Tuesday, April 03, 2007

The Great Shyster Strikes Again

He just can't help himself can he.

Rightly under the cosh for nicking that pensions book, he's returned from the mystic East (somewhere out Romford way) reckoning he regrets rien:

"It was the right decision for investment. It was the right investment for our pensions and the right decision for our economy. [Gawd, will these guys never give us a break from the Teach Yourself Rhetoric Rule of Three?] The decision that was taken was manifestly in the right interests of the economy."

He bases this extraordinary claim on the fact that business investment is up 50% since 1997, which he naturally ascribes to the tax change (by removing the tax refund on dividends he reckons he incentivised companies to invest instead).

So I've checked the facts at the Office for National Statistics. And yes, it's true that Business Investment is up in "chain-linked volume terms" (by 49.5% between 1997 and 2006). But that's no big deal- it was up by roughly that amount over the previous decade.

And damningly, unmentioned by Gordo, as a percentage of GDP, it's actually down.

In 2006 Business Investment was 9.6% of GDP, compared to 11.4% in 1997 (see here, here, and here).

If you ever have the misfortune to shake Gordo's hand- or any other part of his anatomy- do make sure to check your wristwatch is still there afterwards.

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