George Osborne’s autumn statement previewed what I suspect will be the coalition, or at least the Conservatives, re-election message. ‘This government has taken Britain out of the financial danger zone and set our economy on the path to recovery.’
Today’s OBR forecast was a boon for the Chancellor. It suggests that there won’t be a double-dip recession, as his critics suggested there would be. The improved economic numbers allowed him to come to the House and declare that the deficit reduction ‘plan is working’, and that already the coalition has saved the country £19 billion in debt interest.
Alan Johnson was his usual self in response. He attacked the government for having ‘no plan for jobs’ but his unwillingness to mix it with Osborne on economics really is limiting Labour’s ability to land punches on the Chancellor and the coalition’s keystone policy.