With the Bank of England now predicting that there will be no growth at all in the UK economy this year, many people are starting to ask themselves whether George Osborne actually knows what he’s doing.
So here is a short list of things everyone should know about the Chancellor of the Exchequer, arranged as his CV for the role.
Relevant Qualifications: None
While his school achievements are unclear, Osborne did not study any relevant subjects at university.
Despite his role as chief of the UK economy, Osborne actually studied modern history rather than economics. His time at Oxford appears to have been undistinguished, and he obtained a 2.1 degree.
The most notable feature of his student life appears to have been his membership of the controversial Bullingdon Club. Other contemporary members included David Cameron and Boris Johnson.
Relevant Experience: None
Apart from a brief stint as a “freelance journalist”, Osborne has little experience of life outside politics. He started working for the Conservative Party in 1994, and has worked in politics ever since.
George Osborne says that he knows what’s best for the UK economy, but his career suggests that he actually has very little idea how the world works outside the Westminster village.
Key Achievements in Post: None
Many of Osborne’s flagship policies as Chancellor have now been abandoned by the Government. These include:
- – the cap on charitable donations;
- – the pasty tax;
- – the caravan tax;
- – video games industry tax relief;
- – a 10% Housing Benefit cut for the long-term unemployed; and
- – ending free advice to those in serious debt.
Osborne’s ideas seem to be scrapped faster than he can come up with them. It’s hard to see exactly what he has achieved in his two years in office.
In contrast to the heady days after the 2010 General Election, it is now hard to find Conservative MP’s with a good word to say about George Osborne.
His future is being openly discussed within the party, and it is surely only a matter of time before the Tories abandon him altogether.