Remember all the fuss last year when it was reported that the UK’s public debt-to-GDP ratio had hit 100%? This happened in the May data and again in July, but in both cases the figures were later revised down. In January 2021, net debt was still ‘only’ 97.9% of GDP. This is mainly because the … Continue reading A quickie on the UK debt-to-GDP ratio…
The centrepiece of Keir Starmer’s big policy speech on Thursday was a proposal for a new ‘British Recovery Bond’. It’s a nice idea on paper and many other people, from both left and right, have backed similar schemes. But it’s still hard to see what it would actually achieve in practice. To recap, the plan … Continue reading What’s the point of ‘British Recovery Bonds’?
The latest UK GDP numbers were better than expected, but it would still be dangerous to raise taxes in the March Budget. This would be far too soon after a year when the economy contracted by nearly 10% and with a renewed decline almost certain this quarter. To recap, UK GDP rose by 1.2% m/m in December … Continue reading Big freeze in GDP should keep tax hikes on ice too
On 3rd February I was one of four economists who testified to the House of Commons Treasury Committee on the 2021 Budget, exactly one month before Rishi Sunak is due to present it for real. We disagreed on many things, but there was a strong consensus on two points. First, March is far too soon … Continue reading My wish list for the March Budget