Consumers, businesses, and investors are increasingly optimistic about the prospects for the UK economy, and independent forecasts are continually being revised up. Policymakers at the Treasury and Bank of England should now be reassessing their plans too. The consensus at the start of the year was that UK GDP would grow by around 4% in … Continue reading It’s time to pause QE
In 2010, Liam Byrne left a note to his successor as Chief Secretary to the Treasury which famously read “I’m afraid there is no money”. After all, annual borrowing had just peaked at a record £158 billion, and the stock of debt was about to top £1,000 billion for the first time. Roll forward a little over a … Continue reading Is there any money left?
On balance, I think Rishi Sunak got more things right than wrong in Wednesday’s Budget. Let’s start with a couple of positives. First, he extended the most important support measures, including the uplift to Universal Credit and the furlough scheme, until the end of September. This is probably longer than strictly necessary because the remaining … Continue reading Two cheers and one boo for the Budget
Few people outside the Treasury think that now is a good time even to be talking about raising taxes, let alone actually doing so. Nonetheless, it seems almost certain that the Chancellor will start down this road in Wednesday’s Budget. This may not be as mad as it sounds. The arguments against immediate tax hikes … Continue reading Is there any case for tax increases now?