Why we don’t need austerity

If you’re looking for our pamphlet: Myths, lies and austerity, it’s here: Myths lies and austerity final2

This blog has been set up by a group of us in Edinburgh.  The group started soon after Scotland’s Independence Referendum in September 2014.

We weren’t satisfied with what we’d been told about the economics of independence – by either side.  We decided to educate ourselves.

The first topic we looked at was austerity. We’ve been told it’s painful but necessary.

We’ve looked into this thoroughly.  We’ve read the economists, trawled through budget speeches, followed up the official statistics, read the think-tank reports.

The conclusions are startlingly clear.  When you look at the evidence, there is absolutely no economic case for austerity.  Just the opposite: it’s actively destructive. Here are the arguments: Myths lies and austerity final2

Which raises the interesting question: why do the major political parties in the UK – and elsewhere in Europe – insist on the opposite?

That’s what this blog is about.

Our group is called the Economics Working Group of the Radical Independence Campaign, Edinburgh.

The austerity confidence trick

In the run-up to the General Election, we keep being told that Labour over-spending created the economic mess of 2008.

This is simply untrue. The banks, not Government spending, made the economy crash. The crash happened all over the Western world, and was a direct consequence of banking recklessness and incompetence on a global scale. Governments had made this possible by radically weakening banking rules.

Yet the Tory-Lib Dem Coalition and most of the media continue with the absurd claim about overspending, and support it with more myths. They use these to justify their policy of austerity.

A few of us got together and decided to look at the figures and the arguments, and sort out fact from myth.  We’ve set out what we found in a small booklet.  In it: Myths lies and austerity final2 we identify these myths, show why they are untrue, why austerity has – far from “sorting out the mess” – made recovery slower and more painful, and what can and should be done instead.