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?
I’m seeing lots of variations on ‘how can the Tories criticise Labour’s borrowing plans when debt has risen by £800 billion under their watch?’. But while there may indeed be good reasons to criticise the Conservatives' track record on fiscal policy, the increase in public debt is not one of them. It might help to … Continue reading Does the increase in public debt mean that ‘Tory austerity’ failed?