I\’ve been known to make this point myself.

In the UK, the government continued to run budget deficits even when the economy was growing at rates of 3%, largely because Gordon Brown overestimated tax revenues. Now the economy is slowing, the scope for increases in spending or cuts in taxes to boost growth is constrained. A change to the fiscal rules is needed to ensure future governments cannot play fast and loose with the public finances.

Odd to find myself agreeing with Larry Elliott really.

6 thoughts on “I\’ve been known to make this point myself.”

  1. Like an alcoholic, the first step on the road to recovery is admitting you have a problem. Gordon can’t do this.

  2. Matt is right; and everyone wittering about UK public sector borrowing being “constrained” is an ignorant moron. The government could borrow 15% of GDP tomorrow if it wanted, and get decent rates too.
    Check the prices: http://www.bloomberg.com/markets/rates/uk.html

    (and yes, Larry Elliot is certainly an ignorant moron; he believes the financial meltdown proves that the nonsense he’s been spouting for the last 10 years is correct, whereas actually it’s just a case of ‘stopped clock’-itis).

  3. what rules? self imposed rules are meaningless. The only body that can do anything to make a leader follow his own rules is the electorate. Unfortunately we only get the chance after the fact at random points in time, not when we really need to throw the bums out.

  4. A change to the fiscal rules is needed to ensure future governments cannot play fast and loose with the public finances.

    No, we needed these changes a decade ago, before Broon started spending money like a drunken sailor.

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