Neither party is honest about the true state of our economy

In fact, the latest predictions by major forecasters are quite pessimistic. Earlier this month, the OECD cut its growth forecasts for Britain to 0.4pc from 0.7pc this year; Last month the IMF cut Britain’s 2024 outlook to 0.5pc. Even the OBR’s forecasts around the Budget – which predicted growth of 0.8pc this year – were seen by some as too bleak.

Of course there is no guarantee that the UK will continue its upward swing. But even bad economic news puts Labor on shaky territory. Do the policies they have announced so far really inspire confidence that Keir Starmer will deliver the growth he promised?

More regulations, more government spending, more restrictions on businesses around employment and more taxes. At best, Labor can expect a Joe Biden-style sugar rush — something Americans have seen. But unlike the US, Britain does not have the ability to borrow even for temporary stimulus.

It’s not just Labor – both parties are struggling to link their political agendas to economic growth. Both insist the current net figures are too high and pledge a crackdown on legal migration. Yet, no matter which party proposes to reduce this figure (and that’s a big deal), GDP will almost certainly fall.

Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer’s hands are tied: they can talk about elements of the economic story playing out in England, but not the whole. The disconnect becomes even more apparent when the ONS’s chief economist quotes a former Australian prime minister as saying the economy is „going gangbusters”.

And arguably they shouldn’t. Growth of 0.6pc may have exceeded all expectations, but the bar has been set very low. The latest figures may show the UK is in recession, but they don’t mean we’re at the peak of an economic boom. Indeed no forecast, even optimistic ones, expect to see the 2.5pc or 3pc growth needed to transform living standards and increase prosperity.

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This may be another reason why no politician wants to discuss the whole economic picture: it’s not just about what’s included, but what’s missing.

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