carry on working it should not mean they end up with less pension than someone who stops working. However I don’t like the fact that they no longer pay National Insurance which these days is just an add on to Income Tax rather than being something in it’s own right. So effectively it is not a level playing field to do the same job but the state gets less tax as someone under 68.

  12. LEFTY

    We will see how the economy turns out in due course.

    Meanwhile -for your collection of of excellent Treasury forecasts , I offer you-the 2007 Budget:-

    Table B4 on p252 shows GDP forecasts to 2009.

    The document was dated March 2007.

    Six months later we watched the run on Norther Rock on out tvs.
    Within a year, NR was nationalised and GDP started to fall.

  13. STEVE

    @”These are the Item clubs forecasts for 2013/14 published in January 2012
    2013 1.8% Growth in GDP
    2014 2.8% Growth in GDP
    Now tell me with a straight face why we should assume they are now correct?”

    I said they were interesting.

    I don’t know whether they are now correct.

    Actually , those GDP forecasts are not too far adrift from the top of the range in the May edition of “Forecasts for the UK Economy” by HM Treasury.-the highest being 1.5% & 2.4% respectively.

  14. @ Shevii

    I would argue, being in favour of universal benefit, that just because they carry on working it should not mean they end up with less pension than someone who stops working.
    You are describing the contributory principle, not universalism as such. Pensions themselves are not universal, they are (for the most part) based on a person’s contributions record. But I think you are already aware of that, given your comment regarding NI. I simply don’t want others to be confused about pensions themselves. i.e. Retired people without the necessary contributions record must rely on means tested ‘safety net’ social security rather than being entitled to the state pension itself.

  15. Colin

    You show me someone who can predict a priori the downstream end of an unexpected shock and I’ll tip my hat to the greatest mathematician of the 21st century.

    Comparing predictions that straddle the once-in-a-century shock of September 2008 with any other economic predictions is, frankly, rather silly.

    What is more illuminating is how models and their intellectual underpinnings have fared in the post-shock conditions. The standard stance on the Right was that Austerity was not even up for debate. Austerity was essential, because without it, the bond markets would crucify us, and as Reinhart and Rogoff showed, economies fall off a cliff when debt ratios are too high. And anyway, there were plenty of examples of countries who had taken a chainsaw to Govt spending. So Austerity was needed and beneficial. Not one of those foundation stones has survived the last 3 years. And predictions of the effect of Austerity on short-to-medium term growth that assumed small multipliers have been wildly optimistic throughout Europe and the UK.

  16. The IMF says that Greece needs another bailout, the expected growth is still not happening

  17. LEFTY

    I think the big question is whether that was-or should have been “an unexpected shock “.

    I pretty familiar with your view of the components which have elongated this recession in UK-or should I say “component”.

    Personally, think there have been a number.

    They certainly include the effect of the lower earnings which seems to have been the price of mitigating unemployment in UK.
    Inflation , particularly on core domestic costs like energy & fuel have been a big factor too in reducing consumer spending power.
    I think it would be strange indeed to argue that the initial cuts to State Capital Spending ( also a part of AD’s last Budget) have not impacted the Construction component of GDP.
    You can read the ONS data as can I & we can both see that the hiatus in North Sea spending was a factor until the very recentl turnaround in investment there.
    Finally there is the downturn in the EZ economy & it’s effect on UK Trade.

    I don’t know where the balance lies between all of these, and given that Labour would have been cutting too in order to address the deficit, it is comparative effects we should really be talking about.

    However if one is minded to see all attempts to mitigate Sovereign Debt difficulties -throughout EU/EZ as “Austerity”-and by dint of using that description ,unwarranted , then it it is an easy step to blame everything on fiscal consolidation.

    However it is all history now-or at least I think it is becoming so in UK ( if not in France & other EZ countries).

    So I think the political question in UK come 2015 will be -does the accusation from Labour-” we would have got here more quickly” carry any traction on VI?

  18. “The IMF says that Greece needs another bailout, the expected growth is still not happening2

    Expected Growth? Expected by whom?

  19. On Greece and IMF’s expected growth. This graph leapt out of the page at me from the IMF’s report last week.

    Utter, spellbinding, historic ineptitude, right the way through the crisis. And why were the predictions so far out?
    From that IMF Report:
    “Should the larger economic downturn have been expected?

    There were a number of reasons why the actual decline in GDP was so much greater than anticipated:
    1) The fiscal multipliers were too low.
    The question that arises is whether underestimation of the size of the fiscal multipliers in the SBA-supported program caused the depth of the recession to be underestimated. The program initially assumed a multiplier of only 0.5 despite staff’s recognition that Greece’s relatively closed economy and lack of an exchange rate tool would concentrate the fiscal shock. Recent iterations of the Greek program have assumed a multiplier of twice the size. This reflects research showing that multipliers tend to be higher when households are liquidity constrained and monetary policy cannot provide anoffset (see October 2012 WEO), [b]influences that appear not to have been fully appreciated when the SBA-supported program was designed.[/b]”

    I’m not sure who it was who didn’t appreciate these influences back in 2010, but as an amateur looking in, I was very much aware of them.

  20. Colin.

    It’s amazing how, after a shock, everyone knows that we should have seen it coming.

    And yes you are right that Labour’s “cuts lite” approach left them with little of an argument against Austerity. Labour effectively gave up on the fundamentals of the argument in 2009. They did it for short-term political expediency reasons and they were wrong to do so. EB was very much against that policy as I recall.It was Darling who won the internal debate.

    By the way Colin, I take very great issue with your comment that this whole issue is somehow fading into history, because growth is now coming through. That entirely misses the crucial point. Once growth is re-established (assuming it finally does happen this time, we’ll see) that’s not the end of the matter. It is barely the start. The output gap that we now have is larger than at any time since the War. We have a huge gulf to make up. But at the same time, we have a generation that has dealt with an unprecedentedly drawn-out period of high un- and under-employment. The really big long term worry is the hysteresis effect – that many of these people have been permanently forced out of the labour market, having lost the skills that made them employable before the crash.

    We have had 3 years now of disappointingly low growth. That is not just some unfortunate issue that can be put right by the green shoots finally emerging. It is a problem of historic proportions, that will have effects on our economic strength for the rest of my life (which I seriously hope will go on for another 3 decades at least).

  21. @CROSSBAT11

    I arrive at my conclusion from both points of view, both ideologically and economically. As far as the latter is concerned I would have made much deeper cuts without any departmental exceptions but I would not have cut some of the capital projects as these tend to support growth


    Very much agree with your point about ringfencing, I don’t like it either although i think our economic approaches would differ. Glad you agreed with my comment about the tit for tat nonesense that goes on all the time but as I said sadly that’s politics.

  22. I’ve long said that Growth needed to have started by the end of last year for it to impact a 2015 election. Growth ‘getting started’ now will make a slight improvement to consumer confidence now, because it’ll be reported as “the economy is improving”. But in a couple of months when those improvements don’t immediately show in household incomes and employment, consumer confidence will slump again. Employment and standards of living are trailing indicators, and there is far too little time between now and 2015.

  23. Mr Nameless

    Je suis enchanté avec votre suggestion.

    See, I worked it out after much surfing. We Ubuntu Linux users are like the Green Party (and shortly possibly the LD one) – small yet determined.

  24. Lefty – right about EB losing the internal debate before the 2015 inside Labour but also he argued during the leadership campaign that the AD plan was too severe.

    By the time he got the shadow chancellors job he was able to finesse along lines of Euro crisis worse than expected so what i said earlier irrelevant etc.

    EB clearly lost the argument in the country as well as the LDs flipped over the weekend after the GE and Labour disappeared in to an elongated leadership election and failed to challenge the Coalition.

    Rightly or wrongly Labour’s Economic credibility was shot so it would have made little difference anyhow.

    The multiplier thing is interesting as all modelling struggles withy psycholigical impacts; imo there are contradictory pulls. The UKs high MPM would have lowered the multiplier from fiscal injections whilst the austerity rhetoric from GO etc almost certainly lowered confidence lower adding to the suppression of demand.

    As ever the question is what would the optimal level have been to support demand whilst not creating a bigger BoP issue causing more damage down the line and higher inflation?

    I am at the EB end of the debate (or at least EB circa 2010) whilst ToH is to the right of GO.

    Even ToH has a too far too fast stance in that he would have maintained capital spending.

  25. Sorry EB – losing internal debate before 2010, oops

  26. Jim Jam

    I always ponder about the VAT changes. As an example of EU harmonisation policy, the hike from 17.5 to 20% was perhaps admirable, although I suspect that was not a high Osborne priority ( :-) ). However there is a debate possible (IMO) between raising IT (not NI) instead or at least partially instead of direct taxation on spending..

    The reasoning goes that spending is of course directly affected whereas IT hikes takes longer to sink in. The lowering to 15 by Lab seemed to me to have a bounce effect. It was one thing to bring it back to 17.5, but to hike it by 5% in such a short time from that 15 to 20 seemed to me to be questionable. But our resident economic experts here will no doubt know better, they always do..

  27. I guess there are 2 questions.
    The first is the amount of aggregate demand Governments wish to contribute towards through additional borrowing over a short cycle and the second one is the specific measures chosen and therefore which sections of the population should benefit/suffer the most.

    You are dead right about VAT having a fairly immediate impact wheres IT tax changes take longer to filter through the reason why Ken Clarke called for a temporary cut in VAT.

    Labour will not touch the Income Tax threshold increases in its manifesto but IIRC the net effect of these changes plus VAT increases is regressive; or at least the VAT increase is a regressive pull on the progressive element of the IT threshold increases.

  28. LEFTY


    Searching for a central point of divergence between us , I pick out your ” We have a huge gulf to make up.”

    We have, but I fear that many-particularly on the political left-have not understood that some part of it will not be made up at all-or at least not for a very long time.

    There was clearly an element of that pre-crash economy which was illusory-sitting in a variety of balance sheets as assets at values which would never be realised.

    This is what re-balancing is all about-trying to compensate for that slug of Financial Services GDP & & resultant Tax Revenues) which disappeared with the Banking Crisis.

    The 135k people who have lost jobs in that sector presumably understand it only too well , as they see UK banking abandoning the activities they were employed in , and returning to less risky business plans.

    But I’m not sure that the population in general understand that those people are a proxy for a failed & lost chunk of what made us all think we were well off.

    It sometimes occurs to me that in countries like Ireland , where the State essentially adopted the Banking Sector’s bad debts , the “bad ” bit of the economy was clearly visible , and morphed into a Bailout of the State by EU/IMF.

  29. Listened to Hague’s statement on the way home from work, I thought he did a really good job as its such a tricky area and balance. In terms of national security, I wish it was done on a more cross party basis where practically possible.

  30. Changing topic briefly, the Prism allegations provide some intriguing thoughts.

    I’ve seen an odd tweet or two making the point that if Prism had been an EU Commission project, the media would have been in full on apesh!t mode, whereas much of the mainstream media is reporting this in remarkably soft terms. That’s an interesting thought in itself.

    In terms of polling effects, I suspect very little impact from these revelations, unless a UK minister ends up being flushed out as fibbing. Some people get very steamed up about information protection, but most of us give more data freely to our local supermarkets with our store cards and credit cards, so when we see terrorist attacks on British streets, things like CCTV and GCHQ ‘listening’ to our every call don’t seem so frightening.

    The one area that does disturb me is the line that Dennis Skinner so rightly nailed in the HoC this afternoon, when he raised a question about the miners from a different era.

    This is really the point where I fear for the security services and an overly secretive state. It’s a sad fact of life, that the security services in the UK have a poor track record of evenhandedness in the political arena, and over many decades, there are reams of evidence pointing to operations against left wing targets of various shades. Some of these are laughable – like the file on Jack Straw, once perceived as a ‘risk’, while others are deeply political, and arguably undemocratic.

    I personally don’t worry too much about an uncontrolled state security operation watching my every move – my life is not criminal, and remarkably boring, so if anyone wants to store all that information, good luck. What bothers me is that unless the security services are properly controlled, they may fall back into their default position of assuming everything vaguely left wing is an ‘enemy’, and waste their time tracking union officials or eco protestors, rather than putting their resources where we are under a much more real threat.

    The record of our security forces, Foreign Office and diplomatic service at spotting emerging threats and global trends is really quite laughably poor, and this I think probably has much to do with the fact that their institutional mindset is drawn from far too narrow a base.

    This, I feel, is the big concern from the Prism story – and the reason why we need to find a way to control the apparatus of the state through normal democratic means.

  31. RICH

    I agree.

    I was not familiar with the hierarchy of authorities required by the Security Services for surveillance until Hague explained them today.

    It sounded impressive & I thought Jack Straw supported Hague well-from a position of former Foreign Secretary.

    I got the slight feeling that Straw was irritated by Alexander’s questions of Hague.

    I have no doubt whatsoever that when Hague says that we have been protected from some very nasty people & threats he is right.

    The Spooks have to operate in secret as Hague said-because the threats are devised in secret.

  32. Alec
    What gets me are the hundreds of cars parked around that abominably situated building near Cheltenham. Street View does display a bus stop or two but the overwhelming impression is of a well-off elite achieving bugger all at our expense and commuting by car from their bijou cottages in the Cotswolds.

    I expect the cleaners use the buses.

  33. @Colin,

    Agree in full!

  34. Just been reading an article in a tech magazine that advices avoiding American websites and servers as far as possible and predicts that the prism project will result in the end of American dominance of the web. I was a bit surprised to see such a political article in a tech magazine but then again techy folks to tend to be keen on civil liberties

  35. Here’s a non-sarcastic question: what is Niall Ferguson’s position on the EU? Cross-referencing from the other site, I just read an article in Die Welt in which he seemed to reverse his position (previously: it’ll collapse, now: it won’t collapse) and I was going to make a post about how it was now time to predict EU collapse, using him as a contrarian indicator.

    But looking thru his past articles, he may actually have a consistent position (euro won’t collapse, Federal Europe, UK not necessarily in it), but changes his emphasis for the audience (skeptic for Anglosphere articles, reluctant enthusiast for central European articles.

    So what do you guys think?

    * h ttp://
    * h ttp://
    * h ttp://
    * h ttp://

  36. @richard in norway

    “…Just been reading an article in a tech magazine that advices avoiding American websites and servers as far as possible and predicts that the prism project will result in the end of American dominance of the web….”

    For purposes of irony, was this “article in a tech magazine” actually on paper or was it online. And if the latter, what’s the address?…:-))


  37. Martyn

    Online of course! I might not be a techy but I don’t do paper. I hunt it down again and post link

  38. Yeo is to stand aside as chair of the Energy and Climate Change Committee pending investigations into his conduct regarding the coaching of witnesses set to appear before the committee .

    And not before time-let’s hope it is permanent.

  39. TNS 6th-10th June

    CON 27% (+3), LAB 36% (-1), LD 8% (-2), UKIP 19% (0), OTHER 10% (0)

  40. ‘Those under 40 will not receive state pensions at all’

    I don’t agree with that – it would be electoral suicide for any party that attempted it. No – the grey vote will be looked after – indeed the state pension is about to increase in real terms in 2016 albeit paid a few years later than hitherto.

  41. So that guy is telling people not to use Google or Facebook ???

    Whilst reserving his own actions.

    No chance.

    And the fight back has started :-

    ” Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg described the reports as “outrageous”, insisting that his firm only provided user information to the authorities when compelled to by law.

    On his Facebook page, Mr Zuckerberg wrote: “Facebook is not and has never been part of any programme to give the US or any other government direct access to our servers.”

    In a blog, Google boss Larry Page said: “We provide user data to governments only in accordance with the law.”

    Sky News

  42. @RiN is registered on a server…in San Francisco. Oh, the lulz..:-)


    Admin Name: Walborsky Paul
    Admin Street1: 217 2nd Street
    Admin Street2: 4th Floor
    Admin Street3: Unknown
    Admin City: San Francisco
    Admin State: California
    Admin Postal Code: 94105
    Admin Country: United States
    Admin Phone: +1.8009068098
    Admin Email: [email protected]

  43. Martyn

    Yes indeed, very funny but the writer does say that he is based outside the US


    The writer says that due to the nature of his work he can not avoid using American websites and servers but he would if he could, that is a fundamental change, before there has been no demand for a non American search engine, for example but now there may be demand and as we know the market will provide consumers with what they desire. Which is why Google and Facebook are so freaked out


    “The point is that the models which downplayed the effect of Austerity on our growth have been uniformly, consistently and spectacularly wrong since 2010. And yet the predictions from the same modellers are being trotted out to reassure us that it actually IS all coming right. Along with a lengthier-by-the-year set of reasons why their models’ errors are due to everything apart from underestimating the effect of Austerity.”


    Yep and the defenders of Austerity continue to trot out the same tired old lines that don’t work. Inflation!! As if commodity prices didn’t shoot up under Labour too. EU slowdown, as if Labour didn’t have a full-blown crash to deal with. At least they haven’t mentioned the snow for a while…

    Plain fact is that austerity didn’t deliver as promised. The point of an economic strategy is to handle difficulties. It’s not much cop if it only works under optimal conditions. Many strategies can do that.

    And in VI terms, it seems from polling the public are increasingly aware that austerity is not delivering as promised or required. Those left defending it may be increasingly those retirees relatively protected and fearful that Labour if re-elected may decide it is time the Tory core vote share rather more in what they prescribe for others…

    And Labour are turning up the heat on that…

  45. Martyn,

    In case you hadn’t noticed, a blog is not for “private communication”.


    In a blog, Google boss Larry Page said: “We provide user data to governments only in accordance with the law.”

    Indeed. That’s the problem.

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