Hardly jingle all the way for Mr Osborne

By Mr Brocklebank on Dec 6, 12 02:04 PM in

CHANCELLOR of the Exchequer George Osborne surprised everyone yesterday when he told the nation that he had "no miracle cure" for the country's deficit problems.

Unless he'd spelt it out that plainly, Mr Brocklebank would still be thinking now that David Cameron's right hand man had all the answers.

But he didn't. And doesn't. And never will have.

The well-worn phrase "We are all in this together" (read "Every man for himself") is invariably trotted out with increasing frequency every few months when Osborne decides he is going to reach further into the pocket of the man in the street in order to cure the woeful economic situation (which, if you hadn't heard, the government inherited).

But in recent weeks, Mr Brocklebank has learned first hand of how he himself is expected to put his shoulder to the wheel.

He received a letter from his bank the other day (never a moment to celebrate). On opening it, he became intrigued by its contents, which were slightly different to the usual "You don't have any money but we want it all" timbre of such epistles.

But as he read on, he found the difference was only slight. It told him that, as he would know, the government is intending to fund some of its Big Society (remember that!?) projects through the Big Society Bank, and is looking to use funds from idle bank accounts to help pay towards these.

As Mr B has an account which has not been used for several years, he was warned that it could soon be taken off him to pay towards worthy causes.

As an intrigued but already bristling Mr B turned over the page, he discovered the balance of said account.

21p.

Oh dear, thought Mr B. If this is how the government is hoping to solve the debt crisis, no wonder austerity is to extend many more years into the future.

ON THE subject of not having any miracle cures, Liverpool council has sprung into action to solve the city's housing crisis.

A recent headline stated that "Council gets tough on negligent landlords".

The story quoted a senior civic leader as saying that "Properties left vacant blight our neighbourhoods and are a wasted resource.

"They can lead to a reduction in overall property values and can deteriorate rapidly, causing real problems for the community."

Ne'er a truer word spoken. But when one considers that the city's social landlords (you know, the responsible ones) are between them responsible for around 2,000 empty houses in the city, Mr B wonders what sanctions may be applied to them?

Perhaps the recent decision to snub a long-established and proven housing association in favour of a private consortium with no apparent track record to take on the Granby triangle was a step in that direction . . . ?

After all, there's got to be some logic to that decision.

Hasn't there?

Dale Street Associates

David Bartlett

David Bartlett

City editor of the Post and Echo covering politics, regeneration, and urban affairs.
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