Ken O’Neill, Lothians’ newest independent candidate, has called for all politicians to speak honestly about the economy and financial matters. Mr O’Neill is standing on the Lothian regional list in May’s elections. He has called for a move away from jargon and a more honest analysis of financial results.
Mr O’Neill said:
I would like to introduce a ban on the use of inaccurate economic terms in the Scottish Parliament. Phrases such as ‘structural deficit’ are meaningless. The idea of a structural deficit serves a political function rather than an analytical one. The phrase is a pseudo-scientific concept that serves to legitimise cuts in public spending.
If you look at yesterday’s Consumer Prices Index (CPI) inflation fall fleetingly, you would think it is good news. However, the CPI does not include mortgage interest rates and payments, which are set to rise. While I welcome the CPI fall, I realise that it does not signal plain sailing ahead. However, others will jump on the fall as a sign that their current policies or the ones they put in place over a year ago are working. Inflation is still above the Bank of England’s targets but that information is conveniently swept under the carpet. That’s before the economy starts to feel the effect of last month’s public sector redundancies.
Politicians should take a step towards using plain English, delivering clear and easily understood messages to the public. This means not using buzz words and phrases like the ‘third sector’ or ‘stakeholders’ – to me they are just the voluntary sector and interested parties. Everybody knows exactly what those phrases mean – they do exactly what it says on the tin. There’s no need to use other ones or try to re-invent the wheel. They should also admit that one set of figures does not show the whole truth and start talking honestly with their employers – the voters.
You can read more about the inflation fall and how it does not tell the whole financial story in Ken’s latest post – Lies, Damned Lies & Statistics.