Further Reflections on the Autumn Statement

Here’s an blog post at a blog I regularly read: “So what has happened to the long-term plan, George?”┬áIt’s another set of reflections on last week’s Autumn Statement, adding in the current fiasco surrounding the Labour Party.
The Chancellor put off cutting the deficit based on a better than expected forecast of government revenues at last week’s Autumn Statement.
That decision probably won’t have great consequences – although it does raise questions of consistency, since as the blog article points out, the Prime Minister and Chancellor have long made the point that Labour didn’t “fix the roof while the sun was shining” back before the financial crisis.
The point it makes though is that weak oppositions, as Labour is currently providing to the Conservatives, allow potentially lazy, or complacent decisions to be made, which could have economic consequences.
I’d highly recommend the Political Betting blog that this article was motivated by; it’s a very interesting take on politics from the perspective of people who regularly place bets on political outcomes. The placing of bets is an economic decision, and many argue it’s an effective way of forcing rigorous thinking: if one’s money is at stake, one will be more conscious of potential biases that would result in betting losses.

Conversations on Monday: Spending Review and Autumn Statement

On Monday we turn our attentions at our Economics Conversations sessions to the UK and its government’s fiscal plans. On November 25 the Spending Review and the Autumn Statement will happen.

The Spending Review happens at the start of each Parliament, hence the last one was back in 2010, and it sets out the budgets for each department, or part of the government.

The Autumn Statement is the Autumn counterpart to the Budget, which happens each March, and hence is an annual event where the Chancellor updates plans for government taxation and spending.

There’s little doubt that as we get nearer to these events, they’ll get more and more media attention, not least after the tax credits fiasco, so it’s always good to be prepared to think about them as economists by discussing them, as economists.

See you all on Monday!