The Emperor has no austerity

Well, this isn't going to win Tullett Prebon any friends. They come out and says that there hasn't been any detectable austerity in Britain no matter what Cameron et al might claim.

Clearly he doesn't read the Guardian, except maybe for a laugh.

It's hard to fault their reasoning or indeed their forthrightness:

"Government has done very little about its spending, has appropriated three-quarters of all gains in economic output for its own use, has carried on piling up debt – and has tried to pass all this off as 'responsible austerity'."
Harsh, but fair.

The Government, of course isn't taking this lying down:

Ministers have insisted that public spending is being cut at a rate not seen since the Second World War and trade unions have launched mass protests about reductions in the public sector.
As far as I can tell, though, both sides are correct. Government is spending more than ever, though an increasing fraction is going on servicing debt costs, and so actual non-debt spending is just about going down (kinda, if you squint at it, in real terms). Yet the demands of welfare, NHS and pensions are such that significant cuts to public services are inevitable - the slices of pie are just being shifted around, there's not a detectable difference in the overall amount of pie served.

Where now? I think Tullett Prebon are piddling into the wind a bit here. The uncomfortable truth is, no matter how half-arsed the Government austerity is, they're still more responsible than many other Western nations. This is somewhat depressing unless you're well stocked up with gold bars.

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