Growth figures

2012 ended with another down quarter. For the year as a whole the public sector produced real growth of 1.9%, Business services grew 1.3% and utilities 1%. Mining and quarrying (especially oil and gas) fell 11%, Construction fell by 9.3% and manufacturing fell by 1.8%. This year oil and gas output should fare a bit better, but public sector growth should fall.

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76 Comments

  1. matthu
    Posted January 25, 2013 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    Mining and quarrying (especially oil and gas) fell 11%, Construction fell by 9.3% and manufacturing fell by 1.8%.

    Are these the same industries most affected by our ruinous energy policy?

    Utilities 1%

    Would that include subsidised renewable energy providers?

    Which sector benefits most from the green deal we’ve been promised? Oh, yeah: there have been only 5 household who have signed up for the green deal. Not surprising really, when you need to cough up £150 up front to be assessed and then take out a loan at eye-watering interest rates.

    • Bob
      Posted January 25, 2013 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

      @matthu

      The only people who accept such loans are those who have no intention to repaying them.

    • uanime5
      Posted January 25, 2013 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

      The more energy intense something is the more it’s affected by high energy prices. So I’d say construction is unlikely to be affected in a significant way, manufacturing is likely to be affected, unsure about mining (it depends on how mechanised it is).

      • David Price
        Posted January 26, 2013 at 9:35 am | Permalink

        Energy costs effect everything. Cement production involves significant amounts of energy (gigajoules per ton) as does the mining of its constituents and transportation.

  2. Barbara
    Posted January 25, 2013 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    It seems to me, in my humble opinion, that decimating industries was the biggest mistake this country has made over the last 20 years. Putting all our strengths into the ‘City’ and financial services made us open to abuse, which did happen, and weaken the country as a whole. When this financial problem exploded, we had nothing else to fall back on. People lost jobs, and the country tax revenue. We have far to many ‘foreign’ companies who have taken over British companies, in these companies own countries it is not allowed. Why do we allow it here? We see this with the utilities, who are foreign owned, and fleecing the British public. We are paying the price threefold. Loss of jobs, increasing costs, loss of taxes. Cutting is inevitable given the national finances, and Labour’s spending spree, but cutting so hard as had such a inpact we are now seeing the results. I’m all for cutting costs, taxes, and encouraging businesses with low business rates, but you do have to have a level playing field and a government who realises their choices effect real people. The figures are disappointing, and this government should act now to ensure some growth is stimulated within the country, the building industry is an area where this could be done. There other areas where we could have it too. Cancel H2 and spend the money nationally so all the transport is stimulated, not just one line which is not necessary and expensive for one route for the saving of 25 minutes. It needs a sensible approach which we appear to be lacking.

    • libertarian
      Posted January 25, 2013 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

      Sorry Barbara and this isn’t just directed at you. Far too many people talk this nonsense about abandoning manufacturing. The UK is the 7th largest manufacturer in the world. We produce MORE cars than Germany. What has happened is progress, innovation and technology. Manufacturing now includes lots of very high value SERVICE type inputs in design and patent licencing. Service industries earn more export income than any other sector and services ( of which banking is only a part) contribute 73% of GDP

      There is no such thing as a British or foreign company. A company is listed on a particular exchange if its public and may have its HQ in a certain part of the world. However there can be 100,000 of people who actually own the company and they can come from anywhere. British based pension funds are heavily invested in some far east based companies so does that make the company Japanese or British?

      We also have the highest number of people in employment that we’ve EVER had 29.2 million, and more than 7.1 million jobs were advertised last year and the private sector small firms created an extra 500,000 NEW jobs in 2012. Employment has fallen consistently quarter on quarter with another fall of 37,000 in the last quarter.

      The reason we have no growth is that we have an idiot chancellor and a socialist government who have priced energy so high we can’t compete has raised taxes to extortionate levels so that people don’t spend has held interest rates so artificially low that no one saves and has totally failed to cut public spending. Oh and a PM who doesn’t know what the difference between deficit, debt and baseline rises is but is quite happy to waste billions on the EU and overseas aid.

      • Edward
        Posted January 25, 2013 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

        libertarian,
        Thank you for a first class post.

        • Robert Christopher
          Posted January 25, 2013 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

          libertarian,
          Thank you again for a first class post.

          What has been drastically reduced, and has even disappeared in some areas, is the unskilled production line.

          So, what do we do with the unskilled, apart from employing them as Climate Change Ministers?

          That is the way to ensure that the poor get what even they don’t deserve: higher energy bills.

      • uanime5
        Posted January 25, 2013 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

        The problem with the UK is that we import too much, rather than make things locally.

        We have the highest number of people ever in employment because we have the highest population ever.

        Also poor growth is caused by a fall in wages in real terms due to high inflation and people working fewer hours.

        • Leslie Singleton
          Posted January 26, 2013 at 11:56 am | Permalink

          Unanime5–I wonder why we have the highest population ever. Now that’s a tricky one, I don’t think.

      • JimF
        Posted January 25, 2013 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

        The first part here is a bit confused and incorrect
        For large Corporations it is possible that they can become amorphous with no fixed abode.
        For medium sized Companies they generally have at least a culture attached to their origin, which can influence relocation and purchasing decisions, to name 2.
        For small Companies they are geographically fixed to the spot and are very geographically aware and dependent
        The trick for government is to create the environment in which the large companies can BOTH arrive here and grow out of indigenous small/medium companies. You then have a good balance of R and D and manufacturing here, rather than spanner shops churning out millions of cars without significant clever and value-added input. Given your wow statistic about more cars here than Germany, can you tell me how many qualified engineers per car produced we employ? That is a more relevant pointer than just number of cars…

      • JimF
        Posted January 25, 2013 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

        Just to add to that it would be interesting to hear peoples; thoughts on what the government is doing to foster new and incoming companies.
        In my view there are a few things going on at the periphery like good engineering apprenticeships now, enterprise spots rather than zones, and innovation grants (albeit quite a minefield to obtain). This is lipstick on a pig, though, as the bare bones of employment law, business rates, rent levels, planning and lack of a decent transport infrastructure hamper us dreadfully.

      • lifelogic
        Posted January 25, 2013 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

        Pretty good summary I think. Even to the extent we have left some manufacturing to much lower cost counties it is often a good thing. This from the point of view of the overall wealth of the country as it free people to do more profitable things and tax advantage of the areas where the UK has a competitive advantage. Alas Cameron and Osborne are killing most of these.

        If you paid people to make some things here they would have to cost very much more or the staff would have to work for 10% of the minimum wage.

        • David Price
          Posted January 26, 2013 at 10:07 am | Permalink

          But are people being freed to do more profitable things? The lack of growth suggests not. For one thing you underestimate the investment of time and money building up skills and experience in a career and what is really involved in changing careers after a high value activity has been outsourced.

          You are wrong that making more things here would cause significant cost increase as you suggest, there is far more to the cost of goods than part of the labour involved in it’s production. How would US firms be able to repatriate production jobs from China and South America if it were as you say?

          • lifelogic
            Posted January 26, 2013 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

            Well there are still some areas the UK does have a competitive advantage – unfortunately the government has been killing these too.

          • David Price
            Posted January 26, 2013 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

            “Well there are still some areas the UK does have a competitive advantage – unfortunately the government has been killing these too”

            That I agree with, government meddles far too much.

        • uanime5
          Posted January 26, 2013 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

          Perhaps the UK should copy Germany and make luxury goods, rather than the cheapest goods. This way you didn’t need to pay your employees a pittance to remain competitive.

          • Edward
            Posted January 26, 2013 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

            Uni, You’ve not noticed this is exactly what Germany and the UK has been doing.
            The remodelled car industry is a good example of this trend of concentrating on lower volume but higher value and higher profit products.
            Cheap, low quality, high volume manufacturing has gone off to the BRIC economies.

            PS “pittance” can you define what you mean?

      • David Price
        Posted January 26, 2013 at 8:28 am | Permalink

        It is nonsense to say we have abandoned manufacturing? Can you identify a significant number of goods you rely on and have in your home that were clearly made in the UK? We may produce more cars but how many of the jobs associated with that activity involve design and manufacture rather than (figuratively) weilding a screwdriver? If manufacture and engineering were such an important part of our economy and not declining why, for example, must one have to source all but the most esoteric parts from China or Germany?

        UK manufacturing always did include “high value service inputs” – remember the industrial revolution? what has happened is the spectrum of activities has shrunk so there is higher dependence on other countries for materials and components. The skills range of activities has shrunk so those less skilled and those just starting in a skill have far fewer opportunities to learn or contribute. Not everyone is suited to CAD/CAM work for example, what do you suggest those people should do?

        No such things as a British or foreign company you say implying that company ownership and loyalty don’t matter? But there are such things as American, German, French etc companies and when there are downturns it is the UK employees who get laid off instead of those in the parent companies. The UK steel works that is closed down instead of the Dutch one. The UK R&D that is outsourced to India or China instead of the team in the US. I have worked for a number of large multinationals and my experience is very, very different from the situation you are describing. Perhaps you should go explain things to the ex-Cadburys employees

        You quote some employment numbers and I suspect your last quarter figure of 37,000 is actually a fall of unemployment (?). But we have had significant rises in youth unemployment and immigration taking many of the jobs. At the same time the imported proportion of goods we buy has increased and people have been borrowing much more.

        I think the blame for low growth needs to be spread much further than you suggest. Perhaps if UK consumers cared where a product or produce was made or grown there would be more encourgaement for local manufacture and farming and less imports. Perhaps if we kept company ownership here the higher value jobs would stay here rather than be leached abroad and replaced by lower value jobs.

        Perhaps if we supported more breadth at all levels of enterprise here we would have growth here rather than exporting the growth while importing debt and unemployment.

        • uanime5
          Posted January 26, 2013 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

          Job cuts usually fall on the UK for two reasons.

          1) Companies dislike cutting jobs in their home region (specifically the home region of the parent company).

          2) The UK has lax employment laws compared to most, if not all, of Europe. So it job cuts need to be made in Europe it’s easier to have them all in the UK.

      • Bazman
        Posted January 26, 2013 at 9:30 am | Permalink

        There is no such thing as a British or foreign company? Tell that to the sacked Kraft workers or the French and Germans. This idea that Britain needs to be out of the EU, but companies have no nationality is for the birds.

      • Bob
        Posted January 26, 2013 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

        @libertarian
        “The reason we have no growth is that we have an idiot chancellor and a socialist government who have priced energy so high”

        …and use the revenue raised to pay people not to work.

    • Gary
      Posted January 25, 2013 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

      Excellent , common sense.

      The financial sector is still a millstone.

  3. Roy Grainger
    Posted January 25, 2013 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    Public sector growth is not “real” growth.

    • lifelogic
      Posted January 25, 2013 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

      No indeed, rather the reverse, it is just growth of the parasitic organism that is to a large degree slowly killing the economy.

      • uanime5
        Posted January 25, 2013 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

        If a department in the public sector is given extra money and hires a private company to do something is this public sector growth or private sector growth?

        • Max Dunbar
          Posted January 25, 2013 at 11:47 pm | Permalink

          BAE is a private sector company but one of its operations is to build warships on the Clyde for the MOD almost exclusively. Does this make BAE a public sector operation in Glasgow/Scotland? If BAE UK make products and more than half of these products are sold to foreign governments or private buyers, is it then genuinely a private sector company?

        • David Price
          Posted January 26, 2013 at 8:34 am | Permalink

          Where did the “extra” money come from?

          If the activity involves imported goods and services how were they paid for?

          • uanime5
            Posted January 26, 2013 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

            Assume it comes from savings made elsewhere.

      • Bazman
        Posted January 25, 2013 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

        Killing it with austerity it seems.

      • Bazman
        Posted January 26, 2013 at 9:34 am | Permalink

        That parasitic organism that is to a large degree slowly killing the economy. Is that the banking system?

        • lifelogic
          Posted January 26, 2013 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

          It is the bloated state sector though its partial incompetent control (and ownership of much of the banking system) is indeed much of the problem.

          • Bazman
            Posted January 26, 2013 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

            Remind us how the state came to be in possession of the banking system? The government spending to much? Wrong. Wages to high and the unions? Wrong. Overgenerous benefits? Wrong. The EU? Wrong. Need I go on? OK I will. Borrowing? Wrong. Over regulation? Wrong. These reasons are also not why the state has to be so large and support directly and indirectly huge swathes of the population unable to earn a living wage.

          • Edward
            Posted January 26, 2013 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

            I am happy to remind you.
            The State came to be the owners of a number of banks because “save the world Gordon” couldn’t stop himself from nationalising organsiations that were beyond help and needed to be allowed to fail.

          • Bazman
            Posted January 27, 2013 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

            They were to big to fail as you well know. How would the population have reacted to empty cash machines and saving wiped out through no fault of their own and bankers waking away with millions for causing this?

          • Edward
            Posted January 27, 2013 at 11:10 pm | Permalink

            Not too big to fail.
            There were many profitable banks like HSBC and Barclays and others waiting to take them over.
            With the depositors protection scheme protecting individual savers ( which could have been made even more generous)the Government could have held its nerve and allowed the zombie banks to go bust.
            Too late now, we will never know.

  4. lifelogic
    Posted January 25, 2013 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    The government owned RBS/Natwest and other banks and their pulling back of loans from countless sound businesses must responsible for so much of this. Needless to say Clegg and the BBC are on about infrastructure. What is needed is more cash left with the productive and small businesses and not very long term and idiotic schemes like HS2, new school buildings, Glasgow city schemes and endless wind turbines.

    Osborne just now saying something like – we can turn our back on the deficit or we can ackle it. Why has he clearly chosen the former? In order to leave a even bigger mess in 2015 for Milliband one assumes.

    • Max Dunbar
      Posted January 25, 2013 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

      Although the idiotic Glasgow George Square plans have been dropped for the time being, allegedly due to a public outcry, the recently reported questionable activities of the council leader may also have played a part. However, you will be pleased to know that David Willets is pouring a few more millions we don’t have into the city under a different scheme.

  5. Bickers
    Posted January 25, 2013 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    Our economy remains too reliant on public sector spending. It can’t go on at current levels much longer before the markets clobber us.

    JR’s piece yesterday on our out of kilter balance of payments with EU is another elephant in the room. Quite simply, membership of the EU is costing us billions and strangling our competitiveness. No wonder stagnation is setting in.

    • uanime5
      Posted January 25, 2013 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

      If the EU is strangling our competitiveness then why does the UK have a trade surplus from exporting services? Also why isn’t the EU harming Germany’s goods exports?

      • lifelogic
        Posted January 26, 2013 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

        The EU is indeed harming Germany’s economy too. They are just not as badly hit due to finance/banking not being such a large proportion of their economy. Also they have some competitive advantages in other areas.

  6. oldtimer
    Posted January 25, 2013 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    Would it not be better to focus on hard data that actually is measurable, like tax receipts or cash spent or money printed/borrowed? It appears that the data produced by economists for GDP and inflation are not much better than ill-informed guesswork. I say ill-informed because it depends on the returns from a minority of businesses and is, apparently, subject to later revision – sometimes substtantial revision – many years later. Yet public policy and political debate, we are earnestly advised, absolutely depends on these figments of the economists imagination.

  7. stred
    Posted January 25, 2013 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    Construction and factory production falling, whilst the bureaucracy and regulation grow. This year we have real time tax reporting and the expense of accountancy, licensing of a large part of the private rental sector and work for councils and landlords to add to our productive capacity, and the renewal of the gas network and upgrades of the water and sewage standards to add to utilities. The money to pay for these will come in the end from the private sector and there will be less available to spend on housing, manufactured products and recreation, the result being further reductions in these activities.

  8. margaret brandreth-j
    Posted January 25, 2013 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    This is British GDP. How does that compare to EU GDP?

    • uanime5
      Posted January 25, 2013 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

      Given that what happens in every EU country will be different amalgamating all this data to produce an EU’s GDP or average EU GDP will produce something that bears little relationship to each country.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted January 26, 2013 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

        Unanime5–Never though to hear you say that there are differences between EU countries.

      • Edward
        Posted January 26, 2013 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

        Uanime5,
        I’m puzzled why you say GDP figures for the EU and their member states are not available or are in some way not reliable.
        There are large numbers of figures available on line and some are the EU’s own statistics.
        eg
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_sovereign_states_in_Europe_by_GDP_(nominal)

  9. a-tracy
    Posted January 25, 2013 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    Gosh if December was bad wait until January figures come out, many more clients now close for a full two weeks at Christmas/New Year in order to use up the holiday allowance at a quiet time of year. Then coming back from 7th January it was very quiet with added complications from the dire warnings on the tv weather reports closing down the UK, including in areas that didn’t suffer too badly, we travelled all over the UK during that period other than South Wales where we wouldn’t venture because of the red warnings. Fingers crossed it picks up next week and snow warnings don’t close us down.

    • a-tracy
      Posted January 25, 2013 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

      Mind you I don’t know whether fixating on growth figures is such a good idea. If in order to grow your business you have to buy in work, you will pay for it eventually by either running out of money and your creditors and bank closing you down.

      Controlled growth through sales and investment is a much more sound proposition as long as you manage your costs. If the cost to buy the growth is too great then you don’t generate a surplus and just eat into safety net reserves or force you to increase borrowings if indeed you can get the money when you need it.

      Surely if you build a school or hospital as I’ve heard Ed Balls suggesting then the imbalance comes when you staff it, and if you shut another hospital to make way for the new one how do you get the investment back from the original site, I’m unclear about his assertions.

  10. Andyvan
    Posted January 25, 2013 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

    Include government spending as a minus rather than a plus to GDP and you get a much better idea of why the country is getting poorer.

    • uanime5
      Posted January 25, 2013 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

      Just because you don’t like Government spending doesn’t make it harmful. Much of the private sector relies on it.

      • Bob
        Posted January 26, 2013 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

        @uanime5
        “Much of the private sector relies on it.”

        The private sector pays for it.

        It’s like taking a pint of blood from your left arm, and then injecting it into your right arm after first spilling some on the floor.

    • Bazman
      Posted January 26, 2013 at 9:38 am | Permalink

      How about spending on infrastructure Andyvan? Infrastructure that private companies use and benefit from.

      • lifelogic
        Posted January 26, 2013 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

        The useful infrastructure, provided by the state, is but a tiny proportion of overall government expenditure and their endless waste.

        • Edward
          Posted January 26, 2013 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

          I think you have defined the real cause of the lack of growth in your simple sentence, Lifelogic.
          Keynes must be turning in his grave at the way his economic theories are being perverted to create the borrow, tax, spend and waste of modern Governments both in Europe and in the USA.
          A 50/50 mix of state v private sector balance, is simply not sustainable as we are sadly about to see.

          • Bazman
            Posted January 27, 2013 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

            They are in part taxing to support a state subsidised banking system and masses of benefits due to the lack of real employment. A problem caused by the private sector that could not provide full employment and housing even in a boom and not due to over regulation. Lifelogic has no real understanding of the economy other that inflating it to allow him to charge ever higher rents to the workforce who provide the money. He is in effect just chanting and shouting “Laffer curve at any opportunity without even realising what the theory says like any others on this site and believing in the sparrow and horses theory. Working out well that one isn’t it?

  11. Leslie Singleton
    Posted January 25, 2013 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    All the baloney about a triple dip recession leaves me cold in that of necessity for there to be a triple dip there have to be a couple of positives in there too. Of course these positives are not large but the neither are the dips. Given the definitional difficulties with GDP and the level of (in)accuracy I think the doom and gloom merchants should put a sock in it. Much ado about little. What do these people think the effect of all this hyperactive noise about austerity (which austerity?) and recession is having on the investment and hiring needed to bring about the growth they say they want?

    • uanime5
      Posted January 25, 2013 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

      Trying to censor bad news to encourage investment never works. What the newspapers are reporting is what businesses already know and have known for some time.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted January 26, 2013 at 9:29 am | Permalink

        If it really were bad news of any significance you might be right but I don’t see these 0.1 percents up down and sideways as meaning much at all. And again possibly you are right about businesses but for the general public it is much overdone, especially with the almost continuous monthly (and daily on the News) reporting. Things could be better but that’s about the size of it.

        • Bazman
          Posted January 26, 2013 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

          Maybe we need a Britain Today Channel like Russia has?

  12. matthu
    Posted January 25, 2013 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    Taken as a whole, Europe’s share of world output is projected to fall by almost a third in the next two decades. This is the competitiveness challenge – and much of our weakness in meeting it is self-inflicted… [David Cameron, 23 January]

    “The high price of energy is becoming a significant disadvantage for industry vis-à-vis its global competitors,” said Markus Beyrer, director-general of BusinessEurope, the European employer’s association.

    http://www.euractiv.com/specialreport-europe-industry-ha/industry-claims-emissions-tradin-news-517228

    Japan is likely to abandon an ambitious pledge to slash greenhouse gas emissions by a quarter, the top government spokesman said on Thursday.

    http://phys.org/news/2013-01-japan-ready-ditch-emissions.html

    Meanwhile, back home “Statistically there has been no change in the average annual temperature of the globe since 1997 meaning that the standstill is now 16 years. Can anyone now have any doubt that the recent warming standstill is a real event of crucial climatic importance? –David Whitehouse

    http://www.thegwpf.org/temperature-standstill-continues-2012-scrapes-top-ten/

    Is it time that the UK takes a serious look at their energy policy [ maybe a quick glance at UKIP's policy? but that suggestion might anger our good host ] and considers decoupling itself from Europe in this respect.

  13. matthu
    Posted January 25, 2013 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

    When I heard that Cameron had acknowledged that much of our cpompetitive weakness was self-inflicted (23 January) I thought he must be getting ready to pull back from the ruinous energy policy that is affalicting the whole of Europe (but the UK more than others because we like being world leaders!). But then he came out with this in Davros:

    “Britain is a major European player on all of the issues where Europe needs to act – being more competitive, fighting terrorism, combating climate change – we are right out there leading the arguments, making the arguments”, he says, “and that is the sort of political action that we need. But a centralised political union? Not for me, not for Britain”.

    The man has learnt nothing. He could do worse than to reflect on the words of Eija Riita Korhola (Finnish MEP)

    “Let’s assume that the AGW-greenhouse theory, as it stands now, is not correct, and warming and cooling both fit under natural variability and the fact is that the climate has always changed in one direction or another. In this scenario we are not making good policy, as staring at CO2 only has taken attention away from other severe problems. In the name of the fight against climate change both the quality of air and the problem of pollution have worsened. In other words, the climate problem has cannibalised other environmental problems.

    Let’s then further assume that the correlation theory of increased atmospheric CO2 and global warming is true, and that the situation is worse than ever. Even in this case we are not making sensible policy, as the policy has not alleviated the problem it was supposed to. Not in the least bit.

    European climate policy has a massive price tag attached to it. It has even been catastrophic from an environmental point of view. For years I have spoken out about the fact that we should be more careful in investing our resources. We should not allow absurdities in the name of the greenhouse theory. At present, we have the most expensive, one-sided climate policy in the world, which reduces jobs in the EU and also penalises the world’s cleanest production operations. As a matter of fact, the newest research shows that the present policy does not even reduce emissions. If we take into account consumption, too, the EU’s total emissions have actually gone up. While production-based emissions have indeed gone down appropriately, strikingly, consumption-based emissions have dramatically increased. This development speaks a language of failure: because of our climate policy, production has been relocated to other parts of the world with less clean production – and unemployment in the EU has gone up.”

    http://rogerhelmermep.wordpress.com/2013/01/23/finnish-mep-questions-climate-change/

    So, production is being relocated, consumption based emissions have increased dramatically and our public sector is spending more. No wonder our debt will carry on growing as far ahead as we can meaningfully see. The government even plans for debt to carry on growing (while assuring us incorrectly they are paying it off).

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted January 26, 2013 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

      matthu–What no reply already from Unanime5 saying that NASA says (said?–not sure when) that last decade warmer than the one before, not that I’d be exactly panicking even if it were true. Why should it stay the same? Equilibria do not work that way. The money that has been wasted is simply phenomenal.

    • uanime5
      Posted January 26, 2013 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

      Economic problems does not mean the scientific facts are incorrect.

      Also how had trying to prevent global warming resulted in the quality of air and the problem of pollution worsening? Especially since almost all green energy produces far less pollution than non-green energy.

      • Edward
        Posted January 27, 2013 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

        Uni, You ask, how has trying to prevent global warming resulted in worse air quality and increased pollution.
        The answer is because it has been in mature, industrialised nations like the UK, the EU and USA who have tried the hardest to combat global warming and this has resulted in China, India, Brazil and Russia taking over manufacturing for us.
        Sadly they have few of the expensive, but efficient technologies we have and their manufacuring is carried out in old fashioned manner and therefore is relatively much higher polluting.
        As well as many jobs in the West being lost, we now know that our planet is worse off overall, in terms of air quality and pollution as a result.
        An classic example of the law of unintended consequence.

  14. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted January 25, 2013 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

    Here we go again – media and politicians obsessed with gdp figures which are just guesses and which will be revised at least twice by which time hardly any one will care any more. What I am concerned about is the ever burgeoning government debt. Improving gdp doesn’t necessarily mean the government is getting on top of the deficit. The government could borrow and spend more and make the gdp figures seem better but why would that help sort out the deficit and the debt? It wouldn’t – it would make it worse. We are told that unemployment is reducing and employment is at a record high so that should mean that the government is spending less, not more, on unemployment benefits. Tax receipts are doubtless less than projected, but the government, whilst still talking of cuts, is still spending more. I have asked before but I’ll try once more -where is this extra spending going? We have a tax and spend government just like the last one – therein lies the problem.

  15. REPay
    Posted January 25, 2013 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

    I heard on NPR (the US public broadcaster) that “austerity has failed” in the UK – that’s all. I am afraid when the UK downgrade comes, we will all be told it was because the Coalition cut too much. (Just as the BBC or its commentators regularly takes about de-industrialization in the 1980s as though it was a deliberate government policy.) Until someone gets a grip on the narrative all we can do is prepare for an even bigger state and the poverty attendant.

  16. Electro-Kevin
    Posted January 25, 2013 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

    Another commenter reports here that our NI contributions are just another form of taxation – we will not recover our state pensions and that our true levels of personal taxation are much higher than reported if this is taken into account.

    Whatever the outcome of the promised EU referendum (and I’ll believe it when I see it) the hard pressed – soon to be impoverished – public cannot be expected to fund two governments, surely ?

  17. Matthew
    Posted January 25, 2013 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

    Public spending continues apace – I’m not sure how that squares with austerity

    Not enough being done to make the economy more competitive – steady devaluation in the pound over the last two years.

    8% in the last 6 months against the Euro, but exports are not responding.

  18. a-tracy
    Posted January 25, 2013 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

    Just watching channel 4 news and one of the assertions by the shoppers was that it was bankers and rich people that got us into this mess, and it got me thinking because I thought it was bad loans that caused the banking system to crash after Clinton in the States and the Labour Party encouraged too much overly generous mortgage loans, relaxing the rules, allowing people to extend their mortgages on overly inflated property revalues to be spent not on that property as used to be the case with mortgages.

    Although big bank directors then seemed to me to expand the problem by selling each other pigs in a poke failing businesses for too much money. Then taking a pretty exit with fat pensions protected when the mud hit the fan.

    They’re only interviewing people who have a poor understanding of what’s going on, where are the people working in high skilled private sector jobs being interviewed for balance? I’d like to see another point of view, I’d like to hear from successful bankers and investors who didn’t lose their clients money. I just don’t believe a thing I hear on the news just lately.

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted January 26, 2013 at 9:10 am | Permalink

      I think the idea of balance has disappeared from all the broadcast media. They all seem to have their own agendas, their reports are loaded with comment rather than facts and they regularly present a one-sided view.

    • Bazman
      Posted January 26, 2013 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

      Interview big money, bankers and managers of state owned enterprises they didn’t loose money. The rest of us did.

    • Bob
      Posted January 26, 2013 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

      A caller to LBC last night suggested that the government should be seeking advice from business owners who have to live within a budget and produce goods and services that others are prepared to pay for.

      • Bazman
        Posted January 28, 2013 at 10:49 am | Permalink

        Pray tell us other great wisdoms oh wise one.

  19. Wilko
    Posted January 25, 2013 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

    Forecasting growth depends on knowing what people will decide to buy & do, in advance. Large numbers of people do not themselves even know what they will decide. People who make predictions based on what choices they assume millions of individual decision-takers will make, in multi-variate circumstances, are prone to be wrong.

  20. Derek Emery
    Posted January 29, 2013 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    I wonder at what stage do the coalition become concerned for their future voting prospects? Caning the public with tax rises and expanding state spending at the expense of the private sector has to have a voting downside. They haven’t got all that long really to come up with something positive for the public. Pity these is nobody to represent the interests of private sector where most people work.

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood has been the Member of Parliament for Wokingham since 1987. First attending Kent College, Canterbury, he graduated from Magdalen College, and has a DPhil from All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.
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