YP Letters: Has George Osborne turned into Nostradamus?

From: DM Loxley, Hartoft, Pickering.

GEORGE Osborne says that every household of working people will be £4,300 worse off per year if we leave the EU (The Yorkshire Post, April 19). This is a prediction for 2030. Given that we do not have the facility to predict our weather 14 days ahead, perhaps the Treasury should try its hand at meteorology.

Other recent quotes from the same camp include the claim that the UK’s contribution to the EU is paid for by about a penny from each pound of tax collected. This does not sound too bad but it actually means that each average household pays at least £363 to the EU by way of taxation each year.

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The Government spent £9.3m on sending their glossy leaflets to every household in the UK. That paid the postage, at about 34p per leaflet, but who paid for the cost of designing, writing, composing and printing, which I would estimate at about £5m?

And, just to make it all fair the Brexiteers, when organised into a single group, will be offered £7m for their whole campaign; perhaps £40m would have been a better offer.

There are lies, damned lies, statistics and political statements. And we all know how dependent on statistics, which can be skewed to support any argument, politicians are.

From: Tim Mickleburgh, Boulevard Avenue, Grimsby.

So George Osborne is claiming that each family will be thousands of pounds worse off by 2030 if we pull out of the EU. But this is the same Chancellor who back in 2010 claimed he could balance the books in five years.

This prediction for only five years ahead wasn’t met, so why should we believe him when he talks about something 14 years hence?

Personally the wholehearted support of Cameron and Osborne for the EU would make me back Brexit even if I weren’t already in favour of withdrawal.

From: Terry Palmer, Hoyland, Barnsley.

George Osborne is confusing GDP per household with household income. GDP per household is what you get when you add up everything produced in the economy in a year and divide it by the number of households.

GDP per household does have an impact on household income, but not on a pound-for-pound basis, so you would expect it to fall by somewhat less than £4,300.