05 December 2012

Running uphill

Sometimes, it's just no fun to be Chancellor.  There you are, in charge of the signal box, glorying in your determination to direct the economy towards a brighter future.  You pull the levers but nothing seems to work.  The Guardian reports:

Only a fraction of the billions of pounds of new capital spending that George Osborne announced in last year's autumn statement has been spent so far, research by the Guardian has established.
Less than half of the public investment trumpeted by the chancellor last November has been paid out, and none of the £21bn in private investment promised has yet been spent.
Of the key public investment schemes announced last autumn, work has not yet begun on a single one of the half dozen major road schemes published by George Osborne, and £1bn of regional growth fund money has been "allocated" but is now being studied by lawyers before it is actually handed out to help businesses in more deprived areas.
Up to £21bn of new private sector investment was announced, but there is no word on £1bn earmarked for the regulated industries and of £20bn that had been expected to be raised or leveraged by pension funds, just £700m has been committed and not a penny has yet been spent.

Expect more fruitless lever-pulling in today's Autumn Statement.

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