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The Battle of the Economists

There is a growing row about whether or not sufficient is being done to reduce the budget deficit.

The problem behind all of this is an absence of sufficient data. The inputs into the Treasury Economic Model remain a state secret. Hence we cannot be certain what is likely to happen and we cannot properly scrutinise the future of the Economy.

There is no question that a sudden and abrupt halt would cause a problem. It also appears that insufficient action is being taken.

The eternal question is one as to when the multiplier effect has a net positive effect on the deficit given the required inputs.

The biggest question in the 4-5 year timescale is what we can expect in terms of GDP growth. There are arguments that the treasury is over optimistic here. I think those arguments probably have some weight.

Whichever way this is a failure of our parliamentary democracy in that there is no detailed scrutiny of the assumptions behind the forecasts simply because the government won't allow it and parliament is controlled by the government.

Sterling does seem to be taking a bit of a downward trend at the moment. That started before the release of the January borrowing figures. Not really a sign of confidence in the UK.

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