This week in Westminster we had the Government’s annual Autumn Statement on the economy - in December.
I can only imagine that George Osborne was putting it off hoping for some good economic news to come along, however, it didn’t.
Unfortunately, instead, we found out the huge scale of David Cameron and Osborne’s economic failure.
Despite all the cuts, the Government’s borrowing and debt figures have gone up and they have had to admit it is failing on the one test they set themselves – to balance the books and get the debt down by 2015.
The UK’s economy shrunk this year– without growth it is simply not possible for us to get rid of the deficit, it is simple arithmetic.
Household incomes are down, living costs are up and people have less disposable income to spend.
The most vulnerable in our society who have to survive on benefits will be losing even more money.
I am sick of hearing Osborne bash those who are living on benefits, and was disgusted with the image he painted in the House of Commons on Wednesday of benefit claimants “still asleep” whilst their neighbours are out working. This attack may be justifiable for those who are fraudulently claiming benefits; not for those who have no other choice.
It is clear that Osborne and the rest of his millionaire mates in the Cabinet have never had to survive on the breadline.
I remember only too well whilst I was looking for work and trying to live on the dole, the panic of wondering how I was going to pay the bills every week. For most people, unemployment is not a lifestyle choice; it is a burden forced upon them.
All this while the Tory-led Government this year prioritised a £3billion tax cut for millionaires.
Not helping people back into work, not easing the pain for those struggling to pay their bills, and not even reducing the deficit in the UK’s finances. Those who are in work are continuing to be hit with tax credit cuts, higher VAT and child benefit changes, whilst often battling with frozen salaries and soaring living costs.
Many are struggling to get work, with unemployment sitting at 8.1 per cent here in Scotland, which is even higher than the UK average.
Throughout the country we have one million young people out of work and long-term unemployment is spiraling out of control.
There was one bit of good news for us all - Labour’s campaigning on the fuel tax rise has paid off as Osborne announced there would be no rise in January. However, returning VAT to 17.5 per cent would help reduce the cost of fuel, and of most of our purchases. This would ease pressure on everyone’s finances.
The Chancellor is lying when he says ‘we are all in this together’. Those with the broadest shoulders should be taking the biggest burden; yet it is those on low and middle incomes, families and pensioners, who are bearing the brunt.