Five memes that explain Osborne’s 2014 plan

Because swotting up on economic policy can be LOL-tastic too

The Chancellor made a New Year speech yesterday outlining his plans for the economy in 2014.

Here’s what you need to know, summed up by the internet’s most popular memes and some choice quotes.

Being the Chancellor is hard work

One does not simply meme

The term “difficult decisions” has been used widely since the coalition government came to power and it’s clear Osborne does not want to forget that.

In his speech yesterday, he told us: “I’ve never promised it was going to be easy.

“I went out of my way to say the opposite – and be open with you about the difficult sacrifices we had to make.”

We’ve come a long way

Success kid meme

The economy is finally showing some signs of improvement, with the Consumer Prices Index - which measures inflation - falling to its lowest level in four years. The number of people out of work has also fallen, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Osborne said: “The plan is working. For the first time in a long time, there’s a real sense that Britain is on the rise.

“Jobs are being created. The deficit is coming down.”

There’s still more to come

what if I told you meme

Those who thought we were out of the woods were dragged kicking and screaming back in, as Osborne said around £25bn worth of cuts will be needed after the election.

“The bad news is: there’s still a long way to go.

“We’re borrowing around £100bn a year – and paying half that money a year in interest just to service our debts.

“We’ve got to make more cuts. £17bn this coming year. £20bn next year.

“And over £25bn further across the two years after. That’s more than £60bn in total.”

Welfare will be cut further

Condescending wonka meme

Osborne argued there was nowhere else to cut from but the welfare budget and announced a welfare cap, which won’t include pensions. The long term unemployed will also be forced to work under a Help to Work scheme.

“So here’s another hard truth: welfare cannot be protected from further substantial cuts.

“I can tell you today that on the Treasury’s current forecasts, £12bn of further welfare cuts are needed in the first two years of next Parliament.

“That’s how to reduce the deficit without even faster cuts to government departments, or big tax rises on people.”

Backing business

Osborne doge meme

While critics argue more money could be raised by increasing the corporate tax rate, Osborne said this would stifle jobs and investment: “It would be a massive own-goal for Britain.”

He also said the government would lift the cap on university students to encourage the right kind of skills in Britain.

“If Britain is going to compete in the global race to the top, there should be no limits on aspirations – we need all our young people to develop their talents to the maximum,” he said.


What will be the top stories of 2014? We make our predictions

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