Neil Repudiates More Interference From The IMF
On the penultimate Daily Politics of 2017, Andrew Neil informed us that the IMF are again sticking their noses into British affairs.
“The IMF, the International Monetary Fund, based in Washington DC,” predicted that voting for Brexit would “hit the UK economy. Well, that didn’t quite happen” Neil began. “Today, it came to London to deliver its verdict for 2017 and its forecast for the year ahead.”
A clip was shown of Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the IMF, who said “In this country, the United Kingdom, since the start of this year, growth has slowed notably. The significant depreciation of Sterling that followed the referendum has pushed inflation over 3%, squeezing real incomes and private consumption. Companies are also delaying some investment decisions until they have greater clarity about post-Brexit trade rules in particular.” She then forecasted a slight deceleration in growth.
It seems obvious to me that incomes have been squeezed by continual uncontrolled immigration, something the British public voted to end. An overabundance of labour pushes wages down, while an increase in the amount of benefits claimed pushes tax up. Companies would also know where they stood if we had immediately exited the Single Market and reverted to World Trade Organisation rules. This would probably involve the use of tariffs, but would not be the disaster that Remainers would have you believe. If the uncertainty of the Government’s botched Brexit is adversely affecting growth, then surely the solution is to get on with leaving the EU as hastily as possible.
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Back in the studio, Claire Perry MP, Climate Change And Industry Minister, said about the growth downgrade “I don’t think anyone is surprised.” (I agree with her, it fits the pattern of doom-mongering that Remain campaigners are renowned for. I must say though that Perry came across as refreshingly positive for a Remainer.) “I’ve focused Andrew on things like the Forbes survey that yesterday said Britain was the best place in the world to do business” she continued. “We’ve got to get through this period of uncertainty and get the shape of the deal with Europe as quickly as possible.”
“But why is Britain now in the slow lane of growth?” Andrew asked her. “Are we in the slow lane, in your view, because of Brexit?”
“I think we are” she replied. “Growth has slowed because of the period of uncertainty around our exit from the EU, which we thought would happen.” (If Brexit was being executed properly, there would not have been a prolonged “period of uncertainty.”) “We have a really strong economy” “and we will power ahead.”
“Do you believe the IMF forecasts?” Neil asked Shadow Health Minister, Justin Madders MP.
“They’re all heading in the same direction, aren’t they, which is downwards” Madders said, substantiating my earlier point about Remainers. “The IMF have said that we need certainty and clarity moving forward to make those businesses feel confident to make the investment decisions, which is why we need this transitional deal.”
I wholeheartedly disagree with his last remark. A “transitional deal”, aside from the fact that it is Remaining in disguise, will only cause more uncertainty. Companies would have to adjust to the transitional rules, only to adjust again at the end of the transitional period. The immediate withdrawal from the Customs Union and implementation of WTO procedures would instantly provide certainty and clarity.
“The IMF told us before the referendum” “that if we voted to leave, there would be a major slowdown in growth, an immediate slowdown in growth of several percentage points” Neil orated. “It was wrong, wasn’t it?”
“That’s indisputable” Madders agreed.
“So why should it be right about next year?” (An excellent point Andrew!)
“Well it’s the best information that we’ve got at the moment” Justin answered. (I think this is a pathetic comment. He unwittingly acknowledged that the IMF are guessing.) He stated that businesses “are not in a position to make any decisions on future investment.”
“What about the Forbes magazine study that the minister referred to, which is a global study, saying Britain will be the best place to do business in the world next year?”
“That might be next year” Madders said “but what happens after that?” He went on to say “I don’t think anyone can make predictions about anything anymore.” (This is the same politician who seconds earlier was defending the IMF’s estimate.)
“I do believe experts often” Perry interjected, “but I think what was very good about the post Brexit referendum was that we had a major intervention from the Bank Of England who pumped billions of pounds into the economy.” (I find it scandalous that Mark Carney, the Governor of the Bank Of England, warned leading up to the referendum that voting to Leave would cripple our economy, but he made no mention of his bank’s apparent ability to negate this occurrence.) “We’ve got to get the shape of the deal and we’ve got to get on with it” and “thank goodness we had the breakthrough we needed in the last few days from the Prime Minister.” (I think she’s confusing breakthrough with capitulation.)
Neil dictated that, according to the Office of National Statistics, “if you’re a household in the lowest income bracket, your living standard has suffered more than any other.” “The people who need the most help are actually the ones suffering most.” They spend more on food and energy as a percentage of their income. “You have seen a 36% rise in prices over the past 6 or 7 years.”
Claire touted the National Living Wage, freezing fuel duty and delivering free child care as solutions to the problem. (If these are the solutions, why are there still thousands, if not millions, of people in poverty?)
“So the more you look at them, the poorer they get” Andrew said. “When will the poorest begin to feel any relief? At the moment, for 10 years now, prices of things they buy have been rising much more quickly than their incomes, despite your living wage and despite taking people out of tax.”
“When we came into office in 2010, we were dealing with the biggest financial crisis that we had seen in peace time, we had a deficit that was the biggest in the developed world” Perry rationalised. (Our economy would not be in such a state if we had not kept pouring billions of pounds into the corrupt, failing EU – another Parliamentary mistake that the electorate voted for the cessation of.)
“Mister Osborne said we were all in it together,” Neil pointed out, “but it turns out that it’s the poorest that are in it most of all.”
“We have had to pay off that deficit, which is now down by more than 2 thirds, we’ve worked on protecting those on the lowest income” and “we’ve taken 3 million people out of tax completely,” the Minister said defensively.
“But overall, they’re still worse off!” the host pressed.
“There’s still more to do” she conceded. She advocated investing in industries to create jobs. (Until we control immigration, it is impossible to create enough jobs with sufficient rapidity.)
“What 1 thing would Labour do to help the plight of the poor?” Neil asked.
Madders responded “We’d raise the minimum wage to £10 an hour.” (I’d like to know how Labour think they would fund this policy.)
“But it’s going to be about £9.50, so you’re almost there” Andrew mocked. “These people have had their income squeezed for 10 years and all you can offer is a marginal rise in the living wage. Some of them, by the way, won’t even be on the living wage.”
The Shadow Minister opined that the Government is facing “another decade really of wage stagnation” and that too many workers resort to filling “insecure low paid part-time” roles. “We need to create high paid sustainable jobs.” (Again, though I dislike repeating myself, I must comment that this is impossible without controlling immigration.)
“I’m sure the poor will be reassured by both of you” Neil concluded sarcastically.
You have to hand it to Andrew Neil – within 1 discussion, he dismissed the IMF’s claims and verbally destroyed high ranking Tory and Labour MPs. Yet he, like all in the public eye, neglected to ask what seems to me a burningly obvious question: Why do British politicians insist on heeding international organisations on what is best for Britain? If these bodies are not completely corrupt and selfish, they care about the global picture and do not have the UK’s interests at heart. Even if a multinational group is genuinely concerned about an individual country, I suggest that they do not know better than its inhabitants.