So, now we’ve had Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s Autumn Statement or ‘budget for growth’ as it has been called. And all the performing monkeys in the House of Comics played their well-rehearsed roles. The Tories clapped and cheered their Chancellor’s supposed economic genius, apparently blissfully unaware that fiscal drag – not increasing tax thresholds in line with inflation – would mean many people paying more in tax than they did before the Chancellor’s ‘generous’ giveaways. Labour, of course, lambasted the statement as an admission of “13 years of economic failure” and warned: “We were told to expect an Autumn Statement for growth. But the economy is now forecast to be £40 billion smaller by 2027 than the Chancellor said back in March.”
The SNP presumably said something along the lines that Scotland’s economy could only grow if the Scots could throw off the oppressive shackles of cruel English colonial rule. At least they probably said something along those lines, I wouldn’t know as I didn’t bother listening. And as for the LibDems, who cares what they said?
However, as these clowns bicker and trade insults from the comfort of their large salaries, much larger expense accounts and enviable pensions, one might wonder if any of them has the slightest clue what is really happening to our country. While our squabbling politicians disagree about almost everything, there is one policy on which they all agree and it is precisely that policy – hitting 2050 Net Zero targets – which is crippling the British economy and making any prospect of economic growth a mirage. Let me give just three examples.
I have written previously on the Daily Sceptic (‘Britain is leading the world in committing economic suicide‘) about our Government’s plan to gift away £500 million of our money to an Indian company which owns ‘British’ Steel to close down its blast furnaces, reduce the amount and qualities of steel it produces and fire more than 2,000 skilled, well-paid British workers. All this is in order to reduce the steel plant’s CO2 emissions to enable Britain to hit its Net Zero targets. Incidentally, this means that any high quality steel Britain needs in the future will probably come from China where it will be made in the same kind of blast furnaces that are being demolished in Britain.
This is a disaster for the families of the 2,000 steelworkers, a catastrophe for the local community and a serious reduction in Britain’s economic output. However, our Business and Trade Secretary, Kemi Badenoch mysteriously claimed this calamity was a brilliant move by the Government and a huge success for the British economy: “The U.K. Government is backing our steel sector. This proposal will secure a sustainable future for Welsh steel and is expected to save thousands of jobs in the long term.”
More recently we have learnt that the part Chinese-owned energy giant Petroineos is going to close its oil refinery in Grangemouth (Scotland) in spring 2025 because it could no longer compete with overseas rivals. Repurposing the site to just a fuel import and distribution business is likely to result in the loss of about 400 of the current 500 jobs at the Firth of Forth site. As energy costs make up more than half the operating costs of most petrol refineries, we can reasonably assume that Britain’s high energy costs played a major part in the decision to close the refinery. There is a direct relation between a country’s use of expensive and unreliable supposedly renewable energy and its energy costs. The higher the use of renewables, the more expensive the energy. The more a country uses cheap and reliable coal, oil and gas for its energy, the lower its energy costs. Britain has some of the highest energy costs in the world due to our use of expensive and unreliable renewables – around twice energy costs in the U.S. and about four times as expensive as energy in countries like China and India.
Neil Gray, the current Cabinet Secretary for Wellbeing Economy, Fair Work and Energy (yes, there apparently is such a position in the SNP administration), ludicrously claimed this closure of the refinery as a success for Scotland:
This is a commercial decision and it is our understanding that these works will future-proof the site to allow it to continue as an important fuel supply source for years to come. The Scottish Government is committed to working with industry to secure a sustainable future for Grangemouth that reflects our ambitions for decarbonisation and a just transition for Scotland’s industrial sector while recognising the important role it plays in meeting fuel demand in Scotland.
Hopefully readers will have noticed something none of our journalists seem to have noticed. Every time there is another economic disaster for Britain, the politician responsible issues almost exactly the same word salad of meaningless drivel claiming the disaster is a huge success for our country. So next time there is a similar economic catastrophe caused by our economically-suicidal Net Zero rush to economic oblivion – and there will be many more ‘next times’ – readers will recognise the usual verbiage of economically-illiterate nonsense put out by our lying, self-serving political elites.
My third piece of evidence comes from the Office for National Statistics. According to its latest report: “The number of registered company insolvencies in May 2023 was 2,552, 40% higher than in the same month in the previous year (1,825 in May 2022). This was higher than levels seen while the Government support measures were in place in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and also higher than pre-pandemic numbers.” According to one report, the main reason for the rising number of business insolvencies was: “High energy prices and the end of the Government’s Energy Bill Relief Scheme. FRP Advisory’s recent poll of retailers showed that nearly a fifth of retailers were not confident in trading through the next year in light of reduced support.”
While our politicians all claim to know exactly what needs to be done to put Britain firmly on the path of economic growth, their economically-suicidal Net Zero policies are actually driving us towards economic decline and bankruptcy.
Sadly, when Starmer, Rayner and Miliband take over, our country’s plight will be even worse.
As for me, as part of my vote of confidence in Britain’s hopeless politicians, I’m moving all my savings out of Sterling and making sure all my pension fund investments are in international companies which won’t be impacted by the coming Starmer Sterling collapse.
David Craig is the author of There is No Climate Crisis, available as an e-book or paperback from Amazon.