The economy is back on track - so they claim

Prime Minister David Cameron. Photo: Yui Mok/PA Wire
Prime Minister David Cameron. Photo: Yui Mok/PA Wire

The gulf between the rhetoric of the Conservative Government and the London-centric national media commentariat and the majority of the citizenry is continuing to grow at an alarming rate.

Prime Minister Cameron, Chancellor George Osborne and the editors of many national newspapers would have us believe the economy is now back on track.

Happy days are here again, or so they claim.

The economy is on track, but a very different one from the one portrayed by the ruling elite, who are continuing to spread their propaganda untroubled by a Labour Party that appears to be incapable of mounting any form of effective opposition.

Last year the ONS revealed the rise in total employment since 2008 is predominantly among the self-employed, and the rise is mainly down to fewer people leaving self-employment. The most common roles are working in construction, taxi driving and management consultancy.

Now to the really significant bit: average income from self-employment has fallen by 22% since 2008.

That is truly a staggering collapse in earnings, although this may disguise to some extent income received in the form of a dividend by those who are self-employed through their own company,

Moves into self-employment, by definition, is likely to be greatest in sectors with low barriers to entry and, unless the market in such sectors is expanding, the result must be increased competition, lower profitability in aggregate and failing incomes.

The ONS figures would seem to confirm this hypothesis.

When one adds to the mix the growing numbers of employees on short-term and zero-hours contracts one can grasp the headline employment figures trumpeted by the government and national newspapers mask a very different situation.

The track we’re on is taking the country to a very different destination to the one portrayed by the government. My advice is for folk is to have a lifeboat ready and waiting – most of us are going to need one.

Kevin Hey, Castle Road, Colne