Can anyone get Osborne’s numbers to add up?

As the Chancellor’s spending continues to spiral, he has no hope of balancing the books

At the end of President Reagan’s first year in office, his budget director, David Stockman, blew the doors off the Republican administration’s fiscal credibility with a stunning admission that “none of us really understands what’s going on with all these numbers”.

tony2back: The reasons I switched to UKIP last year were the following: (1)  £53 million every day to the EU. (2) £11 billion every year to foreign aid (3) Totally mad energy policy including the forest of wind-mills (4) Broken promises on a referendum. (5) Totally ineffectual immigration control. (6) Cuts to the Armed Services. (7) Failure to curb the waste on social welfare. (8) Refusal to allow more Grammar Schools. I could go on but as it happens in each of these categories of failure UKIP appears to be willing to make the changes so necessary which the weak Tories are too afraid to consider.  'Call-me-Dave' is just not up to the task.  Plenty of 'cast-iron' promises followed by zero action.

ceekay: And just how will voting UKIP change those things that you list? On the EU referendum, they have won. We will get a referendum as long as we do not let Labour back into power. On almost everything else the UKIP policies are the back of fag packet rubbish. A few sound bites but absolutely nothing of substance or value (and yes I have read all that it published). UKIP will never govern but they can deliver Britain into the arms of the EUSSR. Some legacy that would be eh?

Old Goat: The chances are you'll give labour one more term, whatever, before they completely destroy themselves and the country. So, given that that is a likely scenario, would you rather just give in and hand it to them, or vote UKIP in the sound knowledge that even if labour do get in again, at least there will be SOME UKIP MPs occupying the opposition benches, where there are none at the moment? Softly, softly, catchee monkey (and finish labour for good).

ceekay: But it won't will it. Four more years of a Labour government will entrench us in a federal Europe, The Eds will take us in, lock us in and no amount of UKIP bleating will extracte us because democracy will be history. If UKIP claims to put Britain first are they willing to deliver that scenario to the country?

conservativemind12: How are any of those items listed "back of the fag packet" rubbish? The only UKIP policy I would define in your terms is their tax one, which doesn't seem to make much sense at all when you break it down. The rest are what I would consider to be a mix of old Conservative policies (which have served them well over the years) and populist/realist ones.

bugalugs2: cm12;  if those policies have served the Tories well over the years, why have they abandoned them under Cameron?

conservativemind12: Because all he cares about is (what he believes to be) the centre ground and look how that is currently working for him. 50% of Tory supporters deflecting to UKIP.

ceekay: They are not policies, their manifesto is a few high level statements. That isn't a policy or a strategy.

bugalugs2: "We will get a referendum as long as we do not let Labour back into power." Yeah, right, and if you believe that Cameron won't find some way to weasel out of a referendum I have  bridge to sell you.  The difference is that when UKIP promise a referendum people believe they will actually do it, Cameron's thrashing around to avoid a referendum Bill convinces people that it's yet another 'cast-iron' promise that he has no intention of delivering on. It's a character thing now.

$27593494: "On the EU referendum UKIP has won"?! A referendum in four years' time, in the unlikely event that Dave gets a majority in 2015, with no promise of equal funding for the IN and OUT camps, with the BBC, most newspapers and three out of four political parties fighting to stay IN, and nothing in the Bill about what PM Cameron must do if, against all the odds, we vote OUT? Dave might have been dragged kicking and screaming to promising what he used a three-line whip to stop early in this Parliament, but he is still trying to stack the odds in his favour every way he can.

bugalugs2: gtg:  No indication that EU money won't be allowed to be used to try to sway an internal matter for the UK electorate either…

edwardgreen: Dear Bugalugs, Please put quotes around any reference to 'EU Money' - they don't own any money any more than the government does - its our bloody money they've got and use to bribe and batter us - or often the money of generations yet unborn!

andp: The money is already going to the yes campaign via the BBC.

cerberus: gtg A referendum under the LibLabCON troika is a mirage, empty play acting because here are no circumstances they will ever permit this country to exit, none whatsoever, we must be clear on that.

flashman21: your not getting it we have given up on the Tory's  it the end of the road  for them .

rubberneck: flashman21 I would go further, this is the end of political parties in this country.  People are flocking to UKIP but I have yet to see any policy that makes any kind of sense, all they seem to offer is 'leave the EU' and 'we're not the Tory party', I find all this terrifying to say the least.

lanthalus:  It's interesting that most of what we see as criticism of UKIP's policies and budget proposals amounts to touch line carping. Sure - UKIP is unlikely to form a government on its own in the immediate future but it can (and will) find a way to make its case and increase pressure for sensible policies. What substance is lacking, ceekay, from a wish to see the overseas aid budget trimmed when we're borrowing to fund it? What substance is lacking from a proposal to stop building wind factories whose only purpose is to farm the subsidies available from taxpayers and which neither reduce carbon emissions (ask yourself about the standby generation) nor produce economic energy? What substance is lacking from a wish to see us stop contributing the the profligate waste in Brussels? I could go on - but all of these policies are do-able and all will save money that badly needs to be saved.

ceekay: Thanks lanthalus, in 2 minutes you've put more meat on the bones of UKIP policies than the party has managed in 10 years. I agree, along with most people, with the soundbite BUT getting rid of the windmills is fine but what is UKIP's energy policy, how is it going to deliver secure energy to these Isles for the next 50 years, is it a British, French or Chinese company going to do this? Cutting all overseas aid will save a small amount I'll grant you but Britain is still a very, very rich nation in world terms. Most of our spending is on Health & Education and on these UKIP solutions seem to be increasing that spending, that will not be balanced by the EU and aid money not being retained. This is the detail not more and more soundbites.

boudicca: Osborne's arithmatic is irrelevant anyway. How can any UK Government possibly conduct a spending review and settle on a Budget when the Government-over-the-water in Brussels can just demand an additional £1billion in contributions whenever it so chooses, and we have no choice but to pay up. We are borrowing and giving away an absolute fortune: to the EU; to the IMF to help prop up the Euro and  in International Welfare.   Those debts are being loaded onto existing and future taxpayers. We cannot afford the EU; we should not be contributing to prop up the single currency and International Welfare doesn't work. This Government has been a complete shambles from day one.  Cameron, Osborne and Hague have been a massive disappointment and it would have been a blessing if the idiot leading the LibDems had stayed in the EU where he belongs. Vote UKIP to bring some sanity back to British politics.  

ceekay: So what are UKIP policies to help address the awful economic position. On health, create local boards = more management, more spending. On defence, more troops = more spending On welfare, stop the scroungers, well that will save the country. Please UKIP start producing detailed, costed policies and show you are a serious player.

bugalugs2: Let's compare them to Labour's costed policies, oh, hang on, they haven't done that either, and come to that neither have the Tories or the Libdems. So really, all you're asking is for figures to take pot shots at whilst not expecting any of the supposedly better resourced parties to come up with the figures themselves? Hypocrite.