CHANCELLOR of the Exchequer George Osborne, in an interview with BBC Radio 4, made it clear that in his opinion a slowing global economy means that the UK is by no means in a position to be complacent, and “2016 is the year of mission critical”, and could be the most difficult year that the economy has faced for some time.
Despite the fact that in his Autumn Statement he indicated that the UK economy was ‘growing fast’, he went on to explain that the statement had in fact put into place a four-year plan to restore public finances, and make the economy more productive.
“It is precisely because we live in an uncertain world. It is precisely because we have not abolished boom and bust as a nation, that you need to take these steps, difficult steps and I need to go on explaining to the public, that the difficult times aren’t over, we have got to go on making the difficult decisions, precisely so that Britain can continue to enjoy the low unemployment and the rising wages that we see at the moment,” Mr Osborne said.
In fairness, the problems of the Middle East, risk of recession in China, and ever dropping commodity prices which indicate a drop in global demand could not have been accurately forecast in the autumn of 2015, but it is possible that he was more than a little optimistic in his statement and time will tell how buoyant the UK economy actually is.