The Bank of England has just announced that Britain is in a recession which is likely to last at least until 2024 – the longest since records began.
The Leave campaign deceived Britain. It voted to leave. The UK left the European Union after a slick and well-funded campaign defied the polls and all logic.
Now the British people are realising the Leave campaign was built on lies – and that they are paying the price.
Before the referendum Michael Gove, Boris Johnson’s staunch anti-EU ally, declared: “The truth is that if we vote to leave we will be in an economically stronger position”. This year the Office of Budget Responsibility announced that Brexit caused a four per cent reduction in GDP. The British economy has been pushed back by more than a decade. Trade intensity has fallen by 15%. So have exports and imports. UK Service exports to the EU are down by 30%. Business investment has plummetted. The value of the pound has crashed, making imported goods much more expensive. Britain has a severe labour shortage. It is short of 100,000 truck drivers and has had to put military drivers on standby. Supermarket shelves are empty and queues accumulate at gas stations. Seasonal harvest workers who mostly came from Eastern Europe dropped so significantly that crops and fruit are left to rot in the fields
The British government faces a GBP40 billion hole in the budget. Boris Johnson promised €350 million euro per week paid to the EU would be diverted to the NHS. Of course, there was no €350 million going to the EU. And the NHS is now on its knees as thousands of EU health professionals left Britain. Ambulances wait for hours outside emergency departments to transfer patients. Waiting times for surgery have sky-rocketed.
The trade deals with non-EU countries Johnson haven’t happened. The only trade deal reached is with Australia and that will only increase GDP by 0.08% over 15 years. India won’t commit to a trade deal without confirmation that Britain will relax its strict visa policy. And the US won’t consider a deal while the UK government threatens to break its agreement with the EU over Northern Ireland.
Britain is in a terrible state – businesses crumble, supermarket shelves empty, its reputation in tatters, its economy wrecked. Only heavily sanctioned Russia has a lower growth in the G20. The Office of Budget Responsibility estimates that Britain’s decline is worth about GBP100 billion in lost output per year.
The empty promise that “Brexit will provide a boon to the UK economy” is now seen for what it was – deceitful and reckless. And Johnson’s promise that Brexit would stop immigration, hasn’t happened either. Immigration from non-EU countries into Britain has reached an all-time high.
Even Lord Frost who negotiated Brexit commented “I’ve always said that leaving the customs union and the single market has a cost”. Sadly, that cost is borne by the very people who voted for it – the most vulnerable.
Malta’s Labour party has been on a similar mission to deceive the public. Labour’s convinced the nation that it built a strong economy, that it can be trusted to run the country’s finances and that it is achieving amazing results. As it delivers its budget, its propaganda machine has gone into overdrive painting a fictitious picture of financial brilliance. Labour keeps borrowing more and more money to run its desperate advertising campaigns trying to shock and awe the public into believing Labour’s hype. If the budget is so brilliant why does Labour have to spend €430,000 trying to convince us it’s so good?
Labour duped the country. It claimed it secured a surplus, that it was cutting debt and that the country’s finances couldn’t be better. Instead, Malta is hurtling towards a €954 million deficit this year. The government will spend almost €1 billion more than its income by Christmas.
The country’s debt has broken records almost every year since Labour took office. This year it will reach its highest level ever. In Abela’s short three years the national debt rose from €5.72 to €9.2 billion. 40% of the national debt was ran up by Robert Abela.
Next year taxpayers must fork out 220 million euro in interest payments. Where is Labour’s economic miracle? In 2017 Labour bragged it had turned “the biggest deficit” to a financial surplus. “We not only eliminated the deficit but we also left wealth for future generations”, Joseph Muscat boasted. By 2019 Muscat’s “wealth” was €5.7 billion debt – €1 billion more than when he came into office. Malta is now facing the biggest deficit the country has ever seen and record debt of over €9 billion.
Nobody’s talking about surplus now. Nobody mentions that huge elephant in the room – the massive €9 billion debt. “A budget for the future,” Robert Abela declared. True, a budget that guarantees a future of debt and devastating repayments.
Everybody’s forgotten that other myth – ‘Air Malta returns to profitability’ – that Muscat’s accomplice Konrad Mizzi shoved down the nation’s throat in 2019. By selling off Air Malta’s premium Heathrow/Gatwick slots for €58 million to a government company created for that sole purpose and failing to include its €15 million fuel bill on its balance sheet, Mizzi could falsely claim a profit of €1.2 million for Air Malta.
Of course Air Malta made no profit. It was bankrupt then. It’s bankrupt now. Air Malta made a €71.8 million loss the year Konrad Mizzi claimed it turned a profit. Since then, accountants and auditors refused to sign off on Air Malta’s accounts. Labour is begging the EU to let it pump another 290 million euro in state aid into the company
Like Konrad Mizzi’s Airmalta “profit”, Abela’s budget is a con. He claimed his government is increasing the people’s purchasing power. Just days earlier a KPMG study showed that the standard Maltese family cannot afford to buy an apartment. If the country’s economy is so fantastic how come the majority of Maltese families cannot afford their own property? How come poverty keeps rising? Why are more people desperately resorting to foodbanks to survive?