This week, George Osborne used his budget announcement to bury a multi-billion pound loss for the taxpayer. It turns out he has cost us funds that could pay for over 100,000 nurses – for a decade.
On budget day, Sky News quietly posted an exclusive analysis of figures from the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR). Their findings – described by Move Your Money as “explosive” – show that the taxpayer is set to lose nearly £22billion from George Osborne’s planned sale of our shares in the RBS bank.
What could we buy?
If Osborne didn’t keep mishandling the nation’s finances, our public institutions would be looking a whole lot better. The £22bn we are set to lose from RBS shares could pay for either:
- 103,000 nurses for 10 years (an annual starting wage of £21,388)
- 5,946 primary schools (an average cost of £3,700,000 each)
- 147,000 affordable homes (an average cost of £150,000 each)
- 40 state-of-the-art hospitals (based on the £545,000,000 cost of the new Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham)
But no, the opportunity will be squandered instead, while the British people are enduring an unprecedentedhousing crisis and an NHS buckling under austerity.
An ordinary person would be sacked
The morning after his budget, Osborne was asked on BBC Radio 4:
What’s a bloke got to do in your job to get the sack?
John Humphrys suggested the Chancellor should be sacked for missing his own arbitrary deficit targets. Yet this billion pound loss is arguably much worse than that, as it totally overshadows the revenue that will be generated from the austerity measures within the budget.