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George Osborne: 'We are having it hard because he has it so easy'

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George Osborne: 'We are having it hard because he has it so easy'

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Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Central Government

George Osborne: 'We are having it hard because he has it so easy' George Osborne: 'We are having it hard because he has it so easy'

Housing Quality Network chief executive Alistair McIntosh pulls no punches as he casts his verdict on the chancellor's Autumn Statement.

George Osborne hasn’t worked a day in his life. It shows in the autumn statement. Even the thickest MBA student could write a better essay.

He hasn’t hit any of his targets. That doesn’t matter. George’s friends in the Office for Budget Responsibility ignore that. They let him put graph after graph in showing growth zooming up in years to come. In this case we must hope that the past, or even the present, is no guide to future performance. Osborne brought the OBR into this world. It’s just another useless layer of bureaucracy. Get rid of it.

While he was setting up the OBR as a chocolate fireguard Osborne sacked lots of useful civil servants. The problem is that if you want to do things like build train lines or roads you need civil servants to push it through. We have the fewest civil servants in modern times. The construction sector has shut down. Could these two factors be in any way related?

As he knows nothing about real life George relies on opinion polls. What do they tell him to do? Bash the rich and the poor. By hook or by crook get in the good books of the majority. But this just leads to more blunders.

The housing sector came up with a brilliant idea. Let the councils build 60,000 homes. It would add more to GDP than Olympic ticket sales. We know that councils, ALMOs and associations can deliver. The city wanted it to happen. Construction firms relished the opportunity. Even the most right-wing Tories I know were in favour. Where did we get with George? We got nowhere. Imagine the opinion poll reaction if poor people got some of the homes. So we had to say sorry to the construction workers as they trudge back onto the dole.

So there we have it: a chancellor that misses targets, talks of jam tomorrow, dismantles the levers of power and puts bigotry before growth. Just compare his dismal third rate essay with the brio of Lord Heseltine’s 'No Stone Unturned'. This is a man who built a business from scratch. He knows the value of investment at the right time and he respects the public sector. Heseltine made something of his life. Osborne never will. We are having it so hard because he has it so easy.

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