If you believe that there is a £55 billion ‘black hole’ in the public finances, and if you believe this has to be filled with tax increases and spending cuts in order to reassure the markets, then Jeremy Hunt’s Autumn Statement was a reasonably fair way to go about it. But there are some mighty … Continue reading The Autumn Statement (or ‘Revenge of the bean-counters!’)
This Sunday the Observer ran a frontpage story headlined ‘rightwing thinktanks call time on austerity era’. I was quoted in the article, wearing my IEA hat, as were representatives of the Adam Smith Institute, Centre for Policy Studies and Policy Exchange. As it happens, I am happy with the specific comments attributed to me, which … Continue reading No, Observer: ‘free-market think-tanks’ haven’t changed their tune
The media has been dominated this week by scary headlines about the ‘mother of all recessions’, ballooning government borrowing, and the prospect of renewed ‘austerity', whether in the form of public spending cuts or punishing tax increases. As usual, a sense of context and perspective is sorely needed. Let’s deal first with the numbers released … Continue reading No need for ‘austerity’ – as long as lockdown doesn’t last much longer
The coronavirus pandemic is of course primarily a social crisis, but the fiscal costs are also important. A sharp and sustained deterioration in the public finances could have major implications for future government spending and taxation. Many are already asking 'how will we pay for all this?' and worried about the prospect of 'Austerity 2.0'. … Continue reading How will we pay for all this?