The UK’s great recession’s over? Depends who you ask …

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Looking up: On the road to recovery, or not.


Britain’s six-year ‘Great Recession’ is officially over and the ground lost in the financial crisis has been recovered! This according to one of the UK’s leading economic bodies, the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, which recently declared that Britain’s GDP is almost back at its March 2008 record. “We are incredibly close to the pre-recession peak,” an Institute member commented. 

 

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But before we go any further, let’s look at what caused the ‘Great Recession’ in the first place. Who’s in the firing line? Well, apart from the usual suspects – lawyers, hedge-funders and tax-avoidance accountants – many are quick to point the finger at the bankers.

Bankers are the culprits, eh? Now, the crisis began in the USA and spread to much of the western world. People, who were probably financially illiterate, took out home loans they couldn’t afford. So, does this mean anyone who borrowed more than they could afford to repay is also to blame?

The reality is that we all, bankers and consumers, caused the problem and it’s typical of many people to jump up and down and yell “someone else’s fault, not mine!” Yes, bankers must share their responsibility because they’re taking the risk and are supposed to be the financial experts. But shouldn’t everyone who took advantage of such a loose system? Whatever happened to personal responsibility?

So, the recession’s really over, is it? You tell that to those on low wages, those who can’t find work, like university graduates and those unintentionally unemployed. Those on zero hour contracts not knowing where their next pay packet will be coming from, how much it’ll be, and if they’ll be able to afford their rent/mortgage. 

All these groups must be wondering which planet those statisticians live on. Plainly, it must be called something like ‘Cloud-Cuckoo-Land’ – a small planet on the outer regions of the nebula “I Saw You Coming!”    

No one wants to be a party pooper. If things are looking up – and they would have been whichever government had been in office by the turn of the cycle – there is cause for qualified optimism. But not until the UK Government’s austerity programme has truly finished and more people can find work will these statistics have more of a ring of truth to them.

Nora Johnson’s thrillers ‘Retribution’and ‘The De Clerambault Code’ (www.nora-johnson.com) available from Amazon in paperback/ eBook (€0.89; £0.77) and iBookstore. Profits to Cudeca   

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