THE BLOG

Now It Is Official: You're Worse Off Under the Tories

20/03/2013 21:29 GMT | Updated 20/05/2013 10:12 BST

Nearly three years into this government, George Osborne has hung on to his job and to his failing economic plan, but come up horribly short on most of his key promises.

On economic growth, on maintaining Britain's AAA credit rating and on his key pledge to balance the books by 2015, he has failed each and every time.

Instead, borrowing will be £245billion more than planned as the costs of economic failure mount and the Chancellor has again put off the date when the national debt will start to come down.

And today, finally, we had the grim confirmation from the government's official forecaster that the British people will be worse off in 2015 than they were in 2010.

Now it is official: you're worse off under the Tories. From the working families who have to wait until 2015 for help with the costs of childcare, to a 2.4% drop in real wages over the lifetime of this parliament, life is getting more expensive and more difficult for most Britons.

There is a small group, however, who will be better off under George Osborne's plans - the 13,000 millionaires who will be handed a tax cut worth an average of £100,000 in just a few weeks' time.

The Chancellor and David Cameron had one last chance to rethink their flagship giveaway to the richest people in society but they stubbornly decided to plough on.

This Budget gave us more of the same failing plan, with borrowing higher, growth lower again and almost nothing to kickstart the economy.

George Osborne likes to claim he is helping hard workers by raising the level at which people start to pay tax - but he is giving with one hand and taking away with the other.

This April's increase in the personal allowance won't make up for what families have already lost in terms of tax and benefit changes.

A family with one earner and two children on £20,000 will be £381 a year worse off in 2013-14 and £600 a year worse off in 2014-15, according to figures from the House of Commons library.

Much of the damage was done in October 2010 - and Britain has never recovered. Since the Spending Review, Britain's economy has grown by just 0.7% compared to the 5.3% forecast at the time.

Only three other G20 countries have grown more slowly than the UK in that time.

And today we received even more bad news.

The Office for Budget responsibility halved its growth forecast for this year to 0.6%, and cut to 1.8% its estimate for next year.

In fact we have had the slowest recovery for 100 years.

Despite all the claims made by the Chancellor and the Prime Minister, this economic failure means borrowing is rising rather than falling. They are taking on more debt to fill in the holes in their plan.

Borrowing is now forecast to be £245bn more than planned at the time of the spending review - excluding the one off transfers of the Royal Mail Pension Fund and Asset Purchase Facility.

The government will not "balance the books" by 2015 as David Cameron promised.

National debt as a percentage of GDP is not now forecast to start falling until 2017/18 - further breaking one of the Government's fiscal rules. Yet it was only a year ago that George Osborne claimed we would "earn our way out" of trouble.

Today he put his faith in a programme to help people aspiring to buy a home to get enough cash for a deposit. We will look at the detail of Help to Buy but it falls far short of what Labour has been proposing on housebuilding over the last two years.

And if the government's track record is anything to go by then we should not hold out too much hope either.

The New Homes Bonus announced in 2010 was supposed to unleash growth and build at least 400,000 additional homes but it has failed to deliver. Shockingly, housing starts fell by 11% last year to below 100,000 - less than half the number required to meet housing need.

Similarly, David Cameron has claimed the New Buy scheme would assist 100,000 people to buy their own home. But so far the scheme has helped just 1,500 people to make a purchase - hitting just 1.5% of the target.

Instead Labour has called on the government to use the money raised from the 4G mobile spectrum auction to build 100,000 affordable homes to stimulate the economy and help tackle the housing crisis.

We also want to see a repeat of the bank bonus tax - on top of the bank levy - to pay for a guaranteed job for every young person out of work for a year or more.

These are some of the measures that will help get the country back on its feet. Yet when you look at the total package delivered by the Chancellor a few hours ago, it is another deeply disappointing day for anyone who hoped for a fairer and more prosperous Britain.