THE BLOG
06/12/2013 02:46 GMT | Updated 04/02/2014 05:59 GMT

The Autumn Statement - A List of Failures Dressed Up as Victories

After three wasted years, we have had another day of complacency from George Osborne.

All we heard in a speech of nearly an hour was more evidence of the cost of living crisis and a few misplaced boasts about the state of the economy, despite the fact that this is no recovery at all for millions of families.

Working people are now on average over £1,600 a year worse off since David Cameron came to office but the Government still has no idea how to react to this.

So instead of a serious plan to turn around Britons' declining living standards, this out-of-touch Chancellor presented us with a list of his failures dressed up as a victory.

But his smoke and mirrors will not disguise the yawning gap between his claims and reality.

George Osborne told us he had a "long-term plan for a grown-up country", but the Autumn Statement was dominated by his short-term politics.

The simple fact is that people will be worse off in 2015 than when David Cameron came to office.

Three years ago the Tory-led Government assured us the economy would have grown by 7.7% by now. In fact, it has grown by just 2.5% - far slower than America or Germany, which are up 6.4% and 4.4% respectively.

George Osborne pledged to get the banks lending, but net lending to businesses is now more than £100billion lower than in May 2010.

And used to say he would balance the books in 2015, but borrowing will be £79billion that year.

The list goes on. Whether it is on his pledge to protect Britain's triple-A credit rating, or to get borrowing under control, this downgraded Chancellor has failed time and again.

But he should not be allowed to hide from the reality of what has gone wrong on his watch.

We have had the slowest economic recovery for 100 years.

Prices have risen faster than wages for 40 out the last 41 months.

Real wages are forecast to fall by 5.8% over the Parliament - meaning people will be worse off in 2015 than when David Cameron came to office.

And the Prime Minister and Chancellor gave a huge tax to people earning more than £150,000.

It is no wonder they have abandoned their incredible claim that "we are all in this together".

On Thursdayy we saw the extent of the panic behind the government's policy announcements.

After a month of u-turns, covering payday loans, a licensing regime for bankers and cigarette packaging, we finally discovered the coalition has a policy on energy costs.

But it was nowhere near enough - just a hasty half-cooked measure which has only come after the leadership shown by Labour.

Even after the Chancellor's changes to levies, energy bills are still rising and the average household will still be paying £70 more for their energy than last winter.

Only Labour's price freeze, as well as action to reset the market to prevent energy companies overcharging, will ensure families, pensioners and businesses can afford to heat their home.

The reality of this government is that it is only really spurred into action when it wants to dispel a bad headline, for example on business rates. The business rates discount does not cover all businesses, it excludes 320,000 factories, workshops and warehouses - exactly the small and medium manufacturers who are vital to driving an export-led recovery, and excludes another 340,000 businesses using office space such as hi-tech firms.

Under Labour, 1.5million start-ups, workshops and shops would benefit from a cut and then a freeze in business rates.

So forget George Osborne's political games and look at the facts of today. The Chancellor has failed on growth, on borrowing and on the cost of living crisis. Hard working people are worse off under the Tories.